Monday, April 26, 2004

Friday night I made my regular (caramelized onions, prosciutto, lemon pepper cream sauce) pizza. I used fresh mozzarella, since that's what I had on hand, and it was delicious, if melty. It ran all over everything. Something tells me Jeff and I will be discussing the relative crispness and thinness of pizza crusts for the rest of our lives. It's a subject I find I can devote endless talk to, anyway.

If y'all want vegetarian tea smoked "duck," I know just the place. Our vegetarian friends who got married Saturday had it as an option. I could have had two helpings, and I LOVE meat. It was good, good, good.

Sunday I was going to shop for this week's lunch salad, suggested by a reader, Brianna- but I forgot to write down what went in it, and all I could remember was Gouda. Not really thinking I wanted to eat Gouda only this week, I turned to Cooking Light, who suggested a ham and brie sandwich on hazelnut foccaccia. I was going to make the hazelnut foccaccia, but hazelnut oil costs more than gasoline. Since I have rosemary growing amok on my balcony, I made Marcella Hazan's rosemary foccaccia from Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking. I even kneaded it (kned it? Hehe.) by hand. It was soothing, though I'm sure the stand mixer could have done it just fine, too. Foccaccia is fun to spread out and dimple, too.

I did take issue with a few things- Marcella tells you to make an emulsion with the water, oil and salt- except she never tells you how much of each. I had to guess on the proportions, and I think I guessed okay. She also has you put the rosemary on after 15 minutes- at which point, the top had baked enough the rosemary didn't really stick well. Nonetheless, it is delicious, and with some Niman Ranch black forest ham and triple creme Brie, a killer sandwich.

Speaking of Brie sandwiches, Jeff and I went to eat at Grub yesterday. And I was really disappointed- I had a marinated tomato and bell pepper sandwich with brie. The brie was ice cold, the bell pepper was literally just a half of a bell pepper (not marinated at all, though the tomatoes were) slapped on top, and the bread was an incredibly awful commercial baguette. (Jeff's croissant part of his croissant sandwich was also, I though, horrible.) How hard is it to serve cheese at room temperature? Or make your own bread? In this town, there's no excuse to not buy good bread, at the very least.

Last night I turned back to A New Way To Cook to make cornmeal crusted catfish and a salad of cucumbers in chive cream. I wasn't in love with the catfish- and I don't know what kind of thin catfish filets Sally Schneider gets, but ours took way more than 1 minute on each side to cook. More like 3 minutes on each side. Jeff loved it, though- figures it would be the one dish containing cornmeal that he likes. The cucumber salad was incredible, though. Truly, truly refreshing.