November 14, 2020

From Gerald R. Lucas

Cheat Day covid-19: day 234 | US: GA | info | exit

I live for cheat day. Today, I tried some more ambitious cuisine: onion smash burgers for lunch and ricotta gnocchi with Alfredo for dinner. They weren’t the best, but they were pretty good. I’m not Sur eat was worth all the mess and trouble, but Autumn and Henry liked it all.

I used the baking steel for the smash burgers. It was kind of messy: carbon build-up from years of pizza making had to be removed. I spent some time scrubbing it, then oiled it like you might a cast-iron skillet. It came out well and fit almost perfectly over two gas burners. I made burger sauce with diced sweet gherkins, dijon mustard, ketchup, and mayo. Mini tots were the perfect side.

I used 4 ounce patties for the burgers, and I think they should have been smaller for the ultimate smash experience. I also had gotten rid of my mandolin when we moved, so I had to hand-cut the onions. That said: the burger was darn good, even if it was a bit large.

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We made the gnocchi the night before with this recipe. It was pretty straightforward, but ultimately I felt they were a bit bland. It helped to finish them in a pan of brown butter, but I think some regular fettuccini would have been tastier with my garlic Alfredo. I server the gnocchi with sautéed shiitake mushrooms and peas. Garlic bread—a baguette from Panera with butter and shit-ton of diced garlic—was a perfect side.

Autumn got chicken tenders from Publix to go with it, and I decided to make some Chicken Parmesan with this excellent Arribiata she also picked up.

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OK, not the most beautiful plate, but I was in a hurry to eat.