Sunday, May 30, 2010

Memorial Day Party Food

I don't know how you cook, but for me it is a little like writing. I take an idea or thought and let it germinate... fester... ferment. I try to consider what I have available, who I am cooking for and what the occasion is. For this weekend's party, I also needed to prepare something that wouldn't take much time - thus, the world's fastest pasta was the perfect solution. I originally had this more than 20 years ago at a family friend's house and have been making it ever since.

Put a cup of good olive oil in a glass jar. Add 2 or 3 minced garlic cloves and about 4 chopped tomatoes to the olive oil. Chop a large handful of herbs - I used flat leaf parsley and basil, and add them to the olive oil mixture. Place the lid on the jar and periodically give it a good rolling shake. Cook a pound of pasta, reserving about a cup of the pasta water. Add the water to your jar of loveliness and give things a good roll or 2. Pour sauce over pasta and finish by seasoning with salt and pepper and cheese, if you like. I had some fresh mozzarella which I cubed and added. Serve hot, warm of cold.

I was asked to bring a dessert item to the party, but didn't have an incredible amount of time to get overly creative. I did, however, have boxed angel food cake mix which I knew would suffice. I've never made an angel food cake before - perhaps, you will argue, I still have not. Believe me, I know my friends - by the time dessert rolls around their primary concern will be eating something sweet - not whether the cake is from a mix or hand measured. The mix was pretty cool - just add water and beat for about 2 minutes, it couldn't have been any easier. I don't have an angel food cake pan, so I opted to make 2 loaves instead. I had a couple of fresh mangoes, which I cut and then grilled over low to medium fire to get a little char on them. While they cooled, I had the hubby pick some mint in the backyard which I then soaked in Hypnotiq. After a couple of hours, I chopped the mint and the mango and combined them with the soaking liquid to make a nice compote to jazz up the cake. Prior to serving, I sliced the angel food cake (with a sharp serrated knife), fanned it out on a platter and placed the mango-mint compote on the side. So easy - so delicious.


  1. I think boxed angel food mix is okay. Some humid days just don't let those eggs get as whipped and stiff as they should be.

    Besides, it's easier to keep a box of the mix in the pantry than it is to keep a dozen egg whites in the fridge.

  2. Sounds really good Sylvia. My mom used to make a recipe we called "quick sauce" much like the ingredients you have in your recipe. We saute fresh tomatoes, italian cubanelle light green peppers, fresh garlic, salt & pepper to taste - then top of pasta with garden fresh basil. God just writing about it makes my mouth water. Oh yes, don't forget the Fresh Pecorino Romano!! She used to make the best!!! It's a great summer recipe!!!

    My the way - I love Hypnotiq!! That also sounds like a yummy dessert!!! Great Idea!!!

    Bon Appetit


  3. You got so creative with the dessert! I would have just made brownies! LOL! That is the Pat in ME! She keeps rearing her head! LOL!

  4. @AJ - Thanks for the approval :) Although, the next time I make eggs Benedict for a crowd, I guess I could be thrifty and use those egg whites...
    @Susan - How do you use the Hypnotiq? Someone brought it over as a hostess gift and I really don't know what to do with it.
    @Leelee - I swear brownies would have been almost more work!