June 29, 2012

I have made a discovery: I spend a great deal of time in the kitchen. I seem to be planning a meal, preparing a meal, or cleaning up after a meal. Or, as if all those meals are not enough, I’m in the kitchen to grab a snack! I’m so glad I really like my kitchen.  It’s what real estate professionals call bijoux.  Or cozy. That means it’s smaller than small – it’s tiny. I don’t have to step from sink to stove – I merely turn around. It’s roughly three leisurely steps from one end to the other, and while it has a respectable amount of cupboard space, those cupboards are pre-war sized.  Pre Boar war. Dishes were considerably smaller back then. I know this because my IKEA dinner plates do not fit inside (that is if I mean to close the cupboard door) and my frying pan takes up a whole shelf from front to back. The kitchen also doubles as the clothes drying station, so meals cooked on laundry days can not involve fried onions.
When I first moved out of my parent’s home yea these many years ago, my idea of cookery focused on macaroni and cheese and stir fry. I ate many, many sandwiches.
Then I spent four years with my sister, and watched many hours of the Food Network. I began reading cookbooks.  For fun! And collected recipes from friends, magazines, and strangers at parties in a blue binder.

Setting up my own establishment one more, I wondered if I’d fall back on man-n-cheese and tuna sandwiches. I hoped not, but cooking for one, and cooking while working is a challenge.

So far, not so bad. I haven’t managed anything spectacular yet (excuse: I’m still setting up) but I have managed a few nice meals. Already I have two new favourite, quick go-tos:

Saucy eggs. (Don’t you love the name?) and Lemon Linguine (another excellent name, no?)

I will share the recipes with you, if you will share your favourite go-tos with me.

Lemon Linguine
Linguine, cooked to packet directions, in amount required.
1 Lemon
Olive oil
Salt to taste
Flavour givers according to taste (basil, tomatoes, garlic, onions)

Get linguine cooking along in the usual manner.
Meanwhile, in a separate pan, warm a generous splash of olive oil over moderate heat.  To it, add the zest of one lemon, and squeeze out the juice of one half of the lemon.  (For one serving, the juice of a half a lemon was almost too much for me, and I really like lemons.)  Throw in a pinch of salt.  Stir when you remember to.

So tangy, so good!
As you like, add onions to sauté, or chopped tomatoes, asparagus, mushrooms, or lovely crisp bacon or prosciutto – or enjoy the simple, vibrant tang of the lemon on its own.   When the linguine is tender, scoop it out of the boiling water to swish it through the warm oil and lemon.  Arrange it on your plate, and decorate with curls of parmesan cheese and a leaf or two of basil.

Saucy Eggs
Pasta sauce
Basil, parmesan… anything else you like.

In a saucepan, gently warm through some pasta sauce.  You want enough to coddle the egg, but not enough you can’t find the egg on your plate later.  Gentleness is required as pasta sauce tends to take on volcanic behaviors when too hot.

Using either its own broken shell or a small bowl, carefully lower the naked egg into the sauce.  Allow it to poach slowly, exposed in its tomato bath.  If you like a hard cooked egg, baste it with spoonfuls of the warm sauce.

*Use pan of sufficient size and sauce of generous enough quantity for the number of eggs required.

Carefully ladle the saucy eggs to the plate or bowl of your choice.  Accompany with toast, sautéed mushrooms, or whatever appeals and is readily available.  Garnish with parmesan and basil if you like them.

Voila!  From opening fridge to sitting at table, 10 minutes.


  1. So I tried your lemon linguine tonight, and can I just tell you it was DE. LISCIOUS. I put a little fresh basil in with it - mama mia it was fantastic. Thanks for this.

  2. So glad you enjoyed it. It is pretty scrumptious, isn't it? Guess what I had for supper tonight?

  3. It was totally scrumptious. Next time I will try it with some bacon or proscuitto for a yummy bit of crunchy saltiness!!



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