I am crushing so hard on Chuck Hughes it's almost hard for me to watch his show, Chuck's Day Off, without getting that panicky feeling you experienced at about age 14 or so when the boy or girl you liked walked into homeroom. Heart starts beating at an irregularly high rate, chest and neck feel a rush of heat that makes you feel a mixture of uncomfortably hot and short of breath, and your stomach flips. And it's all welcomed in the name of unrequited love.
Chuck's Day Off (a Food Network Canada import) is airing on the new Cooking Channel which I'm also crushing on. It's a 24 hour network targeted towards foodies, and I've gotta say, the majority of the shows and content on there have kind of blown me away. They're the perfect combination of edgy meets accessible. And at this point, it's beyond refreshing to flip on a cooking program produced in an imperfect environment (no studio sets here) with hosts that aren't bombarding you with catch-phrases and acronyms, and racing against against a 30 minute clock. But hey, I'm not naming any names.
Last night, while tuning in to see my tat-sleeved dream boy (never thought I'd say that), he was whipping up a tapas party for three lucky ladies (step away, ladies) in which he made an arugula pesto to drizzle over seared slices of chorizo. And while arugula pesto might not be incredibly new and innovative to some of you, it is to the other half. Has it been done before? Well, yes. But I think we can all appreciate a friendly reminder of easy alternatives to perk up our go-to weekly meals. So try switching out the basil for some arugula, throw some linguine into a pot of boiling water, throw a dollop of ricotta on top of the finished product, pour a glass of grassy New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, and start decorating your bedside table with framed pictures of Chuck Hughes like any other normal 20-something would.
Recipe Courtesy of Chuck Hughes
1/2 cup grated romano or parmesan cheese
1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
1 clove garlic
2 big handfuls of packed arugula leaves
A drizzle olive oil
salt and pepper
Grate your cheese.
Pop all ingredients in a food processor or blender and while it’s running drizzle in about ½ cup good olive oil. Season to taste with S&P. If too thick you can thin out with a bit of water.
Photo above courtesy of Food Network Canada
UPDATE: CHUCK HUGHES WILL BE SERVING ICE CREAM OUTSIDE OF CHELSEA MARKET IN A COOKING CHANNEL TRUCK TODAY AT NOON. I DIE.