Buona domenica con una spaghetatta ed salmone alla Benedetti

Dear readers and fellow bloggers:

Good afternoon and Happy Sunday. Today is the centennial of the birth of Mario Benedetti, a great Uruguayan writer, whom we always admired for his straightforward and entertaining prose about the vicissitudes of middle class residents of Montevideo (something we can identify with)  He was a second generation descendant of the poor Italian immigrants that landed in Uruguay. His compilation of short stories Montevideanos has a flair reminiscent of James Joyce’s Dubliners. His novel La Tregua is the happy-sad account of a middle aged man that discovers Love a little bit late. His complete name was Mario Orlando Hardy Hamlet Brenno Benedetti Farrugia. Salve!

In honor of his contribution to the literary accomplishments of Latin American writers, we are preparing a pasta dish with salmon steaks in a Bechamel sauce with blue cheese and almonds. To prepare that succulent variant of a traditional sauce, we are assembling the following elements.

1- Two salmon steaks  2 – A box of spaghetti  3 – Flour and unsalted butter  4 – Shaved almonds

Warning. Be careful with the freshly caught salmon as it has fish bones, unlike the farm-raised.

You can use almost any mix of seasoning but these are our favorites. And absolutely no salt.

We have recently bought a Nuwave Brio air fryer, oven and grill, which has simplified our regular cooking and at the same time avoid the use of animal or vegetable oils, except for seasoning.

Warning. Once the machine is on, you cannot touch any interior surface with your bare hands.

After approximately 7- 8 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit or 205 degrees Celsius, it is done. Always check that the interior is also done yet juicy by cutting a little triangle in one of the sides.

Now it is time to prepare the Bechamel sauce (or Bechamela, as it was an Italian creation and those naughty French stole it) Do not despair. Just follow our steps and you will be fine.

First you have to create the base to build up the sauce, which is done with butter and flour.  Put a small square of good butter in a hot pan and wait until it completely melts away.

Slowly start adding one cup of flour (any good kind will do) and mix them to create a dry paste.

Once you create the paste, take it out of the pan and put it in a pot so you can add the liquid.

Add 2-3 cups of milk (depending on how thick you like your sauces) and start stirring. Stir!!!

See how the mixture is thickening? Slowly add the blue cheese and keep stirring to avoid lumps.

Then slowly add the shaved almonds (or whatever nut you have at home) and…Yes, keep stirring.

We like to add some nutmeg on top but if you do not, skip this step. Guess what? Keep stirring.

The sauce should be rather thick but never have any lumps. If it does, guess what? You got it!

Stir! Stir! Stir!

May we skip the part where we boil the pasta? Well, considering the laziness of modern women..

Ladies and gentlemen, dinner is served. Would you please join us at our humble yet warm table?

Buon appetito!

Stay distant. Stay safe. Stay beautiful.

What do you think? Please tell us.

Don’t leave me alone.

Salud Señora Sopa!

“Entre la sopa y el amor, la primera es la mejor.”

Dear readers and fellow bloggers:

Good morning. Today we woke up an irresistible urge to cook and eat (or drink, however you want to call it) a good peasant’s soup full of healthy potatoes, carrots, mushrooms and corn. Therefore we already laid out the battery of necessary ingredients, as you can see below.

As a carbohydrate base, we will use some semolina pasta like the Casarecce (small fucilli) Someone might point out that we are not using any kind of meat, note even some chicken. This has been done on purpose as our impoverished Basque and Italian ancestors were mostly poor field laborers and sheep herdsmen that could only afford it on special occasions like Christmas. Vegetarians by necessity, they always managed to compensate for the lack of animal proteins.

Commenting on our article about a luscious pasta dish with a Bechamel sauce that we posted last Sunday, our dearest friend Chrissie suggested that we should describe the recipe so some enthusiasts might follow our steps (why do women always ask you to work more, never less?) Your wishes are an order for moi, dear Chrissie, so we will post a few pictures of the process.

We will use the condiments pictured above, including the fabulous Moringa powder. which we have written about in a previous Wellness series’ article. In these difficult times, we need all the strength we can muster so we will use the Indian condiment that our dear daughter gave us.

We are going to post the picture first and then some accompanying yada-yada (not too much)

First boil some water in a pot (fill it at half capacity to allow the contents and steam’s expansion)  Drop the cube and start stirring; we always use two cubes to make the broth much stronger.

Stir. Stir. Stir. In order to avoid lumping and to maximize flavor, you got to have a strong biceps.

First drop the cut potatoes as they will take longer to cook. However, you must check that they are only half-cooked before you go the following step. We are not preparing a pureé here. We  recommend an 8-10 minutes cooking time; check the potatoes until you can half-pierce them.

Keep stirring. One, Two. One. Two. Don’t despair. Your family will thank you for the effort. Stir!

Now it’s time for all the veggies. Be careful. Do not cook for more than 5 minutes. Keep stirring.

Now it’s time for the booster that stopped the Macedonian Army of Alexander the Great in its march through Northern India (you didn’t check our article yet?) Put two big spoonfuls aprox.

Finally it’s time for the pasta. If you use a semolina variety, cook for at least 10 more minutes. Now it’s the time to use condiments to flavor the broth. Do not exaggerate with any of them.

After half an hour of toiling at the kitchen, we have our peasant soup. You can add a little dollop of rich parmesan cheese to counter the slight sourness of the Moringa. Voilà! Bon apétit!

 

We hope that our readers, and especially our beloved Chrissie, will be satisfied with this result.

Note. The expression in Castilian language at the top of the page means: “Between soup and love, the first one is the best.”

Stay distant. Stay safe. Stay beautiful.

What do you think? Please tell us.

Don’t leave me alone.

A hearty soup is the best defense against body invaders

Dear friends and fellow bloggers:

Good morning. On our family table (especially on the Italian branch) a dish of soup was always present, usually for consumption at the end of the meal for digestion purposes. When our grandmother or mother laid it on the table, we judiciously picked up the spoon and started eating it in silence. No complaints. No controversies. No fuzz.

We all grew up healthily and are now very grateful for the healthy eating habits that they instilled in all of us. We just prepared this peasant’s soup of casarecce pasta ( a smaller version of the fucilli) potatoes, veggies and corn.  As  a permissive allowance to our decadent spirits, we dropped a dollop of Parmesan cheese on top of it to jazz it all up.

A nutritious soup is the best culinary defense against any of the foreign invaders that threaten our bodies. As a physician we know that , besides the critically important drugs and procedures that Modern Medicine has to offer, a good diet is still of paramount importance to help the convalescence of sick patients and to ward off infections.

Stay distant. Stay safe. Stay beautiful.

What do you think? Please tell us.

Don’t leave me alone.