Takeout gets taken out

The monsoons persist.

Herself takes an exercise class on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and sometimes she’ll slide by Il Vicino afterward to collect a couple sammiches so Your Humble Narrator doesn’t have to cook.

Last night was one of those sometimes. Until the deluge.

First came the thunder, which sounded like incoming artillery rounds fused for airburst. Skylights, which we have aplenty, gave me and the cats a pretty good look at the flash part of the flash-bang, too.

And then, the rain. Holy hell, the rain. A neighbor said we got an inch in an hour, and I have no reason to doubt her. The cul-de-sac basically turned into a giant storm drain.

In any case, the upshot is, I had to cook. It would have been an upstream swim to Il Vicino for Herself and we’d have wound up with soup sammiches after she swam back.

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13 Responses to “Takeout gets taken out”

  1. khal spencer Says:

    Its been an interesting year for rain. We were told that our street was formerly an arroyo before it was paved. Several times this last couple months that became obvious.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      We have two good-sized man-enhanced arroyos upstream from us, about 600 feet apart, one of them right behind El Rancho Pendejo, and the Comanche-Tewa interface still turns into a flume ride when it rains like that.

      The arroyo behind El Rancho Pendejo

  2. Pat O'Brien Says:

    I’m betting you were getting get the Vespa Piadine sandwich before the ark went down the street. When I need a quick meal, it’s some kind of pesto pasta, with sautéed whatever is in the fridge, and a salad. Easy sleezy.

    Our monsoon is just about over. We have slight chance of rain a few days next week, and that’s it.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Happily, I usually have some leftovers tucked away in the fridge and that was the case this time. Turkey tacos and Mexican rice, with a side salad and fresh guac’. Beats a cold, soggy sammich.

      • larryatcycleitalia Says:

        I’m always amazed at the places people choose to live while ignoring the obvious – like putting their house smack in a place where anyone with 1/2 a brain can imagine how the landscape ended up that way.
        Bulldoze straight up a canyon or wash, throw down some asphalt and stick toothpick, chicken-wire and stucco shacks along the sides…what could go wrong? Then they make it worse by covering the roof with dried out pieces of wood (didn’t they used to call ’em shake shingles or something like that?) and wonder why the place burns down if they somehow avoid being washed out. And the Chinese Hoax is just gonna make things worse.
        PO’B – next time you’re playing with pesto (assuming you’re talking a basil, oil, garlic and some sort of nut mixture) throw in some green beans and cooked cubes of potato – that is the REAL Pesto Genovese style as taught to me by a woman who used to run the oldest continually operated hotel in Liguria (or so she claimed) a few years ago. Her recipe is still the best I’ve ever enjoyed.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        Gents, here’s a Martha Rose Shulman recipe I use from time to time. It sounds similar to Larry’s, and I’ve often thought, being a bog-trotter, that spuds would enhance the dish.

        • larryatcycleitalia Says:

          I tried to take a look but NYT’s paywall got in the way – must be why they’re “failing” according to Fat Nixon?

        • Patrick O'Grady Says:

          Shoot. I just checked Martha’s site and she doesn’t have that one archived. I’ll add it to this comment later today.

          Orecchiette with basil and pistachio pesto and green and yellow beans

          2 cups, tightly packed, basil leaves (2 ounces)
          2 heaped tablespoons unsalted pistachios (1 ounce)
          Salt to taste
          ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
          2 garlic cloves, peeled, halved, green shoots removed if present
          2 ounces freshly grated Parmesan (1/2 cup)
          Freshly ground pepper

          1 pound orecchiette
          1 pound mixed green and yellow beans, trimmed and cut in 3/4-inch lengths (you can use all green beans if yellow beans are unavailable)
          Pasta water (about 1/4 cup)

          1. Begin heating a large pot of water for the pasta. Meanwhile, grind the basil leaves and pistachios in a food processor fitted with the steel blade, or in a mortar and pestle. Add salt to taste and slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Blend or grind until smooth.

          2. Mash the garlic in a mortar and pestle or through a garlic press and add to the basil mixture. Blend together. Add the cheese and blend together. Taste, adjust salt and add pepper. Transfer to a large pasta bowl.

          3. When the water comes to a boil, salt generously and add the orecchiette. Set the timer for 10 minutes, and after 5 minutes add the green beans. Boil the orecchiette and beans until the pasta is cooked al dente, another 5 to 6 minutes. Remove 1/2 cup of the cooking water from the pot and add 2 to 4 tablespoons to the pesto. Stir with a fork or a whisk until the pesto is smooth (add more water if desired). Drain the pasta and beans, toss with the pesto and serve.

          Advance preparation: The pesto can be made ahead through step 1 and kept in the refrigerator for a couple of days or frozen for a couple of weeks.

        • Pat O'Brien Says:

          Thanks Patrick! Pistachios? I wish I had thought of that. We have a local pistachio orchard that sells at the farmer’s market here every week.

        • Patrick O'Grady Says:

          MRS does another pesto with arugula and walnuts that’s pretty damn good too, gents. She likes this one on pasta, risotto, tomatoes and bread.

          Giada Di Laurentiis has a bunch of pesto recipes in her book “Everyday Italian.” She has an arugula pesto, too, but also offers a traditional basil pesto, sun-dried-tomato pesto, spinach pesto, and mushroom pesto.

          Arugula pesto by Martha Rose Shulman

          2 garlic cloves, cut in half, green shoots removed
          2 heaped tablespoons shelled walnuts
          4 ounces arugula, stemmed, washed and dried (2 cups leaves, tightly packed)
          ½ teaspoon salt
          ⅓ to ½ cup extra virgin olive oil, as needed
          ⅓ to ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan, to taste

          Turn on a food processor fitted with the steel blade, and drop in the garlic cloves. When they are chopped and adhering to the sides, stop the machine, scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the walnuts. Turn on the machine, and process until they are finely ground. Scrape down the bowl again, and add the arugula and the salt. Pulse until the arugula is finely chopped, then turn on the machine and run while you slowly drizzle in the olive oil. When the mixture is smooth, stop the machine, scrape down the sides and process for another 30 seconds or so. Scrape out into the bowl of a mortar and pestle. Grind the mixture with the pestle for a smoother texture. Work in the cheese and combine well.

          • larryatcycleitalia Says:

            Pesto translates more or less as PASTE though some claim an origin based on the traditional mortar ahd PESTLE method of preparation. My wife’s aunt in Liguria liked to use walnuts instead of the more traditional pine nuts. Arugula with walnuts tastes pretty good as does one with almonds, either with basil or arugula.
            One tip is to leave out the cheese.Takes a lot less room in the freezer if you’re making a big batch (like I used to do when a neighbor dumped off entire basil plants she’d yank out of her garden at season’s end) and it tastes just as good when the grated cheese is added and mixed in just before serving..

          • Shawn Says:

            Wow ! I’m really hungry now. I believe it is soon nearing pesto time.

            And yes, sometimes I enjoy redundant language. It supplants the true literary talent that we do not have like oh grand O’Grady.

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