Let’s catch up, loyal Readers. You good? Making it work? It’s been awhile. Where do I start?
Can we agree the Pandemic has been an unwelcome invitation to slow down and pay close attention? As for me, I prefer easing gently into novel or unique situations, don’t you? But this insidious Corona character wasn’t having it. It showed up unannounced as if to say, “Mother Earth, I’m here. Whatcha gonna do about it?”
As my food blogging colleague Joy the Baker recently wrote, “We’re just going to stay hydrated and vote and eat our salads and take our vitamins and keep it moving because the only way out is through.”
This is how I’ve kept it moving the past month:
My Hazmat Suit
I bought a Hazmat Suit. It’s hanging in my closet. Here’s the deal. The one goal I’ve made regarding this epidemic is not to miss Clara’s high school graduation in May 2021.
I recently read that singer Gloria Estefan in order to be at her grandson’s small family birthday dinner, bought a Hazmat Suit and wore it to the party. There were even pictures. Lightbulb Moment: I could wear a Hazmat Suit to Clara’s graduation. Problem Solved.
After receiving my Suit, I called Melissa, Clara’s mother, to give her the good news. The conversation went like this:
“I just bought a Hazmat Suit.”
“I thought if all else fails, I can wear it to Clara’s graduation and not miss it.”
Readers, the silence was deafening. Finally Melissa said something like ‘if you show up wearing a Hazmat Suit at graduation, Clara won’t be there.’
Since I expected some pushback, I had already prepared well-regarded, logical reasoning in response. Not even amused. Nothing took flight. In fact Melissa began using her most firm ‘Mom, don’t mess with me,’ voice so I cut my losses. It was a short conversation.
I’ve now moved on to Option 2. It’s peppy, as in Manchester Manhawks peppy: “Hey World. We’ve got the coaches, We’ve got the team, by Clara’s graduation, let’s have a vaccine.”
Rest In Power, Justice Ginsberg
Last Saturday night, before attending a memorial service for Ruth Bader Ginsburg, I made this Salted Chocolate Hot Fudge Sundae (pictured above) and poured myself a glass of Sancerre. It was dinner.
Happily the two recipe choices my CookTheBookFridays group has made this month are thumbs-up winners. I don’t suggest SO-GOOD MISO CORN with SQUID and SALTED CHOCOLATE HOT FUDGE SUNDAES pair together. Being so delicious and appealing, they both deserve their own performance.
If you’d prefer, make the So-Good Miso Corn as a side dish, that works also. As an Iowa girl I’d never cooked with Squid nor acquired a taste for Calamari until I was an adult. The important ingredient here, whether made as a side or main course, is Miso. It’s a traditional Japanese seasoning produced by fermenting soybeans with salt and kōji and sometimes other ingredients like rice, barley and seaweed. It’s a paste, either light or dark, and keeps in the refrigerator almost forever! There are so many uses for Miso. If your unfamiliar with this Japanese seasoning, educate yourself via the Internet.
What’s there to say about hot fudge sundaes. We’ve all enjoyed best-ever hot fudge sundae experiences at ice cream parlors, restaurants and even at home. This sundae recipe, invented by Dorie, brings its own twists of flavor to make it special. By separating its parts, the salted-chocolate bits or hot fudge sauce, even the toasted slivered almonds, you can raise the bar in other sundaes and desserts to make them even more special. Please do try the coffee/vanilla combo sometime. Can (and, must) be shared.
SO-GOOD MISO CORN by Dorie Grenspan, Everyday Dorie, The Way I Cook
1 Tablespoon light (white or yellow) miso
3 Tablespoons hot water
4 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Cups of fresh, frozen or canned corn
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
1 Teaspoon of Za’atar or a mixture of any or 1 of ground thyme, oregano or marjoram
1/2 Teaspoon of sea salt
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Snipped chives and/ir finely sliced scallions chopped cilantro
Freshly ground pepper
- Mix the miso and water together to sooth and loosen the miso. You’re unlikely to be completely successful, which is fine.
- Place a large skillet over high heat and add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the corn and cook for 1-2 minutes without stirring. Then stir and cook for another 4-5 minutes until the kernels are charred here and there.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low , add the butter and miso mixture and cook, stirring and scraping whatever gets stuck to the pan and until the butter and miso melt and eater evaporates.
- Turn off the heat, add the spices and salt and stir to blend wel
- Scrape the corn into a bowl and stir in the chives or scallions as well as the black pepper.
- Serve immediately or at room temperature.
Tip: The corn mixture can be made a day ahead and kept covered in the refrigerator. Bring it to room temperature and reheat with a little water in a skillet until the corn is hot and water has evaporated. (Do not do this process in the microwave.)
FROM a SIDE DISH to a MAIN COURSE:
- Cut 1/2 to 1 pound of squid into rings about 1/2-inch thick. Pat dry. (I also used tentacles which were already small and bite-sized.)
- Pour 1 Tablespoon olive-oil into the skillet and place over high heat. Add the squid and cook for 1 minute until the pieces are almost opaque.
Transfer Squid to a plate and season with salt, pepper and a pinch cayenne pepper. Wipe the pan clean.
- Make the corn mixture (or, take it from the fridge). When the corn is ready, add and Squid and toss to reheat and finish cooking.
Just before serving stir in some chopped sweet onion, halved cherry tomatoes and greens. Squeeze fresh lime juice on the salad mixture and toss once more.
SALTED-CHOCOLATE HOT FUDGE SUNDAES
SALTED CHOCOLATE BITS:
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate (not chips), finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon sea or kosher salt)
1. Line a pie plate with plastic wrap.
2. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or on low power in a microwave. Add the salt, stir to blend and then, using a spatula, spread the chocolate on the plastic, making a layer that’s 1/8-inch thick (shape doesn’t matter). Press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface and freeze for at least 45 minutes.
3. When you’re ready to make the sundaes, chop the chocolate into bite-size bits.
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate (not chips), finely chopped
3/4 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
2 tablespoons sugar
1. Put the chocolate, cream, corn syrup and sugar in a medium pan over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the chocolate melts and comes to a light simmer, about 5 minutes. Still stirring, let it burble for a minute or two, then scrape it into a heatproof container. Use immediately, or cover and refrigerate until needed.
When you’re ready to make the sundaes, chop the chocolate into bite-size bits. For each sundae, sprinkle some salted-chocolate bits and almonds into the bottom of a bowl, snifter or sundae glass. Top with a scoop or two (I used a mini-scooper) of coffee ice cream some hot fudge sauce, almonds and bits. Finish with a scoop or two of vanilla ice cream (again, mini scoops). more fudge sauce, whipped cream, almonds and chocolate bits. Serve immediately.
This post follows my progress cooking each recipe from
Dorie Greenspan’s Everyday Dorie, The Way I Cook. Check out our online group which cooks together virtually at www.CookTheBookFridays.Wordpress.com