January 16 – January 22, 2023
Monday: Pasta with Turkey Paprikash
Tuesday: Lincoln Avenue Brewery
Wednesday: Rotisserie Chicken, Mushroom Salad w/Wilted Arugula & Manchego
Thursday: Dunnnings Night at the Cornerstone
Friday: Fish Tacos and Quesadillas from Mad Mex
Saturday: Dinner at David and Louise’s
Sunday: Sunday Gravy with Tagliatelle and Green Salad
On Sunday, our meal was a mighty endeavor. It took an hour of searing, four hours of simmering, and many well-timed parts to come together. But ribs, sausages and meatballs served alongside tagliatelle in a long-simmered Sunday gravy, is worth a good chunk of time. However, I’m not going to share that recipe with you, in part, because I already did, back on October 23rd, 2021 (how could you forget?), and in part, because that kind of cooking was not representative of our week and I don’t want to start yours off by giving you a half-day task.
Here is how our leisurely, retired, week (not this week, but last – try to keep up) went:
On Monday we had, for the most part, leftovers from the Chicken Paprikash (the recipe we shared with you last week).
On Tuesday we travelled with Tim and Hilda to the Lincoln Avenue Brewery in Bellevue to see if their Reuben Sandwich was as good as advertised. It was and Hilda got us roped into a game of trivia in which our failure was only exceeded by our laughter.
On Thursday I went to The Cornerstone and ate a burger and drank with my friends from the Dunnings Group.
And on Friday evening Beez and I ate the leftovers from our lunch at Max Mex.
Saturday was a fine night out, courtesy of David and Louise – her good food, his astonishing sound system and music and a model train set-up that took us all back to our youth.
The only weekday on which we actually cooked – Wednesday – we simply added a salad to our grocery-store rotisserie chicken. But what a salad! It’s from Deborah Madison’s useful and beautiful Vegetable Literacy. Madison is a fine cook, albeit unbalanced by her vegetable addiction.* I recommend that you get her book and, while remembering to cook lots of meat, give those vegetables a try. The salad we had on Wednesday took a minimal amount of effort to create big flavor – it was a revelation.
*This is my own opinion and highly slanted, but then that’s what you pay me for.
WILTED ARUGULA AND SEARED MUSHROOM SALAD
(adapted from Deborah Madison, Vegetable Literacy)
Timing: 15 minutes
Ingredients: Serves 4
4 large Portabello Mushrooms (we used about 10 ounces of cremini mushrooms)
4 large handfuls of arugula
Chunk of Manchego Cheese
1 large shallot, finely diced
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar (sherry vinegar, with its sweetness, works well)
Sea salt and ground black pepper
If using Portabellos, remove stems, quarter and scrape out the gills
If using Cremini (my suggestion) halve the mushrooms
Finely dice the shallot
Find a pan that will hold the mushrooms in a single layer.
Make the Vinaigrette and Sauté the Mushrooms:
You can make the vinaigrette while the mushrooms are sautéing, or just do it ahead.
Combine shallot, vinegar and ¼ teaspoon salt in a bowl and let sit for 10 minutes, then whisk in the oil.
Put enough oil in the pan to cover the bottom, generously (the mushrooms will drink up a good bit of oil). Warm the oil over medium-high.
When the oil is hot, add the mushrooms and cook, turning from time to time, until they are well browned (6-8 minutes). Adjust heat as needed. Season well with salt and pepper. Arrange the mushrooms on 4 individual plates.
Now, using the pan you cooked the mushrooms in (for its residual heat), pour in the vinaigrette (it should sizzle right away – if you have been distracted and the pan has cooled, you’ll need to heat it up a bit) and toss in the arugula and use tongs to turn and coat until just wilted – don’t cook it.
Place the arugula on each plate and shave some slices of the Manchego on top.
Note: we had some diced red pepper and tossed that into the pan as we wilted the arugula. It gave a nice pop of color and the sweetness of the pepper worked well with the salad.