Sort of embarrassing, but I'm on batch number three of crème fraiche for the week. Please let me know if you've made any and if so, what you've learned, what questions you have, and what you've done with it.
I keep trying to get close to my computer but I have creatures keeping me away. I picked my son up early from school today with a case of the I-want-to-hang-out-with-mama-now virus (he is currently asleep under my desk wrapped around my feet), My dog won't stop barking (despite all of the anti-anxiety medication). And my magnificent daughter wanted to chill out with me all evening (oh my god it has been a long time) and chat and cook and play cards and talk about life. So that's what we did.
For the moment, everyone is asleep so here's recipe number one. We'll see how the rest of the crème fraiche week unfolds. Six more recipes to go.
CREME FRAICHE RECIPE #1
Dashi. Bella. I need to know that you're not going to kill each other while I take a shower. I just need five minutes. Do you think you can handle that?
We promise, mama.
Yes, we promise.
I step into the shower, wash my hair, and think about nothing. I even condition my hair. Fucking heaven.
And then I hear a crash, a scream, a slamming door, another scream, some pounding on a door, and hysterical sobbing. And as much as I'd like to be that mom who says they'll work it out and no one is going to die and everything will be fine, I'm just not that kind of mom. It pisses me off. And my shower is ruined.
I'm a dripping wet insanely mad mama as I burst out of the bathroom and start are you freaking kidding me yelling.
Dash. Bella. Sit down and listen. Here's the deal. I want to shave my legs. I want to use that pumice stone thingy on my feet. And then I want to eat pasta with corn and mushrooms for dinner. With lots of creme fraiche. And I don't want ANY complaints.
But mama, I hate corn more than anything.
I know, Dash.
This sucks big time. I hate mushrooms.
I know, Bella. Hey. You just said sucks. I've never heard you say that before. Just don't use that word at school because you might get in trouble. I think you can start saying it in front of your teachers when you're thirteen. Does that sounds reasonable?
And then I laugh at how parenting can feel so random and like amateur hour. And my kids laugh because I'm naked and they can't take me seriously.
I get back in the shower and we try again.
And then we eat the tastiest pasta with gobs and gobs of creme fraiche and watch "The Empire Strikes Back" and talk about droids and light savers and the beauty of Han Solo and whether or not Luke is going to go over to the Dark Side and the kickassedness of Princess Leia. Because that's what I want.
PASTA WTIH CORN, MUSHROOMS, CRISPY SHALLOTS, AND CREME FRAICHE
If you're making creme fraiche, give yourself at least a day, preferably two.
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
salt for pasta water
salt for pasta water
2 cloves garlic
1 anchovy (packed in salt or oil but for this dish I love the salty ones)
3 ears corn, shucked and cut off the cob
2 cups mushrooms (use any kind, but I've been loving the combination of shiitake and hen of the woods ), wiped clean with a wet paper towel and sliced thinly
1 pound pasta
1 pound pasta
1/3 cup chopped parsley
1 cup creme fraiche
Crank a pan to high heat. Add butter and olive oil. Once it's smoking hot, toss in the shallots. Stir for a few minutes until they've softened and browned a bit. Add big pinch of salt and balsamic. Turn heat to low and leave for about 20 minutes. Stir occasionally.
Boil a big pot of water for pasta. Add a handful of salt.
Bash garlic and anchovy with a mortar and pestle or chop finely. Once shallots are melt-in-your-mouth tasty crispy, add garlic/anchovy puree. Stir and integrate for a minute. Turn the heat back up and add the mushrooms. Toss for two minutes over high heat. They will start to release some water. Add corn. Turn to low.
Place pasta in boiling water. Once the pasta is al dente, reserve a mug of pasta water. Strain pasta and add it and a bit of pasta water to the mushroom and corn mixture. Toss. Reduce the sauce down a bit. Add chopped parsley and about 1/2 of the creme fraiche and stir. Taste. Add salt as needed.
Slide into a bowl. Top with paper-thin wisps of parmesan and more creme fraiche. Maybe add more parsley and some coarse salt. Eat right away.