Thursday, January 30, 2014

Midweek 'Za

The first fifteen pages of my thesis are due on Monday. Thus, this week has been an emotional roller coaster which has included wandering around aimlessly with my shoelaces untied and/or teeth unbrushed wondering why time suddenly seems to be going by at warp speed, and making eating breakfast during class a very acceptable thing. I'm not proud of my behavior this week but I will say that my research is coming along pretty nicely and I have only had one meltdown. Well, two if you include this meal, which involved a very serious buffalo mozzarella meltdown that was truly delicious and much more enjoyable than my sputtering, sniffling "I'LL NEVER BE FUN AGAIN" debacle. 
Excuse my poor photography and paper plate (ugh) but I hope you can see this for the glory that it very much was. I love asparagus SO much and sauteed with a little EVOO, salt and pepper, I can eat it for days. It's crunchy and salty, and the head of it always absorbs all these yummy flavors that make for the perfect side-or star-of a meal. While in Italy, we found the best pizza in the fucking world in Bologna. I'm not joking. Every single item on the menu was outrageously good and we got in the genius unfortunate habit of eating entire pizzas at once there because you just simply could not leave any on the table. My absolute favorite was a glorious creation that had a thin layer of tomato sauce, buffalo mozzarella, thin and crispy asparagus, spicy salami, and a fried egg on top. When I was trying to find pizza inspiration last night in the sad vegetable aisle at Giant, this pizza in all its beautiful, comforting joy came to me in a vision.

This creation did not nearly do its inspiration justice, but it definitely did the trick. The flavors on this cannot be beaten. Salty prosciutto (which I subbed for salami because I couldn't find anything spicy enough at Giant...and it was actually a perfect alternative!), crispy asparagus, a little bit of egg in each bite, and a thin layer of sweet tomato sauce with chewy, melty mozzarella. So good. I also drank roughly a bottle of wine on the side which probably caused this shoddy photography. I wish I knew a better way to cook the fried egg on top-I just fried it separately and then placed it on top. Let me know if you have a better method! 

-1 Pizza crust (snaps for you if you have time to make dough yourself, I just use Boboli because it's so quick.
-4 tbsp. sweet tomato sauce (go light on this! otherwise the other flavors will be outdone)
-4 slices prosciutto
-8-10 asparagus stalks, halved lengthwise and brushed with olive oil, salt, and pepper
-8-10 slices of mozzarella, as thin as you can get them
-1 egg

-Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
-Brush the pizza crust with EVOO, spread a thin layer of tomato sauce.
-Spread out mozzarella slices over the crust, do not double-layer them.
-Interweave the asparagus: some under the cheese, some over.
-Lay the slices of prosciutto over the asparagus and cheese.
-Add some more asparagus.
-Put the pizza in the oven for 10-15 minutes, depending upon how crispy you like it.
-Fry an egg on the side.
-Take the pizza out and put the egg in the middle. Tastes GREAT if it's still a bit runny, mine wasn't and I wished it was!


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Back to School...The Final Edition!'s my last semester of college. My friends and I are on a very real denial kick which entails a lot of actions that are preceded by "well, only four months left, so...". It's very liberating. Remarkably, we have managed to work out every day (we'll see how long that lasts) and our athleticism in the gym has most certainly parlayed into our nighttime habits as well. We have mastered midnight jogs, table dancing, and all other manners of ridiculous behavior that one should absolutely not partake in mere months before they enter the world of adulthood. I haven't cooked up anything delicious YET this semester except for a quinoa stir fry which lacked any real flavor base (prior to the Sriracha that was poured on it by my dinner guest) but which sophomore boys from down the hall reported to me smelled "awesome". While the dinner was sub par, it involved some tasty sauteed spinach, jalapeno chicken sausage, and caramelized onions which could be enhanced greatly with some tweaking. I'll work on it and get back to ya.

In the meantime, thought I'd share three things that are bouncing around in my brain right now that do not involve my thesis, which is taking up ALL most of my thoughts right now. I cannot promise they are not all food related. As you can see. By number one.

1. My lightened up taco salad.
I made this over my winter break on one of my many three day health kicks that was subsequently destroyed by holiday food binges. It was DELICIOUS though and totally satisfying without any of the "bad stuff" in traditional taco salads, or tacos for that matter. Chips + sour cream do not a healthy meal make. Swap out beef with grilled salmon, shredded cheese with shredded carrots, and sour cream for cottage cheese. Salsa and lemon juice with a dash of olive oil is dressing enough, and creates a flavorful addition to the dish. Add chili powder, green onions, chopped cherry tomatoes, and some avocado wedges to finish! I also helped myself to two crunched up blue corn tortilla chips. Sorry I'm not sorry.

2. My to do list. 

It's incredibly upsetting to me that my to do list does not look more like this, but alas. Amidst searching for jobs and working on my thesis, I have had to come up with a decent solution to organization, which has never been my strong point. I'm definitely one of those last minute people, in a big keeping productive to do lists falls somewhere between walking outside in this Polar Vortex cold and retaking the SATs on my scale of enjoyment. However, I've found that the simple trick of adding things to your to do list THAT YOU'VE ALREADY DONE creates a sense of success and productivity without having to add another un-done task. I simply write down what I've already done and then cross it off. #bingo

3. Regrets from Break

-Really wishing I had tried this place while I was home. Miracle of Science in my hometown of Cambridge, MA boasts so many cool menu items and drinks. Next time!

-Really upset that a time machine has not showed up to magically transport me back to the days, a year ago, when Bologna, Italy with all its wonders-culinary and otherwise-was my everyday reality.
Swear I'm doing an Italy post soon that is very food related. And it will be amazing.

Stay tuned!