TIC #sttp

Today I cooked (“TIC”) dinner. I am always looking for simple things I can do in 1-2 pans and 10-20 minutes with no left overs.

I used

  • Pasta
  • Butter
  • Beech Mushrooms†
  • Garlic
  • Thyme
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Water
  • Large saucepan
  • Skillet

† I picked these up on the way home.

I did

  • Salted the water and started it boiling.
  • (At this point I should have started peeling and chopping garlic but I was eating cheese.)
  • Add pasta to boiling water. I used spaghetti so I snapped it in half before adding it to the water.
  • Start warming skillet on low.
  • Peel and mince garlic. Fairly chunky mince.
  • Add butter to skillet and bring up heat to medium.
  • Melt butter, brown garlic, add a little salt and thyme.
  • Pull pasta off when al dente. (If I’d minced the garlic earlier the pasta would not have had to wait.)
  • Quickly chop mushrooms (very slightly, I like the shape of beech mushrooms. I just took the very bottom globby bit off) and sauté for a minute or so.
  • Add pasta to skillet and toss for a minute or so, taking it off the heat at some point in there.
  • Put on plate.
  • Tasted it, then added a dusting of pepper.

What I will change

  1. Mince the garlic while the water for the pasta is boiling. That was rookie, you hate to see it.
  2. Use olive oil (or real butter) instead of the olive oil fake butter spread I used for this.
  3. More butter (or oil) right off the bat. Needed to add more before adding the mushrooms, so it didn’t all brown together.

What I want to play with

  1. Change the mushrooms. I like beech but something with a different shape and texture—oyster or shiitake—might work better. At least brown beech for a little color.
  2. Try with shallot instead of garlic to let the mushrooms—especially something more delicate like oyster—come through more.
  3. Play with the herbs. Thyme is a good but tame choice.
  4. Mix with more things. Something to get some color in there, maybe wilted spinach.

What did I just read?

I’d like to be a better cook. I’m pretty confident in following a recipe, but I’m weak on simple/quick meals for just me, and I’m weak on improvising, using what I have—or that plus maybe one thing—and coming up with food. Project 365 encourages you to work on your photography by putting a constraint (you must post every day) and social pressure (others are doing it, too) I hope setting some goal for making meels and writing some of these down in public will encourage me.

And if it encourages me, maybe others! At the least I’ll have a bunch of recipes.

So this is a Today I Cooked post.

And #sttp? That was mart3ll‘s phrase: “Sauté This Then Pasta.”