Bucatini with Spicy Tomato Sauce


INGREDIENTS

  • 3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 oz. thinly sliced  pancetta, cut into ¾” pieces
  • Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small carrot, minced
  • ½ medium onion, minced
  • ½ tsp. crushed red chile flakes
  • 1 (28-oz.) can peeled tomatoes, preferably San Marzano, undrained and puréed
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 1 lb. bucatini or spaghetti
  • cups grated Pecorino Romano

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Heat oil in a large, high-sided skillet over medium heat. Add pancetta; cook, stirring, until lightly browned, 6–8 minutes. Add pepper; cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes more. Increase heat to medium-high; add garlic, carrots, and onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 6 minutes. Add chile flakes; cook for 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens and flavors meld, 20–25 minutes. Season with salt; keep warm.2. Bring a 6-qt. pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until just al dente, 6–8 minutes. Reserve 1⁄2 cup pasta water; drain pasta. Heat reserved sauce over medium heat. Add pasta and reserved water; cook, tossing, until sauce clings to pasta, 2–3 minutes. Add 1⁄2 cup Pecorino; toss. Divide between serving bowls; serve with remaining Pecorino.

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Caramel Cake


INGREDIENTS

16 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
3¼ cups cake flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
6¼ cups sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
4 eggs
1¼ cups milk
16 tbsp. salted butter
2 12-oz. cans evaporated milk

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Heat oven to 350°. Making sure all ingredients are at room temperature, grease two 9″ round cake pans with 1 tbsp. unsalted butter; dust with 1½ tbsp. flour, tap out excess, and set aside. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together; set aside. Beat remaining unsalted butter and 2½ cups sugar in a bowl with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add vanilla and eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Add flour mixture and milk alternately in 3 batches, beating smooth after each addition. Divide batter between pans. Bake until golden, 30–35 minutes. Let cool on a rack for 10 minutes; remove cakes; let cool completely. Slice tops off cakes to level them.

2. To make icing, cook remaining sugar and salted butter in a pot over high heat, stirring constantly, until light brown, 7–8 minutes. Carefully stir in evaporated milk; reduce heat to medium-low; cook, stirring constantly, until smooth, 8–10 minutes. Cook, stirring occasionally, until icing registers 240° on a candy thermometer, about 1½ hours. Remove from heat; beat with a wooden spoon until thick, glossy, and spreadable, 20–25 minutes. (A dollop dropped on a plate should ooze only slightly.) Ice bottom layer of cake; top with second layer and ice the outside. Chill cake until set.

The International Cuisine Challenge


In a little over a month,  I will be in Portland attending school at Le Cordon Bleu and officially starting my journey in the culinary world.  Most of you probably have seen the movie Julie and Julia.   Instead of doing the same deranged assignment that Julie did,  I figured that I would add a twist to it.  I have picked two cuisines to devote my first year of my culinary education to… Mediterranean and Indian.  My favorite chefs who will accompany me on this journey will be Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver, both geniuses in their own right, as well as the guys from Sorted food

Books: As of yet, no books have been selected to begin this pursuit.

Me:  Aspiring chef by day,  food critic by night.  Single with no desire for a relationship outside of food and working out and wanted to add more to my plate.  Risking my sanity for this journey towards culinary perfection…  in the spirit of Julie and Julia I too have signed on for a deranged assignment.

365 days, who knows how many recipes and  a crappy outer borough kitchen.

How far will it go? We can only wait. And wait. And wait…..

The International Cuisine Challenge. Coming soon to a computer terminal near you.