Saturday, June 30, 2012

Spanish Potato Salad

Saturday 30 June
This is one of our warm-weather Spanish staples, so Holt took the opportunity to put it together while our friend David was cutting Barbara's hair this afternoon.
It's nice when the hot chorizo can be mixed with the hot potatoes immediately, so they soak up the spicy oil.  The onion was all white, so we added celery (no bell peppers available), and threw the hot sausage on them first to tenderize a bit.  Then the potato got mixed in and the whole thing sat awhile in its oil and sherry vinegar marinade.  It didn't need to be refrigerated, as we ate it only a few hours later. 

Gazpacho with Cheese Croutons

Friday 29 June
Temperatures look to be in the high 90s all this week, so we wanted something cold and immediate for dinner, especially considering that we had a big Floyd's chicken lunch with Lynne and Tom today.

The solution was gazpacho.  We could have used both tomatoes and tomatillosbut since we had tomatillos yesterday, we stuck to puréed Roma tomatoes and chunks of local cucumber, scattered with scallions, sherry vinegar and good oil, and topped with croutons made of defrosted crescia al formaggio from Easter.

Nacho Mama

Thursday 28 June
This is something we do with vaguely Mexican leftover ingredients when it's too hot to run the oven for Chilaquiles.

In this case, we fried up a half pound of Charles Bare bulk sausage, seasoned with ground cumin, coriander, and a little medium Chimayo chile.  Then we made a salsa of Farmers' Market tomatillos (Holt bought out the stall on Saturday) whizzed up with white onion and cilantro, and dressed with lime. 
The drained juice from that salsa, incidentally, made a very refreshing drink when chilled and mixed with reposado tequila and ice; Holt thought it should be named something like Colorless Green Ideas Sleep Furiously (he is a linguist, after all), but Barbara voted for Tomatillaquila.
Oh, back to dinner.  A layer of tortilla chips got spread on two oven-proof dishes, topped with the drained salsa and now-chorizo-like sausage, and scattered with a mixture of cheeses, jack and colby eked out with swiss (too thick, but it's what we had).  Then the dishes sat under the broiler until the cheeses melted, and we snarfed them down with a couple of beers.

Salmon with Root Rubies and Pearls

Wednesday 27 June
On the day that our mortgage disappeared, we had to have some sparkles to celebrate, i.e. Segura Viudas cava.  There was also an opportune sale on salmon fillets at Kroger, so we got about a pound, cut it into two portions, and patted them with thyme, salt, and a sprinkle of sugar to make a perfect crust when pan-fried. 

Our side dish was extra special too: "Rubies and Pearls" - tiny beets and baby red turnips, each roasted in foil packets until tender, skinned (though the turnips didn't really have to be), dressed with oil, chilled, re-dressed and topped with turnip shoots from the garden.
A special meal for a special occasion.

Steak and Salad

Tuesday 26 June
Defrosted one of those Kroger's extra-thick strip steak, and just seasoned and grilled it. 

Served it with a salad of cucumber, tomato, and garden lettuce.
Incidentally, here Barbara shows off the entire produce of her purple bush bean plantings, which the evil rabbits have been nibbling since they poked their first leaves out of the earth. 

One bean, which we split and ate raw.  

Cod Pieces and Compote from a Historical Novel

Monday 25 June
As we're stranded in the middle of the country, our seafood options are generally based on what Trader Joe's can supply.  This time, it was Pieces of Cod (that pass understanding), defrosted, dredged in seasoned beaten egg, rolled in seasoned panko, and shallow fried in oil.  Nicely crunchy, though finer breadcrumbs would have stuck to the fish better.
Our side dish was fictional: our friend Karen sent us a historical novel called Signora Da Vinci (and now we know why Lorenzo de' Medici was called Il Magnifico) which included a recipe for grape-olive compote.  Unfortunately the amounts were vague, but in a casserole, we combined about a cup of seedless red grapes, about 2/3 cup of pitted Kalamata olives, 2 Tbsp. each of olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and a Tbsp. of fresh thyme leaves.  It baked for an hour at 350º, getting stirred about every 20 minutes. 
The grapes gave off a fair amount of moisture and made it very juicy, so you could halve the oil and vinegar amounts.  But it was sweet, salty, and made a good side dish for the crunchy fish (Lorenzo's very active cod pieces).  It could also be served as bruschetta scattered with crumbled goat cheese, as you like.

Sunday at the Opera

Sunday 24 June
Our niece Caroline had a triumphant debut as First Ragamuffin in the Southern Illinois Music Festival Children's Chorus of La Bohème.  Her co-stars were former Cincinnatian and CCM graduate Gary Seydell as Rodolfo; Gina Galati as a touching Mimi; our nephew Jacob's voice teacher Eric McCluskey as Marcello; and Ashley Wheat stealing scenes as Musetta.
We were in happy emotional rags when we got home - and the temperature outside was in the high 90s - but we had a glass of wine and heated the oven nonetheless to make kale crisps, with kale that Barbara grew and smuggled across state lines, as an appetizer.
The main course was Becky's own pesto and grape tomatoes on whole wheat pasta. 
Bravi tutti!

Saturday at the Shaffers'

Saturday 23 June
We drove down to southern Illinois for a weekend of family, fun, and The Theater.  There were eight of us, but Becky and Steve are accustomed to feeding the masses, and they put together a fine dinner with ease and grace. 
We had sautéed pork medallions topped with balsamic onions and grape tomatoes; oven baked green beans and red-skinned potatoes; and dinner rolls. 
Then we went out to a local park for a rousing performance by the Three Graces Theatre Company of Much Ado About Nothing; lots of fun, with the Benedick hiding under our blanket at one point, and the difficult part of Don John played by a nine-year-old girl with a painted-on goatee. 
Later, we topped quotations with Becky's shortcake, itself topped with ice cream, peaches and blueberries.  Yummm.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Squash "Pasta" Primavera

Friday 22 June
A stand at the Farmers' Market provided one big zucchino and a couple of cute yellow crooknecks.  We were going to slice them into ribbons on the benriner and integrate them with ribbonlike fettucine, but when we got done, there was enough squash that we didn't need any pasta. 

We just made a pan of our usual butter and cream sauce, simmered and thickened with grated asiago and pecorino romano; then quickly cooked the squash "pasta" in it until it was tender.  Plated the squash prettily, and boiled the sauce off a bit more; then topped the plate with prosciutto, also sliced into ribbons.

Though it's high summer, this is as fresh as spring.

Sausages and Chard

Thursday 21 June
We just pan-fried five Trader Joe's mild Italian sausages, and added the tupperful of Indian-spiced chard, left over from Allison's party last Saturday, to heat itself up and steam the sausages at the same time. 
If possible, the chard tasted spicier and even better today; sitting around a while must make its flavors meld.

Pita Pizzas

Wednesday 20 June
Though it's officially the first day of summer, Cincinnati's deep heat has already been beating down on us for a while.  So simple, fresh, and cold dinners (and white wine) are what we crave as we crawl in the door. 
Pita pizzas are really lunch items, but if you slut them up enough, you can fool yourself that you're actually cooking dinner even when you're only spreading bought pitas with comestibles and toasting them in the toaster oven (since only a masochist would run a regular oven these days, despite the air conditioner being on high). 
As we snacked on a slice of canteloupe with Schad's ham, we started by draining about a cupful of plain yogurt to make the first topping for each pita.  You need something to interact between pita and cheese; some pizzaioli use crème fraîche, we're told. 
When the yogurt was drained, we spread a thin layer on the first pita, then topped it with sliced fresh tomato, crumbled goat cheese, moroccan olives, and a few torn basil leaves; each pita gets drizzled with olive oil and broiled in the toaster oven for 10 minutes until its top is beginning to brown. 
While the first one browned for the last few minutes, we prepared the next pita: on the pita and yogurt base, we smeared taramasalata, then topped it with caramelized onion. 
The third one's toppings were more tomato, slivered artichokes in oil, and goat cheese.
As they came out of the broiler, we cut them into unequal halves, as Barbara takes the smaller one and Holt the larger.  Though you can ring almost untold changes on the pita pizza, three was about as much as we could handle.

Chicken with Chez Panisse Beet Greens

Tuesday 19 June
We had leftover legs, wings, and thighs from last Wednesday's roast chicken, and also a beautiful bag of greens from the golden beets.  Hint: when you get those pretty tubers home (goes for beets, radishes, turnips, etc.), detach them from their greens and store them separately; the greens, like lettuce, will keep much better if they're washed, spun dry, put in a bag with a paper towel, and stored in the crisper in the fridge.
We went to the Chez Panisse cookbook to get an interesting recipe for beet greens.  Alice Waters serves them as a dressing for pasta, but they make a fine side dish too.
We used:
2 Tbsp. raisins (instead of currants)
1 big bunch beet greens (1/2+ pounds)
3-4 sprigs fresh mint
1/2 a medium red onion or shallot
1 clove garlic
1 bay leaf
extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
Procedure: cover the raisins with boiling water and let soak for 15 minutes, then drain. While they're soaking, wash the beet greens, strip the leaves from the stems, and cut the leaves into chiffonade, and the stems into 2-inch pieces (if desired). Remove the mint leaves from the stems, wash, and chop them into chiffonade too.  Peel the onion and garlic and chop them both finely. Sauté them with the bay leaf over medium heat in a little olive oil for about 5 minutes, until translucent. Add the beet greens (stems first if you're using them, then leaves a minute or two later) along with the raisins and cook 5 minutes more, covered. Salt and pepper to taste, then stir in the mint leaves and serve.
The greens were unusual - but in a good way.  We may try them on pasta sometime soon.

Steak and Sparrowgrass

Monday 18 June
On one of our first trips to Findlay Market a couple of decades ago, we heard one of the marketeers calling out that he had "nice fresh sparrowgrass."  Sparrowgrass?  Yes, it was extra-thin asparagus, and though we like the etymology of ἀσϕάραγος too, we were happy to get a nice bunch of "grass" on Saturday and roast it today. 
With it we had an extra-thick strip steak, grilled to medium rare.  One needs nothing else.

Mideast Feast

Sunday 17 June
The temperature is climbing again, so while we were making and baking yesterday, we prepared all the ingredients for a cold and instantaneous meal of Greek and Levantine favorites to eat today.
We made tabouli with tomato, scallion, and parsley, according to our favorite Moosewood recipe; taramasalata, using frozen stale pita as a base; tzaziki, letting both the yogurt and cucumber drain first; and a simple salad of more tomato, cucumber, and feta.
There was plenty of fresh pita to scoop it up, so it was a summer breeze to get everything out of the fridge and instantaneously enjoy.

Lemon Pepper Fettucine al Salmone

Saturday 16 June
I guess we last did this particular pairing as long ago as July 2007.

It really needs to be a Saturday to give us enough time to make fresh pasta, especially when Holt adds lemon zest and white pepper.  And this time instead of the normal extra virgin olive oil, he gave it a shot of Barbara's homemade rosemary oil, which made it slightly musky and herbaceous.
Once the fettucine is rolled, cut, and cooked, all it needs is our normal butter and cream sauce, a shot of lemon vodka, and a shower of slivered lox to be pasta heaven.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Allison's Defense Dinner

Friday 15 June
Our student, garden sharecropper, and friend Allison gallantly defended her Ph.D. today, so as a celebration, she and her husband Joe gathered their family and friends for a potluck celebration on the lawn in front of their house. 

For our contribution, Barbara harvested a double basket of the rainbow chard that's been sprouting all over the garden, and cooked it up with Indian spices according to the Madhur Jaffrey recipe we've done before. 
Other items on the big hospitable table included savory barbeque, gluten-free enchiladas, fried chicken, guacamole, blue corn and regular yellow corn chips, hummus, bean salad, zucchini and potato stew with feta, leaf salad, potato salad, and pasta salad.  Oh, and various wines, soft drinks, and beer.
Desserts were Graeter's ice creams (mint chip, raspberry chip, and vanilla), plus delicious homemade plum tart and chocolate-coated macaroons. 
We had some great conversations as we ate the good food, enjoyed watching the various little boys interact with the various large cats, and generally celebrated until the cows came home.  Once they did, we crawled home to sleep, but we remained glad that it all went so well.  Loud and long congratulations to Allison, and much joy to her and her family!  

Canteloupe with Potato Salad Tonnato

Thursday 14 June
Once you buy and open a big canteloupe, you have to keep eating it until it's gone.  Today we served a few slices, with salami as its salty accompaniment, for a starter.
The second course was a hefty potato salad made by pouring the leftover tonnato sauce from Monday over Yukon golds boiled until just tender this morning (Dora, of course, had to participate in that activity).
Another flaked can of tuna fish fleshed the salad out and gave more protein to the meal. 
It would have been even nicer if we didn't have to refrigerate the salad, but we would have had to leave it out all day, and we're too American to do that, even though we now know that mayonnaise is in fact anti-microbial.
Now that we've ruined your appetite, did we mention that this potato salad was delicious?

Roast Chicken with Golden Beets

Wednesday 13 June
At Farmers' Market on Saturday, Holt obtained a beautiful bunch of golden beets (and their greens).  Last night we cut off, washed, and stored the greens for future use, then roasted the little beets in a foil packet at 375º for a half hour until tender.  Then slipped the skins off, cut the beets into quarters, and tossed them in olive oil, white Balsamic, and a tiny sprinkle of kosher salt to have for today.

The main course was chosen to go best with these little golden wonders: a roast chicken from Trader Joe's, with chopped savory, rosemary, and tarragon mashed with butter worked up under its breast skin, convection roasted at 450º until the skin was brown and crispy, then turned down to 350º until done, which wasn't even an hour in total.
We ate the breast meat with the beets - divine - and saved the rest for another day.

Bucatini with Garlic Scape Pesto

Tuesday 12 June
Last fall, Sharon gave us some garlic that Archie Christopherson had grown, and we replanted twelve cloves of it in his memory.  Like that memory, the cloves sprouted green, and stayed green throughout the winter.
Just recently, they sent up garlic scapes, so along with the rest of the hardneck-garlic-growing world, we cut the best of the scapes off, teased the cat with them, and then made garlic scape pesto.

This website (with recipe) tells you the useful fact that you can use the bulbils and what's above them as well as the lower part of the scape for pesto as well.  But almost no one tells you that the lower part of the scape may be hard, and you don't want to eat cellulose.  So we trimmed the hard part off, which was most of it, but ground up the rest of the stalk, the bulbils, and all but the tips of their tufts for this pesto. 

We used 1/2 cup pecorino romano instead of parmesan, and a combination of pistachio and walnuts for the 1/3 cup of nuts.  The resultant pesto was light green, fragrant, and went beautifully with a simple pot of bucatini pasta.

Smoked Turkey Tonnato

Monday 11 June
Remember that turkey breast we smoked a month ago?  Despite eating it in every possible form, we froze a chunk for future use, and figured we'd defrost it now.  
Besides excellent lunchtime sandwiches and salads, we thought just simple slices would go well with homemade tonnato sauce, so Holt whipped up a batch of mayonnaise and made some last night; it needs a bit of rest to be perfect.
So today we had ourselves an elegant cold dinner, with an accompanying glass of cava and a bowlful of cuke slices and salad leaves from the garden.

Cantaloupe with Bluefish Salad

Sunday 10 June
We got a big local cantaloupe at Findlay Market yesterday, and served fat slices with shavings of Schad's ham as our first course.  And since bluefish doesn't last long, we had the tasty leftovers as a big salad with Persian cucumber, tomato, and red onion for course two.

Bluefish with Grilled Salsa Verde

Saturday 9 June
There are a few East Coast specialties we miss in the midwest, and one of them is fresh (or smoked) bluefish.  So when we saw fillets for sale at Luken's, we leapt on them (metaphorically).  Usually we get a whole fish, so we skimmed the web for ideas, and found this recipe for grilled fillet with tomatillo salsa.

Serendipitously, we already had a pound of tomatillos in the crisper, and though we generally like them better raw than cooked, we followed the recipe and threw them on the grill, where they rolled around like they were alive when they got hot.  Thick slices of red onion (with the skin left on to hold them together) joined them, and a half a red bell pepper, as we were going to use pickled rather than fresh jalapeño for the spice.  Once the vegetables got chopped and whizzed and combined with cilantro and salt, we ignored the recipe's instruction to thin it with water - you use lime juice for that, you turkey.
   Continuing our contrariness, we patted fresh lime thyme leaves and chopped rosemary instead of cayenne on the flesh of the fish, and grilled it in our fish basket, which made it easy to flip.
And what a surprise - the fish was succulent with its herbal accompaniment, and the tomatillo salsa was delicious.

Saturday, June 09, 2012

'Ahi Tuna and White Radish Tops and Tails

At Saturday's Farmers' Market, Holt bought what he thought was a bunch of tiny white turnips from an enchanting girl with purple hair.  They turned out to be radishes, so as neither of us cares for them raw, we searched the web for recipes that cooked both radishes and their dewy greens.

We left the little radishes whole, and did them according to hints in New Joy: chopped and sautéed five scallion whites in ample butter; then threw in the radishes (from biggest to smallest), and when they'd warmed up, added about 1/2 cup chicken broth, covered, and simmered for about ten minutes until they were tender.  The scallion greens then got mixed in to wilt.
To go with them, we patted a couple of tuna steaks with ground coriander, cumin, New Mexico chile, and salt, and sautéed them in a hot pan to just over rare.  And to top them (and use the radish greens), we made these Indian-style greens.
We had to make some substitutions, as usual: black sesame instead of nigella seeds, 1/4 of a jalapeño in escabeche for the green chili, and Chimayo red chile flakes for the red chili.
The radishes were actually quite tasty and turnip-like, and the tuna went very well with its green topping.  Luckily we had a Matua Valley Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2011 that could stand up to the spice.  So we'll keep buying from the girl with purple hair.
[Update from one week later: we went back to that stand, and they told us the little white things really were turnips, not radishes.  So we stand corrected, and now know that there's really very little difference.]

Sow and its Farro

Thursday June 7
Please forgive the pun.  We had a nice blob of leftover mushroom and bacon farro from Saturday, which we reheated with a splash of white wine.  To go with it, we defrosted a packet of thin-sliced medallions of pork, patted them with fresh thyme, salt and pepper, and sautéed them briefly until they were brown - such thin slices only take a minute or two to be done.
On the side, a fresh salad of cucumber, thin-shaved fennel, parsley, scallions, oil and tarragon vinegar.

Fettucine with Mushrooms and Asparagus

Wednesday June 6
We had a half pound of white mushrooms, plus the sturdiest of the local asparagus, from what we bought at Findlay Market on Saturday.  Search those terms on Epicurious and list by ratings, and you get this.
As well as the plain mushrooms, we used scallions instead of red onions, and the asparagus needed a boil in the pasta water (stems first, then tips).
Result: like 95% of the Epicurious reviewers, despite the changes, we'd make this again.

Sausage and Chard etc.

Tuesday June 5
The chard in our yard is bolting extravagantly, so we trimmed off the rococo sprouts and chopped the stems and leaves separately for this recipe.
Of course, Dora was wildly interested in the basketful of greens.

We used a half pound of Charles Bare's bulk sausage for the dish, but you've got to be careful with that stuff - it's spicy and salty, so you have to taste before you add more salt.  Instead of lentils, which would have taken 40 minutes to cook, we diced up a big turnip, and therefore added no water, just a slurp of white wine before covering and simmering ca. 20 mins.
It was a savory mess; you could probably substitute any starchy legume or tuber for the lentils and it would still be good.

Enoteca Emilia, O'Bryonville

Monday 4 June
Our new Classics colleague Duncan had come to town to look for an apartment, so a big group of us went out to a new local place, Enoteca Emilia, that is open on Monday nights.  It's a nice space, with a few tables outside, and an upstairs dining area that's quieter - I imagine it gets pretty noisy when the bar fills up.
We started with assorted platters of cheeses (with good honey and quince jam) and locally-produced salumi.  The rosemary grissini were nice and fresh, though the figs stuffed with salami and wrapped in bacon were drenched in red sauce that was all you could taste.
Our wines were pretty good (whites were Donnafugata Anthilia '10 and Taburno Falanghina 10, plus a red Marchese Montefusco Nero d’Avola ’09).
For appetizers, we split a squid and shrimp fennel salad with grilled lemon vinaigrette, and meaty elk terrine with apple-butter mostarda, arugula & granny smith apple.
The mains are all pizza or pasta, and as Barbara didn't want to risk Cincinnati pizza after Rome, we had pasta: cavatelli with rabbit ragù, cavolo nero, and bread crumbs; and over-salty lasagne with merguez ragù, spring peas (I guess - you couldn't taste them in that heavy sauce), pecorino, ricotta salata & (again unnoticeable) mint gremolata.
Though nothing to write home about, Enoteca Emilia has decent salumi and a good space to share with a nice crowd.

Chicken with Asparagus

Sunday 3 June
We bought a couple of sheaves of late local asparagus yesterday at the Farmers' Market, and thought we'd better use them fast. 

Some were thin, some were thick, so we simply sautéed them whole, thickest first, and then gave them a steam under cover until they were tender.  For a quick main, we had the roast chicken parts left over from yesterday (what?! have the same thing two days in a row?!!!) and changed it up by covering it with smoked turkey gravy.

Roast Chicken and Mushroom Farro

Saturday 2 June
We bought a little fryer at Findlay Market this morning, and prepared it very simply: just dried it carefully, salted it inside and outside, and gave it a half hour at 450º, and the rest of the hour at 375º, until it was done. 
The big experiment was our side-dish: farro, which Holt bought on spec, possibly because he's been reading the Georgics - see his website Vergil's Garden, where he explains that farro, Latin far, is emmer, one of the earliest forms of wheat.
We had no idea whether our modern bag of farro was pearled, semi-pearled, or just picked from chaff, but I guess the first, because we didn't have to soak ours for 8 hours the way Lucius Spartacus the gladiator-cook does (if you've got 10 minutes, watch his demonstration of farro soup, including a reading of Catullus - it's priceless).

Instead, we went to this handy list and chose an appetizing recipe that cooked the farro with bacon and mushrooms.
We used regular button mushrooms, though - and you'd have to be nuts to do what they tell you and throw out good bacon fat in order to substitute butter.  Go with the fat you've got!
The resulting more bacony farro was excellent - full-flavored with succulent mushrooms.  We'll be doing this again!
...aut ibi flaua seres mutato sidere farra,
unde prius laetum siliqua quassante legumen... (Georgics I.73-4)

Jean's Cream Tea

Friday 1 June
Though Donald was not feeling well enough to participate, Jean Wellington and a few helpful grad students forged ahead and put on her much-anticipated yearly Cream Tea.
This time the crustless tea sandwiches included salmon and pesto creamcheese and prosciutto with provolone as well as the classic cucumber and butter.   There were scones with and without raisins, plus the whipped cream to dip them in; apricot, raspberry and lemon-jam-filled tarts; brownies; banana bread; chocolate-frosted bûche de Noël; tipsy trifle; fresh strawberries; cashews and chocolate candies; and various poundcakes, including a tasty cinnamon.  Oh, and tea and lemonade.
Once again we scoffed enough to skip dinner, though at around 9 PM, we felt like having one more scone, slightly warmed, with butter and marmalade.  So thanks Jean, and Donald, feel better soon!

Anginares Polita

Thursday May 31
Whenever Barbara is in the Hyde Park Kroger, she picks up a package of baby artichokes, well over a dozen for only $3.  And by now we've had enough protein that we can again contemplate a vegetarian meal, especially if it's a succulent spring artichoke stew, Greek-style. 
We did it pretty much as we have beforebut with a bouquet of fresh parsley and oregano (stems removed at the end), and cooked for only about 30 minutes to be tender and perfect.

Grilled Steak and Zucchini

Wednesday May 30
We're still giving ourselves extra meat, and how much simpler can it get than throwing a strip steak on the (indoor) gas grill?  Added a couple of zucchini, halved and sliced lengthwise but left attached at the stem, so you could dip them in olive oil and fan them out on the same grill.

'Ahi Tuna en Papillote

Tuesday May 29
This is one of our faves when we have a chunk of previously frozen fish.
For two inch-thick steaks, we used a 1/2 bulb of thin-shaved fennel, 2 Yukon golds and a carrot ditto, 1/4 cup chopped moroccan olives, a teaspoon of lemon zest, about 2 teaspoons of fresh thyme and blossoms (which are now making the herb garden look lilac-sprayed), a clove of minced garlic, and a droozle of olive oil.  We wrapped it in parchment.
Sixteen minutes was more than enough to get it to medium, and we could have shaved a few off to get it medium-rare.  We cut open the parchment packages to inhale beautiful fish steam, and garnished with thyme blossoms, for extra elegance.

Veal Chop and Smoky Mash

Monday May 28
Holt ate way too much vegetarian when he was in Canada, and he couldn't get to Antipastos for veal; they wouldn't have let him take meat on the plane anyway.  Luckily we had some already-smuggled veal chops in the freezer, so we could satisfy his hunger. 
We panfried the thyme-patted chops, and boiled up some Yukon golds for mashed potatoes.  To spice it up, we slathered in some smoked turkey gravy left over from two weeks ago Sunday, which had held up really well in the fridge.  And to wake it up, a mouthful of green salad with lettuce and arugula picked from the garden.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Fusilli and Pesto Trapanese

Sunday May 27
Barbara was in Rome for the Asmosia conference for the whole week, staying around the University and eating as often as she could at da Franco ar Vicoletto (Piccolo Molise) (Via dei Falisci, 3, in case you're in the neighborhood).  Despite getting soaked in several thunderstorms, she saw some wonderful old friends, made some nice new ones, and had fiori di zucca, vongole veraci, gelato, and of course cappuccino. 
Holt was at Brock, and though he too enjoyed old friends (and students), he missed all the food action Barbara was having (not to mention Barbara).  So on the whole he got the short end of the stick.
When we got off our two different planes and reunited at home for dinner, we dived into the freezer for the pesto Trapanese we had left over from last time.  It goes well enough on fusilli, but its flavor didn't blow us away even when it was fresh.  Maybe we'll stick with Genovese from now on.

Smoked Turkey Salad

Friday May 18
Despite the fact that we've been eating leftovers of it all this week, there's still a lot left of the smoked turkey breast, even considering that Holt will be having it in his lunch sandwiches all next week too.  It made a great dinner salad, with chopped red bell pepper, celery, scallion, and a mayonnaise dressing.
Tomorrow Barbara leaves for Rome for the Asmosia conference, and on Thursday Holt leaves (ironically) for the Feminism and Classics conference Barbara helped organize at Brock.  So there will be a mercifully short hiatus in dinner descriptions until we're together again. 

Meatloaf Sandwiches and Salad

Thursday May 17
Part of the glory of the end of a meatloaf is cold meatloaf sandwiches with ketchup, pickles/relish, and sliced onion (if that's the way it takes you) on Holt's homemade bran bread. 
On the side, a refreshing salad of giant English cucumber (from Findlay market) and chopped tomatoes (from Madison's, I guess).  

Dinner with Julie and Liz

Wednesday 16 May

This past Sunday's meal, which featured an 8-pound turkey breast and a whole watermelon, produced a lot of leftovers, so we asked Julie and Liz over to help us consume the exact same thing we did then: succulent slices of turkey breast, and a watermelon, feta, olive and mint salad.  We only added a bit of an appetizer: varied olives, and a goat cheese and arugula spread with crackers. 

Thanks to the guests, we sipped several nice wines, and this time the weather was nice enough that we were able to eat out on the porch. 
For dessert, we ate the last of our pastries from Philadelphia.  Still good, as indeed all of it was.