Cooking | charlie on software

Posts Tagged ‘ cooking

Adventures in Cooking 2: Bucatini ala Charlie


1 large sweet onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and shredded
1/2-1 lb porcini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
3/4 lb pancetta, chopped (i get 4 slices at the largest thickness at the deli)
1 wedge fresh parm cheese (the canned stuff is no good here)
1 lb italian sausage
1 large can of crushed tomatoes
1 large can of tomato sauce
2 tiny cans of tomato paste
3-4 roasted red bell peppers in water, drained and pureed in food processor
fresh basil
italian seasoning
crushed red pepper
olive oil
1 lb bucatini pasta

Carmelize onion in sautee pan olver med-low heat with a bit of olive oil. Set aside. Sautee mushrooms and carrots until soft in olive oil. Set aside. Cook pancetta and italian sausage until pancetta is crispy and sausage is cooked through. Be sure sausage is well broken up into very small pieces. Drain excess fat from pan. In large stock pot, combine combine onions, mushrooms, carrots, meat, tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, red peppers, tomato paste. Stir to combine. Cut off rind from parm wedge and add to pot. Season with seasonings to taste. I go easy with the sugar until it tastes just right. Simmer over low heat for 3-4 hours to reduce. With 30 mins to go in cooking, add basil. When done, cool and store in fridge.

To serve, cook bucatini for 1 minute less than box suggests. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water. Drain pasta and return to pot it was cooked in. Add 1-2 large scoops of sauce per person that is eating (depending on how saucey you like it). Reheat sauce together with pasta over med heat until sauce is hot and bubbly. The extra time with the sauce will finish cooking the pasta. Serve in bowls. Finely grate top with fresh parm cheese, a drizzle of olive oil, and some chopped basil.

“Pasta is not a castle, therefore it should not be floating in a moat of sauce” -Guy Fieri

Adventures in cooking: Coca-Cola pot roast

Today I went out on a limb and tried a new recipe to make a sweet and savory pot roast. It turned out extremely well, so I felt like I would share it here:

Coca-Cola Slow Cooker Pot Roast


  •  1 3-4 lb beef roast
  • 1 can cola (350 ml if pouring into measuring cup)
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 packet of dry onion soup mix
  • (Optional) 4-6 red potatoes
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 1 package either white button or baby portabello mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 packet brown gravy mix
  • 2 tbsp corn starch


  1. Trim roast of all excess fat
  2. Place roast in slow cooker
  3. If desired, quarter potatoes and place around roast
  4. Place carrots and celery around roast
  5. Place mushrooms around and on top of roast
  6. In a large bowl, mix cola, mushroom soup, and onion soup mix until homogeneous
  7. Pour liquid mixture on veggies
  8. Cook on low setting for 8-9 hours
  9. When cooking is complete, place a colander in large sauté pan and pour contents of slow cooker into it
  10. Strain all drippings into sauté pan
  11. In small bowl or coffee cup, mix cornstarch with 3 tbsp water
  12. Heat juices to boiling, add brown gravy mix and cornstarch slurry
  13. Wisk continually until gravy thickens

Serve beef with veggies and gravy. I added homemade mashed potatoes along with it, recipe for those follows.

Serves 5-6

Charlie’s/Emily’s Party Potatoes


  • 3-5 large russet potatoes, usually about 1 potato per serving
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Cayenne pepper to taste
  • 1 small container low fat/fat free cream cheese
  • 1 small container light sour cream
  • 1/2 stick margarine/butter (Optional) (i used orville reddenbocker fat free butter flavored popcorn topping seasoning instead)
  • 1 packet ranch dressing mix
  • (Optional) Paprika


  1. (Optional) Peel skins from potatoes
  2. Cut potatoes into approximately 1 inch cubes and place into large stock pot
  3. Cover potatoes with cold water
  4. Salt water until the salt is noticeable when tasting
  5. Heat pot to boiling
  6. Reduce heat and boil until potatoes are fork tender, roughly 45 minutes depending on potato size
  7. Drain water and return potatoes to pot
  8. Add cream cheese, sour cream, margarine, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, and ranch dressing packet
  9. Beat with hand mixer until smooth and creamy
  10. (Optional) Put mashed potatoes in baking dish, top with pads of butter/margarine, sprinkle with paprika or cayenne, and bake for 20-30 minutes

This was an amazing dinner(s) for me, so maybe someone else will find it worthwhile too!