Sunday, May 26, 2013

Reading Group Calzones

Thursday 23 May
Our reading group has switched from Latour's Pasteurization of France to The Practice of Everyday Life by Michel de Certeau.  It is still gnomic and full of French paradox, but less bombastic.  
This time we met at our house to wrestle some meaning out of it.  We just plunked everything out on the table, so that people could hold the book or ipad (and gesture) with one hand and eat with the other. 

Snacks included own cucumber pickles, daikon, and sour tomatoes; wasabi peas; gigantes; and olives. 
Holt had made a double batch of pizza dough, cut out little snack-size pieces, and stuffed them with three kinds of filling: tapanade of artichoke and olive; goat cheese with oven-dried tomatoes; and provolone with pepperoni.  Next time he wants to make them larger, with more stuffing. 
Still, they were tasty and abundant, and so was the discussion.  We'll take the leftovers (both thoughts and calzones) south to Tennessee tomorrow. 

Greek Artichoke Stew with French Chicken

Wednesday 22 May
Whenever we go near Hyde Park, we stop by Kroger's and get a box of their baby artichokes (now $3.99, and a bargain even if you do snap off most of the leaves).  This time, we made Anginares a la Polita with them.
As it happened, we had two chicken thighs left over from Monday's six, so the French chicken was hidden under a Greek vegetable medley.  Apparently they get along together better in food than they do in the Euro zone.

Chicago Gyros - and Dogs

Tuesday 21 May
We were going to a play called "Momus and Aphrodite" (you can see why two classicists might be interested) at the Cincinnati Playwrights' Cooperative.  So rather than going back home from the office, we chose to have a quick meal at Chicago Gyros - and Dogs - on the way.
The gyro was as we remembered it, but without the side of chips, as they now have a fryolator for French fries in their new location.  We also split an Italian combo of Chicago hot beef, an Italian sausage (with perceptible fennel), grilled onions, and peppers, on something called a Gonnella roll, dipped.  It was spicy, fast, and filling, which was just fine.
Down at the Aronoff center, the whole audience (except us) seemed to be related to each other, or at least in the community theater movement.  As for the play, it started as a morality tale, and ended as a sitcom.
"Momus, you got some 'splainin' to do!"

Chicken Célestine

Monday 20 May
We saved some mushrooms from yesterday just to do this with a package of chicken thighs.  It's a favorite one-skillet meal.

Stir Fried Pork with Bok Choy

Sunday 19 May
The Shanghai bok choy that Barbara planted is now springing up in the garden, and unlike our favored Mei Qing Choy, it doesn't develop a succulent stem, but only a few leaves before it bolts.  So she picked a salad spinnerful from the garden for a stir-fry tonight.

There was marinated pork, a sliced onion, a little sliced celery, a few mushrooms, and lots of scallions, much as here.  The bok choy leaves didn't even need to be cut, but thrown in whole at the end, and when they were wilted, enriched with a dab of oyster sauce.

Bundles of Sole

Saturday 18 May
Holt has been tantalized by the long-tailed scallions that one of the farmers at Findlay Market is offering; they are perfect for tying up Bundles of Sole, i.e., sole fillets wrapped around a sheaf of roasted asparagus and tied with parboiled scallions.  

We asked our friend Julie over to help us eat them, and prepared them much as here, but served them with a cream and sorrel sauce (sorrel is having its day in our garden).  

Of course there had to be appetizers first, so Holt made up a batch of olive oil bread and some quick pickles from Rachel Ray's recipe
There were also gigantes in tomato sauce, white anchovies to pile on the bread with tomato coulis, and olives.
When a guest comes, there must be dessert; but to keep it light, we made Alsatian Apple Custards.  There was Graeter's vanilla to top them, but no one wanted to gild the lily, or expand the waistline much farther than it had already gone.