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Deliciously Organic: Garlic Noodles

Deliciously Organic

A blog devoted entirely to simple, wholesome, organic cooking.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Garlic Noodles

Helen multi-tasking

Last week was an incredible week full of laughter and many hours of learning. I faithfully follow many blogs and as I read, I usually create a picture in my mind of what that person is like. Obviously it is based largely on what the writer allows the reader know and then my imagination kicks in. I knew Helen is an amazing photographer and pastry chef with a wonderful sense of humor and meeting her only increased those opinions of her. She is also incredibly quick witted, confident, an extremely hard worker, and a blast to be with (she also makes the strongest coffee known to man, the spoon can literally stand in the cup). I've always wondered how food photographers do what they do, so insightful to sit back and watch her. I saw her play with the light each day depending on what the sun was providing. I’ve known that lighting is crucial when taking pictures of food, but watching her showed me different light can play different roles and change the whole feeling of a photograph. Helen shooting the photography for my cookbook feels like winning the lottery, and that usually only comes around once in a lifetime.

Helen editing on her computer

I learned a few tips that I'm going to be trying in my photography. The first one is to slow down!  The food isn't going anywhere.  The second is to have a little bowl with olive oil and paint brush near-by when taking pictures. If there is a certain part of the food you want to highlight you can simply "paint" it with a little olive oil so that it glistens when the light hits it.  Another huge tip I learned is to let the food cool a bit before taking pictures, otherwise the food will move while the pictures are taken. This entire time I've been taking pictures of piping hot food!  No wonder my garnishes never stayed where I wanted them to stay. What a revelation!

When Helen shoots her photographs there is a moment when she knows she's gotten the shot because she gets a huge Cheshire-cat grin on her face. We are similar in the fact that I also have a "look" about me when I nail the flavor for a recipe.  I do this little dance that involves moving my head back and forth and shaking my hips. 

Checking the light and choosing a cake stand before shooting.  What you can't see is that I'm having to squat because I was way too tall for the table (I'm 5'10").  By the end of the shoot my legs were shaking terribly.
Even her sweet dog gets caught up on the latest cookbooks

I'd never been to Charleston and was very taken by the town. The downtown area is beautiful and rich in history.  Helen's husband is a history professor so we had our own personal tour guide.

I was so enchanted by this entryway

After a week, I arrived home exhausted, but with a smile on my face and craving some comfort food.  Pasta is my ultimate comfort food that I spoon into large bowls for the family on Sunday evenings. I went for the standard spaghetti with fresh marinara for years until I came across this garlic noodle recipe that quickly became our Sunday evening ritual. The noodles are creamy and sweet with loads of garlic in each bite.

I usually use rice pasta because I try to avoid gluten where it's easy to do so. Gluten is not necessarily a bad thing but takes quite a bit of energy for the body to digest so if I can easily substitute wheat pasta with rice pasta then it's an easy alternative. I usually use Tinkyada or Trader Joes pastas.   Both brands taste just like white pasta which is always a bonus!

This week I've had some technical issues with my blog and I realize that a few previous posts were sent out to those of you with an email subscription. My apologies, and hopefully I will soon figure why this has happened. Thanks for your patience!

Garlic Noodles
The recipe which I adapted ever-so-slightly comes from Kat's blog which is a eclectic collaboration of food, photography, and art (she graciously gave me permission to post her recipe)

I also learned last week that Rapunzel (the company who sells rapadura) has changed the label on their sweetener. It no longer says "rapadura" but instead "organic whole cane sugar" even though the product is exactly the same. I will be changing this ingredient name in my posts within the next few weeks so there isn't any confusion.
Serves 4-6

12 ounces spaghetti
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups green onion, chopped
2 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce (can be found in the "Asian" section of the grocery store)
2 tablespoons soy sauce (I prefer Nama Shoyu because it's raw and fermented)
1 tablespoon organic whole cane sugar or Sucanat (to read more click here)
1 tablespoon water
Sesame Seeds (optional)

Bring water to boil in a large pot over high heat. Cook spaghetti to al dente according to package directions.  Drain noodles and set aside.

Melt 5 tablespoons butter over medium heat in a large sauté pan. Stir in garlic and onions and cook for 1-2 minutes until garlic is fragrant and onions begin to soften. Stir in fish sauce, soy sauce, whole cane sugar and 1 tablespoon water. Stir until sugar dissolves. Add noodles and toss until coated. Sprinkle with sesame seeds if desired. Serve immediately.


Anonymous nakedbeet said...

Thanks for the behind the scenes peek. Yes, I'm often timing when I cook to coincide with the best light for the photographs, especially in the winter time. And now I'll have to look at the Rapadura bag I just bought. It's a shame there isn't a wholesale way to get this great sugar in the states. It's so expensive, but I love it!

February 17, 2010 at 8:46 AM  
Blogger Divina Pe said...

Congratulations on your cookbook. I've been out of the loop about what you've been doing. You have a great photographer with and such a great opportunity. Thanks for showing us the behind the scenes. Lighting is a problem for me as well as the space.

February 17, 2010 at 9:17 AM  
Anonymous Meg Kat said...

Oh, I love Tinkyada pasta but I wish we had a Trader Joe's in FL so I could give their brand a try!

Thanks for sharing my recipe and linking back - the photo is beautiful. Good luck with the cookbook :)

P.S. There doesn't seem to be a link at "click here" to read more about Sucanat. Just fyi :)

February 17, 2010 at 10:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks beautiful and simple. Thanks for the idea!

February 17, 2010 at 10:49 AM  
Blogger Tartelette said...

We had such a blast spending those few days with you! Wish work was like this everyday!!

Note to readers/bloggers: I like to let the food be at room temperature if I can/have the luxury of time for a shoot. Doesn't necessarily have to be cold. It just makes my styling job easier for shooting a load of recipes at a time but it's not always feasible for bloggers trying to shoot their dinner before the whole family screams famine!!

February 17, 2010 at 10:59 AM  
Blogger Rachael said...

HOW FUN! I love knowing that you were squatting in that one picture...too funny! I can't wait to see how the book comes out!

February 17, 2010 at 12:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congrats on the book! I look forward to grabbing one off Amazon when it comes out. Hopefully, I can have it signed by the author someday...;)

February 17, 2010 at 3:42 PM  
Anonymous Kitchen Butterfly said...

I'ms miling....because I also take almost hot /wamr food photos. Personally, I think photos of hot food look better than cold, because of the 'colour temperature' and absorption...but I may just be fooling myself! Lovely photos!

February 20, 2010 at 10:57 AM  
Blogger Tartelette said...

Kitchen Butterfly: I agree with you except on days when I have to style and shoot all of them myself. Efficiency dictates the schedule and some things have to be shot lukewarm or cold otherwise I would probably cost the boss a lot more which means I'd never get hired to shoot.

For my personal blog post, I shoot my food warm, not piping hot though because it attracts my ferocious dogs too much!

February 20, 2010 at 11:50 AM  
Anonymous Corrine said...

This recipe looks awesome. Great post and photos. I am excited to see your cookbook!!

February 24, 2010 at 6:44 AM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Carrie, I just tried this tonight and it was delicious! Thanks!

March 2, 2010 at 5:22 PM  
Anonymous Vicki said...

This was sooooo yummy! We were surfing your recipes to see what we wanted to cook tonight and this one hit the spot! ALL 4 kiddos give it a thumbs up!

April 20, 2010 at 2:42 PM  
Blogger Deliciously Organic said...

Vicki: Thanks for the feedback! I'm so glad the kids enjoyed it!

April 21, 2010 at 6:35 AM  
Anonymous marla {family fresh cooking} said...

I had never seen this post...I can only imagine the fun you and Helen had while shooting your book! xo

May 21, 2010 at 6:36 PM  

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