Posts Tagged ‘pizza’

Waiting Games: Rounds 2 & 3

September 17, 2009

For those of you wondering how the pantry raid challenge is going thus far… I would have to answer, “why, deliciously.

Round 2 (Tuesday): roasted red potatoes and turkey chili for one.

Chili: 1 cup cooked turkey, remaining 3/4 can diced tomatoes, 1 orange bell pepper, 1/2 can dark red kidney beans and 1/10 onion (really, this is ridiculous now, but required for Round 3 below).

Potatoes: Six red potatoes, salt, pepper, dried thyme, extra virgin olive oil

Cook: Combine chopped onions, bell pepper, red pepper flakes, salt and 2 tbs chili powder in small pot and cook over medium heat until soft, about 5-7 mins. Add tomatoes and kidney beans, reducing heat to med-low. Cover and simmer 10 minutes, adding water as needed. While chili cooks down, slice red potatoes into thin disks and toss with extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper and dried thyme. Spread over foiled baking sheet and roast at 450 degrees, 15 minutes. In last five minutes, add cooked ground turkey to chili along with remaining chili powder and simmer until warmed through. Serve over 1/2 roasted potatoes.

Round 3 (Wednesday): Pizza Panino

[because without gooey mozzarella cheese, it just isn’t pizza]

Ingredients: 1 whole wheat mini pizza crust, 3 tbs diced canned tomatoes, frozen spinach (thawed), 1/10 yellow onion, 1/2 bell pepper, 1/2 cup cooked ground turkey.

Cook: Sautee onion and bell pepper over medium-high heat until slightly caramelized; set aside. Oil nonstick grill pan and heat over medium. Cut pizza crust in half and top with above ingredients, as well as pinch of salt, pepper and dried oregano. Place panino on grill pan, top with second half of pizza crust and heavy pot lid (note: you can also just use a panini press if you have one). Leave alone to cook 2-3 mins until crust develops nice grill marks. Carefully remove from grill pan, flip panino and replace on other side, pressing down with weight of pot lid. Mangia!

***I must admit, after this last meal I’m starting to feel a little twinge of self-doubt. The options are starting to grow rather thin for my challenge of dinnertime variety. I’m down to 1 can diced tomatoes, 1/2 bell pepper, 1/2 bag frozen spinach, 3/4 box of rotini pasta, and about 2 cups of ground turkey – and not one, but two more meals to go.

Hmmm, perhaps I was too lofty in my goal…?

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Culinary Therapy on a Friday Night In

August 8, 2009

It’s well past seven before I finally arrive home on most nights of the week – nearly a full twelve hours after the morning’s reluctant greeting to what will become a sequence of fundamental imperatives:

Coffee. Traffic. Power Up. Sit Down. Write. Call. Do. Now. Lunch? (No.) Rush. Wait. Approve. Deliver. Power Off. Workout? (Must.) Traffic. Home.

Most people I know view what follows as a mere part of this obligatory process: Wash. Chop. Boil. Cook. Serve. Shovel.

As for me (or any other everyday gourmet, for that matter), cooking is quite the opposite: unmediated, voluntary and spontaneous. At the end of the day, I can’t wait to retreat to the small space of our kitchen.  I am the chief executive here, the reigning corner office authority, subservient to no outside interest, deadline or contracts – and bare feet are the only stipulation on the code of attire. Though, perhaps even more significant is the power that comes in yielding sharp knives…

This Friday night warranted homemade pizza, super simple with ground turkey and a store-bought whole wheat crust at hand. Topped with orange and red peppers, onions and spinach, it’s the perfect weekday wind-down. Even better with a glass of chianti and flamenco guitar strumming softly in the background.

My kitchen is not ideal by any means, a U-shaped corner of cabinets and countertops that meet at a small but bright window looking out over the drive. It’s a crowded mismatch of cookware and tucked-away appliances, wrinkled dishtowels and scarred cutting boards, plastic lids with no partner – the obvious shared extension of four single twentysomethings and oddly comforting in its chaos. But by the time the pizza is ready, I’m relaxed and warm from the heat of the oven (maybe more so the wine) –  the perfect resolution to the compulsory and a welcome preface to the weekend.