They say that children are influenced by what they see on TV. Well let me tell you that it happens to forty year olds too.
This week has been Marco Pierre White week on Masterchef Australia. We just love Marco. His brooding eyes. Dramatic delivery. Menacing and yet genial persona. A bit like Heath Ledger as the Joker in Batman. When Marco is on the set everyone else is part of the foliage. Suddenly Gary, George and Matt seem like characters played by Rishi Kapoor in Bachchan films of the 70s, with Marco as the big man of course.
I hang on to his every word. Love his one liners.
“The more you do to food, the more you take away from it”
“If you are not going to use an element then don’t keep it on the plane”
“Do one thing and do it right”
“Time is not your friend, time is your enemy”
The week started with a porcini invention test on Masterchef Australia. Both K and I were drooling over the dishes on our screen. I knew that I had to cook with pocini the next day. Something I’ve never used before. So I went to Lalu’s at Pali Market the next morning and bought dried porcini. A tiny pack was 250 Rs. Porcini would be the hero of my dish so I didn’t buy any meats. The plan was to make a pasta.
From the Masterchef episode I knew that the porcini had to be hydrated so I soaked them in lukewarm water half an hour before I began cooking.
Here’s how I went about my dish:
Ingredients in order of use: 1 tablespoon butter, 1 tablespoon chopped garlic, 1 cubed tomato, 6,7 leaves of basil, porcini hydrated, 2 cubes of cheese, 2 mugs of milk with 1 tablespoon corn flour dissolved in it, 100 g of farfalle or any pasta boiled as per pack instruction, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 finely chopped capsicum, a pinch of zatar and two tablespoons of chilli infused olive oil
- Heat pan. Add a tablespoon of butter. I was emboldened by internet links saying that the Time Magazine has OK’d butter
- Once the butter melts add a tablespoon of chopped garlic cloves
- Once the garlic browns a bit, add 1 cubed tomato and 7,8 leaves of basil and stir
- Once the tomatoes go a bit soft add the porcini and stir till it cooks. It will emit a strong woody smell
- Add two cubes of regular cheese broken into pieces. I used Gowardhan cheese here
- Once the cheese softens add a 2 coffee mugs of milk with a tablespoon of cornflour dissolved into it. This forms the sauce
- Bring the sauce to a boil, then put on simmer and cover with a lid till sauce thickens
- Add the pasta and slowly mix in the sauce into the pasta. Add, 1 teaspoon salt
- At the end add 1 finely chopped capsicum for a textural bite and break. I also added some chilli infused olive oil and zatar for flavour
The sauce was enrobed on the pasta like I like it and wasn’t drowning it as is often the case with pastas in local restaurants.
The flavours of the porcini were quite woody and prominent, the texture very meaty and distinctive. The result very satisfying.