Thursday, November 6, 2008

Gloom and Doom Predicted

The financial crisis seems to be abating (but I haven't checked the market today) even though yesterday's Drudge Report headline made me laugh out loud -- the morning after the election, the market took the steepest dive since (fill in a date -- any date.)

It would be irresponsible of me not to recommend some cheap recipes so that we could all survive a Worst Case Scenario should there actually be one (which I seriously doubt, but anyhow...)

Bread and water have been traditional panaceas (along with a catsup packet) for the starving. I was 21 when I moved to New York, promptly ran out of money (who knew a checking account wasn't the same as a charge account?) and my roommate Jane and I survived for a week on cans of Campbell's Tomato Soup (10 cents a can) and crackers.

COOKED WATER SOUP aka "Acquacotta" by Biba Gaggiano
1 oz. dried porcini mushrooms (soaked in 2 cups lukewarm water for 20 minutes)
1/2 cup olive oil
1 lb. fresh mushrooms, thinkly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
2 cups canned Italian tomatoes with juices
4 cups water
pinch of dried red pepper flakes
3 large eggs
1/2 cup Parmesan
8 small slices toasted Italian bread

Drain and rinse the porcinis, then chop them roughly
Heat the oil over high heat, then saute both sets of mushrooms, adding the garlic and 2 T parsley.
Transfer this to a saucepan on high heat; add the tomatoes, water and hot pepper. Bring to a boil, then simmer uncovered 25 to 30 minutes.
Beat the eggs, adding the Parmesan and remaining parsley; put two slices bread in each bowl, cover with the raw egg mixture and then pour the boiling hot soup over the toasts and serve.

24 saltine crackers
4 T melted butter
Topping of choice -- sesame seeds, rye or kosher salt

Turn oven to 400, float the saltines in shallow pans of ice water - about 20 minutes -- then lift out with a slotted spatula, and put them on a greased baking sheet.

Brush the crackers with the melted butter, taking care not to press down. Top with the seeds and bake until the crackers are puffed and golden -- about 20 - 25 minutes. Serve warm or let cool on a wire rack and store them.

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