Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Boat Captain

Captain Me (supervised by Lee)

Last weekend our dear friends Rachel and Lee sailed into my 'hood and we drove out to the coast to say hey. Rachel and I were in graduate school together in Denver. When I finished, I came out to North Carolina to drive around and dig stuff up. Rachel and Lee moved onto a sailboat. She blogs about her life on the sea and it is a pretty grand adventure.

On their way down south to the Carribean (because who would stay up north in the winter if they lived on a boat?), they stopped by me. We drove out to water to meet them and they took us sailing. We brought lunch out to the boat and sat in the galley (I love nautical words) to share some Weaver Street Market olive bread, sourdough bread, a nice aged gouda, and a Giacomo's Italian Market salami sampler. This lunch also made me happy. Nothing like a quick lunch of bread, cheese, and freshly made salami to give a person the energy to go out and sail a boat around.

The boat was particularly exciting, because I learned that day that I love sailing! They even let me drive the boat. I got to stand behind the wheel, widen my stance, put one hand on my hip and say things like "turn up" and "tighten the hatches" (by the way, I am making this all up. I said none of these things). When we were going upwind the boat was tilting very dramatically. I thought we were going to roll over. But Rachel and Lee did not let me crash their house. Apparently, it is supposed to tilt like that, something about keels. I am now going by Captain Sarah, or just Captain for short.
Note Lee making sure I did not tip the boat over.

Then we drove back to Carrboro and made a feast for weary sailors.

Pan Fried Flounder

1/4 cup flour
cajun seasoning
1 whole flounder, filleted
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1. Heat a large heavy frying pan with olive oil and butter at medium high heat.

2. Mix flour with cajun seasoning, salt, and pepper (seasonings to taste).

3. Rinse flounder fillets and pat them dry with paper towels. Dredge the fillets in the seasoned flour, shake off excess flour.

4. Place fillets in the frying pan skin side up for about 4 or 5 minutes, flip and pan fry other side for an additional 4 minutes.

5. Serve the fillets with lemon wedges.

Rotini with Pecan-Arugula Pesto
(modified slightly from A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen by Jack Bishop)
3/4 cup pecans
1 1/2 cups packed arugula (stemmed)
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1/3 cup good tasting extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesean Cheese (and more for topping)
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 pound rotini

1. Heat a heavy frying pan on medium heat. Toast the pecans on medium heat until they start to get aromatic, then remove them from the heat and allow them to cool completely.

2. In a food processor, pulse the garlic cloves several times. Then add the arugula and pecans and pulse further until the leaves start to break up. While the food processor is running, add the olive oil slowly. Pulse in the grated parmesean cheese.

3. Scrape the pesto into a large bowl. Grate the nutmeg into the bowl and add salt to taste (this needs to be generous because it has to season the entire pound of pasta.

4. Meanwhile, bowl a large pot of water. Add the rotini pasta and bowl for about 7 or 8 minutes, you want the pasta to be cooked al dente. Drain pasta, reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water.

5. Add some of the pasta water to the large bowl, stir together the two until it has a saucy texture. Stir pasta into the sauce. Add more pasta water, if it is needed to help distribute the sauce.

6. Eat.

This feast was wonderful! Sorry for the lack of food photos. Bad blogger, bad...

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