Roasted Cauliflower with Pancetta & Olives

Cooking from Books

Roasted Cauliflower with Pancetta & Olives

Occasionally, the New York Times “Cooking” newsletter has an attention-grabbing, hyperbolic headline that makes me stop reading my emails and go directly to their website. Such was the case earlier this week when the subject line read: “The Most Incredible Cauliflower.”

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Shrimp & Spaghetti

Cooking from Books

Shrimp & Spaghetti

During these seemingly amalgamating days of self-quarantine (a.k.a. lock-up), I’m constantly finding food that’s either going bad or needs using up. I attribute this regrettable position to buying more than we need out of fear of running out or of an item’s becoming unavailable. Something we never did when, in happier days, we food shopped almost daily.

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Braised Lamb, Abruzzi Style

Cooking from Books

Braised Lamb, Abruzzi Style

I’m pretty sure that no one will disagree that tomato season has reached its end. For many of us who cook, this means transitioning from meaty plum or Roma tomatoes to their canned counterparts. Last Saturday, however, I still had four Romas from our local farmers market on my counter ready to sing their swan song but in need of some accompaniment.

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Prosciutto-Wrapped Pork Medallions Stuffed with Feta

Cooking from Books

Prosciutto -Wrapped Pork Medallions

For years, I’ve been a fan of the British chef Jamie Oliver. His down-to-earth approach to food and emphasis on rich flavor have led me to add several of his cookbooks to my collection. One of my latest additions is Jamie’s 15 Minute Meals, a companion volume to his television series by the same name, which is the source of today’s recipe.

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Chicken Thighs with Tomatoes & Feta

Cooking from Books

Chicken Thighs with Tomatoes and Feta

Perhaps many of you who are sheltering in place during this pandemic are like me and are often faced with produce about to go bad or with other products nearing their use-by dates. I can only attribute this situation to my buying more food items than necessary for fear that when I need something, it won’t be available.

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Poll: Reheating Leftovers

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Reheated Tuscan Lamb & Peas with Grilled Polenta

I often hear and read how people rely on their microwaves for reheating leftovers.  Years ago, so did I.  Eventually, however, I came to realize that dishes reheated in the microwave didn’t retain their heat and often the texture of the reheated food suffered from this method.

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Tuscan Lamb & Peas

Cooking from Books

Tuscan Lamb & Peas

Once again during this pandemic, the result of placing an online order for groceries changed our dinner plans. In the mood for a lamb stew, I ordered three pounds of lamb shoulder; what arrived were two netted boneless legs of lamb. One was a little more than two pounds; the other, about one.

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Orecchiette with Sausage and Broccoli

Cooking from Books

IMG_7191 Orecchiette with Sausage and Broccoli

One of my husband’s favorite pasta dishes is orecchiette with broccoli rabe and sausage, which he’s been asking for since the beginning of the pandemic. I’ve made it quite often and have even written about it here. Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to procure any broccoli rabe. When he recently suggested using regular broccoli, I shrugged and said it wouldn’t be the same and told him we would have to wait. He replied silently with a sulk.

A few days after this conversation, I opened the fridge to find a bag of pre-washed broccoli florets and a package of bulk sausage that had been resurrected from the bottom of our freezer. When I asked my better half how these items seemed to have appeared so suddenly, he replied, once again silently, with a self-satisfied smile.

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Devil’s Shrimp with Brandy & Fresh Tomatoes

Cooking from Books

Devil’s Shrimp

While self-quarantining these days, I’m cooking even more often than usual. I might attribute this increase to my attempt to avoid waste by using up ingredients before they go bad. I’m sure many of you face the same predicament. We buy more than we need at the market fearing that a long sought-after item might not be available the next time we’re there.

A recent case in point for me was with Roma tomatoes. Because the ones I purchased needed a little more ripening, I had set them aside on window sill where they enjoyed some California sunshine. Well, the proverbial out-of-sight out-of-mind maxim proved true and, if my better half hadn’t noticed them just in time, they might have been out-of-kitchen.

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