Ruminations and recipes from a small kitchen in a big city.


Something else to do with young Tom Hudson's poireaux.

So that was Islands in the Stream, about which an anecdote:

I was standing by the counter at the bookstore and the attendant said Can I help you by raising one eyebrow at me and not speaking.

So I saved some words as well and said "Islands in the Stream?" with a questioning upward inflection at the end. He disappeared for a little while and came back and held out a CD with a lopsided smile. "Track four."

"Ah yes," I said, "I liked Kenny Rogers but I did find Dolly Parton's ..."

Now he was raising his other eyebrow.

"I found Dolly Parton’s voice a little unexpected," I went on, "Kind of like Neil Sedaka's voice coming out of Pavarotti."

That left him flat-footed. So I bored on. "Actually, it wasn’t the CD I was looking for. It was the book. You can’t get it anywhere. Hemingway. Dymock’s didn’t have a single Hemingway title on the shelves. They had about a million Gordon Ramsay cookbooks and a whole wall of titles like Get Rich By Making More Money and The Junk Food Diet but no Hemingway."

He was scrolling down his computer screen and after a pause, looked up and said "It’s an import. We have to ship it in from Harper Collins. We can have a copy in about three weeks. Maybe."

No wonder there’s an Amazon.


Pasta with leek and avocado.

This my pasta with leeks recipe. I developed it years ago. It contains other ingredients but the leek is the backbone of the dish.

Chop a leek lengthwise twice, and then across the grain to get quartered rings. Chop a red capsicum into small batons and add the leek and capsicum to a pan with a scored clove of garlic, a dash of white wine, a little olive oil, and lots of pepper. (Or you can roast the capsicum to blacken its skin and peel it in the usual way and add it later. All in the pan is just easier.) Simmer fifteen minutes. Check fluid level. I like a fragrant, less greasy sauce, hence the white wine; many recipes of this type will be heavier on the oil and the vegetables will be on their way to caramelising.

Meanwhile, cook your pasta. I used nests – ‘nidi’ – which are just rolled up and dried fettuccine, I suppose. It's what was in the cupboard. They worked well with this sauce.

When the leek and capsicum are cooked and the wine has almost evaporated, add a sliced avocado, a dessertspoon of home made pesto and half a cup of cream, and simmer a few more minutes.

Drain the pasta. Remove the vegetables from the pan with a slotted spoon and place over pasta on serving plates.

Now stir the cream and wine over high heat to reduce – this takes seconds – and pour over vegetables and pasta. Flutter shaved parmesan cheese over the lot. I also add pine nuts as they add a nice nutty dimension to the dish.


White Dove said...

Loved the anecdote(and the recipe too, but cream in things these days is a no no for us). If you are ever down by Pieda's in Nth Fitzroy, check out a little 2nd hand bookstore just round the corner and down a block...the name escapes me...they have such a great collection I can always find books I need and books I didn't know I needed

KT said...

Mmmm, the recipe makes me hungry.

kitchen hand said...

That's the problem with bookstores, WD - books you didn't know you need. I find the answer is to go in with money ready to buy. You won't find anything. But if you go into a bookstore with no money you'll find a hundred you want.

Glad you liked it KT.