Sunday, May 23, 2010

Mostaccioli and Moving In


Mary and I (Betsy) are interning for the Toledo Free Press. After getting to our apartment, moving around furniture, and realizing that between the two of us we had nine chairs, we got hungry. That's when the trouble began.

Our first meal together consisted of jarred tomato sauce and mostaccioli, with a side of raw, unpeeled carrots. It wasn't stellar.

Our next meal together was leftover jarred tomato sauce and mostaccioli, with a side of raw, unpeeled carrots. It was depressing.

After staring down a pantry of Hamburger Helper (oops! Betsy's a vegetarian!), prunes, and South Beach Diet Cereal, we quickly put “frozen pizza” on our grocery list. That made us sad.

Something drastic had to be done -- after all, we're going to be here all summer, and Chef DiGiorno could get old after a while.

Plus, we're not at school; we're not supposed to miss the cafeteria.

The solution? Boiled carrots. Well, not really. We boiled some carrots and were floored to realize that with a little time, effort, and garlic, we could make cheap, boring food taste delicious!

Armed with this new hope, we descended on Toledo's farmers market. The spoils? Broccoli, roma tomatoes, an onion (only $0.35!), and a rosemary plant that would make Charlie Brown ashamed.

Another few grocery runs, and we were set for our first kitchen adventure: sauteed broccoli. It sounds lame, but was the best broccoli I've ever had.

Here's what we did:

1. Heat up a drizzle of oil in a frying pan. Add some garlic, black pepper, and salt.

2. Throw in as much fresh broccoli as you want. Sautee it by stirring the broccoli around, flipping the pieces so the sides get evenly cooked, and press down on the broccoli with a spatula so the edges get a little browned (trust me, this is important).

3. After 3-5 minutes or so, you're done! We like it slightly undercooked.

I'm not kidding when I say this broccoli is incredible. I will never microwave that beautiful plant again.

Up next: Mary's Frying Pan Tea.

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