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The Unnatural Cook

a chronicle of weekly meal plans from someone who can't just throw a meal together

It’s hard to let go. I’ve been resisting posting Sunday’s meal because I don’t want to say goodbye to Porkfest.

I planned a light meal for Sunday night knowing Porkfest would leave us slightly stupefied. We slept at my sister’s house on Saturday and the next morning the inevitable conversation, ‘What are we having for dinner tonight?’ took place. My brother-in-law announced his plans: chili. My sister groaned. It’s the traditional Super Bowl meal, he countered. Super Bowl? I had no idea it was Super Bowl Sunday. I also had no idea the Giants were in the Super Bowl. I’m a New Yorker. This may put me in the company of about six other people who did not have this information. It did explain why the entire center aisle of my supermarket was dedicated to a Giant’s display. And the Giant’s win last night may explain the noticeably charitable mood on the subway this morning – at the crowded Dekalb stop the masses parted like the waves of the Red Sea to let the passengers off the train.

But dinner. It was a pasta recipe from Real Simple, Orecchiette with Roasted Broccoli and Walnuts. The Real Simple recipe as it exists doesn’t quite live up to expectations. The first time I made it according to the recipe the broccoli wasn’t cooked enough and it didn’t have enough garlic. So I futzed with it. This time I doubled the amount of walnuts, doubled the broccoli and blanched it first for one minute. I also added at least twice the garlic. It still wasn’t enough garlic. Next time I’m going to try and go back to just roasting the broccoli (less work, more intense flavor) but roast for longer. It ain’t a touchdown yet, but I’ve got faith in the play.


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