Today, I'm thrilled to host a second gentleman guest (I must purchase some manly aprons!), a wonderful author I met in a San Antonio Christian writers' group. I've recently read two of his books and highly recommend them. Everyone wave their wooden spoons, please, in a hearty Authors' Galley welcome for Bruce Judisch!
Okay, here’s what happened. The wife of my youth in whom I rejoice, Jeannie, picked up a tidbit on Rachel Ray called “Drunken Spaghetti.” There are truly lots of reasons to rejoice over Jeannie; the fact that she watches Rachel Ray is just one of them. But I digress…
Naturally, I thought, “What better candidate than ‘Drunken Spaghetti’ for the blog of a Christian author!” (Shame on me.) But, getting the go-ahead from Candace , here we go:
· 1 pound spaghetti
· 1 bunch Tuscan or flat kale, stripped and shredded 1/2 inch
· 1 bottle red zinfandel or Barolo wine
· 3 tablespoons olive oil
· 1 red onion, finely chopped
· 4 cloves garlic, chopped
· 1 teaspoon dried chili
· 1 teaspoon sugar
· 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
· Grated Pecorino cheese
My older daughter, Kim, a ceramicist, made the canisters in the background. They’re really cool, but optional to the recipe.
Jeannie watched Rachel separate the kale leaves from the stalks…spines…inner-stringy-part-that-you-don’t-want-to-eat (whatever you call them). Rachel made it look easy. Jeannie described the process to me, and I tried it. Patience exhausted, Jeannie offered to ‘help’. I took pictures.
Bring large pot of water to boil for pasta. Salt water and add spaghetti and kale, boil 5 minutes and drain. Return pot to stove, add wine and reduce over high heat for 2 - 3 minutes. Once boiling, add in the pasta and kale and cook until most of the liquid evaporates over medium-high heat, tossing frequently with tongs.
Hint: The wooden spoon worked just as well as tongs. (Apologies, Rachel…) We used whole wheat pasta, which was good, but made the dish pretty robust. If you like a lighter pasta experience, forget the health thing and go with regular spaghetti.
Notice those are Jeannie’s hands doing the important stuff. I’m still taking pictures…
Sprinkle with sugar. Add some of the wine sauce to deglaze the pan, then scrape into pot to combine with pasta. Toss with walnuts and some cheese and serve.
Okay, so I don’t have a picture of that part. I was too busy stealing tastes. Wooden spoons connecting with the back of the hand hurt, by the way.
Serves 4 (or one r-e-a-l-l-y appreciative husband; can you blame me for stealing tastes?)
Finally, I got my chance to contribute to a great dinner! (My hand in the photo! My hand!)
And here is an excerpt from my novel Katia that also includes food: the story's young heroine, Maddy, narrates as she, Oscar, and Katia dine in a restaurant near the top of the 1200 foot Fernsehturm tower in Berlin, Germay. Note: Katia is a diabetic:
My entrée of veal roulade in mushroom sauce with apple-honey cabbage and potato dumplings was as heavenly as the view. Tante Katia picked at a tasty looking dish of duck smoked over tea, and served on a bed of Asian vegetables and basmati rice. Oskar selected Geschmorte Ochsenbacke with a cream of celery and pearl onion sauce. I instantly regretted it when I asked him what that was.
Braised ox cheeks? Great choice, Oskar. She’ll never kiss you now.
For dessert, I zeroed in on the house specialty: the Cup TV Tower, a chocolate ice-cream sundae with coconut cream and passion fruit sauce. Oskar selected the assorted French cheese plate with figs and little slices of nut bread. It came with port wine, which I think is what tipped the scales for him. When Tante Katia ordered hot poached chocolate cake with mango, we both looked at her. I was about to say something about sugar, but a twitch of her jaw invited me to mind my own business.
A spirited American exchange student. A sixty-year-old invalid. A riveting Cold War secret. Spunky Maddy McAllister, a twenty-one-year-old exchange student in Berlin, Germany, has a journalism career to launch. Stalwart Katia Mahler, a sixty-year-old invalid from the former East Berlin, has a story to tell. Cultures and generations clash as the young American and the German matron strive to understand each other's present and past. Maddy learns more than a personal history; Katia receives more than a memoir.
I'm still laughing at the image of Bruce stealing tastes, getting smacked. But you gotta love a man who does the dishes, right? A big thank you to both Bruce and his lovely wife, Jeannie for inviting us into their kitchen. And now, Bruce has generously offered a signed copy of Katia as a book giveaway. Leave a comment (with e-mail address) below, and you'll be included in a (Random.Org) drawing. The winner will be announced and contacted by e-mail on Wednesday April 17th.
Happy reading and . . . Bon Appetit!