Coronavirus Menu Blog

Motivation: We're all stuck indoors these days. For us, this means a chance to be more ambitious about what we eat which, in turn, means getting to cook out of those cookbooks which have been too-long ignored. We're particularly anxious to explore James Peterson's Glorious French Food, Joanne Chang's Meyers & Chang At Home, and Dorie Greenspan's Around My French Table.

Posts are now in chronological order!

Friday, April 10

Lunch: Deb had been anxious to make a mac and cheese with gruyère and the recent NYTimes article using cavatappi was a final spur.

Mac and Cheese

Dinner: Hooray! The scallops arrived in excellent shape and we had them as crudo and seared!

Scallop Crudo
Seared Scallops

Saturday, April 11

For reasons unknown I failed to photograph lunch. Perhaps it had to do with what I considered an unpromising combination which Deb assured me was endorsed by Eric Ripert of Le Bernadin: a grilled sandwich of smoked salmon and gruyère. It was fine but you're not missing anything.

Dinner: Our second meal of scallops, improved by having no fat in the pan; brown butter prepared after searing.

Seared Scallops

Sunday, April 12 (Easter)

Finally, it's Easter! We've had a bottle of rye flour, rye crusts, garlic, bay leaf and water fermenting away on the kitchen counter for 5 days so that we'd be prepared to make zurek, a sour rye Polish soup which is the traditional breakfast when returning from 6am mass. We were pleased that Tomasz accompanied us to Euromart, the leading Polish market in Dorcester so we could buy the traditional white sausages for the soup. While there we decided to do what modern Polish housewives do and purchase the sour rye base as a concentrate in a bottle! In any event, after his chef's duty making the soup (for which we decided to use the commercial concentrate rather than our homemade version since it had a stronger and cleaner flavor), Tomasz declared the soup to be "just like home"!

Zurek Soup

We also had another Polish traditional item: deviled eggs. Our Polish cookbook (gift of Tomasz's mother) gave instructions for mushroom and fish, in our case, salmon.

Salmon Deviled Eggs

The main event was leg of lamb, something that as guests of the Fortés each Easter we hadn't cooked in a long time. I followed our traditional preparation out of Julia (mustard-ginger coating) and opted to go low-and-slow so that at 300 degrees it took 2 hours to become medium-rare.

Leg of Lamb

We served it with Michael Field's pilaf and avolemeno sauce.

Lamb with Pilaf

And we finished with our also-traditional lemon tart from Chez Panisse.

Lemon Tart

Monday, April 13

We had a terrific Caesar salad for lunch but the photos both Deb and I remember taking were not in the camera! We'll be doing it again soon.

Dinner: Time to break out the 5lb beef tenderloin from H-Mart! We sous-vided the filet mignons for 90 minutes at 129F and then seared them for 30 seconds on a side. I'm sorry I didn't cut this open so you could see the even pink throughout. Never fear: we'll be doing this again (and again) soon until we've used the whole tenderloin.

Filet Mignon

With the spinach (unsuccessful recipe from Modernist Cuisine at Home) we had our usual frozen french fries.

Frozen Fries Bag
French Fries

Tuesday, April 14

Lunch: One of the best parts of roasting a leg of lamb is the leftovers. We always look forward to Jean-George's roast lamb sandwich from Mercer Kitchen in SoHo: lamb, roasted red pepper, basil mayo, greens on toast served with gaufrettes.

Lamb Sandwich

Here, with the gaufrettes (made on my 40-year-old Bron mandoline).

Lamb Sandwich with Gaufrettes

Coffee Break: I'd been hankering for a while after some more madeleines so made the Lemon Madeleines from Dorie's Baking Chez Moi, the second batch with a lemon glaze that Deb scorned.

Madeleines with Lemon Glaze

Dinner: Deb finally got to make the penne with spicy cauliflower from Franny's in Brooklyn!

![Penne with Spicy Cauliflower:60]{img4/PenneCauliflower.jpg}

Accompanied by the remaining romaine from yesterday (love that Caesar dressing). The many anchovies I add are not yet on the plate!

Caesar Salad

Wednesday, April 15

Lunch: Another round of mac and cheese!

Mac and Cheese

Dinner: Deb was eager to have more tenderloin and even handled the sous vide process, this time at 127, which I consider just right. This time I've managed to open it up so you can see the inside!

Filet with Parsnips

We love to have both ketchup and remoulade with our fries; there's also fleur de sel and avolemono for the beef.

Fries and Condiments

Thursday, April 16

Lunch: Into the freezer again for some of that terrific spanakopita.


Dinner: Finally, we took the path of least resistance which was to walk across Mass Ave to Dumpling House for take-out of their splendid lamb soup and seafood dumplings.

Lamb Soup
Seafood Dumplings