The Ghost Ingredient


Today’s Music: Moby – Flowers

I got way behind this weekend. Sunday was Easter, so I was planning on doing the cooking for the week on Saturday.
I had to get up early anyway to log in and do some work reconfiguring some servers.

Every weekend, we go through the freezer and come up with three or four dishes to make for the week – big enough for dinner and lunch. Then it sits in the fridge and we just have to heat it when we get home exhausted from work.
Two or three dishes will be meat or poultry, and then the rest usually dairy or vegetable.

So there I am, 8 am on a Saturday, and I think “Might as well start now”.
So I chop up the chicken parts, coat them in Shake n’ Bake (mmmm), throw ’em in the oven and start on the ravioli. From scratch, of course!

For emergencies (and extreme laziness) only!!!

For emergencies (and extreme laziness) only!!!


Into the mixer goes flour and eggs. Away churns the mixer!!!
As always, it’s a bit clumpy in there, so I use my trusty spatula to keep folding everything under the hook.
Add a bit of water, and voila, dough!
Sort of.
Magic, thy name is Kitchen Aid

Magic, thy name is Kitchen Aid


There’s always a crumbled amount of dough in the bottom of the bowl that won’t fold in.
So onto the counter it goes to be worked and kneaded and deliciousified.
(Mostly. I forgot to add the salt again.)

Then it was 830, and time to get to work. So it got wrapped in plastic, and into the fridge it went.
Until Monday night.
Because I suck.

But Monday night, while my girl was out, I got back to work. Mix ricotta and an egg in a bowl.
Add some Parmesan! How much? Why, as much as I wanted to. (Had to make up for the lack of salt in the dough.)
Cut the dough up into manageable chunks and pound it flat enough to go into my baby.

Oh, the things we can do!

Oh, the things we can do!


Seriously, I love my pasta roller!
Roll the dough into nice long sheets. Square them off and cut them in half lengthwise.
Blob on the cheese mixture, and seal a layer of pasta on top.
Voila! Fresh ravioli.

Boil it a few minutes, top it with a bit of tomato sauce from a jar (yeah yeah, I know.) and…enjoy.
Pack it up the same way for lunch.
Go to work.
Watch the clock.
LUNCHTIME!!!
Open the container and be hit with the fragrant pungent scent of…garlic?

Now remember – flour, egg, water. Ricotta, parmesan, egg.
I didn’t even remember the salt, for cryin’ out loud.
Anyway, eat and enjoy.

Come home. Before I make the mushroom beef barley soup I also didn’t make over the weekend, I have to wash yesterdays dishes. Put the plates under the hot water, grab the scrubber, and it hits me – the smell of garlic.
What the hell?!?

About 5 minutes later, I realize “Oh yeeeaaaahhh…the tomato sauce…”.
Mystery solved.

I have no idea why my brain doesn’t work.
It’s not like I don’t feed it well.

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104 responses to “The Ghost Ingredient

  1. I love my kitchen aid mixer!! But that pasta roller made me drool a little….I’m not going to lie.

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  2. I’d like to make an intelligent comment, but I’m too busy fantasizing about what it would be like to have a husband that actually cooked. And made homemade pasta to boot. Sigh.

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  3. I admire a dude who can cook. I am not one of those guys, sadly. You’re a Renaissance man, which is a very cool thing. I’m sure your girl appreciates it as well.

    I also like (and of course don’t do) the planning you put into your weekly meals. I find that scheduling & regimenting certain areas of my life helps me get things done. It’s quite a challenge, although it does get easier as things get incorporated into habit.

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    • Thanks Smak.
      We have to plan the meals, because otherwise we’ll be too tired to do it after work.
      Which doesn’t mean we won’t get home and order in because we’re too lazy to put something in the microwave…

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  4. Great idea. I love to cook. That looks like it would be delish.

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  5. Im jealous… I wanted..still do .a kitchen aid..I used to make bread and rolls and pasta and of course cookies…pierogies I have two pasta rollers one for pasta one for polymer clay…yea… Um oh! So i get a knock off for xmas…yea it worked ok but i swear i would never have stopped cooking…homemade ravioli just whenever? Im not surprised but you never cease to amaze…im hungry now… hope you and tmwgitu are well.. tell her hi you know the drill and uh..i forgot what i i was Gonna say…see its not just you. Id say its spring but where? Maybe that’s it! Sorry about not using caps…im using one thumb…cool right? Yes i am still easily amused…. some things never change .. im glad the ghost wasnt …herring or..stuff.. 😉

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  6. Yummy! There is nothing better than homemade pasta. Now I am tempted to pull out my “magic” and pasta maker and see what happens… I am impressed!

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  7. You had to post this on the day I can’t quite get full didn’t you? I made a nice turkey casserole for dinner, but I was still hungry when we finished eating. Now, I’m foaming at the mouth for your homemade pasta!

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  8. Hey Guapster – do you follow Enchanted Seashells: http://enchantedseashells.com/2013/04/04/the-last-supper-an-indian-feast/#comment-5482
    She posted a pic on her blog today with El Guapo Cilantro

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  9. I’m impressed, Guapo! Can I come over your house for dinner? I’m already coming over for Valentine’s Day next year, correct? I wish I could be as organized as you, too. Maybe you can put some recipes up for us! My husband never cooks.

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  10. By the time you were talking about deliciousifying the dough, I started to become really envyesque and a little hungryized. (Wait, hungry eyes? No, that was Eric Carmen.)

    You have my email address, and you’re a professional computer genius… how about sending some of that homemade ravioli my way?

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  11. I ❤ Moby! I hope that shows up as a heart. I think it's time to invest in one of those magic machines. Then the pasta machine might get a better workout 🙂

    Your dinner habits sound so much more civilised than mine, I'm one of these hmm what do I feel like cooking today ….

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    • Yup, the heart shopwed up fine.
      Well, since all our meat stays in the freezer, we at latest have to decide on dinner before we go to work. But doing it all on one day saves so much time.

      Like

  12. PS garlic is the best, followed closely by chili, ginger and coriander! Although combined they stop being ghost ingredients 😉

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  13. omg…you do all that stuff BY SCRATCH????? I’m impressed Gaup. Wow. I did make those Samosas today…I appreciate all your kneading and dough-ness in your cooking. It is like gardening…very therapeutic. And I’ll be right over to help you guys EAT…

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  14. This post makes me want to make my favorite homemade pepper cheese bread (I’m awful at pasta; bread is the only thing I ever use my dough hook for).

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    • In my life, I’ve made one loaf of bread from scratch.
      It was also cheese bread. And my arms were killing me by the time I was done.

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      • If you have a stand mixer (and I’ve seen photographic evidence that you do), making bread is ridiculously easy. It takes a long time, because you still have to wait for it to rise a couple times, but you don’t have to knead it by hand.

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  15. Well I’m impressed, you cook and even clean up after! 🙂

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  16. Deliciousified, love that word. Can I steal it? BTW I just found out that auto correct converts that word to Delicious Infield. Now that has so much potential!

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  17. The more I get to know you, the more I know how lucky your girl Carrie is! You are certainly one of the Beautiful People!
    Hope you have both had a good holiday weekend. 🙂

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  18. Cooking with Guapo seemingly would be a can’t miss show on Food Network. If that doesn’t happen, please incorporate here more often. Here’s a treat for you.

    http://afrankangle.wordpress.com/2010/08/19/on-argentine-chili/

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  19. Would love a pasta roller for my birthday. Just saying.

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  20. That all sounds like too much work.

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  21. Dude! You didn’t tell me your blog was NSFW!! A good man cooking is classified as PORN and now you have half your audience salivating before lunch!

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  22. I think I need to rent you.
    I’m going hunting in my cupboards now.

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  23. What is this ‘cooking’ you speak of? Hmmm….Your plan to cook ahead of time is a great one, but since I’m too lazy/inept/unimaginative I will pass and simply amble onwards as usual and pray that kids are working/have hockey/are invited to a friends/uninterested in pizza…AGAIN. yeah.

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  24. I’ve been living out od frozen food, I had the intention of cooking chicken and polenta yesterday just to find out that the chicken had gone bad 😦
    I ended with a pan with olive oil, garlic and onion and nothing else.
    I’ve never done past at home, the closed thing has been gnocchi, I always make a mess and hate to clean up after me, just hate.
    You baby is too precious, I’d like to have one too.

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    • Of all the things I’ve learned over the years, learning to cook is probably one of the most useful.
      Which isn’t to say teh mistakes haven’t been tragic.
      Or hilarious.

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      • Nice thing to make with won ton wrappers? Pork dumplings! Crumble pork into bowl, add finely diced onion, finely diced ginger, little bit of garlic & green onions. Put a small dollop of pork mixture into middle of won ton wrapper, then wrap wrapper around the dough. Steam in bamboo steamer until skins look transluscent & pork is cooked. Serve with dipping sauce.
        I used to serve these as Christmas Eve hors d’oerve because it makes a great finger food or added to a meal!

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  25. I’m impressed! The most I can manage when cooking for me and my daughter are simple, tri-ingredient meals. Homemade ravioli! I once heard — and I don’t mean this as a personal insult to your lovely pasta roller — that frozen won-ton skins make great, ready-made ravioli jackets. Cloaks? Whatever. Now I’m hungry….

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  26. Kitchen Aid: rock and roll! Damn, fresh pasta sounds tasty.
    As for the weekly food budget? Sounds about the same as my house.

    Serious plans when defrosting chicken, meat, etc in the fridge. Actually preparing it the day before it will probably go bad. Normally in an exhausted and none too cheerful mood.
    Always make plenty though; this way there are lots of leftovers in the freezer to defrost!
    Oh. shit.

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    • Sadly, sometimes thawed meat just sits in the fridge until it’s turned,then right in the trash.
      I have only myself to blame.
      (Doesn’t stop me from blaming others though…)

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  27. Brains are jerks that way. Homemade pasta is impressive though, even two days late! Your girl is lucky; if I don’t cook we’re getting hard boiled eggs for dinner. Like last night, for example.

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  28. Brains need a vacation every now and then, too, Guap. ❤

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  29. Wow. My eyes glazed over before you got to Monday night. That is WAY too much work for a few meals. I go with the frozen stuff. Yep, I’m lazy.

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  30. whiteladyinthehood

    Yum! Yum! Great post, Guapo! I love to cook things home-made and enjoy the act of preparing and cooking a meal. You are quite impressive! I love your pasta roller (wow). I bet it was so good. I’ve never had “real” home-made pasta before (I’m missing out!) I did make manicotti from scratch once…but with store bought manicotti noodles and made up my own filling (ricotta cheese, parmesan, spinach, garlic, onion etc) and couldn’t figure out how to ‘stuff’ it in there (it was hilarious) I finally put the mixture in a ziploc baggie and cut off the corner and squeezed it in there! It worked! I’m not sure if I made manicotti or not, but that’s what I called it!

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    • I had a recipe for pasta (yeah, it’s simple,but when I found the recipe I had no idea how simple) for yearsbefore I finally made it. Now I can’t get enough.
      I would love to learn how to make the shaped pastas.
      My girl does manicotti and stuffed shells exactly how you described.

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  31. YOU…..ARE…..AMAZING!!!!!
    WOW!!!

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  32. free penny press

    seriously you make pasta from scratch? what a coolio you are and Moby too.. blast from the past.. Now I’m hungry for somepasta…

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  33. Oooh, I wanna marry you, Guap. Or at least co-opt your pasta roller.

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  34. I love cooking! Today, I made noodles with scallop and mixed vegetables with Portuguese chourico for dinner. 😀

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  35. Oh, nomnom. I made by first sauce of the, um decade? last week. I need to make some pasta though. It is so much better from scratch. I need that pasta roller…

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    • I actually eat more pasta now just so I can play with the roller.
      Sigh…

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      • I have horrific cholesterol (if you care about such things… which I do not), so it was a good excuse for me to kick Durham wheat. #2 dietary cause of high triglycerides. The only thing I really miss in terms of pasta was all the things I made from scratch anyway… crab and clam stuffed manicotti, toad stool ravioli, spinach/ricotta tortellini… Mmm.

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  36. Whoa Guapo! You have no idea how sexy this post makes you….at least to the older generation! A man that plans, cooks and can get lost in the moment…PRICELESS

    Like

Ahem *best Ricky Ricardo voice* Babble-OOOoooo!!!

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