Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Not impastable: N00b home economics

I'm thoroughly enamored by that thing where you switch off the heat after stirring for 2 minutes when cooking pasta (you leave it in the water for the remaining cooking time). Of course, I started wondering what other irregular thing you can do regarding pasta that doesn't necessitate reading a Serious Eats article.*

My pasta bugbear is cream sauces. Doing a cream pasta sauce is rarely my thing because I'm a cheapskate. A 200 ml container of cream costs about RM8.50 and the resulting sauce is always too thin for my taste, so why bother?

I guessed coconut milk could be used in place of cream, and some half-hearted Googling confirmed this, so I borrowed a pack of coconut milk from MIL's fridge and went about making a creamy beef sauce.

The pack said to shake throughly before using, so I did. I should've seen it coming when I felt only the barest movement inside. Upon cutting it open to stir in to the cooked sauce, snowy white blobs of coconut cream came oozing out.

It did the job though, thickening and enriching the sauce. It also lent the sauce a refreshing coconut aftertaste, which was not a bad thing, though unexpected.

I used about a quarter of the 200-ml pack, which Tesco tells me costs about RM3 (depends on the brand and whether you get liquid or powdered [!?]), so the entire batch of sauce (about 5 servings) cost about RM3.50 per serving. The pasta cost RM4 (I think), and is about 9 servings, which is pretty great if you don't eat a lot.

Seriously though, when you call something "milk", I expect it to be liquid and pourable.

*I love reading them, but they're so long.

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