Quarantine Kitchen

The streets here in San Diego are deserted; the freeways at rush hour are empty, and so are the stores.  

This was 5:30 p.m. on Monday

So, here at our house, we are self-isolating like most people, and haven't gone out except for walks, and one run to the store this morning when a local supermarket opened at 7 for seniors.  Our son lives here and he has been helping out as well. 

Today was the first day I took photos of the food that I have been making; I have to take my hat off to bloggers, I don't know how you do it, taking photos of every onion you chop and every step in the recipe.  When I teach, my students get to see what I'm doing, this is another story.  
So today was Bolognese day, I'm a big batch, make-ahead-get-it-in-the-freezer girl, and this recipe will make 12 cups of sauce.  This will give you two lasagnas or 3 pasta dinners.  This recipe isn't traditional Bolognese, it's a bit different than the one in my books (which is delicious) but it's as close as I get to what I learned from Marcella Hazan and our visit to Bologna last spring.  

Bolognese Sauce

Makes 12 cups
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped sweet yellow onion
3 carrots, finely chopped
1/2 pound ground pork
1 pound ground beef
salt and pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup beef broth
Two 28.5-ounce cans crushed tomatoes (or whole, crush them with your hands)
Parmigiano Reggiano Rinds, chopped (optional but oh so good)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup finely chopped Italian parsley
salt and pepper
Grated Parmigiano Reggiano

In a Dutch oven, heat the butter and oil, saute the onion and carrot for 5 to 6 minutes until the onion begins to turn golden.  
Add the meats, season with salt and pepper, and break up any large pieces.  Saute until the meats are no longer pink.  
Remove any excess fat from the pan.  

Add the nutmeg, wine, and broth, and bring to a boil.  Simmer for 10 minutes.  

Add the tomatoes and the Parmigiano rinds if using.  Bring to a boil, simmer uncovered for 45 minutes.  
Add the cream and parsley.  Season with salt and pepper, and simmer another 10 minutes.  
Cool. cover and refrigerate for up to 5 days if not using immediately, or freeze for up to 6 months.  

Serve over pasta of your choice---traditionally it would be a wide flat pasta garnished with grated Parmigiano.  
Slow-Cooker Savvy:  Saute everything, transfer to your slow cooker, add the remaining ingredients and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.  

I'm also starting a sourdough starter, because....well, just because.  And I'm trying out a recipe for focaccia that I saw on the Netflix show Salt, Fat Acid and Heat.  Click here for the recipe.  It needs 12 hours to ferment before baking, so I've got plenty of time.  
One thing I'll say is that restaurants are severely impacted by this emergency.  We are going to try and order take out or delivery from our favorite places at least twice a week, hoping that they will stay in business when this is all over.  I'd urge you to try and do this as well, or order gift certificates so that they will have cash now to be able to operate.  
Keep your distance, and stay well.  

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