08.01.09: dinner for my parents

On Friday, July 31, I defended my doctoral thesis and naturally, my folks were in town for the event.  After a night of celebration, we (my mom, dad, Elizabeth and I) felt that a nice quiet day and a massive home-cooked dinner was in order for Saturday.  We swung by a brand-new farmer’s market only a few blocks from the TBYK homebase and set to work.  Here’s what we came up with.

Primo piatto– pasta fresca:

My mom was the first one to teach me to make fresh pasta and this felt quite appropriate.  I have changed the method a bit (I cannot do the flour well to save my life) and I tend to mix up the dough in my stand mixer (although last night I saw Iron Chef Kobe use a spatula- wow!).

Vast Expanses of Pasta Fresca

Vast Expanses of Pasta Fresca

Instead of cutting them in the machina di pasta, I took the long, thin sheets, rolled them up and cut them with my knife (I think this is pappardelle?).  I made a simple sauce out of cooked fresh tomatoes, ricotta and basil.

Pappardella with tomatoes, ricotta and basil

Pappardelle with tomatoes, ricotta and basil

Secondo piatto– roast chicken:

I don’t know if roast is the correct adjective, maybe baked is a better term, but baked just makes me think of cakes.  This was also a twist on one of my mother’s (and indeed, grandmother’s) recipes. I cooked a pan of kosher chicken thighs with red wine, olive oil, sage, rosemary with just a touch of butter on top in the oven, call that what you want (fricassee? semantics and nomenclature were never my strong suits).  This dish is pretty fail-proof, but in particular, this batch was *really* good.  It may have been opting for the kosher chicken instead of standard, it could have been the sage, but whatever the difference,  it *rocked*.  I added a some sauteed mushrooms deglazed with a bit of brandy, but honestly, had I known how the chicken was gonna turn out, I wouldn’t even had bothered.

Chickens Before

Up Chickens!

Down Chickens!

Down Chickens!

Looking back, I realize that the entire meal became an unintentionally homage to my mother- taking our family recipes and putting my own spin on them.  I never intended this to be the case, but the outcome is still very gratifying.  So, until next time friends- Ciao!


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