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« A Fall Outing in the Country, with Doughnuts | Main | Strawberry French Toast - Yum! »

Tweet to @Specialforksndy: F#*<k no!! that sounds so nasty!!!!

From Sandy Hu

What’s for dinner?  Most people – as many as 70 percent, according to one survey – don’t have a clue at 4 p.m.

About that time Twitter comes alive with plaintive cries for help, “girl what u cook?”  “im hungry, any ideas for supper??? idk what to cook?” “Ummmm what to cook for dinner?  Any ideas tweeps?”

I, @specialforksndy, come to the rescue!  It’s not easy to respond with recipe ideas in 140 characters or less. Cookbook authors would cringe at what I do – not enough information! (I know, I headed a professional test kitchen and used to edit recipes myself – but this is Twitter.)

Often I get a thank you tweet in response.  Sometimes, people politely say they will make my recipe “one day.”  I feel really validated when someone tweets back that they love the idea and will actually be cooking it up that evening.

Yesterday, I got a not-so-nice surprise, “~@specialforksndy F#*<k no!! that sounds so nasty!!!!~” Well, at first I was taken aback.  In 1,800 tweets, nobody had ever said anything unkind (one return tweet could have been construed as sarcastic; but that was open to interpretation and I choose not to see it that way.)

So I checked back to see what kind of recipe I had tweeted, and if you’re not a real food person, it did sound kind of nasty: “Mix dried tomato strips w/minced drained anchovies, garlic & parsley & drizzle of olive oil as topping for your spaghetti.”  It really is GOOD, but hard to explain in twitter format.

Just to prove it, I am taking this space to give it to you as a recipe. (And we’ll demo it in our Video Friday slot.) It can be made with pantry staples, if you keep these ingredients in your pantry.  And anchovies really are good when minced and mixed with the tomatoes.  Like Southeast Asian fish sauce, they’re potent, but they lend flavor to a dish.

The hardest part about answering what-to-cook questions for people who need the answer in the hour, is anticipating what’s in their pantry.  There are so many simple things to cook if you have the ingredients.

Do they have balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, soy sauce or miso?  Do they have a wedge of Cheddar?  Potatoes?  You have to guess.  If all else, fails, I try an idea for eggs.  If people seem like they’re in a hurry or not feeling like cooking, I suggested grilled cheese sandwiches in various combinations.

The best part of Twitter is making new friends such as @janettwokay who tweets about special contests and deals, and is a dedicated mother.  I know that @thelittlekitchn, has a heart of gold, loves all animals (rescued a baby squirrel and called him Dillinger) and is an amazing amateur cake decorator.  My new BFF is @butterflymaven, a health and weight loss coach who has been so supportive and gives me encouragement with generous #FFs (recommendations to her followers).

I hope you’ll follow me on Twitter @specialforksndy. I reci-tweet Mon-Fri abt 3pm PST w/dinner ideas.

But if I do send a recipe your way, be kind.  : )

Linguine with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Anchovies
1 pound linguine
¼ cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (2 ounces) anchovies in olive oil, drained and minced
3/4 cup dried tomato strips in olive oil, drained and roughly chopped
½ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
Salt and pepper, to taste

Cook linguine following package directions.  Meanwhile, heat oil in large skillet over medium heat; add garlic and cook, stirring, until it just begins to color and mixture is fragrant, a few seconds, then stir in anchovies. (Anchovies may spatter.) Add tomato strips and heat through.

When pasta is cooked, drain, saving ½ cup of pasta water.  Add pasta to skillet and toss to coat with the sauce. Add parsley and toss again.  If pasta seems dry, add a little of the pasta water. Salt and pepper to taste.

Makes 4 servings.

TIP: If you have short-handled salad servers, the kind that look like hands, use them to toss the pasta to get an even distribution of ingredients.

Special Fork bloggers blog Monday through Friday. For more recipes and ideas on your smartphone, check us out at Join the conversation on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @specialforksndy.

Reader Comments (4)

Another well-written blog entry by Sandy. I enjoyed reading it very much. You handled the obscene tweet with style & panache -- way better than I would have handled it, LOL!

October 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJanet

Thanks, Janet! Takes all kinds. I am still having lots of fun answering those what-to-cook questions and making Twitter friends like you!

October 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSandy Hu

OOh, I would have been upset if someone tweeted that back to me. Thanks for sharing the recipe. I wish my husband would eat anchovies and you know what? He loves pho and other Vietnamese foods but the thought of fish sauce scares him...he would much rather not know it's in there.

I love twitter for the very same reasons you do, I have gotten to so much encouragement and support from it and I love that I "met" you on twitter and have a new friend too! :)

October 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJulieD

It's not upsetting when I know there are such great people like you out there in the Twitter universe. You were one of the first people I connected with, when you were still tweeting under the cupcake pic.

Funny about anchovies. When they're minced so finely, they potency is so dispersed, but I can see it's a love or hate thing.

October 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSandy Hu

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