My Pandemic Diary, Entry #9
Hello Fellow City Cooks,
It’s April 1st and it’s a gorgeous day with lots of blue sky. Finally – the sun! Mark and I got out for an early morning walk, our usual three miles. We saw more car traffic than in the last few days; not too many people, though, which is usual.
Cooking and Groceries
Our steak dinner last night was just what we wanted and needed (apologies to my vegan friends). For our salad, I used two big romaine hearts that pre-dated yesterday’s big shop because I’m trying to practice a version of first in/first out inventory control. Since I was making an unconventional Caesar, I also added some radicchio and a sliced red onion, ingredients I love in any green salad.
For the dressing, I used a recipe from the Food52 Genius Recipes cookbook (which is terrific and I cook from it often) by Frankies Spuntino for their Caesar Salad Dressing that switches out the usual raw egg and oil for mayonnaise. After all, that’s what mayo is – egg and oil. It’s much less work than making a classic Caesar dressing, plus I have two jars of Hellman’s in my pantry, but not that many eggs, so this is an example of how to triage your ingredients: put them where they're best used.
Although Food52 has most of the “genius” recipes from their book on their website, plus a whole lot more they’ve labelled as genius (a little bit of title inflation, I think), I couldn’t find this one. But Google finds everything so here is another site that has it; just scroll down to find the recipe. I always double this recipe and if it makes too much, it will keep for a few days. If you prefer a less creamy dressing for your next salad, just dilute it with either water, or a little oil and lemon juice or vinegar to taste.
But while I was roaming around Food 52, I came upon another excellent Caesar, this one by the talented chef Missy Robbins. It’s from her own wonderful cookbook, Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner … Life. No mayonnaise or egg in this recipe; she uses yogurt.
Dinner tonight will be leftover turkey burgers from Tuesday, plus an Ina Garten recipe for bow tie pasta with broccoli and lemon, although I rather grate the lemon zest than have her little strips; I know it may look prettier and more lemony with the little yellow ribbons but the grated zest will better disperse the lemon flavor throughout the dish. Here’s her recipe.
- Do you take vitamins? Whether you normally do or not, keep in mind that staying indoors and not eating in our usual ways may mean we’re coming up short in vitamin D. Sources I’ve read say we should take 1000-4000 IU, but everyone is different and I am not a doctor. But my doctor told me that it’s essential for bone health and it also supports our immune systems which has never been more important.
- Most of the Fairway stores have been sold. Three were not: Chelsea, Red Hook, and Harlem, although the Harlem parking lot was sold. These three remain owned and operated by what remains of Fairway. The good news is that Fairway plans to keep its three stores open, at least through this crisis. Here are more details in Gothamist.
- Epicurious has launched a campaign to cook together for ten days, complete with their pantry-dependent recipes. I think this looks really helpful and if you’re looking for community, this would be a nice way to find one while also making dinner every day. It’s called Cooking Through It: A (very flexible) 10-Day Meal Plan For Our Current Cooking Moment.
I’m spending the rest of today doing housework, mostly cleaning, and then calling friends. And after dinner tonight I plan to start the dough for a loaf of No-Knead bread which will proof overnight and be ready to bake midday tomorrow. In the meantime, enjoy today’s blue skies.
Stay safe and have a nice dinner.