July 25, 2004

Just a quickie while the stove does it's business

So, I was at the supermarket earlier getting raw materials for my next foray into being grossly mistaken about how different flavors will interact creative cooking.
A gentlemen of about 50 was standing behind me as I tried to decide which bottle of fruit juice I wanted. Cran-grape, cran-apple, cran-raspberry, etc.

Suddenly he starts to bitch about how he can't find sugar-free fruit juice.

"How come I don't see any sugar-free fruit juice?! Six f'n shelves full of fruit juice and not one sugar-free one! 20 million diabetics in this country and you can't get a godddam bottle of sugar-free fruit juice!"

"Well," I said, "I'm pretty sure that it's over in aisle 3 next to the reduced=sodium sea salt and the low=fat lard making fruit juice sugar-free is pretty impossible. But I just saw some Crystal Lite on that shelf over there...!"

"Crystal Lite, eh?" he muttered as he walked over and grabbed a canister.

That's all I got for now. My water's boiling and the garden zucchini is ready to be tossed into the pasta sauce. Mmmmm... zucchini over ziti...

UPDATE Oh. My. God.
I've made plenty of home-made pasta sauces in recent years, but this one took the cake! It's not even as "complicated" a concoction as they can get when I want to make a "winner". I think I'm excited about it only because I used an ingredient that I've never used before in a pasta sauce and now I could kick myself for not being aware of it as an possible ingredient all these years.

The ingredient? Black pepper. Simple dusty pre-ground McCormick black pepper! Too bad you can't taste or smell it through the monitor.

All I used was 1 can of Contadina stewed tomatoes, juice and all,
1/2 6oz can of tomato paste to thicken it up,
chunks of the cut-up zucchini,
and about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon (I just shook the jars over the pot) of dried basil, oregano, thyme, garlic powder (yeah, this was a quickie so I didn't even bother with chopping the fresh stuff), and black pepper.

I usually put some kind of hot sauce in it to give a wang, but I don't have any handy. The pepper was sitting next to the garlic powder in the cupboard and I just thought "What the hell..." and shook some of it into the pot.
Turned out to be an excellent choice as it gives the sauce quite a different sort of zing than it usually has.

Okay, okay, enough already. I'm getting me another bowl of this stuff....

Posted by Tuning Spork at July 25, 2004 04:13 PM

I start with a couple of big cans of italian tomatoes with basil, pour them into and mash them through a colander (discarding the pulp. A can of paste. some sugar (I'm guess 2-3 tablespoons) to cut the acidity. Salt. Black pepper. occasionally some garlic either fresh or powdered. Start it in the morning and let it simmer all day. Taste it frequently throughout the day. add additional salt of pepper to taste.

When it comes to sauce I'm definitely a simple is better kind of cook.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at July 25, 2004 09:05 PM

For tomato-based pasta sauces, I just doctor up some Prego. I'm not a big fan of tomato anyways, so it's as good as anything else to me.

Posted by: Ted at July 26, 2004 12:00 PM

Sounds yummy. Otherwise, stop torturing us low carb types with these nefarious temptations! :)

Posted by: RP at July 26, 2004 12:48 PM

You HAFTA mention zucchini and "wang" in the same post?
Are ya tryin' to kill me, here, BOB?

You big silly...

Dude, I have two bags with zucchini in them on my counter. Two of them are so friggin' big they scared me at first. Then, I named them and all was well again, but... what the HELL am I supposed to do with these things? I don't eat zucchini... ew. Not especially since the time, when I was about 14, that my goofy Dad cooked a spider along with his zukes one day. I told him that stupid spider was in his oil, too.

He forgot.
And, ate it.

Which may just have sumpthin' to do with why I cannot abide these things.

Any easy-to-not-frig-up ideas on how to cook 'em for these guys before they rot? (The zukes, not the guys...)

Posted by: Stevie at July 26, 2004 02:03 PM

Well, the easiest thing to do would probably be to slice the zukes lengthwise, slice the two halves lengthwise again, then slice those slices into 1/2" thick wedges. Just simmer them in a nice tomato sauce for a about 20 minutes to half an hour. You can top them with parmesan cheese and you've got a nice side dish!

Those big ones you can treat like eggplant and cut them lengthwise into 1/2" thick slabs, top them with sauce and shredded mozzerella and bake 'em at 320 for 20-30 minutes. Sprinkle some garlic powder and pepper or any herbs you like. Tender and delicious yum yum!

Posted by: Tuning Spork at July 26, 2004 08:09 PM

OT: there is a good baseball question Madfish Willie posted over at MuNuviana... see if you can figure out the answer... no fair googling!

Posted by: Mudfish Billie at July 26, 2004 08:41 PM

Thank you, Spork!

Posted by: Stevie at July 26, 2004 10:05 PM

For zucchini, I just slice 'em into thick slabs along with some summer squash, green pepper and onion, then stir fry with a little salt and pepper for about 5 minutes. Serve alongside a steak.

If you're BBQ'in, whack 'em lengthwise into halves or thirds if they're really big, spray with a little no-stick, salt, pepper, and toss 'em on the grill next to whatever you're having.

I'm a simple cook. :)

Posted by: Ted at July 27, 2004 06:11 AM
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