Cacio e Pepe Recipe

Mario Batali makes some great tasting food. I’ve followed this Cacio e Pepe recipe before & it was delicious. It incorporates 2 things I love, Cheese & Black Pepper. This time, I added 5 more ingredients to the recipe just because I wanted to. They are not necessary, but boy was the pasta mmmm mmmm good when it was done. This is my interpretation of Cacio e Pepe mixed in with everything else I love. Come on, who doesn’t love more cheese & BACON!!! Oh yeah, and all the mushrooms add a delightfully earthy taste to the pasta.

Cacio e Pepeadapted from Mario Batali

Ingredients:
1 pound spaghettii
1/4 cup coarsely ground black pepper
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup grated pecorino romano
5 cloves garlic (minced)
2 bags of Enoki Mushroom (cut ends off & wash)
1 box of Beech Mushroom (cut ends off & wash)
3 Slices Muenster Cheese
5 Slices of Bacon
2 Plum Tomatoes (thinly sliced)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
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Boil a pot of water to cook your pasta. Follow instructions on the box to make al dente pasta. Reserve one cup pasta water. Drain the rest in a colander & rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.

Heat up a little olive oil into a large frying pan. On medium heat, add garlic & cook it down for a minute. Then add Enoki & beech mushrooms & sprinkle with sea salt to season. Cook until they are all soft.

Add the butter & pepper. Evenly mix until butter is melted.
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Add your pasta & mix. Then add your cheeses. The Muenster gets a little clumpy, so try to break them apart with your spoon. If the pasta is a little dry, you can add a little of the pasta water you had saved earlier.

In a separate frying pan, cook your bacon until they are cripsy. Drain all oils & blot excess on a paper towel. When it is cool to the touch, rough chop them.

Arrange plum tomatoes on top of pasta. Cover pan for 2 minutes to steam the tomatoes.

Finally, sprinkle bacon on top, and you are all set.

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ENJOY!

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Mango Shrimp Summer Roll Recipe

Mango Shrimp Summer Rollsadapted from Steamy Kitchen

Ingredients:

1 tsp fish sauce (substitute with soy sauce)
1 tsp freshly grated lemongrass
freshly ground black pepper
½ tsp sugar
36 small sized shrimp, shelled and de-veined
2 bundles of Rice/Mung Bean Vermicelli
15 round rice papers (8″ diameter)
1 cup julienned carrots
1 cup julienned cucumber
4 oz bean sprouts
2 mango, sliced into thin slivers
1 small bunch of Thai Basil Leaves (optional)
1 bag (7oz) of Enoki Mushroom (optional)

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Grate lemongrass. Boil water & quickly drop the bean sprouts into the water. Take it out after 30 seconds. This is to ensure any bacteria/gems are killed off. Rinse with cold water & let dry in a colander.
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Peel & de-vein the shrimp. Mix the fish sauce, lemongrass, pepper & sugar in a bowl & add shrimp. Marinate for 10 minutes.
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Grill the shrimp in a frying pan with 1 tablespoon coconut oil on high heat until cooked through, ~2 minutes. When the shrimp is cool enough to handle, use a knife, cut each shrimp down the middle of its back so that you have two identical halves of shrimp. This makes the shrimp thin enough to wrap evenly.

Place 2 bundles of vermicelli into boiling water. Stir & make sure it cooks for a few minutes until tender (~2-3 minutes). Strain the water & cool the vermicelli with cold water to stop it from cooking.

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Cut the dirty ends of the Enoki mushrooms. Wash them under cold water, while separating the strands because they tend to stick together. I seasoned it with a little salt, pepper & olive oil & cooked it in a frying pan. It will release a lot of water. When the mushrooms are cooked down (no longer stiff), they are ready. Discard as much water content from them as much as possible.

Cut your carrots & cucumber into matchstick sized pieces. Take 10 basil leaves & chiffonade them into smaller pieces. Now all your ingredients are ready to assemble your summer rolls.

In a clean fying pan, boil a few cups of water. This will be used for the summer roll skins. Turn off the heat once it starts boiling. Find a large round dish to prepare you rolls. Have another large plate handy for your completed rolls. Take a summer roll wrapper & place into the hot water in the frying pan. It will soften into a pliable sheet. Carefully pull the sheet out & put onto your prep plate.

Here, you will start building your summer roll. Add the shrimp, then layer with the vermicelli, a few slices of the mango, then carrots, cucumber, mushroom, & basil. I rolled the bottom over the filling first, then folded the right & left sides in, then tightly rolled the bottom up to the top. Put the finished product on our finished plate.

Mango Puree – by Me
1 mango (remove skin & pit)
3 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
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Mix all ingredients together in a blender. Add more water if the puree is still too thick. This is easy to make & makes your food look so pretty (& tasty, too)!

Fish Dipping Sauce: Nuoc Cham – Recipe courtesy Corinne Trang, Authentic Vietnamese Cooking, Simon & Schuster, 1999
5 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons water
1/3 cup fish sauce
1/2 cup lime or lemon juice (~1 lemon)
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 or more bird’s eye or Thai chiles, seeded and minced
1 shallot, peeled, thinly sliced, and rinsed (optional)
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Mix all ingredients together & let sit in the fridge for 30 minutes. This sauce is so tasty with the summer rolls or even just over vermicelli or rice.

ENJOY!