Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Cooking Bug Bites Again!

As the temperature drops and darkness settles in like a tired old mutt after circling the block three times I find myself back in the kitchen, beer or wine in hand, cooking food for friends. It's like shrugging on that well-worn robe you forgot on the back of your closet door all summer.

Last night I wanted to caramelize onions. So I decided to make pizza and invite over my friend Hooman, thinking he would likely ask his roommate, my friend Emrah, along with. I arrive home to a funny coincidence: my roommate Meredith is cooking dinner for Susan, Emrah's girlfriend, and told her to invite both boys along. Ahhh, Serendipity ... not just a delicious restaurant in NYC.

I like to use Whole Food's 365 brand GF pizza crust. It's very difficult to screw up and can be spread to your desired thickness (that's right, you don't knead or roll out GF dough, you spread it.) I threw in a generous helping of Italian seasoning to the dry mix for an extra flavor boost.

For toppings I skipped the sauce and threw on some hunks of fresh Gouda plus a heaping amount of aged Gruyere (one of my all time favorite cheeses.) Piled on top of that were the onions I'd caramelized and some trumpet mushrooms I sauteed in evoo, butter, and some Adobo seasoning. A sprinkling of fresh, hand-torn sage followed by 20ish minutes in the oven and viola!

All of my friends were genuinely surprised at how tasty it turned out. So tasty, in fact, that I didn't take the above picture until after work today when I reheated a slice (the beer, as you can see, is Bard's sorghum beer.)

Tonight I spent some time with another dear friend, Alisa. I had a craving for bruschetta which she was only too happy to help make and then consume. Bruschetta is an easy one with some wiggle room for fun ingredient manipulation. This time being my first, however, I played it simple: chopped tomatoes heated in evoo (about 1 Tbsp oil per pound of tomato) with a sprinkle of salt and hand-torn fresh basil tossed in at the end, just long enough to release some flavor and aroma.

The bread is Against the Grain baguettes, halved and split lengthwise, then fried in evoo and some butter. And then before piling the thick, slightly crunchy, slightly chewy slices with tomatoey basily goodness I rubbed them over with a garlic clove half. YUM.

If it's your thing, you could also drizzle some balsamic vinegar on top. Or add more salt. I'm not really a salt person.

Later days.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

In Vino Veritas

My roommates and I hosted a housewarming party this past weekend, preempted by a dinner party for the friends of ours who helped us move in. This means that once again my secret powers of sangria making were called upon.

This time I made both a red and white (well, blush, really.)

cheap box wine (I don't really know of another brand besides Franzia, do you?)
green apple
ginger ale

cheap box wine
red apple
pomegranate seeds
ginger ale

Of course the beauty of sangria is that you can truly make it your own and continuously experiment with fruit variations but I gotta tell you ... the red was down right phenomenal. Though I should have remembered that we had added rum to it before consuming so much (oops.)

I'm aware that I still haven't posted my trip from a month ago yet but ... yeah, I have no excuse beyond the fact that I love having a full social calendar. And for the next two weeks while my friend Mike is visiting from China I will absolutely spend as much time with him as possible.

I suppose all I can do today is leave you with a poem (which still needs an edit or two):

It was someday in the middle of some month and I was walking home from work on the Mass Ave bridge.

The sky was the color of watered-down orange drink. Fat, purple clouds loitered over the Charles. The lampposts hunched over, asking me to stop and play hangman with them.

I realized I hadn't thought of you all day which was interesting because that past weekend was the first time I'd seen you in 5 months since you'd punched me in the face and tried to steal my best friends.

I felt as gray and bored as the concrete beneath my sneakers. The only variable which way the wind would blow my hair.

I needed change like a Diabetic needs insulin. Life just wasn't sweet enough anymore.

Still my feet carried me over Boston's aorta. And I tucked my hair behind my ear. And I pretended to be upset because you looked and smelled and felt exactly the same which was cold.

But really?