Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Cooking and Dining at Home During the Pandemic

While we are working from home and leaving the house as little as possible, we take the opportunity to make ourselves some great meals.  Our favorite cookbook authors, including Jacques Pepin, Melissa Clark, Ina Garten, Gordon Ramsay, and Mario Batali don't know us, but we sure know them!  We periodically look through their books and online recipes for new ideas and are constantly trying new and interesting-sounding dishes and meals.  There are a few of our old favorites and some new discoveries (many on their way to becoming new favorites).

As the pandemic shutdown begins, it is still Dungeness crab season in the San Francisco Bay area and we pick some fresh crabs and make bisque, accompanied by homemade profiteroles for desert.

 Dungeness crab bisque, profiteroles

A little later, we get more fresh crab and make buttery crab pasta with golden tomatoes and chervil, served with a salad of heirloom tomatoes and buratta.

 Buttery crab pasta

The next week, we have a warm-weather treat, starting with potato chips with blue cheese dip, followed by grilled filet mignon sliders.

 Blue cheese dip, sliders

Almost every week (usually on Monday), we have salmon (either on the grill or, as shown in these cases, oven baked with honey and chervil) and served with rice and butter-steamed vegetables, roasted cauliflower, or (not shown) Yukon Gold new potatoes roasted with fresh herbs and garlic.

Salmon with butter-steamed vegetables, roasted cauliflower

We also try to support our local restaurant take-out-only services every week or two, in this case pizza from East End.


Following that, it's time for shrimp burgers (combining ground up shrimp with panko bread crumbs, mayonnaise, pepper, salt, and cayenne pepper), served with homemade tartar sauce and artichokes.

 Shrimp burgers, artichokes

Next, we make an intriguing dish from a fabulous new cookbook, Melissa Clark's Dinner in French:  mushroom soup, accompanied by a shredded kale salad.

 Mushroom soup with shredded kale salad

For appetizers, we often have anchovies and occasionally get more inspired;  one day we make pizzaettes (tomato/mozzarella, gorgonzola/mushroom/thyme, anchovy).

 Anchovies, pizzaettes

We use more anchovies in another simple, great dish from Dinner in French:  spaghetti with anchovies, tomato, and basil.

 Spaghetti with anchovies, tomato, basil

We try to have fish twice a week (one of them the salmon described above), a second with whatever appeals to us at JP Seafood (halibut, sea bass, scallops, sole, shrimp).  This evening, it's baked halibut with wild mushrooms, accompanied by roasted cauliflower.

 Halibut with wild mushrooms, roasted cauliflower

Once again supporting a local restaurant, we have a take-out meal from Pappo with Liberty Ranch duck legs with polenta and sautéed broccoli, accompanied by macaroni and cheese.

Roasted duck leg, macaroni and cheese

Soon, it's back to Dinner in French for cabbage sauteed with gruyère and jalapenos to accompany garganelli with duck ragu

Cabbage sauteed with gruere and jalapenos, garganelli with duck ragu

Well, that's a few of the meals.  We'll share a few more in the next few blogs (while we wait for the ability to travel again).

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