Saturday, June 4, 2016

The Art Assignment: Miso Carbonara with Spicy Jalapeño Sausage and Corn

I know many would not believe me when I say this meal was made for an actual homework assignment for AP Art History. Even my mom didn't. BUT IT'S TRUE! 

So a little bit of context- my art history teacher assigned a project for the end of the year through a website called The Art Assignment, where various artists and innovators share their unique approach to art and provide activities for people to do. It's a really fun and interactive way to look at how art has changed in modern times, and the various manifestations of art in our society today. 

For my project, one of the assignments I picked was Scramble Scrabble Dinner. Basically you play a version of the game Scrabble with a couple friends and make a dish out the words that come up. So out of the letters of my name (Lois Jinju Kim) and my bread bowl mate Michelle Carol Fan (check out her blog!! It's INCREDIBLE!), the words we came up with were- macaroni, flame, chile, china, cram, corn, romaine, oil, links, miso, milk, loaf, and fine. 

As soon as we saw miso and macaroni, we thought MISO PASTA. We decided on making a miso carbonara, because we both have always wanted to eat/make the dish. With the word links, we chose spicy jalapeño chicken sausage. We also added corn, not feeling too sure about how it would taste with the dish but excited to just go with it. Chile was incorporated through crushed red pepper flakes and the jalapeño in the sausage. With the word loaf, we decided to make a bread bowl to hold the pasta. I know, it's crazy and sounds ridiculous but SO RIGHT. For cooking methods, we incorporated flame and oil when cooking the ingredients, china for the plating, cram when stuffing the bread bowl with the pasta, and romaine as a little fresh breath of air and decoration. Oh, and also fine because such a decadent beautiful dish certainly counts as fine dining.

AND THE RESULTS WERE BEYOND INCREDIBLE! Oh man, I still remember how the first bite of the pasta coated with the miso egg sauce exploded with umami, salty, savory flavor in my mouth. Even though this dish was improvised and based on the limitations of the Scrabble game, everything we used worked so well together, even the romaine lettuce we threw on the side. The crunchy freshness was the perfect complement for such a rich dish. 

I loved the addition of miso in the carbonara- it added such a deep, pungent flavor to the pasta that paired perfectly with the sweet corn. The spicy kick of the sausage was the perfect addition to cut through the decadence of the sauce. 

I was expecting the worst coming into this project, thinking that the resulting dish could be inedible but excited for the fun and anticipation of improvisation. I loved the idea of incorporating creativity and twists on the most ordinary, repetitive processes of everyday life. Just because you might not be a master painter or sculptor doesn't mean you're not an artist. Explore your creativity through meals, doing the laundry, washing dishes, and so forth! 

About 2-3 servings

1/2 pound of pasta
Olive oil
1 clove garlic, sliced
6 ounces of sausage, diced (Trader Joe's spicy jalapeño chicken sausage)
1/2 cup cheddar, grated (or parmesan or pecorino)
2 large eggs
1 1/4 tablespoon miso paste
Red pepper flakes
8 ounces of canned corn (about half a can)
1 head of romaine lettuce
Loaf of bread for bread bowl
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Bring a pot of generously salted water (enough to submerge pasta) to a boil. Add pasta, cook until al dente (time depends, around 8-9 minutes for penne). When done, drain the pasta but reserve about 1/2 cup of pasta water.
2. While pasta is cooking, heat a large skillet with a small amount of olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds. Add the sausage. Cook for about 5 minutes. Add the corn to warm it. Remove from heat.
3. Whisk together the miso paste, eggs, cheese, and red pepper flakes. Add pepper to taste. I didn't need extra salt because of the miso.
4. Return the sausage to medium heat. Add half of the reserved pasta water. Toss in the pasta and stir until contents are well incorporated.
5. Remove the pan from heat and add the egg mixture. Stir quickly to avoid the eggs from scrambling. If the sauce is too thick, add more pasta water. 
6. Plate the pasta inside your bread bowl. Top with extra red pepper flakes. Decorate the plate with romaine lettuce leaves. 
7. Prepare to have one hell of a meal.

1 comment:

  1. the best post yet and the photos are making me SO HUNGRY AGAIN. thanks for such a good time fabul <3 we made a true masterpiece that day.