Monday, March 26, 2012

Italian Cheese, Dutch Beer, and Budget Cooking

Tomorrow, despite my objections, Jen is taking our babies and going to the west coast on a work-related trip. This will leave me alone for the rest of the week where I will undoubtedly entertain myself by preparing foods that require minimal cost and maximum probability of being things Jen will not be sorry she missed at all.

Red Chard and Fennel Fontina Cream Sauce

But tonight, for her farewell, I continued along with my budget theme by making this pasta dish. I cooked down some red chard stems and fennel in a little olive oil and butter, then tossed in the chopped leaves with some salt and pepper. I cooked this down for a bit, added a dusting of flour, and then poured in some milk to make a thick cream sauce.

Fettuccine with Red Chard and Fennel Fontina Cream Sauce

After a little bit I tossed in some cooked fresh fettuccine and some shredded fontina along with some of the pasta water. This was a very nice creamy pasta dish that was still a bit on the light side considering I used skim milk and pasta water in the sauce.

Emelisse Black IPA

I didn't really have anything that I thought would go with this so I opened this Black IPA from Emelisse, Restaurant en Brouwerij in The Netherlands. This was another Valentine's Day gift from Jen and it ended up working surprisingly well with the fontina cream sauce. The roasted malt gave it a very toasted chocolate and coffee sort of flavor which meshed well with the cream sauce.

I think this is the only beer I've had from Holland other than Heineken. I have to say that despite my experimentation with fresh Heineken last summer, this is probably the best Dutch beer I've ever had.

Isn't that weird?

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