Saturday, September 21, 2013

Fusion cooking: Two Boots pasta!

"Two Boots" roux-and-okra gumbo on pasta.
When I lived, briefly, on New York City's then barely gentrifying "Alphabet City" for a time when I moved to the city to take a job with a national non-profit, one of the great joys of this adventure was discovering the wealth of good cheap ethnic eats that abounded in the East Village and environs.

A favorite was a little bistro called "Two Boots" for its creative fusion of flavors from the boot-shaped lands of Louisiana and Italy.  Since I love both Cajun-Creole and Italian cuisine and can cook both flavors reasonably well, this was a natural mashup for me.

Tonight, faced with a bunch of fresh okra and skinny white Asian eggplant from the garden, but uncertain whether I wanted a pasta dish or a rice dish, Indian or Asian or Italian or ... hey, Cajun!  Two Boots it would be!
I cut up and quick-roasted the eggplant, and while they were roasting (400ºF for about a half-hour) and pasta water was coming to a boil, I fashioned a quick roux-and-okra gumbo.  When the gumbo and pasta were just about done, I stirred the reserved roasted eggplant and onions into the gumbo and used the mix as a spicy, hearty pasta topping.

I realize that this isn't a very specific recipe, but those who cook by instinct and practice as I do will probably find all the info they need from this description, the picture, and the ingredients that I'll list in the post tage.  If you'd like more details on procedure, post a comment and I'll be happy to respond.