Xavi demonstrates my mood during much of the match.

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

Sweet and Sour Fig Pizza with Goat Cheese, Shallots and Thyme

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.

Caprese salad and old fashioneds.

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.

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Tomato Pie with Jumbo Scallions and Bacon

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

Duck, Fontina and Caramelized Onion Pizza

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.

The humanity!

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

White Clam Pizza, New Haven Style

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

Duck Ham Pizza with Ricotta, Arugula and Grana Padano

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

Roasted Pepper, Tomato and Anchovy Pizza

It started out so well: despite being stuck in traffic as we edged out of New York on Thursday morning on the Bolt Bus, we arrived in Boston only an hour late, and we knocked out most of our shopping for Friday night’s dinner at the Trader Joe’s in Cambridge. The plan was to then go out for dinner that night and then meet up with some of our hosts’ friends at a speakeasy  (i.e. a lounge without a sign in which we had to wait 15 minutes to enter that’s become a thing in Boston). Everything was seemingly going to plan: dinner was great, the drinks were delicious–Drink is one of those places where you sip on drinks gingerly and slowly–and we went back to Somerville/Medford in good spirits. There may have been a little late-night snacking, but nothing too out of the ordinary.

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