Friday, July 31, 2009

Weekend (by res ipsa loquitur)

Here are some weekend suggestions.

See In the Loop. I saw it last night and laughed like crazy (even though a bunch of B-List state department wankers and press flaks ginning up a war isn't funny at all). I have not seen The Thick of It, but I might have to now, because Peter Capaldi turns cussing into poetry (although I have to admit he doesn't quite rise to R. Lee Ermey in Full Metal Jacket levels).

If you find yourself in or around New York, there are film festivals celebrating two actors who couldn't be more different -- John Cazale and Cary Grant -- happening in Brooklyn. If you're not nearby, have your own festival on DVD.

Lay a blanket under a tree, pour yourself a refreshing beverage, and revel in The Elegance of the Hedgehog.

Go to All Points West.

Cook. Sometimes I send recipes to Echidne. I tend to cook a bunch of things to eat during the week on the weekend. Lately, I have been using Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian . This thing is a doorstop ... and a great resource. Tomorrow I'll make some peanut sauce to eat over cold noodles and cucumbers from my SO's garden. If you're not in the northeast where local farmers are dealing with late season blight that will probably destroy their tomato crops, here is a recipe into which you can incorporate your first local tomatoes of the summer. (This one is mine, not Bittman's.)

1 lb. angel hair pasta
4 tbl. olive oil
1 tbl. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. oregano
3 large tomatoes, chopped (or 1-1/2 cups of grape tomatoes, halved)
3 bunches of arugula
1/4 c. Parmesan
2 large shallots, sliced thin
a small handful of oil-cured black olives (optional)
zest of half a lemon
salt and pepper

Sautée the shallots in the olive oil until they just begin to brown. Meanwhile, clean the arugula and cook the pasta. When the pasta is al dente, drain it and then toss the hot pasta in a big bowl with the arugula, olive oil, shallots, and vinegar. Add the zest, oregano, tomatoes, Parmesan, and olives if you are using them. Add salt and pepper to taste (and more Parmesan if that is your preference).