I have a crush on Rahm Emanuel. I am not obsessive or stalker-ish, nor do I do anything to manifest my infatuation. But when I see a picture of him in the news, as it happened today, I cannot help but think- damn, he is hot. This particular attraction, in my mind, is written off to the ‘I am really getting old and odd’ list alongside other previously-thought oddities like preferring the Hilton hotels to the W, frowning at young couples kissing on park benches, refusing to wear short skirts, and never ever embarking on any connecting flight with the destination being in the continental U.S..
The plan for the confession today had nothing to do with Rahm Emanuel. I just got distracted by a picture of him in the news before I started writing and refused to help myself from dishing about the crush.
I was just going to stick with the cooking-related confessions- in today’s chapter- I hate vegetable peelers. I do. I hate them. Currently, I have two in my possession to hate – a traditional-blade one and a ceramic one. Knives and other sharp kitchen objects are no threat to me but for some reason the peeler always gets me and it strikes where it hurts the most- figuratively speaking- my nails. I love my manicure and to chop off part of the nail polish or sometimes part of the nail itself is just sinful. So generally, aside from carrots, I use a paring knife to peel my veggies.
I did, however, find a use for the dreaded peeler; a good use too: zucchini and summer squash noodles.
Zucchini and Summer Squash Pasta, something I learned from a chef in Seattle this summer
Ingredients: 2 medium zucchini; 1 medium yellow squash; 1 large shallot, peeled and chopped small; 3 tablespoons butter (or more if you are so inclined); 5 springs of Italian parsley, chopped; salt and pepper to taste.
Wash the zucchini and grab the dreaded peeler. You will essentially peel long thin strips of the zucchini off all around the zucchini until you reach the seeds. Discard the part with the seeds. Do the same for the squash.
Toss the zucchini and yellow squash with salt and set aside.
Heat up a couple of tablespoons of butter in a large pan. Add the shallots and cook for 1-2 minutes stirring a couple of times until shallots start to become translucent. Put the zucchini noodles in and stir around to coat with the butter. Sprinkle another pinch of salt in and stir occasionally over 3-5 minutes, until the noodles are tender, limp, and cooked through.
Remove the pan from the heat and toss in the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter. Set the noodles onto a serving plate. Drizzle a few flakes of maldon or kosher salt over it.
Sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley and profess your crushes and hatred of certain kitchen gear.
Photography by Jennifer Olson.