September 15, 2010

Peas, Mushrooms, Prosciutto and Cream


To: Roberto
For dinner I was thinking pasta with mushrooms and prosciutto.
recipe gave me the idea...

To: Tracy
RE: Tuesday
That sounds good to me.  Do we have mushrooms and cream? 

To: Roberto
RE: Tuesday
We have mushrooms, but the cream might be past its prime.


Holding the bottle at a safe distance, I peered down the neck, and then, ever so slowly, brought the cream in question up to my nose. Inhale. Surprise. "It smells okay."

"How long has it been in the refrigerator?"

"Over a week. We bought it last Sunday"

"Pour some into a cup and smell it."

I pulled the house designated when-in-doubt-about-the-cream espresso cup from the cabinet. Roberto wrestled frozen peas into the pan.

Slowly, I tilted the bottle. Thick cream ran beneath a film. A tiny glop took exit, splashing into the cup. Followed by another.

"We've got lumps." I bent over the cup and smelled. "But it smells okay."

"Taste it."

I dipped my pinky into the cream. "It tastes okay. Here...Smell...Taste."

Roberto brought the cup up to his nose and then took a tiny sip. "It's not sour. I think it's fine."

"I say we use it."

"We'll need a little more if we're using it."

I brought the cup back to the counter and proceeded to top off the cream. More lumps. "This will have to do. I'm going to throw the rest out." I pulled a demitasse spoon from the drawer and proceeded to fish for rogue glops. "This will be plenty." I said, trying to reassure Roberto, as well as myself.


  1. I love that you have a specially designated cup. I know that feeling just before you taste the cream on your finger, the fear of it tasting rancid and then the huge relief when it's fine. It looks like a very tasty use of week-old cream.

  2. Do you get your cream from a local dairy farm, or at the store? I buy organic, pasteurized - not even raw/local - and it makes me realize how quickly cream can go bad.

    Oh, and your prosciutto looks out of this world - what a beautiful color! I love prosciutto with peas.

  3. Kath - We go through this every time there's cream in the house :)

    margie - We bought this cream at the farmers market (a local dairy) but usually we just buy a small container (organic) from the grocery store. Our state doesn't allow raw, so we're always stuck buying pasteurized.

  4. Oooh, this sounds very River Cafe to me, i.e. perfect!

    As for the cream, we call it Sour Cream after it goes completely clumps ;) Or, add a bit of buttermilk, let sit overnight, and bingo! Creme fraiche!

  5. We're not big milk drinkers, much less cream users (as the husband is lactose-intolerant) so Greek yogurt is our dairy of choice--a dollop or two over pasta or lentils or beans gives you that creamy texture with much less guilt. I wonder how it would go with prosciutto?

  6. how cute...the whole back-n-forth. I would just stir in some milk and boil it down. I usually don't add cream to my pasta-prosiutto-e-piselli. Instead I "manteca" it (stir it with butter, Parmesan and some boiling water from the pasta). Then, I add a sprinkle of chopped parsley.

  7. You know how I love your daily communications about what to make for dinner. Sounds great. Love your new format.

  8. You are a brave woman! I'm not sure I would risk the cream, but feel free to call me a chicken. The dish, however, looks amazing!

  9. elizabeth - We buy cream infrequently...although, lately I have been using it quite a bit...what, with scones and all...I love greek yogurt. I use it to dress salads that I bring for lunch. Delicious and quite guilt free.

    Amelia PS - Lately we've been trying to be very thoughtful about using everything up, not wasting. Next time, though, if in doubt, I'll suggest boiling down some milk instead :)

    Michele - Thank you. It was a blogger accident. I was playing around with the new formats and accidentally hit "apply". I had to scramble and wrestle up a reinvented Amuse-bouche for Two skin. Gotta love those kind of days.

    redmenace - It was tasty. I'm often a chicken. In fact, I would have thrown the cream away if it were any other day :)

  10. Love it, Tracy. :-) I'm a crazy girl who uses things that are ohhhh so close to the overdue date too. :-) They always seem to work out fine! :-)

  11. I let my cream stay forever in the fridge and it always tastes ok, even few weeks past its expiration date :)

    and the pasta looks and sounds fantastic, combination of mushrooms, peas and prosciutto...mmm always delicious :)

  12. Tart - We all just have to be brave, smell and taste :)

    M. - A few hero :)


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