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. We're also rooting through old standbys like David Rosengarden's It's All American Food and Jean-George's The Asian Flavors of Jean-George.
“So much delicious food, so little time.”
Friday, June 5
Lunch: Two white things which are not very photogenic: I had the remaining Polish pickled herring in sour cream and Deb had cottage cheese.
Dinner: Another Times recipe, this time for potato pizza with a garlic cream sauce. We added tiny balls of Italian sausage just for good measure.
Saturday, June 6
Lunch: When casting about for a lunch dish, we remembered that we had a lot of home-ground chuck in the freezer. That was easy! Althoug it looks a bit underdone in the photo, the residual cooking continued and it was properly medium-rare in the end.
I'd made some more baklava rolls because they provide exactly the right amount of sweetness for me at the end of a meal.
Dinner: I've decided that magret is one of the most enjoyable meals I've ever eaten (Deb agrees). So little surprise that it appears often.
Sunday, June 7
Lunch: Looking forward to a big dinner with Tomasz, we only needed a small meal. This time Shrimp Dumplings from H-Mart!
Dinner: We first had Buffalo Chicken Wings with Tomasz shortly after he arrived almost two years ago (but not since) as we thought it was a quintessentially American item. Tonight with Deb's macaroni salad and some garlic flatbread.
Monday, June 8
Lunch: We were fascinated by an omelette recipe in the Times by Ferran Adria from his book Family Meals: it was only eggs and potato chips! We added some chive for flavor and color; we should have added the salt and pepper as well. One beats the eggs vigorously for 4 minutes which produces a very fluffy omelette.
Dinner: We were so impressed with the many things one can do with beef tenderloin that we wanted to have the problem of eating a whole one; so we bought another one. We were ready to make Tournedos Rossini when we realized that we didn't have any black truffles, so you'll have to wait a few days for that. Instead, just plain old filet mignon again sous-vide'd for 90 minutes at 129°F and seared. Here, it's topped with anchovie butter; you can see a stray anchovie in the rear!
Tuesday, June 9
Lunch: We only wanted something simple so spaghetti with the tomato sauce left over from the pizza sounded just about right.
Dinner: The current issue of Cook's Illustrated is one of the best in a long while. We were intrigued by a recipe for Fish Tagine; although we have a never-used tagine, we cooked it in the 1960s Copco dutch oven. It was a success!
Wednesday, June 10
Lunch: Still pretending we're in Italy, our lunch was Melone e Prosciutto.
Dinner: We had Tomasz over for dinner and thought he'd enjoy some Ma Po Tofu. We knew for certain that we'd enjoy some Ma Po Tofu; I seem to have concocted the perfect recipe (which I'll post soon). Deb seems to have conquered her aversion to tofu so this dish will be in heavy rotation from now on. (Which reminds me of how long it's been since we could get a roast duck from Chinatown for Peking Duck.)
Thursday, June 11
Lunch: With the wonderful warm weather, we're eating on the porch and were happy to have another Caesar Salad (the Bon Appetit recipe is really spot-on).
Dinner: One of the things we hadn't done with the first tenderloin was beef fondue. For many years we flew to Philadelphia to visit Frances and Fred and their two children. We could alway count on being served beef fondue on Friday evening; it became a great favorite of Sam. (On Saturday we went out to a restaurant. In fact, Frances has never served me any dish that she's cooked; imagine that!) There are so many elements of beef fondue that you'll just have to puzzle over this picture of the table.
We also had our first artichoke of the season, very large and fat with a surprisingly small heart.
And finally, to top it all off, we had our first cherry tart of the season (as we would have in Lucca) with some stunning early dark cherries.