17 May 2021

Pan Roasted Artichokes

It's artichoke season! I saw quite a choice of types, and so I said to Rick that he could chose how I would cook them... And he said, emm, the way you did the last time... 

LOL - I  (of course) hadn't kept track! Anyway... I re-watched Francesco's video on how to prep them, and went on from there...

Ready to Eat!

Pan Roasted Artichokes 

Trim 5 small artichokes, remove the chokes, peel the stems.

Left to Right: quartered with choke removed, quartered with choke, halved

Add the pieces to a bowl of lemon water as you go, to keep them from turning brown. Do this especially if you are going to wait a while for the next step. You can add the artichokes directly to a pot of cold, salted water if you are continuing immediately.

Boil the artichokes and stems in salted water till tender, 5-10 minutes, then drain. This step can also be done ahead.

In a pan on medium heat, add:

- olive oil

- artichokes

- salt

Cook until they start to brown, then add:

- 1 sliced shallot

- 1 sliced clove of garlic

- 1 tsp piment d'Espelette

Cook and stir until everything is browned. Serve hot or cold.

15 May 2021

Honey Turmeric Stir Fry

Honey Turmeric Stir Fry

I saw the idea for this in my cooking group (thanks, Susan!), and decided to try it!

I made it the first time with chicken and zucchini, which was great, but then Rick suggested cod, and we thought that would go well with a bit of citron confit (whole lemons preserved in salt solution). We liked both versions...

Ingredients for 2:

- either 1 chicken breast, diced, or one filet of cod (enough for 2)

- 1 tsp cornstarch, dissolved in water

- 1 Tbs honey

- 2 tsp turmeric

- 1/2 tsp black pepper

- olive oil

- water

- chopped vegetable (asparagus, zucchini, grean beans)

- 1 sliced shallot

- 1 large clove garlic, very thinly sliced lengthwise

- 1/2 citron confit, finely chopped (if using fish)

If using chicken, marinate the meat in the cornstarch solution, turmeric, and honey while preparing the rest.

In a hot pan, lighly brown the shallots and garlic in oil. 

Add vegetables, cooking halfway. Note: brown zucchini, lightly cook asparagus, add water to green beans.

For chicken:

Remove all to a bowl.

Stir fry chicken and marinade till browned.

Add vegetables back in. 

For fish:

Stir in cornstarch, turmeric, and honey. Add citron confit.

Add filet, being careful to keep it intact.

Reduce heat and cover.

Cook till done, adding water as needed.

Sprinkle black pepper over all. Salt as needed.

Serve with rice.

10 May 2021

Deconfinement III

One week ago, France began its third Deconfinement. As before, it's a gradual loosening, rather than a sudden stop to all the rules. Here's a chart (yes, in French), showing what sorts of things will be opening up, and when.


- last Monday, people were allowed to travel around France again - during this confinement, we had to stay within 10 km of home, unless we had a specific reason, from an approved list, and we documented it. We still have a 7pm curfew. We still have a mask requirement, and that is not set to end any time soon.

- starting May 19, restaurants (outside, not inside), theaters, and businesses can open. Restaurants have been closed for 7 months! Curfew moves to 9pm.

- starting June 9, everything will be open except for nightclubs, and some telecommuting will still be required. Curfew moves to 11pm.

- June 30, everything is lifted, except that nightclubs will still be closed.

So, how's this been working out? Today's news is that the number of covid-19 patients in ICU finally dropped to below 5000. Our vaccination numbers are still not great, but are improving, with 26% of the adult population having received at least one dose. That's a 41% improvement over the week from the previous week. If this continues, we'll have 50% vaccinated by the end of June.

And, our daily new coronavirus cases are still dropping

Daily deaths are still flat, but there's hope for a drop soon.

We have variants, including 20 cases of the Indian variant reported as of today. The hope is that the boosters being tested now to cover these will be available by the end of the year.