Good morning, good morning, good morning, Friends. Yesterday, I went for an early run, a pre-dinner walk, and in between made pancakes, wrapped up a deadline, and attempted to teach my newly permitted Abby how to drive in the local college parking lot. Phoebe went for a bike ride pretty much all day long, and after dinner the two of them made us sit and watch their favorite episode of Bojack Horseman on Netflix. (I’m sure you know this, but it’s dark and awesome, and not a show for young kids.) My friend Catherine Hong posted the above illustration on mrslittlebooks, her childrens’ book instagram feed, and it made me smile. Her husband David is an infectious disease doctor in the Bronx working at the hospital around the clock, and I just want to shout out a thank-you to him and all the physicians and hospital workers on the frontlines. Here is your Friday dose of Pantry, Project, Purpose…
Pantry: Quinoa Bowl with Spinach, Egg, Onions
Fun fact: this month marked Dinner: A Love Story’s 10-year anniversary, and I was planning on launching a Greatest Hits series in honor of the occasion. (So much for that!) This bowl, one of the first things I wrote about here, would’ve most certainly made the cut. I can’t believe how often it rescued us in the early days of parenting, on nights we wanted something quick, healthy, and satisfying after getting the babies to bed.
Bring 2 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add 1 cup of quinoa and simmer, covered, until tender, fluffy, and water is absorbed — about 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Yields about 4 cups cooked quinoa. Bring 2 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add 1 cup of quinoa and simmer, covered, until tender, fluffy, and water is absorbed — about 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Yields about 4 cups cooked quinoa.
For Onions & Spinach:
In a small frying pan over medium-low heat, saute half a sliced onion in olive oil, a dash of sesame oil, and some red pepper flakes for about 10 minutes or until they are soft and sweet. Add two generous handfuls of fresh or frozen spinach and sautee until wilted/thawed. If you have kitchen scissors, use them to chop the fresh spinach while it cooks.
For 7-Minute Egg (you can also just do regular old fried eggs in the same pan you cooked your onions and spinach)
Fill a medium pot with water about 2/3 of the way full, and bring to a boil. Reduce to an aggressive simmer and, using a slotted spoon, slowly lower 4 eggs into the water. Set your timer for exactly 7 minutes. While your eggs simmer, prepare a bowl of ice water, and plunk the eggs directly in there once the timer goes off. Remove after a minute. Remove shell and slice in half.
Divide quinoa between four bowls and top with spinach-onion mix, halved egg, and a generous drizzle of soy sauce. If you want some extra heat, add a few drops of Sriracha.
Project: No-Knead Bread
Remember this famous Jim Lahey bread, that was maybe one of the first recipes to break the internet? It’s every bit as satisfying as it was a decade ago. In terms of timing, I find it’s best to start the night before you want to go to eat it, preferably right before you go to sleep. That way it rests overnight and you can fold it first thing in the morning.
3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 heaping teaspoon sugar
In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients: flour, yeast, salt and sugar, and whatever flavorings (rosemary, thyme, Parmesan, all optional). Add 1 5/8 cups of water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap or a large plate. Let the dough rest for at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, as much as 24 (it’s very forgiving) at a warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.
But, after about 6 or 8 hours, give the dough a good folding for about fifteen seconds.
After 18 hours, the dough will be batter-like and spongy. Use a rubber spatula and fold it over on itself a few times.
At least a half hour before the dough is ready, heat the oven to 450°F. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (Le Crueset, cast iron, enamel, Pyrex, or ceramic) in the oven as it heats.
When the dough is ready, carefully remove the pot from the oven. Sprinkle flour in the pot (this will keep the loaf from sticking). Slide the dough into the pot. Sprinkle some flour on top of the dough, (along with a dusting of cumin seeds or rosemary and a dash of coarse salt, for instance). Cover it with a lid and let it bake for 30 minutes, then remove the lid and let it bake for another 10 to 15 minutes, until the loaf is beautifully browned. Let it cool on a rack. Yields one loaf.
Purpose: Pizza Relief!
The Parlor, our local pizza place run by Dave DiBari, launched a mission to donate 150 pizzas a day to people who need some…love and pizza. When you call for takeout, he’s asking for an additional $13 to send a free pizza to hospitality industry workers hit hard, children and families in need, and, above, grinding hospital workers. In your hood, maybe send a pizza (or just a note!) to a nurse, a food service worker, a doctor or someone you appreciate today? People are good!
The goal of the Project, Pantry, Purpose series to keep us sane, distracted, and connected. Please continue to comment below with suggestions for recipes, projects (for kids and adults), good deeds, donation ideas, stories, movies, games, puzzles. Or just tell me how you’re doing, what you’re up to, and how DALS can help you or people in your community. You can also email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.