Thursday, July 9, 2009

First Harvests and Kitchen Acquisitions

I have some quirky vices. Maybe I'm not the only one. Chances are, I am. I could peruse kitchen stores for hours daydreaming about the dishes I want to buy - dishes that would stay in my china cabinet untouched most of the year, because, let's face it: you can only use so many dishes at a time. Of course, it doesn't just stop at the dishes. Utensils, appliances, cutting boards: if it pertains to getting food on the table, I'm intrigued. It's through this fascination that the Wilton Popover Pan (pictured above) came to live in our kitchen. I have to admit, I'd never thought much about Popovers and had no real desire to make them. Then, a couple months ago while ambling through the aisles at Target, I saw this pan on clearance for $5 and change. Suddenly, I couldn't live without it. A popover pan was exactly what my kitchen had been missing. So the pan came home with us, and found a place on our cabinet shelves, and sat there. For months. It's not that I didn't think about making popovers. I just never got around to it - until Tuesday night. Tuesday, I made Parmesan Garlic Rosemary Popovers. The recipe was conveniently located on the back of the pan's label. (Unfortunately, Wilton's website,, doesn't list it, but it does list several other yummy-sounding dessert recipes.) The popovers were a success, and a successful batch of popovers made that pan purchase seem like a smart idea, indeed.

So what to eat with Parmesan Garlic Rosemary Popovers? We came home to find zucchini ready-to-be-picked in the garden, so we settled on Jamie Oliver's Beautiful Zucchini Carbonara printed in Jamie at Home.

Here is our adaptation:

Salt some pasta water and bring to a boil. Prepare a box (about 14 oz) of penne pasta according to box instructions.

Quarter 2 large zucchini and discard seeds. Thinly slice quartered pieces.

In a small bowl, mix 4 egg yolks, 1/2 c. heavy cream, and 1 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Add a Tbsp. of olive oil and 8 oz. of prosciutto, chopped into pieces. When the prosciutto has browned a bit, add the zucchini. Season with a few good cranks of freshly ground black pepper. Add in a Tbsp. of chopped thyme leaves. Stir to combine and coat zucchini in oil. Cook until zucchini has softened.

Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 c. of the pasta water. Add penne to the saucepan with zucchini. Remove pan from heat. Stir in 1/4 c. pasta water and the cream sauce. Add in another cup of freshly grated Parmesan and the rest of the pasta water if needed to make a smooth sauce.

I got a little kick out of seeing the zucchini and thyme come straight from our garden to my cutting board. After a long drive the day before to get home, lists of errands to run and chores to do, it was nice to have something be no farther than the backyard.

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