Excuse me… do you have any Grey Poupon?

Hi everybody. How about a big round of applause for Claudia. Nice job, fret. Another guest host here, trying to keep the smackitude alive (and you entertained) while Michelle pours her life savings down the slots in Atlantic City recuperates. Now this post was originally going to be for Cheap-ass Monday, but Claudia bogarted that, so it will just be a regular old catchy-theme-challenged post that’s differently fun to be around, and coincidentally also suffering from cheapness of ass.

I had this idea a while back, during one of many sleepless hours that often ensue after my 4-year old Son has come into our bed in the middle of the night and woken us up. It’s way better now than it was when he would immediately turn perpendicular to us (always with his feet facing me, and kicking me in the head all night) but it does still make it very hard for me to get back to sleep. So I think about new combinations of things that might taste good, taking advantage of the free-associating that comes more easily when one is tired, and trying not do dwell overmuch on how fucked my tomorrow is going to be. Or sometimes I get up and read food blogs, and try not to think about how fucked my tomorrow is going to be. In any case, the fuckedness of the morrow is the salient point.

I like to make pasta from scratch, and lately I’ve been flavoring it with things to make it more interesting. The hand-cranked pasta maker takes a little time, but my Son loves to help, so that makes it take even longer. I always looked forward to having my own little child laborer to save me time on various chores, but it looks like he’s going to be at least six before he can sew fake Gucci wallets and sell them on Canal Street. Anyway, our mustard greens are loving the cool weather, so I had them on my mind, and this idea presented itself as I tossed and turned.

The innocent mustard in its natural habitat, just prior to its violent demise.

The innocent mustard in its natural habitat, just prior to meeting its violent demise.

First, the pasta: two eggs, about a cup and a half of flour, and a good glop of Dijon mustard. (If you don’t have any Dijon mustard, just flag down the next Rolls you see and ask nicely.) You make a well in the flour, add the eggs, and beat them in ever-larger circles to incorporate all the flour, then knead it for a minute and put it in the fridge for half an hour or more. Normally I add a little water to get it moist enough, but the mustard did that. A little salt might have been a good idea, but I’m not Superman, for crying out loud.

The dough, moist and willing.

I took the greens and spun them in the food processor with some walnuts, an egg yolk, salt, pepper, some leftover roasted kabocha squash, and a little truffle oil. I love truffle oil. Yes, I feel like an asshole paying $16 for a tiny bottle, but a few drops of truffle oil in the right places will GET YOU LAID. So there’s that. Also, it tastes really really good. Normally I never cook with it, since the aroma is fragile, but I wanted it in the greens, and the pasta-encapsulation thereof would have made that hard later on.

We rolled out the pasta, and assembled the ravioli. Sometimes I like to put a couple of parsley leaves in the top sheet, since they get all stretched out and beautiful, forming a delicate green lace-like leafy pattern that delights and surprises people. Almost as much as the fact that I’m heterosexual. I dropped them in small batches into boiling salted water until they floated. As with goldfish, that means they’re dead, and thus safe to eat.

The ravioli, cowering before their maker.

For the sauce, mustard appeared in a third form- the seeds. We have a good tub of leftover nasturtium butter (nasturtium leaves and flowers puréed in softened butter with a little lemon juice and salt) that I made for a pot-luck brunch on Sunday, so since we didn’t have any regular, manly butter, I used the flower butter instead. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.) I gently browned the butter with some mustard seeds popping away in there, and a couple of sage leaves because I’m pretty sure it’s illegal to brown butter for use as pasta sauce in October without the addition of a couple of sage leaves.

Michelle has blender-cam™, but I have ButterCam®.

Overall, a success; I’ll tinker with the proportions a little, since the greens are strong and really open up one’s third nostril, but it was well received and did showcase Nature’s many-faceted gift that is mustard. The other good news is that I didn’t have to calculate the cost per serving of this meal- and I would have made it up anyway. But you can be sure that even just divided three ways, this fell well under the $5 per person limit. The wine, though- not so much. But you try not drinking while a 4-year-old makes your ravioli.

Also, there was salad.

I’ll be back on Thursday for the down-smackingest smackdown that you’ve seen since last week, in which I hope to make Thomas Keller my bitch proud. Meantime, let’s all send Michelle some good vibes.

0 thoughts on “Excuse me… do you have any Grey Poupon?

  1. Crazy looking stuff you made there. Child labor….why DOES it have such a bad name? I need to procure a well trained ten year old to shake my martinis. My twenty year old nephew has lost interest, dammit!

  2. Michelle,
    WTF! OH… Peter,

    Mustard greens werent actually meant to be eaten. But people do. And my folks made me eat them, and they were nasty.

    OK then I grew up. But it seems there must be something still wrong with them if you are putting “Get Laid Oil” in them to make them edible. Geez, its already wrapped in homemade Pasta and swimmed in butter.

    I could eat this, because I wouldnt buy Truffle stuff for this recipe, so it would be dirt cheap. And if your kids will eat them, your doing better than my mom.

  3. Why if it isn’t Peter. Fancy seeing you here.
    I’m pretty excited about the mustard green/truffle oil combo. That tickles my g-spot with a feather. Can’t wait to try it.

    Hee. you called the dough “moist and willing”.

  4. The fuck? How does someone who’s supposedly out on loony toons break post more than me? Life’s not fair.

    Next time I chop off my finger remind me to have Michelle’s friends.

  5. bb: I bet your nephew would be happy to hold a beer bong for you instead. Martinis are SO 2001.

    Robert: They’re just really sharp- like wasabi. The squash and butter softened that, but they still had a kick. Next time I’d serve these with a piece of fish- like Nobu’s black cod with miso.

    Brittany: You’re a cheap date, and I dig that about you.

    Heather: You know full well that I would post the brains out of your blog if you were ever incapacitated and needed an assist.

    Canarygirl: Nice to meet you, too. I’m glad you liked it; it’s a pleasure and privilege to be here.

  6. Beer bongs?? That is so ’80’s toilet hugger. If martinis are pout of style, you’re hanging with the wrong drinkers!

  7. Lisa: Yes, yes it is. On account of all the sex.

    bb: Your nephew is 20, right? And all things wretched and ’80s are now hip, right? Being the cool Uncle takes some research, and hard work, and that could include funnels of cheap beer is all I’m saying. Hell, bb could even stand for beer bong.

    Laura: Try a few drops in scrambled eggs, or on avocado or goat cheese crostini w/crunchy salt, or on a puréed root vegetable soup. Or a cream sauce for pasta. Or the best damn mac and cheese ever.

  8. You’re heterosexual?! Mother. Fucker. Had I known that I’d have thought twice about allowing you in the dressing room with me. How come your pasta looks awesome after a hand crank? Is it the child labor? I’d totally twat out a kid if it meant better pasta.

  9. Kristie: What happens in the dressing room stays in the dressing room. The pasta looks good DESPITE the child labor, actually, but he’s getting better. He still can’t hold his liquor for shit, though.

    Claudia: I told you you would like her.

  10. just popping in to say that kristie is the new officially licensed commenter for TNS.

    and peter, can’t wait for some hot thomas-on-keller action later tonight.

  11. Hi Michelle. Isn’t she grand? Sorry I haven’t been bolding people’s names. I did wipe my feet, though, before walking across your nice clean blog.

    Donald: Dude. I saw her first.

  12. Pingback: No Curry For Old Men « cookblog

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