Alton Brown: EveryDayCook
Feeds 4 to 6
The way I look at it, if you’re going to eat pasta on a regular basis, you should probably have it for breakfast so you’ve got the whole day to work it off. With that in mind, I offer this riff on carbonara that delivers eggs, sausage, toast, and even a bit of citrus.
Now . . . where will I put that Nobel.
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
W cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped
W cup fresh bread crumbs
1 tablespoon kosher salt
8 ounces dry linguine, preferably whole wheat
8 ounces breakfast sausage
2 scallions, thinly sliced
4 large eggs, at room temperature
3 ounces finely grated Pecorino Romano
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1. Combine the orange zest, parsley and bread crumbs in a small bowl. Set aside.
2. Add 2 quarts water, the salt and linguine to a large sauté pan. Cover and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 4 minutes, or until the pasta is al dente.
3. Meanwhile, cook the sausage in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until brown. Add the scallions and cook until fragrant.
4. While the pasta and sausage are cooking, whisk together the eggs, Pecorino and pepper.
5. Drain the pasta, reserving W cup of the starchy water. Add the pasta to the sausage, tossing the pasta to coat in the fat.
6. Remove from the heat, add the egg mixture, and thin as needed with additional pasta water.
7. Serve immediately with a generous sprinkle of the parsley mixture.
Always Perfect Oatmeal
If you think about it before going to bed, go ahead and put the water, oats and salt in the pot and let it sit overnight. The cooking will go even faster.
120 grams thick rolled oats (1 cup)
25 grams quinoa (unrinsed)
475 grams water (2 cups + 2 T)
7 grams kosher salt
Combine, cover and place over low heat. After 15 minutes take a peek. If the water doesn’t seem to be absorbing, re-cover, boost the heat a little and cook another 15 minutes. If at any time you see steam shooting out around from the lid, the heat’s too high. Don’t stir during cooking! If you want to add fruit, do so after cooking. Simply kill the heat, place the fruit on top of the oatmeal mixture, re-cover and wait 5 minutes.
Although I’ve never personally been to the Indian subcontinent, I’m a huge fan of the various dairy-based beverages that go by the name “lassi.” Most include yogurt and fruit of some type. My favorite home version is built instead on buttermilk, which I always seem to have left over from biscuit making, and mangoes, whose funky terpene flavors (kinda like pinesap) balance the b.milk’s acidic snap.
12 ounces cubed mangoes (2 large specimens)
2 cups buttermilk
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
V teaspoon chili powder
V teaspoon kosher salt
4 frozen lassi cubes
V ripe cantaloupe, cubed
1 peach, peeled and pitted, or 1 cup frozen peach slices
V cup plain low-fat yogurt
1-inch-long hunk fresh ginger
V cup almond milk
V teaspoon ground turmeric
Combine the mangoes, buttermilk, ginger, chili powder and salt in a blender. Puree until smooth. Serve immediately.
Or . . .
Freeze in ice cube trays and use to make one of my favorite morning smoothies:
Place the lassi cubes, cantaloupe, peach, yogurt, ginger, almond milk and turmeric in a blender. Blend until smooth, drink and face a grateful planet.
Blueberry Pound Cake
Makes 1 Bundt cake, feeds 12
The best cakes are cakes that can arguably be served as breakfast, and this pound cake is a prime example. After all, it contains eggs and dairy and flour and fruit. Serve a thick slice, toasted golden brown, slathered with butter and sprinkled with sea salt, alongside a steamy cup of joe and go forth into your day knowing that no matter what else doesn’t get done in your day, you got your cake in. Go you!
8 ounces (2 sticks) plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
15 ounces plus 2 tablespoons sugar
15 ounces all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
V teaspoon kosher salt
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 dry pint fresh blueberries (10 ounces or about 2 cups)
1. Heat the oven to 325˚F. Coat a Bundt pan with 1 tablespoon of the butter and 2 tablespoons of the sugar.
2. Cream the remaining 8 ounces butter and remaining 15 ounces sugar in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, sift together 10 ounces of the flour, the baking powder and salt onto a paper plate.
3. When the butter mixture is pale and fluffy, drop the mixer speed to low and add the eggs, one at a time, waiting for each to be incorporated before adding the next. Follow with the vanilla extract. Then slowly add the flour mixture.
4. Toss the blueberries with the remaining 5 ounces flour. Remove the mixing bowl and fold the berries and flour into the batter with a large rubber spatula. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan.
5. Bake for 75 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer registers 210˚F. Cool in the pan on a cooling rack for 15 minutes before de-panning and cooling.
6. Serve with . . . your hands.
Pho Bo (Beef Pho)
Feeds 4 to 6
In the United States we have breakfast cereal. There are dozens of different types and styles and we all have our special ways of eating them. In Vietnam, they have pho. Pho equals breakfast cereal. Cook and eat accordingly.
Notice the broth calls for three cuts of beef. You can fudge a bit one way or the other, but I really think this combination makes for a superlative broth, and although the word “pho” actually refers to the rice noodles, the dish is really all about the broth.
1 cinnamon stick
6 whole cloves
2 pods star anise
1 teaspoon whole fennel seed
2-ounce chunk fresh ginger, roughly crushed . . . don’t bother peeling
1 onion, cut into thick slices
3 pounds mixed beef shanks and oxtails
1 pound chicken wings
V large Fuji apple, don’t bother peeling
5 teaspoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon palm sugar
8 ounces eye of round, sirloin steak, or London broil, thinly sliced (freeze briefly before slicing)
14 ounces thin rice noodles or “sticks” in the B⁄bg-inch range (banh pho)
3 scallions, thinly sliced
2 Thai bird chiles, thinly sliced
1 cup bean sprouts
2 cups fresh herbs, including cilantro, Thai basil and mint
2 limes, quartered
Pressure cooker, which you should totally have anyway.
1. In a large pressure cooker, toast the spices over medium-high heat until fragrant.
2. Add the ginger and onion and blacken slightly (some of the spices may burn a bit and that’s just fine.
3. Add the meat and bones, wings, apple, salt, sugar and 10 cups of water. Apply the lid according to your cooker’s instructions and bring to full pressure over medium heat. Once the cooker is steaming and whistling, back down on the heat to just maintain full pressure and cook for 30 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, place the eye of round in the freezer for 20 minutes to firm it up, then slice the meat very thinly across the grain. Cover and refrigerate while the broth continues to cook.
5. Remove the broth from the heat and allow to cool naturally for 5 minutes, then slowly remove the pressure.
6. Carefully remove the lid and fish out the meat, vegetables and spices from the broth. Save the shanks and oxtails for serving. Use a fine-mesh strainer to skim any small particles and/or scum from the broth. Stir in fish sauce and palm sugar.
7. When they’re cool enough to handle, slice the cooked shanks.
8. Everything above this line can be done up to a day ahead. When you’re ready to eat, read on.
9. Soak the rice noodles in cold water for 30 minutes, then drain. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil.
10. When you’re really ready to serve, cook the noodles in the water for 10 to 15 seconds so that they are still a bit chewy. Drain thoroughly in a spider.
11. Distribute the noodles into wide soup bowls (better be deep too) and top with the slices of (raw) eye of round and a few pieces of the cooked beef.
12. Cover with hot broth. Serve with the scallions, chiles, sprouts, herbs and limes and let diners garnish as desired.