Wednesday, August 30, 2006

More recipe from Rachel Ray

After yesterday positive review on tomato basil pasta nest, I tried another new pasta recipe from Rachel Ray's 365: No Repeat, together with a roasted potato salad which I always wanted to try. Since it was raining, and the weather actually cool down quite a bit, I was courageous to turn the oven knob to 450F.

The pasta-Spicy Shrimp and Penne with Puttanesca Sauce actually has an interesting story behind it. The very fishy sauce was made by ladies and intentionally left on the brothel window to attract fishermen in like strayed cats . After they finished their business, the Puttanesca sauce would be tossed with pasta, and served as supper or breakfast. I didn't make this up. This was what Rachel Ray said. Anyway, I didn't make this recipe with any bad thought in mind. This was simply a recipe I set out to try.

I think it was pretty good. But OCT thought the taste was a bit too exotic for him. I know what he meant. He saw me cooking. And he knew that I added anchovy and kalamata olive to the sauce. Both of which were new to him. His brain instinctly told him not to like the dish. Sometime it's funny how our brain can trick us. I think the brain can decide for you whether you will like a new dish even before you tasted it. It would be easier for him to like a new thing if he didn't witness the cooking process.

*recipe will be uploaded soon.

On the same ground, the roasted potato salad with mustard dressing didn't gain his approval too. Although I think this is one of the nice salads I tried lately. I like the combination of caramelised onion and roasted potatoes, eventhough I don't really like mustard. OCT promised to give the salad another chance. I guess I will have to make it when he was not watching next time. Compared to the potato salad I made a while ago, this one is certainly healthier. The amount of mayo used was only a tablespoon. Yet, it was very flavorful. Certainly less sinful to eat than the classic potato salad. Maybe I will make this as side dish for thanksgiving. Ok, I know that's a bit too soon to talk about....

Roasted Potato Salad with Mustard Dressing
(adapted from Cookinglight)

3 pounds small red potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 bacon slices (uncooked), chopped
2 cups diced Vidalia or other sweet onion (about 2 medium)
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons reduced-fat mayonnaise
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 400°.
Combine first 4 ingredients in a large bowl; toss to coat. Arrange potatoes in a single layer on a jelly-roll pan. Bake at 400° for 40 minutes or until potatoes are tender, stirring once. Transfer potatoes to a large bowl.

Cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving 1 tablespoon drippings in pan; set bacon aside. Add onion to drippings in pan; cook 15 minutes or until golden brown and caramelized, stirring frequently. Add garlic to pan; cook 30 seconds. Add onion mixture and bacon to potatoes; toss gently. Let stand 15 minutes.

Combine mustard, mayonnaise, honey, and vinegar in a small bowl; stir with a whisk. Add mustard mixture and parsley to potato mixture; toss gently.

Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 1 cup)

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