I’ve never been to his restaurants, but I’ve cooked from Momofuku, his cookbook. And now, he’s gone and created Lucky Peach, a quarterly food journal. Parnering with McSweeney’s, Lucky Peach’s first issue is a tome, a 173-page exploration of food. The issue is centered on ramen, from the different versions of it, to the history of it, to the people who make it. Sprinkled throughout are illustrations, cartoons, haikus, conversations. Chang brings in culinary heavy weights Wylie Dufresne and Anthony Bourdain in certain articles, making for humorous revelations.
In other words, it’s not your usual food magazine. It’s got an article exploring the philosophy of food authenticity, and a short story about a supper club in Tokyo. It took me 2 flights and 4 days to finish reading it.
There’s a whole section on recipes using instant ramen noodles. After we got off the plane yesterday, we hightailed it to HEB to buy some ramen so we could start experimenting.
This recipe is simple and delicious. It sounds like a lot of food, but it’s really not. It’s two servings. Not big servings either. It’s tasty, and could be a great side or base for a protein.
Instant Ramen Cacio e Pepe
Makes 2 servings
- 2 cups water
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cups grated pecorino Romano
- Fresh ground pepper
- 2 packages instant ramen, seasoning packets reserved for another use
Combine the water, butter, oil and a healthy dose of fresh black pepper in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring it to a boil.
Stir. Reduce the heat so mixture simmers quickly and steadily. Stir in the cheese. Then immediately add the noodle bricks and keep stirring so the cheese doesn’t clump.
Agitate the noodles, or use a spoon to baste them with the liquid until they’ve started to separate. Once that’s happened, begin stirring them constantly. If it looks like there is way more liquid than the noodles will absorb, pour some out. After 3 to 4 minutes, the noodles should be loose and rehydrated and look tasty. Most of the liquid should be gone.
Split the noodles between two serving bowls. Grind a bunch more black pepper over each bowl, and maybe a little more cheese. Eat.