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Corona Virus Cooking


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Robert Sietsema on Eater:

 

 

It’s amazing how the current epidemic has so quickly reduced our expectations for food. I’ve been cooking for myself for the last month, and even though I’m a good cook, what I’ve been eating lately almost never matches even the most casual restaurant meals I once ate every day.

 

Do you:

 

(a) Disgree

 

(b) Strongly disagree

 

(c ) Want to know where he had been eating

Disagree. In the before-times, I cooked for myself frequently, probably five nights a week, usually one multi-item meal (like fish, spinach and potato) for every three single-bowl meals (like spaghetti or stir fry). These were all pretty much as good as their casual restaurant equivalents, with the exception of fried rice, because I suck at it. Now I make a lot more multi-item meals, because I have a lot more time at home, what with the not needing to go out for work and all. This has made me feel like making more labor-intensive and ambitious things, and to take more care with my cooking, generally.

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Our last meal from someone other than me was this...     pizza from Scarr's.  Their pizza has actually gotten better, in my opinion, as they've worked the crust to near perfection for this style

Why make scallion pancakes when you can make ramp pancakes?

I finally made really good fries at home. so exciting.

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On 4/22/2020 at 10:59 AM, mongo_jones said:

mrs. jones found a packet with 4 costco lamb loin chops in the freezer last weekend. normally, i'd have worried about how long they'd been in there but during the pandemic one is less fastidious. rubbed with a simple mix of toasted and pounded cumin and coriander, seared and served atop a chocolate-curry reduction. not bad at all.

 

behold!

901098325_SearedLambLoinChopw.CurryReduction.jpg.02aba5924f4d3c71ea4a2fad1e00136b.jpg

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Disagree, and wonder what qualifies as a "good cook."

Sure, a lot of meals I throw together quickly aren't restaurant level, but the pork schnitzel cooked in duck fat I recently made was as good as I can remember eating; rabbit two ways; the spatchcocked duck -- not three star, but certainly as good as what I'd call a casual restaurant. This does not make me a restaurant level chef, as doing these things consistently, daily, for a lot of people is a whole different level of skill.

 

 

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On 4/20/2020 at 8:55 PM, bloviatrix said:

I made pasta for the first time ever. Since I rolled it out by hand it was thicker than I would have liked, now I’m thinking I need the roller attachment for my mixer. Served with tomato sauce. The boy, who helped, didn’t like it. So much for the belief that kids are more likely To eat what they had a hand in making.

I decided to invest in the KA pasta roller. The set of roller and 2 cutters was on sale for $150 at Williams-Sonoma. This is solely because we're stuck at home. If not for the virus, it's unlikely I would have decided to try my hand at fresh pasta.

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4 hours ago, Behemoth said:

Tubbs do you use semolina as well as AP flour in your dough? Fresh pasta from just AP I don't like at all. It needs the semolina to give it texture, but then its great. 

Ah I've never done myself! Just from various dinners at very-good-cook friends houses and at restaurants, I've rarely had a fresh pasta that really satisfied. 

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Yesterday dug some vacuum-packed foie gras terrine out of the back of the fridge, served with a salad made from radish greens vinaigrette and pear mostarda. Porcini risotto as a second course for us, and only course for kids.

Today I braised green asparagus in butter, served with eggs en cocotte that were topped with cream and Parmesan bread crumbs. There was “Bratkartoffeln” and smoked salmon for the kids but they actually tried some asparagus and pronounced it “middle”. (Homemade) strawberry Balsamico gelato for dessert. 

Regarding home vs. restaurant cooking, I miss restaurants but cooking at home is probably healthier. Quality is about the same (I think) as most good places but I tend to make simpler meals. 

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Yesterday chicken biryani (ostensibly Sri Lankan style) and a hispi cabbage dish based on this one. The latter was delicious, and occasioned my very first attempt -- eventually successful -- of splitting and grating a coconut. Well the biryani was delicious as well but the cabbage was new to me. Also good is a have lots of fresh grated coconut in the freezer for other projects. 

Tonight was mac and cheese (topped with parmesan breadcrumbs) for the kids. Cocktail for me, because I needed it. 

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One difference I'm seeing with Coronavirus Cooking is that, with the bulk buying it has imposed (at least here in New York), my response to short-lived seasonal items like ramps and morels has changed from, "OMG I'm afraid of finishing that" to "OMG how am I ever going to be able to EAT all that?"

This is not, really, a change for the worse.

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