Monday, October 20, 2008

Cooking Tips

Ever make lasagna and forget to boil the pasta sheets first?

I may have missed that portion of the recipe since the kids and I were fooling around in the kitchen when Mom was out the other day. So the Moms Delicious Meat Lasagna recipe became something like Delicious Hamburger and Tomato Sauce and Ricotta Cheese Soup/Stew Sort Of.

It was fabulous even though Mom made some faces.

Now preparing Kraft Dinner is a different story. This is something where I can truly shine. I have infinite variations on this simple yet timeless classic, and the skill to really pull it all together.

First you take your pasta ingredient (Macarena) and put it in a pot of boiling water.

Cook this pasta, pronounced ‘pahsta’ if you are snobbish, for ten minutes. I know the package says eight but we don’t read packaging – we are serious, professional chefs remember. I was trained by Chief Chef Al Dente himself, so back off on the eye rolling if you please. Ten minutes.

Once the pasta has boiled (ten minutes) you should check for doneness by hurling a chunk of noodle at your sister or the dog. If it sticks to her (sister) face then it’s done. If it just wings her or chips a tooth then boil for a while longer.

Pasta sticking to the dogs’ fur is not necessarily a good indicator of doneness, although having a dog coated with that evenings entrĂ©e does make greeting dinner guests rather entertaining.

So if it is done, it is time to strain it through a calendar. Collator. Something like that. Coriander maybe.

It’s a strainer thing that we sometimes use as a space helmet when playing with the kids.

Attaching some wires to it can also make it a brain scanning device or laser torture implement if you really get into it.

Using big pots for helmets can also be useful in larger space battles, but remember to drain any boiling water out of a pot before turning it over your head.

While on the subject, smaller children can also make a decent fort by emptying all the pots out of the big cupboard under the counter but big kids and grownups won’t fit. They need couch cushions to properly assemble a kitchen clubhouse.

Just so you know.

Anyway, once strained, you pour your Macarena back into the same pot, dump in a bunch of margarine, and stir until the margarine is melted. The noodles should have a glistening sheen to them so you know the putty-like cholesterol will coat your veins in rapid fashion.

Now comes the controversial part that causes huge debates at chef conventions – add milk before orange stuff or after the orange stuff? I’m not about to wade into that debate just yet – all I can say for sure is I usually add the orange stuff right after the margarine because it adheres nicely to the noodles, then we add the milk.

We have discussed the relative merits of using chocolate milk in our recipe but have not yet attempted this experiment. We will review the available literature on this subject and go from there.

Once the milk is in, you let the assistant chefs stir the completed mixture around and around until done.

‘Done’ is defined as when all the orange stuff is consistently coating all the noodles, or until the ant that fell in is properly drowned (poisoned?), or the wooden spoon breaks from bashing your brother with it, or all the above.

Serve in bowls, or eat directly from the pot using the stirring spoon(s) if you’re really wild, or Mom is not around.

We might try using food colouring sometime soon to see if the horrid orange colour can be softened a little.

It clashes with the chocolate pudding war paint.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You make me laugh hard even tho you are a lamebrain.

Your Sister