One thing I was hoping we’d be able to do following our vacation was to make one last jaunt to our local beach, and thankfully this past weekend gave us two picture-perfect days to choose from. While everyone else in New England descended upon their favorite orchard in which to go apple picking (or so it seemed based on my Facebook feed), we spent a few hours on Saturday enjoying the unseasonably warm day—warm enough to even make a quick dip into the Sound. Even with these little heat snaps though I am only too aware that we are in a new season, as daylight is slowly becoming less and less prevalent in the evening and the notion of turning on our oven isn’t completely abhorrent anymore. So what better way to mark that shift than by cranking it to full blast in order to make some pizza? Read More
It’s been a tough week for FC Barcelona and its cules: an unexpected loss earlier in the week to Chelsea in the Champion’s League finals was bad enough, and then on Saturday we had to suffer the indignity of Real Madrid coming to Camp Nou and do the unthinkable–win. While RM has likely taken La Liga this season, it’s not over yet for my Catalans as there’s the second leg of Champion’s League yet to play this week, and in a month they’ll be fighting for the Copa del Rey and won’t have to beat Real Madrid to do so.
In other words: I have plenty of opportunities to whip up more Catalan food in support of the blaugranas. Read More
Do you still have “Zou Bisou Bisou” stuck in your head after last Sunday’s Mad Men? (Did I just get it back in your head after you thought you had bested that earworm? Sorry.) While it was inevitable that we were going to celebrate its return after at 17-month long hiatus with food and drink, the fact that you only rarely see any of the characters with food (with none of it looking all that appetizing to boot) meant that I wasn’t going to adhere to any strict theme, save for insisting Michael make us a round of Old Fashioneds. Certain nods to the show, after all, must be made, and cocktails have always felt far more appropriate than food.
Besides: we had finally gotten a couple of new half sheet pans at Chef’s the day before, and I was in the mood for homemade pizza.
I hope the holiday season gave you all time to be still and reflect on the year as it passed perhaps via most golden and perfect of all meditation opportunities, fooling around in your kitchen with no pressing need to generate a large or timely meal, maybe utilizing a night or two in that golden week between Christmas and NYE. If you did not have this opportunity, I guess you missed out.
By the end of it all, even I had had enough. Lasagna and Thanksgiving Food Dinner II with the families, a standing rib roast for the two of us, fried chicken on NYE and a sundry of interspersed meals inspired by greats like Tom Colicchio and David Chang. You might think I’d give up after this feastish onslaught and say “meh” on this particular evening, but the last night before the return to work, waking up early and wrestling I-95 called for something delicious, if not seasonal. E suggested making some pizzas and that felt perfect. Read More
One of the incredibly irritating things about moving is slowly losing access to things that you maybe don’t use everyday–your spontaneity becomes more limited. or at least more time-consuming, as you suddenly have to knead dough by hand.
One thing I really hate about moving is when you realize that certain things are the “last” things: the last time we had to make the trek from Fairway Harlem laden with bags (that was Sunday), the last time I ride the 1 regularly (I don’t want to think about that right now), the last time you make pizza dough or fresh pasta dough. Of course, all of these vary in emotional significance–although my lower lip may have trembled a little bit when we were in line for the register at Fairway and I stared out the window at the foggy Hudson and cursed the fact that the weather was so crappy. But then Michael casually mentioned packing away the Kitchen Aid and I realized that these pizzas were the last to be made here in New York. If they must be the last…at least they were delicious. And a little over the top. Read More
How on earth are you supposed to follow up a five-course meal featuring fifteen dishes (plus appetizers!) with a homemade meal? Are you even supposed to eat? To be honest, I wasn’t expecting to be all that hungry come Sunday–and neither was Michael–so we didn’t put all that much thought into dinner plans. But we knew we’d have to eat something, but none of our typical stand-bys were appealing: we had enjoyed enough tapas the night before, thank you, and we had pasta on Friday, and tacos seemed heavy, and I don’t think either of us could fathom eating another braised meat dish. And then inspiration hit: pizza. Of course. Read More
It’s cold, it’s dry, it’s been a little while since you’ve set off the smoke alarms, so you decide to cook up some homemade pizza.
All E had said about the meals that weekend was: I want to make duck ham. Simply making a pair of cured duck breasts and just eating them, while enticing, felt like a bit of a waste. We decided a nice pizza, where our salt-cured duck breast could take the traditional place of prosciutto in a classic Emilia-Romagnan piadina recipe we had read about a few years back would be perfect. I blind-baked the crust for five minutes, then topped it with ricotta, arugula, grana padano. I waited on adding the delicate duck until the last few minutes to ensure it didn’t cook opr worse still, dry out. [Ed.--we did put a few slices through the broiler, but having some of the fresh-cured and the broiled slices made for a nice flavor and texture combination.] Read More