Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Innovations from a Kitchenett

I have been cooking in a new kitchen the last month. Of course, every new kitchen brings along quirks and challenges that a good cook should work around or incorporate into her or his cooking style. I, for example, am refraining from purchasing too many gadgets for my kitchen, which would clutter a very small space.
A long time fan of avocado toast, I have altered my eating habits to accomodate the reality of my new space. Now I eat either rye bread, untoasted or I substitute bread all together for tortillas. I don't have a toaster anymore and I'm reluctant to purchase one because there just isn't much space.
Another lesson one might learn from a small space is how to make your space work for multiple purposes. My stove, for example is not just a source of heat to cook food. I also use the oven as pan storage and, until recently, I used it to dry dishes. It worked out so well as a dish-drying object that I quite regret buying my dish rack, which takes up a lot of space.
Instead of investing in a coffee pot that typically rests on the counter, I bought a coffee press. By doing this I keep my precious foot of counter space free to chop vegetables and hold my drink; water or wine, I drink it out of a short glass tumbler: one cup, two purposes.
By adjusting to my space and making it my own I have come across a couple of food ideas you might want to try out, whether you're in a space crunch or not:
Wilted Kale with Shitaki Dressing
27 wide shreds of sweet potato
1/4 of a bunch of kale chopped
1/8 of a medium sized cabbage, shredded
1 garlic clove slivered
1 tablespoon of corn oil
Salt, to taste
Aunt Annie's Shitaki Salad Dressing, to taste
Spunky music, also to taste
Heat oil. Sizzle garlic. drop vegetables. Blaze temperature. Swirl. Salt. Smell. Lower heat. Cover. Sing along to your song. Lift cover. Turn again. Plate. Drizzle. Mmmmmmm.
Spicy Sausage with Penne (I know it sounds phallic, oh well)
1/2 box of penne
2 links of sausage (I used lean turkey sausage and that totally worked, but you can get whatever)
1 glove of garlic
1 handful of cherry tomatoes
1/2 an onion
marinara sauce
tablespoon of olive oil
to taste, italian spice mix or dry basil
salt, to taste
Put water, salted, to heat. Slice those links! Mince that garlic! Pop those cherries! Breath, pause, now--sliver that onion. Heat the oil; drop the garlic, brown on medium high temperature with onions. When pan gives first hint of smoking add tomatoes with sausage. Toss with conviction. Let pan rest and cover. Water should be at a boil. Add the pasta. Pour a glass of wine or eat a piece of chocolate, sit, relax, take an intermission from the kitchen. After your rest, rise, check the sausage. Is it cooked? If so, pour marinara to your liking. Drain pasta, when al dente. Combine penne with sausage. Let them make an aquaintance under simmering flame while you dress table. Serve. Enjoy.

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