Whenever I come home from the grocery store, you can bet Crouton is waiting for me in the kitchen, ready to “help” unload the bags. From what I’ve seen, there are two reasons for this. One, she knows that I’ll probably be leaving the refrigerator door open, so she can go foraging for food. Like this:
The second reasons is so she can go digging in the bags, searching for her favorite treats: Lettuce or celery leaves. There was one time, though, that scrounging for greenery got herself
into quite a pickle.
That is Crouton, essentially wearing the Whole Foods grocery bag like a cape around her neck. David says she was testing out her superpowers. Do you see Porter running around, mocking her?
Before you guys think I’m too mean for videotaping it rather than taking it off of her, I want to share a little gem with you. Once I did take it off her neck and set it aside, she didn’t let it go. After hearing strange noises while I was in the living room, I came back to the kitchen and she was wearing the bag AGAIN in the same fashion.
I can’t save Crouton if she won’t save herself.
Sigh. Time for a recipe.
This recipe for Spicy Oyster Fettuccine is like a preview of sorts. We’re running a spread of oyster recipes in the August magazine, and this is the first recipe I tested and photographed. Even though neither David nor I have been oyster fans in the past — growing up in landlocked states, it’s taken me a while to find a taste for seafood other than shrimp (I have no excuse for native, a lower Delaware native) — I found that cooking the oysters actually makes them quite similar to mussels or clams (which I love). So while I handed this batch of pasta over to my managing editor, who loves oysters, we found that our taste-tests weren’t disappointing.
Spicy Oyster Fettuccine
¼ cup butter, plus 2 tablespoons, divided
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (or more, to taste)
24 oysters, shucked
½ cup corn kernels
4 ounces pimento peppers, chopped
½ cup seafood stock (you can substitute veggie stock, if necessary)
1 pound fettuccine (or other flat pasta)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
3 tablespoons thinly sliced green onion
*Optional: Substitute half a pound of shrimp for half the oysters, if desired. You can also add crab meat.
Melt two tablespoons butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, and then whisk in the flour to make a roux. Set aside.
Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain, and set aside.
Sauté the mushrooms, red pepper flakes, and garlic in ¼-cup butter over medium-high heat for two minutes. Add the oysters, corn, and pimentos and sauté for another 2 minutes. Add the stock and bring to a simmer.
Whisk in the roux and stir until the sauce thickens, and then reduce the heat. Fold in the parsley, scallions, and crab meat and cook until heated through. Toss the sauce with the pasta, and serve immediately.