Furlough *Fun*…

For those of you outside DC, the furlough probably doesn’t have quite the same impact as it does for those of us who live in the District, and/or work for the government.  As we enter week three of no salary, and limited options of museums (that includes our wonderful Smithsonian National Zoo) to visit, finding things to do is more difficult each day.  First of all, we really should quit logging on to see the moment-by-moment insanity going on in what is known as “The House” and embrace the idea that getting flu shots is a fun way to spend our time; or perhaps we need to get a little more creative.

First on tap, proofread a manuscript of a memoir for a dear friend. We thoroughly enjoyed reading about growing up in small town Georgia during the 1940s and 50s. Afterwords, we started the process of setting up a new business for an itch relief product, “Kiss My Itch Goodbye™” by downloading all kinds of books from the DC library system (free). And of course, we cooked.  Yes, cooking does cost some amount of money, but when a large number of your meals are vegetarian the cost isn’t as horrific as steak or pork chops for dinner every night; especially since some very nice produce is so reasonably priced at the local farmers markets. After shopping at two of them, our recent meals have included a beautiful butternut squash soup made with coconut milk; Romesco sauce that has now appeared under roasted asparagus, as the base for roasted cauliflower, topped with scrambled eggs and for lunch today, placed inside a whole wheat tortilla with some grated cheese as part of a quesadilla.  This batch of Romesco has gone a long way and we have even more left for to work into a new recipe and enjoy.  Tonight, we are preparing to make a wonderful two-bean soup with kale … and decide how to use the remainder of that giant head of cauliflower we bought on Saturday.  When you find an absolutely gorgeous head for $4, you quickly realize that several wonderful meals lie ahead.

For this post, we won’t even get into our kimchi addiction which is reaching stratospheric dimensions.  However, be forewarned …  at some point, you will see the many ways we are finding to use something that had never hit our cooking radar until recently.  It now appears frequently and not just as part of a frittata.  The open-faced sandwich of fabulous whole grain bread topped with chopped kimchi and grated Havarti or Monterey Jack and briefly run under the broiler is pretty amazing.

For now, we will provide you with our take on the recent and versatile NYT Romesco sauce recipe and follow up soon with the butternut squash soup recipe.

Photo of Asparagus on a bed of RomescoWe are including the Romesco sauce recipe as it reads in the New York Times, and preface it with a few changes we made based on our own tastes, and how we planned to use the sauce.  Rather than toss the sauce with broccoli, we chose to serve it topped with roasted asparagus (a dish we have enjoyed at Jaleo, DC).  We also reduced the amount of garlic to two cloves, replaced the hazelnuts with slivered almonds, and roasted the peppers according to the technique we normally use.  Otherwise, everything remained the same; it is a fabulous recipe and as mentioned above, very versatile.  If you have trouble finding pomegranate molasses,  small bottles are available from The Spice House in Chicago.