Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Recent Cooking and Dining at Home During the Pandemic

Well, here we are, still working from home, with a few restaurants open for take-away dining or [very-few] for outside dining on the sidewalk, patio, or street.  But, since we truly enjoy cooking, we just keep on keeping on (to quote from Curtis Mayfield, Bob Dylan, and Martin Luther King, Jr.).

We enjoy various pasta dishes and make several with penne, first a penne with lemon, basil, and Parmesan, later a penne with bolognese sauce, each accompanied by a small salad.

Penne with lemon, bolognese

To make good use of our grill, we make filet mignon sliders accompanied by grilled corn and avacado salad with grilled scallions, jalapeno peppers, feta cheese, and lemon zest.  To start, we make gougères, cheese puffs with sage and gruyère.


Preparing the salad

Salad mixed together, dinner is served

And, for desert, homemade Aperol spritz sorbet (Aperol, prosecco, sparkling water, orange juice, lemon juice, sugar, and corn syrup, combined in an electric ice cream maker).

Spritz sorbet

Supporting our local restaurants, we have a take-away dinner from Cholita Linda:  baja fish tacos, carnitas (slow-braised pork) tacos, and pescada frito (local snapper with salsa criola (marinated red onions), rice, salad, and sweet plantains.

Tacos galore and pescada

For a real treat, Laura makes lasagne ala bolognese, which always takes two days as David spends most of the first day making bolognese sauce with ground pork, ground beef, ground veal, red wine, San Marzano tomatoes, and, at the end, milk.  The next day, Laura makes the besciamella sauce with flour, butter, and milk and assembles the lasagna (with fresh noodles from the Pasta Shop at Market Hall Foods in Berkeley).

The sauces: bolognese and besciamella

Assembled, then baked

We start with some fresh anchovies from JP Seafood and accompany the dinner with a bottle of St. Emilion Bordeaux from Bordeaux Classique.

Accompanying our lasagna

We first serve the lasagna with a simple tomato and mozzarella salad.  A few days later, we have leftover lasagna accompanied by a Greek salad of cucumber, bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, red onion, calmata olives, and feta cheese (with a garlic, oregano, Dijon mustard, red wine vinegar dressing).

Served with salads

And, later on, we serve the remaining bolognese sauce that didn't go into the lasagna with pasta, this time mezzi rigatoni.

Great pasta

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