The Hungry Engineer

Food as Cure-all

21 May 2008

With all the craziness around our house lately (largely revolving around my job and one of our pet cats), I forgot that I have cooked some over the past few days, and the meals have been more interesting than I’ve put together in quite a while.

Saturday for lunch, I tried out a recipe posted on the Orangette blog. It’s a modification of a James Beard recipe for braised onion pasta sauce. Essentially, you slow-cook onions in butter until they’re fantastically sweet and mellow, then you amp up the flavor complexity with a splash of your favorite fortified wine. I tossed it with some whole wheat pasta (we’ve been using the Healthy Harvest version of Ronzoni pasta - it is wonderfully fiber-rich while managing to not taste like paper) and shredded pecorino romano cheese over the top. The sweet / salty combination was fantastic. Here’s a link to the Orangette post with the recipe.

Monday night, I made pizza (actually, I started the dough on Sunday night). We had leftover Aidells teriyaki meatballs, and I had it in my head that I wanted to use them as a pizza topping. For the sauce, I sauteed some diced onions in a bit of canola oil laced with sesame oil. When they were soft, I dumped in some hoisin sauce (I used the Central Market organics version - it’s pretty good), and let that cook for a little while to let the flavors come together. The pizza was then constructed as follows: canola oil around the perimeter of the crust (so it browns better as it bakes), the hoisin-onion sauce (not an excessive amount- just enough to cover lightly), sliced teriyaki meatballs, pineapple chunks, and sliced red onions. All that went into a 500 degree oven (in which I had been warming a pizza stone for the past hour) for maybe 8-9 mins. Immediately after pulling the pizza out of the oven, I threw on some cilantro leaves and let the whole works sit for a couple minutes before cutting into it. My husband had only one comment - that he wished he could taste all the flavors in one bite instead of having a nice bite of pineapple and then a nice bite of meatball (so next time, I may try cutting the toppings into smaller bits), but otherwise, I think we both enjoyed the pizza very much. It was really pretty too! (Must get spouse off his duff to take photos.) For my part, I was pretty proud.

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