Tuesday, January 18, 2005

I was going to make the next pizza in this book, pizza marinara, but, y'all, that's pizza with no cheese. Maybe I would like that, but instead I opted to make more pizza margherita, with regular (North Beach) whole milk, low moisture mozzarella, instead of fresh buffalo mozzarella.

And, y'all, it was the perfect pizza. No sog, just a crisp, lovely crust. I could have eaten three of them. If you care at all about pizza, you should buy that book. (Up next, four seasons pizza or pizza de quattro stagione.)

Saturday I took the day off cooking and Jeff and I drove out to Father's Office in Santa Monica for burgers. Best burgers in the world and even better than their burgers? Their sweet potato fries. I could eat three baskets of those sweet potato fries.

Sunday I made waffles (thank you, New Best Recipe, for a waffle recipe that does not require overnight resting. My yeasted waffles were awesome, but it's nice to be able to just throw together some waffles.

Then, I sat down with my new best friend Tivo and watched a lot of food television. I saw an episode of Jacques Pepin's Fast Food My Way where finally he made something that was not only fun to watch but looked good to eat- wonton cannelloni. I grabbed my copy and inspiration really hit. I made the cannelloni, and the apple-granola timbales (with a homemade caramel sauce) AND baked shrimp casserole for a first course. JP would have wished I had also made a salad, but I can't recall the last time I made a three course meal just for me and Jeff. And the whole meal took under an hour to prepare, including the time that I took to wash dishes after preparing each course. When I put the shrimp in the oven, I had everything else ready to go in the oven and all the prep dishes washed. I set the table (and since I'd done all the prep dishes, Jeff didn't grump about the extra forks and glasses- I served water and two wines, a Sauvignon Blanc with the first course and a Chianti with the cannelloni) and the shrimp was done. I put the cannelloni in the oven and they cooked while we ate the shrimp (WHICH WERE SO GOOD! I got these odd red scallions from the farmer's market that tasted incredible, crisp and tangy baked in with the shrimp and diced mushroom and garlic. And the shrimp tasted like pure shrimp. So, so good.). Then while we ate the canneloni, the timbales went in the oven.

I clearly didn't give Fast Food My Way the credit it deserves, and it's getting a second look. I've always enjoyed the show, but didn't realize how many of the recipes were things I'd actually want to cook often. (On the topic of food shows, has anyone seen the Everyday Food show? I could barely watch the first episode. It set my teeth on edge. I miss Martha.)

Last night we had steak and potatoes. Who will steer you right when making twice baked potatoes? The Dorky Yankees, that's who. I used fontina cheese, since that's what I had handy, and more of the red scallion. And oh. The creamy goodness. I panseared two ribeye steaks we got at Marconda's Meats ($5.99/lb. LA folk, you can't beat those prices. That's my public service ad of the day.) and made a superquick butter sauce (again, from TNBR) which made the steaks sort of Ruth's Chris-esque.