Covid19 has restricted my buying habits to a great extent—I can no longer shop multiple ethnic stores to get just the right ingredients. As a result, I have been making mostly “old favorites” that have easily obtained ingredients. This dish has become an almost weekly meal in my house—and not just because it takes only about ten minutes to put on the table. This dish is not so much a recipe, but an assembly of ingredients—the only “cooking” required is a few minutes in the microwave to soften the pita bread and to warm up the falafel balls.
The May/June issue of Cook’s Illustrated had an article about Dutch babies. In modern recipes, this is a spectacular large pancake with a crisp edge and a custardy center. I pared down the original recipe to make enough for three hungry people and added a few twists of my own. I have made this dish several times, but I have yet to get the ideal Dutch baby—the flaring edges should be fairly evenly raised all around the pancake—mine tended to end up lopsided. Still the flavor and texture are exceptional. Dutch babies are frequently topped with lemon and powdered sugar or fruit compote.
This Sunday’s Mercury News food section had a recipe for lobster spaghetti. As my followers may know, I cannot make any recipe as written—I have to add my own twists. Italian food with no onion—“Inconceivable!!!!”
Note: I have not posted any recipes in months. Some have used this time productively—for example my wife who has just written her 11th book. Part of my hiatus was due to the difficulty of shopping these days. The major reason, however, was that my kids—in concern for my mental health during a time of Covid—convinced me to play Dragon Age and Skyrim. It has taken me months to resurface—but their plan did work in the sense that those months just flew by. When I finally tried to post something new, I found that WordPress had taken away my “classic editor” and replaced it with a blank screen where all of the controls were hidden in long drop-down menus. It took me a while to recover from the shock. Continue reading
Adapted from a Sophisticated Gourmet recipe
My family has been hankering for bagels, but with the current crisis I am not going to rush out and buy some. Looking online, I found a reasonable recipe and I gave it a try. It was incredibly easy and put all of the store bought bagels to shame.
My wife Jan had a hunger for oat muffins/cookies. She sent me a recipe and I disagreed with almost everything about it—too much flour, oil, and sugar, not enough oats or cinnamon. While I very loosely based this on that recipe, I changed almost everything.
In the past, I have railed against “add can one to can two” recipes. Given the current Covid crisis, I find I must change my opinion on this subject. When you cannot go out shopping every day for fresh food, all you may have are a couple of cans of foods. Needs must!
Wife Jan asked for oat muffins for breakfast, while I was up to my elbows in flour making hand pies, I said I would do it. Normally, I would make banana oat muffins with pecans and blueberries, but when I checked my supplies I found I had neither bananas nor pecans. However I did have plenty of pistachios and apricots—and a new variation of the recipe was born.