Sunday, January 27, 2008

Only Losers Eat Carbs: Or Why I was Throwing Things at the TV Last Night

So, there we were, Rose and I, sitting on our couches, playing cards, enjoying a geriatric-friendly Saturday night after an overly filling meal of our favorite Mexican restaurant on Landsdowne, Mi Piquena Hacienda. We flipped channels looking for something to watch on television. I suggested Miss America, and it was all downhill from there.

Did anyone else catch Miss America last night?

Was anyone else severely offended at the frequent jokes and comments made about how as soon as the contestants "lost" they could "go eat some carbs"?

Is anyone else thinking that, if the Miss America organization really wants to get with the times, they'll drop the pageant all together and base "Miss America" on a combination of service to others, humility, and progressive feminist ideals? Isn't it time that Miss America looks more like the rest of the 18-25 year olds out there? Anyone else think that this generation's "it" girl shouldn't try to fit into a Hollywood mold?

And why don't we have a Mr. America pageant that parades men around in boxer shorts in front of a live television audience, makes them sing, dance, and twirl batons, and forces them to find the "right" outfits for months, and years, leading up to the pageant?

I'm still so angry about the whole deal that I don't know I can (a) finish the paper I'm working on that's due tomorrow or (b) even put a recipe up here. Just for all the carb bashing, here's my favorite, and most fattening, and most fulfilling, thing that I make: fettuccine alfredo with peas.

For the pasta, for one serving:
2 oz fettuccine
salt/pepper to taste
1/4 cup frozen peas (slightly thawed out, not cooked)

For the sauce, for one serving:
1/4 cup heavy cream (NO substitutions, thank you)
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
good shower of freshly grated parmesan cheese

Bring large pot of water to boil for the pasta. Here is where a lot of y'all out there mess up with the pasta cooking, so pay close attention. As soon as the water is at a rolling boil, toss in a small handful of salt. Then, put the pasta in the pot of salted, still boiling water. Do not reduce the heat. Leave it at a boil. Set your kitchen timer to 8 minutes. Stir the pasta occasionally to make sure it doesn't stick. At 8 minutes, take out a piece of pasta, cool it off, and taste it. If it's not completely cooked through (i.e. it is crunchy), give your pasta another 2 minutes (by kitchen timer). Then recheck. As soon as the pasta is done, take it off the heat, and drain it. Do not set your pasta to cook, then walk away. Don't cook it for 15 minutes. Don't reduce the heat and leave it alone while you go take a shower. 8-10 minutes, al dente, perfection.

While your pasta is coming to al dente goodness, start on the sauce. In a small saucepan, place the heavy cream and butter together over medium-low heat (important step too, don't want to overcook or cook too quickly). As soon as the butter has melted, add in the salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Stir together, leaving over medium-low heat until it starts to thicken up (you'll need to stir it quite a bit during the process). Toss in the parmesan cheese after the sauce has cooked for about 7 minutes, and stir well. Do not let the sauce boil, just let it come to a simmer. With my stovetop, over electric, I start the sauce as I put the water on to boil, and by the time my pasta is ready, so is my sauce. At Dave's house, over gas heat, I start the sauce right before I put the pasta in to cook. It'll take a little while to figure out which method will work best for your kitchen.

Right after draining the pasta, toss in the slightly thawed peas. The heat of the pasta will cook the little green gems right through. Then, pour the alfredo sauce over the pasta and peas. Stir together, and top with salt, pepper, and a good shower of parmesan.

Devour without saying "I shouldn't eat this" or "heavy cream is so bad for you!" or "guess I can run 10 extra minutes tomorrow at the gym to make up for it" or "there goes the diet." Enjoy eating it - because you are a winner - and in honor of all those girls out there who are not eating carbs because Miss America tells them they shouldn't.

1 comment:

LBD said...

This: is what I'm talking about. Read the reformed pageant rules. Love it!