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It's all cooking with gas now - Echoes of Flavio's Ghost Dreaming
It's all cooking with gas now
Friends coming over for dinner tonight, so I'll be doing the 'caraotas negras refritas', the refried black bean flavdinner recipe, one of the very few things I cook. Have already chopped some garlic, onion is looking at me balefully from the worktop (that's the bit I don't like about this, chopping onions... I might buy some swimming pool goggles just for that purpose...) and have to go out get a red pepper , some plantainand a couple of other things.

A friend who used to run a well known venue and who is a very good chef just emailed asking me for my pesto recipe. In reality, there isn't a recipe in that I cannot do measurements for toffee -or anything else; it's all, as they say in my village, 'eye percent measurement", but I sent her a loose description of what I do and where it differs from standard pesto -thought I would also post it here, so here it is:

Pesto is very simple and really the only difference with the standard recipe is that I don't put the basil in the blender but chop it by hand -the flavour is different that way. I also try to take most of the twigs out.

What you need is basil -of course-, garlic, pine kernels, parmesan cheese, olive oil, salt and pepper.

The pine kernels can go in the blender but I prefer the texture if you either crush them by hand or run them through one of those little mills -a coffee grinder might do. You might want to try toasting them a little before grinding them, this gives it a slightly different flavour. I find the taste of Parmesan cheese changes on how you cut it or grate it; I prefer it pulverised (er, this is not the right word) rather than in little strips as you would get from a hand grater, if you know what I mean.

As I said, I chop the basil by hand -I do this with a kitchen knife and I'm sure you can do this with a far more efficient technique than I can :D -quite small bits by the end of it but not ground, no blender (although Italians do blend it).

There's nothing that much to this, then: Lots of chopped basil, a fair bit of crushed pine kernels, lots of parmesan and a bit more garlic than you might feel is prudent. Add lots of olive oil, salt and pepper and mix. There is nothing else to it. There are many variations but I tend to stick to what I've found I like so haven't tried any.

I told you I didn't do measurements, sori:)

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10 comments or Leave a comment
From: suicideally Date: July 30th, 2010 09:29 am (UTC) (Link)
>a bit more garlic than you might feel is prudent

This is always the correct measurement for garlic :)
flavius_m From: flavius_m Date: July 30th, 2010 11:46 am (UTC) (Link)
nexus_six From: nexus_six Date: July 30th, 2010 09:48 am (UTC) (Link)
I am hungry from just reading that!
flavius_m From: flavius_m Date: July 30th, 2010 11:47 am (UTC) (Link)
gothic_violin From: gothic_violin Date: July 30th, 2010 09:54 am (UTC) (Link)
one way to chop onions is turn it on the side, and cut in slighlty just under halfway into the onion across (about five/six) , and then you can eith quicky chop that at the opposite angle to slice so kind of minced/diced, and repeat other side, or do same thing, othe side, and then do step two. bascially, aim not to get the ends off till last.
flavius_m From: flavius_m Date: July 30th, 2010 11:47 am (UTC) (Link)
Ok, it was a bit late to try that, will do next time and report....:)
valkyriekaren From: valkyriekaren Date: July 30th, 2010 11:37 am (UTC) (Link)
Goggles probably won't help - it's the fumes getting into your sinusses as well as your eyes that causes the 'onion tears'.
flavius_m From: flavius_m Date: July 30th, 2010 11:48 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, maybe, but imagine the photos..... :D
djpsyche From: djpsyche Date: July 30th, 2010 12:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've heard that if you run onions under water they no longer make you cry. Though I never think to do this myself ;)
crookedmonkey From: crookedmonkey Date: July 30th, 2010 08:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
That's exactly how my nan cooked, and the recipes she taught me are the same - 'how much flour?' 'THIS much' 'How much is that?' 'It's THIS much, just make it look like this'
Har. Will definitely try your pesto x
10 comments or Leave a comment