The Updated Apartment Tour

The Updated Apartment Tour from Courtney Walling on Vimeo.

I've been busy while the Husband is in Kenya.   Bored much?


Lucullan- Adventures Vol. 1, 3rd Edition

Lu.cu.lan (adj)- extremely luxurious, esp. of food.

This week our entree hails from Wolfgang Puck, Pizza, Pasta and More


The Ingredients:

-1 stick unsalted butter
-2 tbsp chopped shallots
-1 tbsp chopped garlic
-1/2 cup oven dried tomatoes
-2 cups chicken stock (we used stock made form bullion cubes)
-1/2 cup heavy cream
-sea salt
-12 oz angel hair pasta
-8 ox crab meat
-1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
-1 tbsp chopped basil leaves
-1/4 cup chopped parsley
-20 medium asparagus tips, blanched, then refreshed in cold water
-several whole basil leaves for garnish

The Business:

1. Bring a large stock pot of water to boil, season with a dash of salt.

2. While the water heats up, melt the stick of butter in a large sauté pan. On medium heat, sauté the garlic and shallots until browned (not burned). Stir in your dried tomatoes (most stores carry small jars of sun dried, they work great for this recipe), chicken stock and cream. Salt and pepper to taste. Simmer until it reduces by half, which for us was 15-20 minutes.

3. Your stock pot of water is probably boiling by now, add your angel hair pasta. Once the pasta is done, add it to your reduced sauce, along with the fresh crabmeat (we used thawed imitation crab). Mix until crab is warmed through and the pasta is mixed well into the sauce.

4. Remove from the heat, garnish with cheese, basil and asparagus. Serves four

The Outcome:

Ck: The best one yet! We substituted some cheaper, more readily available ingredients, but you’d never be able to tell. Be careful not to add too much pasta. We overdid it a bit and ended up a bit thin on the sauce. I would suggest reducing the 12 oz to ten or nine. 5/5

Che:  I would have had more sauce, or at least made it a bit more creamy.  Nothng else to complain about.  Great stuff.  4/5

Mixing it up with a French dessert-

Crème Brulee from The Williams-Sonoma Cookbook

This one is shockingly simple and could easily be manipulated to include other ingredients like  fruit, chocolate, etc. We reduced this recipe by half, the amounts below are the original amounts.

The Ingredients:

-3 cups heavy cream
-1 tbsp vanilla extract
-6 large egg yolks
-2/3 cup sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Place six 6 oz ramekins in a shallow roasting pan.

2. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the cream and vanilla. Stir constantly. Cook until the sides of the pan gently bubble. The receipe says this takes five minutes, but it only took us two. I turned the heat down to medium and continued cooking for another minute just to be sure. No harm, no foul. Remove from heat, cover and let stand for 15 minutes to cool.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk egg yolks, with 1/3 cup sugar until a pale, foamy yellow. Be careful not to over whisk. This should take 2-3 minutes. Slowly whisk cooled cream into the mix.

4. Divide the cream mixture evenly into your ramekins, leaving a little bit of room at the top. Carefully poor very hot water into the roasting pan so that the water is about 1/3 of the way up the ramekins. Cover with aluminum foil.

5. Bake until the custards set, but are still a little jiggly in the middle. That’s about 30-40 minutes, depending on the size of your ramekins. Remove from oven, let cool in the waterbath, then place in fridge to completely cool, about 3-4 hours.

6. Before serving, dust the top of each custard with the remaining sugar, and caramelize them, using either a blowtorch or your oven’s broiler. Serves six.
The Outcome:

ck: Wow! Who knew that something with such a stuffy name so easily yields its tasty treasures?! I highly recommend making this one. As long as you carefully (read: slowly) combine your ingredients, something tasty is sure to follow. If you can’t caramelize your sugar, try fruit or sauce toppings instead. Someday I would like to try using vanilla beans instead of extract… 5/5

che: I licked BOTH ramekins clean. Enough said. 4/5