Cooking At Home With No Press Dining Room Service And Reasonable

By Rich Mancuso/ Sports Editor

No sports and isolation. And for a sports journalist there is that adjustment of a different routine. If life was normal at this time a routine would be packing the bag with another day or evening at the ballpark with the Mets or Yankees.

And until further notice there will be no baseball, NBA, NHL, MLS, or any of the other sports we cover and  report this time of year. The Coronavirus pandemic has broken the routine. No ballpark and that means more time at home.

It means using your other skills and making it simple. I always said, “KISS” not the rock band or what we do when not social distancing. No, this means KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID.

And making  it simple is what a sports journalist has to accomplish in the kitchen as this pandemic continues. You see, yours truly has adapted to quick and economical meals the past seven weeks in isolation. 

The press dining room meals are deeply missed. The recipes here are quick, economical, simple, and the way to go. Though, this is not the carved meat and turkey, fresh pasta dishes, chicken, veggies, salads, and different menus at Citi Field.

This is not the well prepared menu that is served in the Sheppard dining room at Yankee Stadium. Not the fresh omelette prepared from Fran. She is the second mom to many of us in the Bronx and a longtime food preparer at Yankee Stadium.

So there is grocery shopping. Put the protective gloves on your hands, wipe the carrier with sanitizer, wear a protective facial mask. Wait in line outside for social distance and enter with your list.

This is the new norm.

Simple down the aisles. Browse for meats, pork chops., chicken, pastas, milk, bread, ingredients, sauce, cranberry sauce, coffee and the creamer. Frozen or fresh vegetables, fruits, oh, don’t forget the desserts. Plenty of cheese, though not good for the cholesterol with the raviolis, is also a quick and good meal on the menu. 

Okay here we go with some of the dishes and the simple preparation for one or two. Much of this is done on a Foreman grill, never using the oven, and more rapid and easy to do in a microwave. Salads prepared in Dole packages that are always on sale. Mozzarella cheese Poly-0 or a fresh brand from a deli that has taste and melts better on grill or in microwave.

Believe me, it works. Give it a try. If this was a ballgame my final pitching line would be: 7 runs, five hits, no errors, If this was a fight at ringside my scorecard would be unanimous decision on all three scorecards.

The Mancuso menu:

Fettuccine Alfredo:  Any brand of pasta. Any brand of fettuccine alfredo sauce. Boil pasta. Heat up sauce in the microwave for 2 minutes. Drain and pour in the dish. Prepare small salad with roasted peppers, mozzarella cheese and Italian dressing

Pork Chops: Inexpensive package of 7, Defrost, wash and prepare on dish. Thow in Foreman Grill and cook well. Add roasted peppers or seasoning to add taste. Side of frozen broccoli in sauce with rice and prepared in the microwave. Open can of cranberry sauce. Salad added to dish.

Cavatelli with sauce: Easy, inexpensive to prepare for two meals. Purchase pound bags of any brand.  Boil for five or seven minutes Drain and put in a pot or big dish. Microwave traditional or mushroom sauce of any brand. Mix sauce and pasta. Throw some parmesan cheese or bits of mozzarella cheese.  Salad on side.

Pork Chop Pizzaiola with sauce: Prepare pork chops out of package with seasoning. Put on a Foreman grill for 15 minutes and as cooking place roasted peppers and tomato sauce and flip both sides. Creamed broccoli, cranberry sauce.  Salad on side.

Chicken Parm with spaghetti: Easy and quick. Chicken cutlets prepared in a packet. Use preferred sauce and mozzarella cheese and cook in the microwave for 10 minutes until the cheese is melted. Boil spaghetti for 10 minutes and pour on sauce.  Salad on side.

Grilled pork chops and spinach: Prepare pork chops. Add some seasoning with roasted peppers and cook on Foreman grill for 10 minutes. Microwave packed spinach for 7 minutes and add some mozzarella cheese to add flavor.  Salad on side 

Rigatoni with Roasted peppers and sauce: Quick and easy. Boil pasta for 10 minutes. Drain, heat or microwave any sauce. Add some roasted or fresh red peppers.  Good enough for two meals with something else.  Salad on the side.

Yes, pasta leads to calories. You can also purchase low calorie pastas and sauce as diet is important. The foreman grill does take out grease and fats.  But in a pandemic who really cares? We are home and without sports all we do is eat.

I have been told the Mancuso menu is healthy.  No need to worry. The cholesterol and sugar are good.  The weight, hey I’m Italian and we like our cheese, pasta, and food!

Most of all, stay safe and well. We are in this together!
Comment:  Twitter@Ring786 Mancuso

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