Often means eating alone
Aaah....... I think it’s all blown over now, the festive period I mean; I do love it all, but once the decorations make their way back to the loft, there is this blissful feeling of relief, and I don’t even have a husband, children or a Christmas dinner to contend with. Of course, I love the sales that come before, during and after as well, but I do hate the hustle and bustle of scavenging for a parking space or rummaging through screwn discounted goods that have fallen off the clothes rail, so I prefer to let things calm down before I go traipsing through the stores for my sales treats; I’m willing to risk missing out on a good bargain just to avoid the chaos.
Now, call me Billy No Mates, a recluse or a loaner but I must confess that I’m not all that keen on going shopping with other people. I can be quite impatient, so if I have to stand around gawping at what my friends are admiring or trying on, I tend to get somewhat irritable and truth be told, I’m conscious that I can be very irritating to shop with too because I’m quite indecisive and I spend a lot of time idolizing pieces that I can’t afford or don’t need. I just like my own space (in terms of nobody accompanying me personally) when I’m perusing the shops, especially if it’s for something in particular. So this week, with pretty much everybody back at work, including my friends, I had a little snoop around the Bullring - our main shopping centre.
With shopping alone, comes eating alone. My shopping sprees (window-shopping or otherwise) usually last about four hours so by that time, being the foodie that I am, I like to treat myself to a meal. I don’t prefer to dine alone in a restaurant, but I certainly don’t have a problem with it; I probably do it at least three times a month. My favourite cuisines are Italian and Thai. My last meal out, alone, was Italian and I treated myself to one of my all-time favourite dishes, Penne Carbonara - I’m not very adventurous I know. Carbonara is probably one of the most calorific dishes on the Italian menu thanks to its rich, creamy sauce, but boy it tastes good, especially if you go to a top-notch Italian. Anyway sitting there, by myself, deep in thought, I started to think about how I could make one of my favourite dishes a little less calorific and here was my attempt: swop some of the full fat creamy ingredients for low fat fromage frais, although be warned it can curdle if you leave it too long. The instructions serve 4.
I used tagliatelle pasta and cooked it al dente, just how I like it, whilst I prepared the carbonara sauce.
I decided to substitute the pancetta for smoked salmon (I've eaten more than enough red meat over Christmas) and lightly fried the salmon in a tablespoon of olive oil.
Mix together 70g of parmesan cheese (I used Grana Padano for its sweet and nutty flavour; use a low fat parmesan if available), 5 tablespoons of fat free fromage frais and 3 egg yolks and a sprinkle of black pepper (although I don’t like pepper). Add this mixture to the pan.
Stir in the cooked, drained pasta and top with some chopped parsley or basil. Voila!
What’s your favourite type of restaurant/cuisine and what’s your favourite dish? Do you mind eating alone in a restaurant?
(I bet you thought this was going to be a post on what I bought in the sales didn't you!)