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
[Ed.--Elizabeth found herself craving some bikini-pizza from this post, and so when Michael suggested making pizza to use up some leftover fresh mozzarella an actual pizza was born.]
With the prospect of Thanksgiving looming, we deemed our weekend ought to do without my beloved roasted chicken. One night we opted for a duck ragu, and the farthest possible go-to from that, I guess, must be two homemade pizzas.
The first, the ‘bikini-pizza’ as it were, was a bit wet once all was put upon the dough thanks to lots of fresh mozzarella, mushrooms and a twist with sun-dried tomatoes instead of fresh or canned. I anticipated this and and as such did not blind-bake the crust, giving the entire assembled pizza as much time in the hot box as possible. I covered an up-turned baking sheet with foil so if too much cornmeal got into the oven and burned, I could pull the entire thing out for the second pie. The day was dry and the dough was well-behaved, disembarking the pizza peel with ease. We bailed it after about 13 minutes at 500 F with a couple of spatulas and some oven mitts, as well as a optimally placed cutting board to rest. Read More
Since we haven’t had Spanish food “in a week” as Michael said to me Saturday, this weekend’s food festivities featured a lot of influence from the Iberian Peninsula, finishing with this delightful coca, or the Spanish version of pizza. The traditional coca is very minimal in ingredients–usually only one or two toppings–but I’ve read that more modern cocas do allow for some liberties in creativity, so taking some ideas from Cucinaria: Spain and Spanish Country Kitchen I decided our first Spanish coca would celebrate the height of the season: tomatoes and zucchini.
It was pretty damn awesome, but fraught with peril and some yelling. Read More
The heat wave that Michael complained about yesterday is finally easing up here…at least a little. It’s still so hot in the mornings that I have to hold off on applying makeup until I get to work because even a cup of tea will create a fine mist of perspiration on my face (and if I have to run to catch the bus, then I’m really SOL). The heat means that our apartment is shrouded in darkness in an effort to keep it cooler during the day and Michael has been desperate to avoid using the stove as much as possible. Read More
I have no idea as to how we pulled this off on TV.
–Michael on our last demo on Connecticut Style, in which we successfully completed making a pizza on air.
There’s an easy reply to this observation, of course: climate control. Air conditioning is a delightful thing in a kitchen, but alas: our small New York kitchen does not have it. This means, of course, that certain culinary activities must be curtailed when the humidity is so bad it can take hours for wet hair to dry after a shower, and this escapade a few weeks ago proved that to a fault. The smoke alarm, while a constant companion in our kitchen when the oven is on at full blast on a good day, was freaking out because we kept spilling cornmeal and rosemary onto the floor of our gas oven and things got a little smoky. Read More
Do not check your address bar: you’re still here at The Manhattan [food] Project and yet–and yet!–you are still seeing broccoli in the picture above. My nemesis, my foe, the vegetable that gets the bulk of my scorn has somehow made it into our kitchen and into food–into pasta, of all things–and somehow I didn’t throw a fit. Well, not a large fit. Read More
Having access to great food stores means we can usually get our hands on some pretty unique ingredients. Sometimes the best can be found at the Greenmarket, while others can be hiding next to something as innocuous as grapefruit that you only see because you’re making a beeline for the good deal on peaches just beyond that display.
This is precisely how we stumbled across the oddly colored kumato. Read More
Did you know that Little Caesar’s still exists? It’s been years since I’ve seen an ad for them (though that stupid jingle remains an eternal earworm), much less a physical location, but a few months ago one popped up a few blocks away on 125th Street, and whenever I pass it I always feel bad for the people who now have the orange glow of the signs blaring into their windows at night, as they can’t possibly cast a pleasant glow into a room. Read More
For all of the talking and writing and photographing of food we do, especially on the weekend, breakfasts and brunches are noticeably absent here on this blog. It’s odd because we both love breakfast food, but I think it comes down to motivation–we’d rather indulge in dinner rather than breakfast on the weekends, and often brunch ranks among the few meals that makes more sense to go out for rather than to stay in and cook.
It’s also likely due to the fact that things like orange juice and milk are expensive to buy when they are only consumed two days of the week at most–plus it always requires planning as schlepping to the market and back on a Saturday or Sunday morning before the first caffeine hits is an unbearably cruel thing for anyone to endure over the weekend.
Maybe it was this quote from No Reservations that put us over the edge subconciously:
Then there the People Who Brunch. The “B” Word is dreaded by all dedicated cooks. We hate the smell and spatter of omelettes. We despise hollandaise, home fries, those pathetic fruit garnishes, and all the other cliché accompaniments designed to induce a credulous public into paying $12.95 for two eggs. Nothing demoralizes an aspiring Escoffier faster than requiring him to cook egg-white omelettes or eggs over easy with bacon. You can dress it up with all the focaccia, smoked salmon, and caviar in the world, but it’s still breakfast.