Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Last-ditch attempt at a low fat lunch

I'm wagging uni today because of my migraine of two nights ago. I'm petrified of getting another one, so I'm trying not to over-exert myself. I've been short on sleep recently, and I have a very busy week ahead of me - lots of assignments and tests, as well as a massive ball tomorrow night (ticket already paid for, make-up and hair already booked), a friend's 21st this Saturday night, and I had work last night and tonight. I need to rest up as best I can, and the only activity I could cut down on was class today. I'm staying home, studying, cooking and taking it easy, before going to work tonight.

Also, in the spirit of relaxation, going to the gym is out of the question. Theoretically, I should also avoid caffiene, but we all know that's not going to happen.

"Finally!", I hear you cry, "she's back in the kitchen." Here's what I made for lunch today...

107. Fine Pasta with Crab

I've made this pasta once before, before I started the How to Eat project. I wasn't super-keen on it at the time, (I found it dry and too boozey, even for me). However, I firmly believe that everything deserves a second chance. And besides, I had to make it for this project.

I used tinned crabmeat for this - I know, how horrendous - but I always use tinned, simply because getting fresh (or even frozen) crabmeat involves a drive all the way across town, and I just can not be arsed unless fresh meat is absolutely vital to the dish.

This is an Asian flavoured sauce, with garlic, chilli, coriander, lime and spring onions, simmered in wine and stirred through the pasta and crab meat. In the recipe, Nigella says to simmer the brown meat with the wine and aromatics, before adding the white meat at the end, but I would avoid simmering the meat unless it's fresh - it turns dry and feral otherwise, which is what happened last time I made this. Ooh, one more thing, I'd advise using less wine than she stipulates, (I used the remnants of a bottle in the fridge, which ended up being about half, and made up the volume with water). This prevents a too-intense inhalation of alcohol when eating.

It was heaps better this time. I'd definitely be making it again, and soon! As a bonus, in making this I used up loads of the herbs that were perilously close to dying in my fridge. It's a bit fiddly to make (lots of chopping), but not difficult. It's similar in a way, to Nigella's Linguine with Chilli, Crab and Watercress from Forever Summer, which I've made countless times and is one of my absolute favourites. This is a good, low-fat alternative to that one, but no less delicious for it.

Low-fat, delicious, simple, elegant enough to share, but casual enough to eat in front of the TV. All boxes ticked!

Dredge with dried chilli flakes for absolute perfection!

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