readerjane: Book Cat (Default)
[personal profile] rahirah asked, What is your favorite thing to cook?

Chicago-style deep-dish pizza. Easy choice.

We were given the recipe, along with the pizza pan to make it in, by some college friends. Hub and I have tinkered with that recipe over time until it suits exactly what we like in a pizza. It's based on Giordano's pizza, but our crust is yeastier and less corn-mealy than Giordano's. We use a little less mozerella. I think our sauce tastes better.

In fact, that's one of the downsides of making The Best Pizza In the World: I'm pretty much spoiled for restaurant pizza. I can enjoy somebody else's thin-crust, but for deep-dish it's gotta be my own.

We usually make two pies: one spinach / black olive for the veggetarians in the crowd, and one with sausage and mushrooms. But there have been variations. Hub likes pineapple / Canadian bacon.

This pizza is a LOT of work. You have to start the dough rising a couple hours ahead of time. The sauce is best if it's also made ahead so the flavors mingle. There's much slicing involved, and then just when you've finally got it in the oven, the kitchen is a disaster zone and you have to clean while the pizza cooks just so you have some place to eat.

But it's worth it. Add a salad and some grapes, and it's one heck of a meal.

The process is also a social one. It's fun to get the family and guests involved: delegate the spinach-chopping, draft somebody into grating the cheese. When the whole kitchen is fragrant and the kids are getting antsy for their first taste, that's the closest we come to grandmother's house at Thanksgiving.

It tastes like homecoming.
readerjane: Book Cat (Default)
[personal profile] lightgetsin asked: What are your core recipes? The things you make when there's no plan but you know you'll have the ingredients in the pantry because they're always ready. Or the things you make when everyone is having a bad day.

Tuna Mac. Chili and cornbread. Chicken Divan. Spaghetti.

It occurs to me that all these recipes are difficult to make in small batches. They're meant for groups around the table - plenty of servings plus leftovers for tomorrow.

They're also pretty flexible in terms of timing. Useful when I don't know exactly when everyone will arrive home.

I've been looking for ways to adapt these recipes and make them a little healthier. The thing about always-available ingredients is, they're not fresh. They tend to have a lot of sodium (canned tomatoes, cream of mushroom soup) and be heavy on the carbs.

I buy whole-grain pasta these days, so there's that. And I can make chili from scratch: soak the beans the night before, buy fresh tomatoes. But then it's not a spur-of-the-minute meal. It's a planned menu.

We're having a Winterpocalypse this week, so I forsee a lot of core recipes in my near future. Ugh, I wish the sun would come out.
readerjane: Book Cat (Default)
...and I've learned that it's good to have something to occupy you in the ER. So here goes.

CARROT CURRY )
readerjane: Book Cat (Default)
I'm making chili for supper tonight, and it struck me that this is one of the most processed meals we eat. I mean, I love our traditional comfort food, but it's two cans of kidney beans, one can of diced tomatoes, half a jar of store-bought salsa, an envelope of chili seasoning... not exactly low-sodium, y'know?

It'd be fun to make chili from dried beans that you soak, and fresh tomatoes, and honest-to-goodness chili peppers. Anybody got a recipe they can rec? I'd appreciate both meatful and veggie varieties. Anybody? Bueller?

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readerjane

May 2014

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