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    Monday, October 06, 2008

    Breadcrumbs and Pasta

    Mario Batalli maintains that you should only use good bread for breadcrumbs, and 'fresh bread to boot', not old 'hang around for a few days' bread. Of course to use fresh bread you need to make the crumb in the food processor. Too hard to do it by hand.
    I always freeze any excess and sometimes buy bread especially. Just put into little plastic bags enough for one pasta dish.

    By the way for breadcrumbing fish, schnitzel
    etc I always use Panko crumbs they are wonderful.

    So I have made two dishes using breadcrumbs.

    An old favourite
    Spaghetti with Tomato Sauce topped with Crispy Herby Breadcrumbs
    I just love the flavour and crispness of this dish... make plenty I promise you... its a go back for seconds and even thirds!

    And a wonderful Fish dish I watched Emeril make.
    This I think, is a good post for Ruth of Once Upon a Feast, Presto Pasta Night. click on her blog here,
    People from all over the world, sharing their favourite Pasta dishes

    First for the Spaghetti
    You can speed up the process, if you haven't much time and are are in a hurry, but it’s worth it.

    1 large onion sliced
    2 tablespoons olive oil

    1 yellow pepper large chop

    3 cloves garlic chopped
    3 anchovies chopped

    2 teaspoons Sambal Olek

    1 can Italian tomatoes
    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

    1 cup breadcrumbs
    2-3 tablespoons olive oil

    2 tablespoons fresh basil sliced

    1 teaspoon dried oregano

    Gently cook the onion in the olive oil
    When it has softened add garlic and yellow pepper
    Cook about 5 minutes
    Add Sambal Olek and anchovies and slowly cook about 30 minutes
    This becomes really flavourful

    Drain and squash the tomatoes…hands are good, reserve the juice.
    Add to vege mix… season with S & P and cook down another 10 minutes

    Meanwhile cook the spaghetti to manufacturers instructions till it is is al dente
    Reserve some water

    At the last moment put oil in pan and heat
    Add breadcrumbs, oregano and basil
    Toss around and cook for a few minutes till crumbs are crispy.
    Add drained spaghetti into sauce and add a ladleful of spaghetti water to loosen it up.

    Serve in bowls
    Top with the crispy breadcrumbs
    A by-product of the tomatoes
    Bloody Marys made with the juice
    Popped some ice into the reserved juice
    Mix with 2 jiggers of vodka
    Pinch sea salt
    Good shot of freshly ground black pepper
    1 teaspoon horseradish or a good dash of Tabasco Sauce
    Good squeeze lemon juice and some zest
    Slug Worcestershire sauce

    Strain into glasses and consume pre lunch.
    Good aperitif.

    So now to Emeril Lagasse Southern Soul Food Fish Dish.

    I used snapper as one of our guests is not fond of a meaty fish but I think Hapuka/ Grouper, Bluenose would be first choice.
    The beauty of this dish is its simplicity and its so so easy for a crowd.

    150gms fish per person
    Extra virgin olive oil
    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
    1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves

    2 teaspoons Emeril’s Essence (recipe follows)

    * 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
    * 2 tablespoons salt
    * 2 tablespoons garlic powder
    * 1 tablespoon black pepper
    * 1 tablespoon onion powder
    * 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
    * 1 tablespoon dried oregano
    * 1 tablespoon dried thyme

    Combine all ingredients thoroughly.
    This will keep for ages in a air tight jar

    Lemon juice
    1 tablespoon minced garlic
    1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs

    Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil
    Mix 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil with garlic and thyme

    Season fish filets with S &P and Emeril’s essence on both sides

    Dab fish with garlic mix and squeeze the lemon juice over the fish.
    Mix breadcrumbs with 2 tablespoons olive oil
    Sprinkle over fish
    Heat grill/broiler to 250C

    Place fish underneath cook about 5 minutes turn pan around and cook further 5 minutes till breadcrumbs are brown.

    We had this delicious fish dish with green beans and mashed kumara.
    Perfect once again .

    The dinner was a bit much for one punter.
    A little nap was needed.

    1 comment:

    Ruth Daniels said...

    Both dishes look wonderful. I too love Panko for breading and as for keeping fresh crumbs in the freezer...try as I may, they end up hidden in the back somewhere and by the time I find them, they taste of freezer burn ;-( oh well.

    Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights.