Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Cast Iron Pizza

Thanks to Jerry Seinfeld, I am constantly reminded of an airplane bathroom when I walk through my apartment, minus the gross-factor of course (3:10). Not only is the apartment similar in size to the loo in the sky, the standard apartment amenities are either non-existent, poorly designed or miniaturized. My three favorite parts of living in a city! Take the oven for example. When I moved in, only one of my cookie sheets fit and a 9x13 pyrex dish only fit facing in lengthwise. Needless to say, there is absolutely no way any respectable pizza stone will fit. Unwilling to compromise our homemade pizza quality, we decided to give cast iron a try. Not surprisingly, our cast iron griddle didn't fit in the oven either, but the cast iron skillet does and it made fantastic pizza. We were pleasantly surprised but think about it- what does cast iron not do?

To try this at home, treat the cast iron pan, or griddle if your oven is a standard size, like a pizza stone. Pre-heat the oven to its max heat setting with the cast iron surface inside. Prep your pizza on a pizza peel, or if you like multi-taskers a cutting board, and slide the prepared pizza on/into the cast iron. Bake for 5-10 minutes depending on the thickness of your pizza crust and your crust preferences. One fun thing about the cast iron skillet is you really get a pizza 'pie'.

A few notes about sliding the pizza into the cast iron skillet:
1- The skillet is HOT. H-O-T. Be careful.
2- The pizza may miss it's mark when you slide it into the pan (see pictures below). You'll be able to fuss with it a bit and sort it out, but see note #1. And, the pizza will be delicious even if the crust is a little off center or a few toppings are out of place.

This time around we made a few pies. First, we made one of my spring time favorites, shaved asparagus pizza, and we also made a lamb rosemary sausage pizza with mushrooms. Hard to beat for a weeknight!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Refrigerator Pickled Jalapeños

I'm back! And hopefully, with a bit of a bang. I've missed this!

I've been doing a ridiculous amount of writing to finish the process of amending a few extra letters to the front of my name, which was definitely worth it. But, it detracted from the time I could spend writing here. Forget detracted- it destroyed it. And, most days felt somewhat like this:

 The last thing I wanted to do during my time off was choose words, type, and stare at a computer screen. Honestly, all I really wanted to do was this:

On with the food- Say goodbye to soggy jalapeños. Or, adios if you want. Either way, this recipe produces crisp and crunchy pickled jalapeños. Not cooking the jalapeños does two things. First, it makes this recipe super quick and easy. Second, the jalapeños never have a chance to soften. Not pickling these peppers the old fashioned way shortens their shelf life, but they'll be just fine if you keep them in the fridge. And, you'll eat them so quickly it shouldn't be a problem. Try them on salads, egg scrambles, sandwiches, and all the mexican classics. If you're heat/spice sensitive you can remove the jalapeño seeds to moderate the heat level.