"Perhaps the most impressive of all the cookbook blogs are the three devoted to the 2004 edition of Gourmet magazine's "The Gourmet Cookbook" -- all 5¼ pounds and 1,300-odd recipes of it. Befitting this culinary Everest, all three writers are overachievers in their professional lives."

--Lee Gomes, The Wall Street Journal, May 28, 2008
"I should have told you before how much I've been enjoying reading your thoughts. You seem like such a great cook."

--Ruth Reichl, Editor-in-Chief of Gourmet Magazine, June 8 2008, comment on "Chocolate Velvet Ice Cream".

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Roast Beef Sandwiches with Roquefort and Caramelized Shallots

Don't let the 40 minute start to finish time fool you, folks--this is a quick and easy sandwich that is perfect for a casual dinner or a lunch for somebody you actually like. 

O'Malley and I made this one night when Don was at class--and we were both mighty happy! Here's the recipe on Epicurious, but you can follow along with me.

Preheat oven to 375. Melt butter, and saute a lot of thinly sliced shallots until golden brown. Now actually, let me stop here and just kvetch about one of my major terminology complaints re: The Gourmet Cookbook. ALL THE TIME, they talk about caramelized onions and caramelized shallots, and the directions say (just like here) saute for about 10 minutes until golden brown. 

I'm sorry, that's not caramelizing. Get it straight, (Gourmet) people. That's sauteing. Caramelizing is when onions are cooked first over med-high and then over a low heat and the sugars are released. To do it right takes almost an hour. And this sandwich would be extra good w/ shallots that were actually caramelized, but since (the first time around) I'm doing it their way, I just sauteed them (as the recipe directed) and left it at that.

OK, rant over. Lay out four pieces of sourdough bread, divvy up the pound of thinly sliced roast beef you have on hand, then top w/ crumbled Roquefort and your shallots that are sauteed-not-caramelized. Top w/ bread slice #2, put on baking sheet and pop in the oven for 7-10 minutes, and you've got dinner.

I'm sorry to say not only do I not have a photo, I couldn't even find one to steal! Pathetic! So you'll just have to imagine how it tastes...tangy sourdough with a crunchy/chewy thing going on...lean roast beef coated with salty, pungent roquefort...and butter crispy, oniony shallots that are just on the edge of being burned. Put it on a blue plate, give yourself a green napkin and a clear glass of german pilsner over ice, and sit down on your deck under the umbrella. Sounds like summer supper to me!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Strawberries with Balsamic Vinegar

Isn't that a nice photo? I didn't take it! Patti at Worth the Whisk did, and it's a post that's actually about strawberries with black pepper and balsamic vinegar, though it's not from the Gourmet Cookbook. Thanks, Patti! May your blog thrive.

So here's another recipe from the Fruit Desserts chapter, and although you might think that this is an easy one to knock off, you'd actually be wrong--that is, if you want to get it right.

Why? Because it calls for one very special ingredient, which is aged balsamic vinegar (preferably aceto balsamico tradizionale). People, this is not the balsamic vinegar you buy at Stop N Shop.

Now, you can kind of fake it (and restaurants do, all the time) by reducing balsamic vinegar with a little sugar until it's thick and syrupy. This works fine!

Or you can keep your eyes peeled until you find a store that sells this stuff, or something close to it.

But wait! I hear you cry--What's the Big Deal about balsamic...aceto...whatever it is?

Well, my little chickies, if you were to traverse Italy you'd discover it's a VERY big deal over there, and it's partly a product thing, and partly a proprietary thing. You know how sparkling wine can't be called Champagne unless it's actually produced in the Champagne region of France? That's because the winemakers of Champagne went to the mat to get that to be a LAW, and it's like that with many food products--traditional, artisan, regional makers of food fighting for the right to not have that name be co-opted by Kraft or Gallo or whoever. (WHOMever, grammar nazis!)

Parmesan cheese is another one--if it ain't from Parma, it ain't Parmesan. It's just "aged".

So getting back to balsamic vinegar--this from Wikipedia:

Only two consortia produce true traditional balsamic vinegar, Modena and Reggio Emilia. True balsamic vinegar is made from a reduction of syrup from sweet wine grapes, called "Mosto Cotto" in Italian, which is subsequently aged for a minimum of 12 years in a battery of seven barrels of successively smaller sizes. The casks are made of different woods like chestnut, acacia, cherry, oak, mulberry, ash, and, in the past, juniper. True balsamic vinegar is rich, glossy, deep brown in color and has a complex flavour that balances the natural sweet and sour elements of the cooked grape juice with hints of wood from the casks.

Reggio Emilia (Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Reggio Emilia) designates the different ages of their balsamic vinegar by label colour. A red label means the vinegar has been aged for at least 12 years, a silver label that the vinegar has aged for at least 18 years and a gold label that designates the vinegar has aged for 25 years or more[2].

Modena (Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena) uses a different system to indicate the age of their balsamic vinegars. A cream coloured cap means the vinegar has aged for at least 12 years and a golden cap bearing the designation extravecchio shows the vinegar has aged for 25 years or more[2].

Did I fly to Italy to get this stuff? No, actually I was up in Newburyport with O'Malley for a little day trip, and we decided to picnic down by the waterfront. So we went to a highly acclaimed (thanks Chowhound!) place called the Grand Trunk Old World Cheese Shop, and they happened to be having a vinegar tasting.

Anyway, long story slightly shorter, I ended up buying a small bottle of 8 year-old balsamic vinegar, which was the oldest they had. It cost $30, but my paycheck was burning a hole in my pocket so it was just one of many things we bought that day-gourmet chocolates, spicy chorizo, aged cheddar, smoked herring, a crusty baguette, and a German beer that I stealthily poured into my Sigg water bottle.

Here's O'Malley eating smoked herring:

Then I decided I didn't get enough of the yummy picnic food so here's a wider shot:

I really am getting back around to Strawberries with Balsamic Vinegar. Really! But I just want to note that real true aged-more-than-12-years balsamic vinegar costs a bajillion dollars, and unless I go to Italy and get some on a dessert or something, odds are very slim that I (or you) will ever taste it. Or maybe you work for Gourmet and that stuff is in the pantry?! Maybe. Who knows?

But the 8-year stuff isn't bad--it's sweet and rich, and I like my book group enough that I decided to share this dessert with them.

Now, alas and alack, my strawberries were not the finest local strawberries, sweet, sunkissed and warm. No, they were those big honking strawberries from CA that are mostly red, mostly tart and some sweet, firm and well-formed. I got three quarts of those, cut them up, and tossed them with the aged balsamic, sugar, and freshly ground black pepper.

Yes, pepper! Don't look at me like that. It's good!

I served them whipped cream and because I still can't bring myself to give my book group desserts that don't involve either chocolate or flour I brought some cookies too. They loved it! Or, they SAID they loved it. Maybe they have low standards.

I liked the strawberries very much, and I used the leftovers all week long on arugula for a nice summery salad.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Miso Soup

It's a blustery, raw June (?!) day...the perfect setting for a post about soup!

Miso Soup, to be precise. This is one of the recipes in the soup chapter that seems tremendously appealing because it has only five ingredients. And this might lead you to think that it's easy to make, but actually, you'd be wrong!

Oh come on, I hear you cry. What's so difficult about miso soup?

Well, two things. One is that you are not going to find wakame, white miso, bonito flakes, and konbu in your supermarket, unless you live in Porter Square. So it requires a special trip to The Store That (Hopefully) Sells Those Things.

The other is the ingredient dashi (recipe follows). Embedded recipes can add a lot of time to your kitchen flow! OK, this one only adds 10 minutes. But I DO find myself avoiding recipes with embedded recipes, just fyi (Gourmet editorial staff).

So we'll start with the dashi. which calls for konbu (that's a type of seaweed), and dried bonito flakes (that's a type of fish). An ounce of konbu. Hmm, how much is that?

More than I thought!

Add that to six cups of water, bring to a boil and then take the konbu out, which the recipe helpfully notes you can reserve for another use, if desired. What, I don't know. I'm sure Martha Stewart would have many, many suggestions about this. Placemats? Picture frames? If you had enough of it, perhaps you could fashion a shift out of konbu. Project Runway, I would like to see this.

Then you add a cup of tightly packed bonito flakes...

...and sprinkle them on the konbu water and let them sit for three minutes.

Then you filter the bonito flakes out. The recipe says you can use cheesecloth or a coffee filter--I say, how about a fine mesh sieve? Worked just great for me. And, you can reserve the bonito flakes for another use too!

A word about bonito flakes--you might be wondering what they taste like. If you go for the salty/meaty spectrum of foods, you'll be hard pressed not to just sort of snack on these like potato chips, though they're maddeningly non-substantial. It's sort of a salty-fishy flavor with a little bit of a metallic aftertaste. Mmmmm. What you're supposed to do w/ soggy, post-dashi bonito flakes, I don't know either! I think the people who originally came up with these recipes must have been alive during the Depression. I suppose your cat might like them, or maybe you can wad them up and throw them at people you don't like.

Well, now you have dashi. On with the show!

Take your second type of seaweed, wakame, and soak it in warm water. My wakame was kind of long so I cut it up.

Then combine 1/4 cup of white miso with a little dashi. I have to confess here that I didn't use white miso, because I had some perfectly nice red miso hanging out in my fridge. What's the difference? Red miso has a heartier flavor, if I may be so bold as to use that term with miso.

Heat the remaining dashi in a pot, and then add soft, cubed tofu. Here's my tofu, it its pre-cubed state:

If you're used to firm or extra-firm tofu, the texture of soft tofu might be slightly disconcerting. But one of the reasons I love soft tofu is that you can use it in sweet things (smoothies, pies, etc) and people will never, ever know. If you are the sort of person who giggles at the thought of pulling one over on people, you should explore soft tofu.

Here's my soup with tofu and wakame...

Basically, you're just warming up the tofu and wakame. No need to cook them.

Here's the soup, finished off with the miso and sliced scallion greens:

If I were being snarky, I'd say that miso soup turns out to be less than the sum of its parts, but I'll rephrase that and say miso has a subtle flavor that is very soothing and actually would be perfect for breakfast, which is how they eat it in Japan. I ate mine for dinner, and it seemed very authentic, since it tasted like every other miso soup I've had in my life. Gosh, I am being snarky today--it must be the raw weather. I shall atone by making myself some miso soup for breakfast.

Oh, and please notice that I'm also atoning for photo FAIL these last couple of posts by an abundance of photos here! See, I can document a whole recipe from start to finish. Bet you didn't think I could.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Creamed Chayote with Chives

Unless you've spent a significant amount of time living or traveling in southerly climes, you might be hard-pressed to describe a chayote. I was. In fact, I had never heard of chayote, and I've lived in Georgia, Texas and North Carolina (albeit many decades ago).

If you are likewise clueless about chayote, here's what Wikipedia has to say about them:

The chayote (Sechium edule), also known as sayote, tayota, choko, chocho, chow-chow, christophene, mirliton, and vegetable pear, is an edible plant that belongs to the gourd family Cucurbitaceae along with melons, cucumbers and squash.
The plant has large leaves that form a canopy over the fruit. The vine is grown on the ground or more commonly on trellises.
Costa Rica is a major exporter of Chayotes worldwide. Costa Rican chayotes can be purchased in the European Union, the United States and other places in the world. Chayote is a very important ingredient in the Central American diet. In Mexico, Veracruz state is the most important Chayote growing area, and is also a major exporter of this product, mainly to the United States.

I found my chayote in Market Basket, my source for all things ethnic that can't be found in the "international" aisle in the local markets. It looks kind of like a dark green pear.

I was surprised by the big seed in the middle!

Oh, the recipe! It's actually pretty simple--Creamed Chayote with Chives calls for chayote, vegetable oil, cream, salt, and chives. I chopped my chayote up...

and then apparently stopped taking pictures, because that's all I got. So imagine that the chayote are now sauteing in a pan, and that now I'm adding cream, and that now I'm adding chopped chives and salt.

And now imagine that I'm tasting this dish, thinking huh--this is kind of a bland treatment for such a mild vegetable!

Yup, chayote tastes almost exactly like summer squash or zucchini. If the thought of zucchini cooked in cream turns you on, I say go for it, but methinks there's gotta be a better way. If you happen to have a bumper crop of chayote, turn to the many, many zucchini recipes out there and sub it in. One of my well-traveled friends says she has only ever eaten it stuffed, and frankly I think it would make a better stuffing vehicle than long, skinny, easily tippable zucchini!

Here are some more fun facts about chayote, that I've learned just this morning (thank you, Wikipedia!):

1. The whole darn plant is edible--seeds, roots, leaves, everything. How often do you see that?

2. In Taiwan, they're planted for their shoots, which are called "dragon whiskers".

3. In Australia, there's a persistent rumor that McDonald's uses chayote, not apples, in their so-called "apple pie", which has led to an aggressive marketing campaign on McDonald's part stating that they use REAL APPLES! REALLY!

4. And I'm just going to quote this one: "Due to its purported cell-regenerative properties, it is believed as a contemporary legend that this fruit caused the mummification of people from the Colombian town of San Bernardo who extensively consumed it. The very well preserved skin and flesh can be seen in the mummies today.[citation needed]" Please note that "citation needed" is Wikipedia's mark, not mine!

And, like any seed, fruit or vegetable hailing from the ancients (the Aztecs apparently ate a lot of this stuff), chayote is rumored to have medicinal qualities--ie, a tea made from the leaves is supposed to dissolve kidney stones. Maybe it does--who knows? If I had kidney stones you can bet I would try it since passing a kidney stone is apparently very very very painful.

So my conclusion here is yay for chayote, a new vegetable for me, but in my opinion this particular recipe doesn't do it justice.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Tripe Roman Style

Have you ever wandered through the meat section of a supermarket and paused to look at something that looked like a white sponge with ridges? And wondered who on earth would eat such a thing? Further, HOW they would eat it?

That, my friends, was tripe. It's part of a cow's stomach (the lining from the second chamber, if you want to get precise), and who eats it is practically everybody in the world but folks from the good old U.S. of A. HOW they eat it is a matter of personal taste--there are whole cookbooks (and cook-through blogs) dedicated to these cast-off parts of animals--most notably to my mind Nose to Tail and Ryan's blog dedicated to it, Nose to Tail at Home.

In fact there's a whole nose-to-tail movement afoot in the culinary world, so if you have an adventuresome spirit, do a little homework and you'll be sure to find a competition or a local chef who's focusing on this trend.

This didn't stop me from being somewhat apprehensive about sallying forth to cook tripe for the first time ever. And it's not like you can just throw it in the oven, either--tripe needs to be prepped in a certain way, and it takes time.

To make Tripe Roman Style you first rinse the tripe (after trimming any fat), and soak it in a bowl of cold water for an hour. Then put it in a pot of cold water, bring it to a boil, and drain it. Put in more cold water, bring it to a boil, and then let it simmer for 4 hours.

I'd like to say that hanging around in your house doing mundane shores while your tripe is simmering away on the stove is a pleasant thing, like hanging out while bread bakes. Unfortunately, simmering tripe STINKS.

Yes, it's kind of a sour, dirty dishwater smell, with overtones of ammonia. BLARGH. And it has to simmer for FOUR HOURS.

The best thing to do is to break into your neighbor's house while he's at work--you know, the one who runs a leaf blower/lawn mower/weed wacker at 7am Saturday morning-- and boil it in HIS house (while you're leafing through back issues of National Geographic on your comfy couch) and then bring it home to finish off the dish.

While the tripe is boiling at your neighbor's house, start prepping the sauce. Saute onions, carrots, celery and garlic first.

Then add salt, pepper and white wine, cook some more, then add tomatoes, water and fresh chopped mint.

Get the tripe and consider it.

Nope. It's not gonna win any beauty contests.

Trim it up and put the strips in the sauce--then cook it some more (45 mins to an hour) until it's tender but still slightly chewy.

Now you've got something that can go in a bowl, topped with grated romano and more chopped fresh mint.

How was it? Well, predictably my husband LOVED it, but he grew up with a nana who made tripe all the time and I just think that anything he didn't have to chew for half an hour was an improvement.

I, who had only had tripe once before (tripe w/ cilantro at a Chinese restaurant in Cambridge) had a little bit of a texture issue, which is to say that I found it a little too soft, and also ever so slightly slimy, which was probably my fault because I didn't trim it correctly. I'm happy to report, however, that the taste was fabulous--for all of that stinky boiling smell while it was cooking, there was NONE of it in the final dish (which is probably the point of all that boiling).

Is it worthwhile, the smell? Listen, I'll leave it up to you, but if I read something in the police reports about a rash of mysterious daytime break-ins that seem to involve nothing but a stinky odor...it'll just be our little secret.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Two Rhubarb Desserts

I think Adam and I must be connected on some sort of psychic gourmet ethernet--I had just started a post about Rhubarb Roulade and Roasted Rhubarb Tarts with Strawberry Sauce, when up popped Rhubarb Roulade on Adam's blog! OK, it IS rhubarb season, but still there are over 1300 recipes in this book! I think it's kind of interesting that we often cook and write about the same things.

So yes, it's rhubarb season and since I love to cook seasonally I of course have been all over this plant--my friend Elizabeth has a MASSIVE rhubarb plant in her garden and I got all of my rhubarb for these recipes (which ended up being about five pounds) from her. Thanks, Elizabeth!

By the way, if you have never seen a rhubarb plant they look like this:

Elizabeth wondered, as I was cutting, if there was any taste difference between the green stalks and the red stalks, and I told her I didn't think so...but then I tasted them and at least in the two I sampled the red one seemed to be more watery. I'm not sure why this would be--it might bear further experimentation!

The Rhubarb Roulade starts you off making a thin sponge cake, made by combining an egg yolk/sugar/vanilla base with whipped egg whites and flour. I've made a few cakes this way, and there has to be a better way.

My main problem is with sifting the flour in thirds over the egg yolk base and then folding it in. Flour just doesn't fold that well--it kind of clumps up. I found myself wanting to use a whisk with the flour...but that would have defeated the purpose of folding in the egg whites that I folded in on the previous round!

Next time I try a cake like this I'll just whisk the flour right into the base first, then fold in the whites.

The batter goes in a jelly roll pan,

and bakes for not-too-long.

While it was baking and cooling, I made the filling. Oh by the way, I doubled this recipe because I made it as a birthday cake for my mom, who gave me carte blanche to bake whatever I wanted! I didn't double it because she loves rhubarb, I doubled it because there were going to be about 14 folks at the party and I wanted to feed them all. Poor kids. No chocolate cake!! And, my mom does love rhubarb. Just thought you'd like to know. I'm not THAT mean.

OK, filling. Couldn't be simpler. Cut up your rhubarb and put it in a pot with sugar.

in less than 15 minutes, you've got it.

I ended up cutting the two roulades in half and making kind of a cross out of them on the cake platter--I filled in the gaps and corners with fresh strawberries and sprinkled the whole thing with confectioner's sugar. Pretty, and no photo--sorry! You'll have to use your vivid imagination.

Happy birthday to my mom, whose birthday was actually in March, but clearly we don't pay much attention to those silly little details!


I'd been intrigued by Roasted Rhubarb Tarts with Strawberry Sauce from the get-go, all because of that word "roasted". I've roasted carrots, parsips, mushrooms, tomatoes, potatoes--what on earth would happen to rhubarb when it was roasted? Would it shrivel, intensify in flavor? Very interesting to think about!

Also, this recipe falls into the category of "Recipes for Busy, Busy People" because the store-bought components seem to make it quick and easy to put together. What components, you ask? Frozen puff pastry, and frozen strawberry in heavy syrup, along with rhubarb, conf. sugar and creme fraiche or sour cream (I used sour cream because I'm cheap).

Does it seem odd to used frozen strawberries at the time of year when strawberries are in season (like rhubarb)? Yes! Very, very odd, but I played along anyway because THAT'S HOW I ROLL.

For a recipe that seems to simple, it was kind of a pain. Rolling out puff pastry is a pain--why not use puff pastry shells, which have a hole in the middle already? Because this is what you do--you're supposed to bake the squares that you cut:

and (this is when you're ready to eat them) knock a "trough" into the rectangle, into which you spoon the sweetened sour cream, roasted rhubarb, and strawberry sauce. It was kind of like...a strawberry-rhubarb tostada.

But I'm getting ahead of myself!

The strawberry sauce. You puree the thawed frozen strawberries in a blender and force it through a sieve to remove any unpleasant seeds. I realized too late that my strawberries were not thawed.

but once they were I blended them and dutifully strained them, and strained out...nothing. A waste of time. Strawberry seeds are so small, who cares?

On to the next step-the roasted rhubarb! I was looking forward to this part. I cut up the rhubarb and sifted confectioner's sugar over it,

and popped them in the oven (425 for 15-25 minutes). I couldn't wait to see how they would be transformed. Are you curious too? Oh, the suspense!


Let's see!

If you are thinking that it just looks like plain old rhubarb sitting there, you're right! All it does is make the rhubarb tender. And, it's a little bit sweet from the dusting of sugar.

And if you're thinking, "what's the point of roasting it, then?" you are PSYCHIC because that's what I want to know too! Why not just throw it in a pot with some sugar like the good old rhubarb roulade up there--less time consuming, anyway and also I hate washing cookie sheets for some reason, probably because I always end up getting water on me. Bah humbug.

And here is where I stopped taking pictures and just finished it up, because I had to be at the cookout in mere minutes.

I skipped the sifting of confectioner's sugar over the creme fraice/sour cream step because frankly I had had it with stupid directives--I just dumped it in and whisked the hell out of it. Then I packed the whole thing up and trotted off to Elizabeth's cookout. Oh by the way I tripled this recipe, which could have something to do with my crankiness--stupid directions times 3 make me three times as cranky!

I have nice friends. Elizabeth has nice friends. Everybody said they loved loved LURVED this dessert, but I didn't, and I think it's because I've finally owned up to the fact that I just don't like puff pastry that much. I also found the rectangular puff pastry with a troughhoffillingandtwotoppings tostada effect unwieldy and messy.

How could this recipe be better (oh so many ways)?

1. Puff baskets, or whatever those things are called.
2. Fresh strawberries, with sugar of any kind. Maybe a little booze, like chambourd. No silly straining of seeds.
3. Roasting rhubarb the way I'm envisioning it would be time-consuming (since rhubarb has a lot of water), so ditch that conceit and just cook the damn stuff on the stove top in a pot.
4. If I were so inclined, I might put a little lemon zest in the sweetened sour cream, but this recipe isn't stupid because of the lack of lemon zest. That's just me thinking of how it might be better.

There! I'm done being mean. Ruth Reichl, I don't call many of these recipes stupid (I think this makes 6 out of, oh...over 700 so far) and I hope this isn't one of your cherished family recipes! So don't be insulted! Or any other of you Gourmet staffers, if you even read these blogs.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Grilled Margarita Pizza and (bonus!!) Grilled Eggplant Pizza

Ask a question, get an answer--I was mulling over what to write next in my last post, and Eve suggested Grilled Margarita Pizza. Eve, your wish is my command! :-) Even if it does take me a little while.

So, grilled pizza! Dedicated readers with long memories might remember that I have had some very bad experiences with grilled pizza, some of which involved long odysseys to get a full tank of gas, others of which involved charred pizza. Oh, and raw dough, too. Let's just say it's taken me a while to get up the gumption to give it another try, but with the weather turning nice I threw reservation to the wind and settled into Grilled Pizza, Take Three.

It's actually pretty straightforward, once you get used to the idea that the dough will not ooze down through the grill rack and burst into flame. Here's how you start. First, set up everything next to the grill, because you have to work fast. I have my pizza dough on the left, and my toppings in little bowls on the right--including olive oil to brush the dough with.

Also, you can see two ears of corn hanging out there--O'Malley and I had pizza and corn planned for the first evening where we could eat on the deck.

The thing you have to kind of reconcile yourself to is that your pizza ain't gonna be pretty. As in uniformly round. You can see mine are sort of free-form, and I had to make them consecutively because stretching out the pizza and laying it out takes about as much time as it takes for the first one to cook on one side.

You know, I'm so focused on technique I didn't even mention the ingredients. Should you be wondering, Margarita Pizza is tomatoes, cheese and basil. I used mozzarella on one and goat cheese on the other. The tomatoes, fyi, are canned (unless you've got luscious summer tomatoes), and I did NOT buy whole canned tomatoes and dice them, which I think is stupid, I bought diced tomatoes. Save steps where you can.

The trick with grilled pizza is to get your timing down. You can see from mine that I was a little shy on the first side--the tops of the pizzas are pretty pale. But I did better on the flip side, if only because I needed to melt the cheese!

And here are the two pizzas, fait accompli.

And, wouldn't you know it, just when we were ready to pull up the deck chairs...

That didn't stop us, though. We're New Englanders!


I was so excited about the fact that I didn't a) burn the pizza and b) undercook it to the point of rawness that I decided to try my new mad grill skilz on Eggplant Pizza.

Eggplant Pizza is again, a simple topping--which is to say the pizza dough is brushed with olive oil, topped with broiled eggplant rounds, and sprinkled with garlic that you've sauteed with red pepper flakes. Oh, there's some mozz/parm cheese in there too. I'd like to point out that I get extra points for grilling in the dark. We haven't figured out an after-sunset lighting situation out by the grill.

Please notice the kitchen shears, my new favorite way to cut up pizza. Here's a solo slice shot.

OK, we eat late around here. In fact, it's going on 10pm and I just finished my dinner (not grilled pizza, alas!) Can pizza ever be the same for me, now that I've figured out the grilling trick? Papa Gino's, LaRossa's...you've got a lot to measure up to.