Day 2: Simple Weeknight Comfort Food

It was surprisingly chilly out there and the cholent from Veganomicon was the just the comforting thing I could foresee needing while watching the election results. Tonight’s dinner was an exercise in substitution. No tomato sauce, lima beans, kidney beans, wine nor broth, garlic, tarragon, or more than a couple tablespoons of French lentils. Cooking down a can of diced tomatoes worked well for the sauce, if it was a little thin. Fortunately it was barely noticeable when served over the leftover red quinoa I had in the fridge. I marinated portobello caps in a little balsamic vinegar and olive oil while prepping the veggies and sautéing the onions. I cooked them on a Foreman grill while the stew was simmering. The kitchen was filled with the smells of caraway and balsamic vinegar. It was lovely. I sense some experimental combination for a future post!

It doesn’t look like much, but it’s amazing what a little balsamic vinegar can do.

If listening to klezmer yesterday inspired tonight’s cholent, who knows what today’s Springsteen will bring for tomorrow. Only slightly kidding. I set out to try out Jewish cuisine on Tuesdays (you have no idea the restraint it’s taking to forgo a “Jewsday” tag). Why not begin with an old favorite? If we’re very lucky, I might even attempt a beloved dish redolent with memories: Latkes. That’s what I’ve missed the most (right up there with cottage cheese with peaches), particularly when the weather gets colder. I’ve tried multiple times to recapture the wonder of late-November Chicago after dark; but every attempt leads to a sodden, burnt, falling-apart mess. It looks easy on paper. We’ll just have to see.



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