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Quarantine Writing + Omelet for Two

Quarantine Writing + Omelet for Two

Writing is f*&@-ing hard. I have to remember that there’s meaning and progress in days like today, where I manage to submit a mindless, check-the-box piece and then do research for a story only to find the angle on the story needs to change, only to be told to bag it entirely due to page count. Then I get diverted by a book I’m reading and get a slow start on research for a different story and suddenly the day has escaped me.

What do I do? I pour myself into a little domesticity. I whip up a simple, elegant meal (primarily for my husband, because, let’s be honest, I managed to consume an entire bag of barbecued potato chips at the computer). I cook to nourish the one I love, yes, but I also cook to say, “at least I made THAT today.” And then, goddamnit, the writing itch returns, albeit in a form I find more manageable and cathartic — er, blogging — hence a post about what I made for dinner. SO META…

Seriously, though, I think this meal has something to offer all of us who are #quarantinecooking whether we like cooking or not. How’s this for a highly original metaphor:

A fresh green salad and a hearty omelet is the LBD (Little Black Dress) of #quarantinecooking… simple, classic, effortless… and THE highest praise… so Parisian.

Check out my metaphor game!

Let me just spit out the recipe already. Oh wait — one more quick note about words — what I love about #quarantinerecipe exchanges and basically all the recipe cards from my great- and grandmother(s) is the simplicity and directness of the directions. So unlike the specificity and persnickety-ness of the language in our online foodie culture these days… (Although I will say NY Times cooking has been offering some wonderfully simple recipes… I plan to make this one-bowl pound cake at some point in the coming week…)

Ah, I digress! Here you have it:

Omelet for Two

Omelet for Two

Ingredients

  • Butter
  • Bacon
  • One medium gold potato, diced
  • Half medium onion, diced
  • Bunch of fresh chives
  • 2 T. Milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Sprinkle of pepper
  • 4 T. shredded cheese (I used Parmesan)
  • Five eggs

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Cook 1/4 lb of bacon, let cool, chop
  • Heat a cast iron skillet and melt 1-2 Tablespoons of butter
  • Toss diced potato and onion into butter and cook for 10 minutes over medium/medium-low heat, stirring occasionally
  • Whisk together eggs, milk, salt, pepper, chives, & cheese
  • Add cooked bacon to skillet and pour egg mixture over everything
  • Place skillet in hot oven and bake for 15-20 minutes (15 for me)

Serve with fresh green salad. Here’s mine:

Fresh Green Salad

 

 

 

Corona Cooking: Roasted Vegetables Over Polenta

Corona Cooking: Roasted Vegetables Over Polenta

How are you feeling today? I’m keenly aware that I am taking a privileged walk through this global pandemic… and yet I often find myself seized by a vague melancholy borne of solidarity with those who are suffering, the surreal vibe of this whole thing, and the uncertainty of what is yet to come.

I’m sure there is a great deal more I could be doing for the world, but last night I went back to basics and took care of myself and my husband with a soothing bowl of fontina-flavored polenta and roasted veggies. I fight the idea, but caring for me and mine CAN be enough on a Saturday night during these difficult times. At times, it may be the best thing we can do to hunker down and make a satisfying meal. Let’s get to it:

Roasted Veggie Ingredients

  • Veggies (I used two small butternut squash and a pile of Brussels sprouts, but go for what you’ve got on hand — broccoli, carrots, sweet potatoes, turnips… hmm…)
  • Olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Salt (preferably Kosher salt or sea salt)
  • Pepper

Instructions

  • Chop the veggies into chunks
  • Plop into a bowl and season generously with salt and pepper
  • Mix with 3 parts olive oil to 1 part Balsamic vinegar
  • Pour on a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper
  • Roast at 450 degrees Fahrenheit until browned and cooked through, 20-25 minutes

It’s a beautiful transformation… Raw veggies with some seasoning:

Raw Squash

Brussels Sprouts

Become better versions of themselves… roasted!

Roasted veggies

Polenta Ingredients

  • One cup loose polenta
  • One Tablespoon unsalted butter
  • Small wedge of cheese, shredded (I used Fontina, but go at it, Asiago, cheddar, even dollops of goat cheese would be tasty)
  • A few tablespoons of Parmesan cheese
  • 5 cups water

This is what we’re looking at, minus the water:

Polenta prep

Polenta Instructions

  • Bring water to a boil
  • Add polenta, stir, bring back to a boil
  • Turn heat on low and simmer and cook, stirring often, for 40 min (yes this is a dinner to linger over)
  • Mix in cheeses and butter at end once polenta is already cooked

Combine all in a bowl, throw a chopped fresh herb on top, and you get a version of this, courtesy of School Night cookbook:

Cookbook pic

Once you purchase (or find) a container of loose polenta, let your creativity take the reigns and repeat with different veggies or try serving with protein… something in the red meat department would appeal to me…

We capped off this quiet evening with a trip to Forest Park and took comfort in this view: Forest Park view

Peace.

Corona Cooking: Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Hey there! I’m inspired by the simplicity of #QuarantineCooking to share my favorite way to cook and EAT sweet potatoes:

Ingredients

  • Two sweet potatoes
  • 2 T. unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 T. Olive oil
  • Two large garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 T. shredded Parmesan cheese
  • Herb of your choice, fresh or dried

Instructions

  • Peel and cube potatoes and dump into large mixing bowl.
  • Dump all other ingredients into bowl and coat the potatoes.
  • Pour seasoned potatoes onto sheet pan lined with foil or parchment paper.
  • Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for approx. 20 minutes.

Enjoy!

Sweet Potatoes

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