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dwt

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  1. Yesterday was hamburgers, potato salad, and mixed green salad with onion, avocado, celery etc. The latter two were made by my favorite person in the whole world ❤️. The burgers turned out well, as in well-done. I'm out of practice cooking with charcoal and I"m now convinced my so-called "instant read" thermometer reads low. Fortunately, the ground beef had enough fat content (20%) to keep the burgers from drying out. Tonight I think we'll do prosciutto-wrapped cod, a simple pasta, and steamed fresh broccoli.
  2. Leftover meatballs from Sunday, which were a tribute to Marisa: I made pasta instead of polenta. I've made this with polenta before and either way it's wonderful. This recipe liberated me from browning the meatballs and making a mess of the stove top with splattered grease. The flavor of the tomato sauce and meatballs is just fine as long as the ground beef has enough fat content. I lust after the polenta stirring machine in the video. If I had one, I'd make polenta more often.
  3. Phoned it in tonight. Spaghetti alla carbonara with steamed frozen peas on the side. I used WF 365 organic smoked bacon which paled in comparison to the flavor contributed by the speck (La Quercia) I used for the previous iteration of this, one of my go-to dishes. But that's one of the charms of making carbonara dish as a home cook. On rare occasion I score an "A", other times it ranges from blah to passable.
  4. Tonight was skewers. First up on the grill: skewers of cremini mushrooms, red bell pepper, and vidalia onion tossed in olive oil with freshly ground black pepper, sea salt, and chopped fresh rosemary (I'm going to jinx myself, but I feel compelled to mention my rosemary plant is looking particularly healthy this year). Then big fat sea scallops, tossed in olive oil and minced garlic, with paprika, salt and black pepper generously applied. I served the veggies over greens, dressed however the customer chose. Just a simple meal which probably tasted better because it was consumed outside on a beautiful evening with the best person I know.
  5. Last night was pan-seared arctic char with a ginger/soy/mirin glaze, served with lime slices and chopped scallions. Sides were steamed green beans, and farro sautéed with shallots in olive oil, the pan deglazed with dry white wine (Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc) and then finished with a simmer in 50/50 water and chicken stock. The rest of the wine wound up in our glasses.
  6. If I lived closer I'd drop off a bungee cord for you. I like to keep a couple on hand as they do come in handy, like when a raccoon was getting into our garbage can -- lashed the lid on and attached one end of the cord to a porch railing (She had been climbing onto the railing and then knocking the can over popping the lid off. Then she and her kids would feast). Last night I made house-cured pork loin chops from the Zuni Cafe cookbook. I only brined the chops for 24 hours and would like to try a longer soak next time. They turned out well, if a little sweet for my taste. I first cooked them low-and-slow in the Weber kettle to get a little smoke flavor and then seared/finished them on the gas grill. Sides were steamed fresh English peas with a couple carrots thrown in, and leftover penne in a simple tomato sauce.
  7. Tonight was arctic char marinated in soy sauce, mirin, grated fresh ginger, and olive oil then grilled. Sides were simple, as usual: buttered cavatelli and steamed fresh haricot vert.
  8. I've written off one of our local spots for takeout because over 2 visits the front-of-the house person was not wearing a mask (I know, I shouldn't have gone back after the first incident) and the 2nd time I went to pick up our order he violated my personal space (remember that throw-back phrase?) when he came around from behind the counter to fetch a bottle of wine. I would name names, but Dean is right -- I should contact the establishment first before outing them. On a happier note, The Daily Dish is killing it https://thedailydishrestaurant.ordereze.net. We've been regular customers for years and we are very impressed with their takeout game. I'd been reluctant to order fish until Sietsema wrote that he'd had good experiences with takeout. I had their red snapper loin recently that was cooked perfectly and survived the 10-minute trip beautifully. The accompanying risotto was so good that I ate way more of it than I should. And their family meal options have been great, saving me from cooking at least one night weekly.
  9. Burnout was a problem for me well before the current stay-at-home situation. I would often get in a rut cooking things that were simple/easy after leaving work and, often, stopping by the gym on the way home. I've had to change things up when my SO protested that "this is the third week in a row we've had X". Dining out at least once a week was an absolute necessity. I'm jealous of Pat, Dean, and others for the amazing variety of dishes they prepare. Maybe I just need to retire so I have more time . I have so many cookbooks from which I've prepared only 1 or 2 dishes (apologies to the late, great Judy Rodgers). Last night was pan-seared boneless pork loin chops with a simple sauce of white wine, chicken stock, garlic, and rosemary from the garden. Sides were steamed fresh broccoli and leftover fresh linguine (La Pasta) with mushroom sauce. Tonight will be spaghetti alla carbonara. I don't have my preferred guanciale but will make do with some speck.
  10. Last night I conflated two traditional pasta sauces: Arrabbiata and Amatriciana. I had a leftover slice of North Country Smokehouse organic applewood-smoked bacon which, when I found it lurking in the fridge, became the inspiration for the dish. The rest of the ingredients were a mish-mash of those that go into the two traditional sauces and a couple of outliers: garlic, onion (actually shallot), red pepper flakes, parsley, white wine, and parmigiano (wish I had some Romano, which would have improved the flavor). I used dried fettucine instead of the more traditional bucattini or penne. I thought it turned out rather well, worthy of at least a C+. On the side was steamed fresh organic broccoli. That bacon, BTW, is quite good (found it at WF). It has a little brown sugar and molasses in the mix, but it doesn't come across as sweet. The smoke/salt/fat/sugar flavors are nicely balanced.
  11. I miss baseball: the ballpark, the radio with Dave and Charlie, TV with Bob and FP,, and the wonderful team that awarded us with countless moments of joy last season. sigh! Tonight was NY strip steak on the gas grill (feeling too lazy to do charcoal). I made the unfortunate choice of serving WholePaycheck 365 organic couscous, lemon and herb flavored. The lemon tasted phony, like truffle oil versus actual truffles. This was accompanied by a simple salad of arugula and hothouse tomatoes with vinaigrette. I think I could eat arugula every day and not get tired of it.
  12. I feel the same. Haven't informed the SO that dinner will be leftovers. If I get significant push-back, I might need to step up my game in the interest of domestic tranquillity😉 Last night, I fired up the charcoal grill for the first time in months and slow cooked/hot smoked Atlantic salmon fillets, which turned out nicely. Sides were steamed fresh asparagus and leftover spaghetti with mushroom sauce.
  13. I've been a fan of these folks for several years: https://www.tbcroasters.com. Their products used to be stocked by Whole Foods, specifically in Silver Spring, but were dropped for no good reason a while ago. WF told them they were located too far away, yet the same store stocks La Colombe, which is about the same distance away in Philadelphia. Trager Bros have 2 Virginia locations in Lovingston and Afton. Their coffee might still be on the shelves at MOMs markets but I haven't checked in a while. I've been ordering from their online store. My go-to is the whole-bean, dark espresso. It's one of my life's little pleasures to open a new bag and smell the freshly roasted, oily beans (yes, they are oily). If you give them a try, let me know what you think.
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