March 10, 2008

friday night cravings satisfy the soul.

currently listening to: janet's "discpline"

i left work on friday with quite a headache, but a strange desire to cook and/or bake! when i need comfort food, my usual choice is a creamy pasta, so i decided to make shrimp carbonara - my version, not the authentic raw egg version, which is equally as good. also, i came across a buttermilk pie recipe that i was dying to try. there's a south african milk tart (melktert) which is a similar recipe, so i was interested to find out if the taste was similar also.
sidenote: i could eat an entire milk tart.
so after a freak vet er visit for our dog who hurt his leg, we got home with our dog, his $25 painkillers, a bag of shrimp and frozen garlic bread. and i was ready to start cooking.
i started the buttermilk pie first, since it takes 45mins to bake. here's the recipe i used:

buttermilk pie
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs, separated
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon lemon juice, more to taste
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1 8-inch deep-dish pie crust, blind-baked until very lightly browned.

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. In an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, combine butter and sugar until well blended. Add egg yolks and mix well. Add flour, lemon juice, nutmeg and salt. Add buttermilk in a thin stream until blended. Set aside.
2. In another bowl, whisk egg whites until they form soft peaks. Pour about ¼ cup buttermilk mixture into egg whites and fold gently by hand to combine. Pour egg white mixture into buttermilk mixture and fold gently until just combined. Mixture will be somewhat lumpy.
3. Pour filling into baked pie shell. Bake in middle of oven until filling is lightly browned and barely moves when pie is jiggled, 45 to 50 minutes. If you have added more than one tablespoon of lemon juice, it may take longer for pie to brown, so bake 5 to 10 minutes longer, if desired. If edge of crust browns too quickly, cover with foil. Cool on a rack and serve warm or at room temperature.

on to dinner. i usually like my carbonara with only bacon, but the hubby wanted shrimp, so we added that too. these are approximations since i don't usually measure everything out.

shrimp carbonara for two

for shrimp & bacon:
dozen shrimp (thawed... or run under hot water prior to cooking)
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 strips of thick bacon
2 cloves of garlic, minced
for cream sauce:
4 tablespoons of butter
3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
2 cups of milk
1 cup of cheese (i used italian mix)
spices to season: salt, pepper, oregano, basil
for pasta:
2 handfuls of pasta (i used whole wheat fettucini)
some kosher salt
some olive oil

first the water for pasta is boiled. in goes the fettucini, some salt and some olive oil. next, i started the shrimp and bacon... i added the shrimp to a small pan along with the olive oil and minced garlic, seasoned with kosher salt and pepper. then once the shrimp started to cook, i added the bacon. i cut the slices of bacon into 1" cubes so they'd be recognizable in the cooked pasta. that mix was left to cook while i started the cream sauce. melt the butter in a saucepan and add the flour once the butter is bubbling. mix around until the flour is fully incorporated and it's a smooth mixture. then add the milk and allow to cook through. once the sauce is starting to thicken, add cheese, salt, pepper, oregano and basil. the pasta should be done by the time the sauce is thick and cheesy... also, the bacon should be crispy and shrimp fully cooked.
add it all into a bowl and toss. some chopped fresh parsley on top, and enjoy! (we also had some frozen/oven-baked garlic bread on the side)

since we were stuffed from dinner, we had dessert a few hours later. a cup of coffee and buttermilk pie was the perfect ending! the buttermilk pie has a very slight buttermilk and lemon flavor - it's delicious.

did it fulfill my milk tart craving? no, but it came pretty damn close! :)


michelle @ TNS said...

i have no idea what buttermilk pie is, but it looks yummy! and that's some damn good looking pasta.

candyce said...

thanks michelle! i have no idea where buttermilk pie comes from either, but it's worth a try. :)

Kevin said...

I really like the idea of adding shrimp to carbonara!

Jason said...

thanks for the recipe candyce! i recommend all your readers to try it on their own. as an inexperience "chef," this recipe was simple and easy to follow while satisfying a hearty appetite.