Well, Happy New Year, everyone. Aren’t you a little tired of hearing it? I am. Even though I am very, very excited about 2009. I hope it will be a time of great growth and change for me—fingers are crossed!!!
However, I seem to be starting the year out with an incipient cold. Now, I’m due in Connecticut for a long weekend with my darling GF on Thursday. She’s a Connecticut native and I love visiting her family. We’re going to sample the romantic and gastronomic (???) pleasures of that strange state. Which means, of course, that I can’t get sick. I’m pretty good at beating off colds, so hopefully I’ll prevail.
But I was feeling pretty pathetic last night by the time I got home and started thinking about dinner. I don’t have much on hand right now—since I’m leaving for 5 days, I didn’t want to buy too much fresh stuff. I wanted garlic to be the star ingredient, mostly because it is so good for immune systems and warding off illnesses. I’ve also been craving strongly flavored foods; I’ve been adding red pepper flakes to everything I make recently. They were also part of last night’s dinner, as was dried oregano.
So I put some penne onto the stove to cook and diced 2 cloves of garlic—a hefty amount for a 1-person sized portion. As I was heating up the olive oil, I realized that the meal was asking for some protein. So I dumped some chickpeas onto low heat with the garlic and sautéed them until they were warm with the slightest hint of crisp. Mixed with the penne and some parmesan cheese, the entire result was a hot, comforting dish. The garlic was barely cooked, so a lot of its good stuff remained; the chick peas, in turn, mellowed the garlic and provided a lot of nice texture. Kale braised in chicken broth would have been a nice side (alas, I had no kale) as well as an additional vehicle for garlic.