Two Suppers: one ad hoc, the other, more elaborate

Sometimes when I start cooking, I have no idea where I am going with it. Last night’s supper is the perfect example. It was an “off” night. Each of us was going to a separate event in the evening, and we had no desire to plan and execute one of our normal dinners. The usual selection of good leftovers was not available, so I had to do something for my meal. I knew my wife would take care of her own.

As I often do, I started with ingredients. One at a time I picked them out of the refrigerator, to create a one-dish medley. First was white mushrooms, wiped clean and cut into 4-6 segments each. These were dry-roasted in a cast iron skillet until they gave up their extra moisture. In sequence, I added salt and pepper, then sweet butter, and finally a splash of white wine. When the wine had evaporated I put the mushrooms in a bowl and looked for the next ingredient.

Radicchio di Treviso. Sliced crosswise into 3/4-inch pieces and put on a large salad plate.

Red onion, sliced very thinly with a mandolin, then lightly pickled with red wine vinegar and water.

Peruvian Piquillo Peppers Removed from the package, oil wiped off, seeds scraped, warmed in a pan.

Cooked Cannellini Beans. Removed from the refrigerator, cooked yesterday.

Caper Leaves. Removed from the jar in the refrigerator.

Feta cheese. Taken out, diced small.

Olive oil, Salt and Pepper. Generously applied as I mixed everything (except the radicchio) in a warm skillet, and then plated and tossed with the roasted mushrooms and the bitter “greens”. Since each and every element was something I love to eat, not surprisingly, the whole dish was excellent. Weird, unconventional, but delicious. A small glass of I Clivi Friulano tasted good with it all.

Tonight was different. I had much more time to cook. I won’t bore you with all the details, but the meal featured Sven Fish Cod Cheeks (a real delicacy), a medley of vegetables (zucchini, carrots, and cauliflower), and a mixture of wild rice and paella white rice.

Cod Cheeks. Dusted with flour, salt, and pepper, then sautéed in safflower oil and mushrooms.

Vegetable Medley. Individually poached until just tender. Then sautéed together in olive oil and saffron water.

Rices. Cooked separately until almost done, then combined until tender.

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