Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Covid Cafe: Parmesan Polenta with Eggplant Ragu + Fresh Sourdough

Every day I wish Covid Cafe were an actual place we could meet for a meal, a cup of coffee, or a cocktail.  Our guest chefs today are longtime friend Phyllis and brother Chris, both from the Chicago area. Would you like some hot fresh bread with your eggplant?

Phyllis says: Tonight we cooked this after scrounging our food stocks. We used slices of polenta and a little hot pepper. We were out of basil and garlic but it turned out quite tasty nonetheless. Next problem: I'm out of olive oil!

Good enough to eat

Phyllis followed up to say her neighbors had dropped off chicken, veggies, and olive oil (I'm thinking of all the meals she'll be making with those raw materials). Here's a snap of the recipe.

Brother Chris is a master of the home arts. So is his son, who I think heads up their basement brewery team. Yes, they make (good) beer.

Chris says: We made a stout about three weeks ago and we always save a few cups of the spent grains for making bread or muffins. A wonderful client gave me some of her 30-year-old sourdough starter...

...and thus this loaf was born

Soften some butter and let me in there! Thanks for the tasty submissions, Chris and Phyllis. We have many more to come. Tomorrow we'll look west to Arizona, where a friend is making something with fruiting cactus, which are everywhere. 

Join the chefs of Covid Cafe. Send us a picture of whatever you're creating!

There are lots of deserving places offering whole delicious foods to those in need. If you can spare a few shekels, please click here to donate. At Lakeview Pantry, every dollar you donate equals eight meals. Keep in mind that on Friday jobless claims in Illinois surged past 64,000, ten times the amount of a year ago. Also, contract workers, who make up 18% of the Illinois workforce, aren't even eligible for unemployment benefits.

Ginger tea + recipes
Boil slices of ginger, strain, and then nuke a cup of immune-boosting ginger tea with a lemon squeeze whenever you want (for me, that's like three times daily). Do you need some recipes? Click here for Mark Bittman's online resource.

Today's musical selection might make you smile with happiness (click here to view in browser):

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