Friday, July 3, 2020

Cooking and Dining at Home During the Pandemic (Continued)

Laura likes to make (and has become quite accomplished at) risottos.  One of our favorites is stracchino and speck risotto.  We can usually find speck in Markethall Foods in Oakland or Berkeley, but stracchino is a little harder to track down (Eataly has it, but the closest one is in Las Vegas) so we substitute other soft cheeses such as Quattro Portoni-Bufala, Bergamino di Bufala, or Soffice Di Capra (whatever is available in the cheese shop that day).  We cook the risotto with rolls of thin-sliced speck (and the cheese) and top it with speck batons.

 Stracchino and speck risotto

It's time for fish again and we grill swordfish brochettes seasoned with basil and harissa (from Dinner in French), served with sliced tomatoes, avocado, and buratta.

Swordfish brochettes with basil and harissa

Other pasta-based dinners include trofie with green beans, potatoes, and homemade pesto and seafood risotto (with grilled halibut, scallops, and shrimp).

Trofie with pesto, seafood risotto

With the warm weather arriving, it's over to the grill for grilled watermelon, avocado, and shrimp salad (we hadn't grilled watermelon or avocado before - what a great idea).

Grilled watermelon, avocado, and shrimp salad

We return to more pasta dishes:  mezzi rigatoni with anchovies and garlicky bread crumbs and orecchiette with hot Italian sausage and broccoli rabe (both served with French bread and a Greek salad).

Pasta with anchovies and garlicky bread crumbs, orecchiette with sausage and broccoli rabe

If it's Thursday, we should think seafood and this time we choose brown-butter scallops with parsley and lemon, served with rice, French bread, and a small salad.

Brown-butter scallops

We can't forget chicken and we turn to several recipes which we make with thighs - plenty of thighs so there are leftovers to eat later in the week (for lunch and dinner) or to share.  One favorite is crispy mustard-roasted chicken, breading the chicken thighs in a mixture of garlic, thyme, panko bread crumbs, lemon zest, olive oil, and butter (and a little salt and pepper), served with roasted cauliflower and sliced avocados.

Mustard-roasted chicken, roasted cauliflower

Another favorite chicken dish is sheet-pan chicken with jammy tomatoes and pancetta, roasting the thighs (first tossed in a mixture of olive oil, lemon, paprika, garlic, oregano, brown sugar, and cumin) with pancetta, cherry tomatoes, and whole garlic cloves.

 Sheet-pan chicken

It's been another great collection of meals: fun to make and delicious to eat.

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