Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Waffling Leftovers: Chorizo Wrapped Pesta Pasta.

Hopefully by now you know what to expect from my Waffling Leftovers series.  I take random leftovers, and heat them up using the waffle iron.  Simple.  So far, I've shown how the italian basics work: pieces of pizza, chunks of lasagna, and even a slice of eggplant parmesan.  All successes, but, they didn't require any manipulation of the leftovers in order to perform the waffling.  They all just went into the waffle iron, whole, straight from the fridge.  No skill or thought required.

This week, I decided to get slightly more complicated.  I added a step.

The answer to "Will it waffle?" is also more complicated.  Sorta?
The Original: Pesto Bucatini + Sliced Chorizo.
I started with leftover bucatini with pesto.  Unlike the lasagna or eggplant parm, it was clear that the pasta wouldn't hold together without some kind of crust.

I was stumped briefly, and discovered sliced chorizo in my fridge.  Could I wrap it with slices of chorizo, to help it hold form?

Seemed worth a try ...

So, I added slices of chorizo on top.  And then went to move it.  Doh.
In the iron!
Getting it into the waffle iron was rather difficult, as it had no structural integrity.  This should have been a warning sign, but I pushed on, re-assembling it in the iron, patiently covering the top with the slices of meat again.

I left the bottom as it was, no crust, just pasta.
Almost done ...
Like everything I've stuck into the waffle maker, it went through many phases of cooking, including several minutes where it seemed like it definitely wasn't going to work, falling apart as I'd open the lid.

But I know better by now, and just let it do its thing, and, sure enough, soon it reached a state with the top crisping up exactly as I envisioned.  Look at how beautiful that top crust is!
Chorizo wrapped pesto bucatini!
But ... remember how I didn't put a meat layer on the bottom?  Yeah, this was a pretty big flaw, as getting it out of the waffle iron was a bit of a disaster.

Why didn't I?  Well, I was experimenting.  I was worried the meat layer would burn, so I wanted to hedge my bets and only wrap one side.  Plus, I was interested to see if the pasta itself would crisp up on the other side, with direct contact with the grill, since I love crispy bits of pasta.  And maybe the top could hold it all together?  Like I said, experimenting.

The top did form a perfect, crispy, meaty crust.  It was rather awesome actually.  It didn't burnt at all.  Excellent idea (luck?) on my part.

But ... the rest lost all structure.  I was impressed I managed to extract it as well as I did, using a couple of chopsticks slid under it to attempt to maintain the form.  The pasta didn't crisp up at all, which was a bit surprising.

So half success, half fail.  Will it waffle?  Yes, but, next time definitely wrap both sides in meat.


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