MAY 14, 2012–PIZZA DOUGH, FIG-PROSCIUTTO PIZZA, BRIE-STUFFED MUSHROOMS
Wendy was coming. I have known Wendy since forever, and after not seeing her for years, she was coming to my house. At first, I thought it would be fun to go out to eat–maybe that vegetarian restaurant that gets such rave reviews. I knew The Hunni wouldn’t be excited to go to a meatless restaurant, so maybe a Girls Night Out would be fun. Then I checked the calendar–baseball game. I tried to think of ways around it, but finally decided going out was out. So the next question was, “What shall we cook?”
I scanned Pioneer Woman’s cookbook looking for Girl-Recipes. Bingo. We would start with BRIE-STUFFED MUSHROOMS (pg. 96) and have FIG-PROSCIUTTO PIZZA (pg. 148) for the main corse. Cooking is fun, but cooking with a friend is wonderful.
But first, I’d better clean the house.
Cleaning done, the fun could begin. I had gone shopping at Hiller’s–our specialty grocery store to get the ingredients to dinner.
The mushrooms are capped, sautéed in butter, then stuffed with Brie. Everything about the recipe says GIRL all over it. I don’t think Guys eat mushrooms as appetizers. On their Burgers, maybe. With their steak, perhaps. But stuff a mushroom? Spend time on something that is only one bite? I don’t think so. Therefore, it was the perfect food for tonight.
MMMmmmmmmm! (See that ordinary cheese pizza beside the mushrooms? I am a Mom. I KNOW my kiddos won’t go for FIG-PROSCIUTTO PIZZA. I slap together some plain, old, ordinary, much-loved, cheese pizza.)
When The Hunni comes home from a trip, he brings everyone a present. The kiddos spent much of their phone conversations with their Daddi throughout the week changing their orders. WED = “Daddi, could you bring me Doritos?” THURS. = “Daddi, I want Skittles instead.” FRI = “Will they let you bring Root Beer home on the plane?” SAT = “I want my very own packet of gum–not the spicy kind.” SUN. = “Daddi, I changed my mind again. I just want Doritos–Cool Ranch.” The Hunni also picks up some food item for me. Usually it reflects where he has flown–salsa from New Mexico, blueberry jam from Maine, and once he brought me Fig preserves. I didn’t quite know how to use the Fig Preserves, until I read PW’s recipe for FIG-PROSCIUTTO PIZZA.
The pizza dough is spread with Fig Preserves before layering on the mozzarella slices and baked.
After baking you layer on prosciutto and arugula. Sprinkle on some Parmesan Cheese and enjoy.
And enjoy it we did. Okay, Wendy and I enjoyed it. The kiddos enjoyed their plain, old, ordinary, much-loved, cheese pizza.
But before we head off to the baseball game. What is prosciutto? While in Italy, I had eaten it as an Anti pasta (translation = before spaghetti) wrapped around a melon (translation = delicious appetizer).
Let’s learn a little more about prosciutto. Prosciutto is a cured ham. Cured in a special way. Like ham, it is from the hind leg and salted. Also like ham, the meat regains a pink color during the salting process. However, that is where the similarities end. Prosciutto is the “caviar” of ham.
Prosciutto is made from either a pig’s or a wild boar’s ham (hind leg or thigh). The process of making prosciutto can take anywhere from nine months to two years, depending on the size of the ham. (from Wikipedia)
Prosciutto is as Italian as pesto or pasta. This site has a great article on prosciutto.
To say that prosciutto crudo is enormously popular in Italy is almost an understatement. This delicacy is as ingrained in Italy’s culinary DNA as pasta—and the enjoyment of it starts just about as early in a young Italian’s life. Like Parmigiano Reggiano and extra-virgin olive oil, prosciutto crudo is so natural and healthy that it is one of the first adult foods that babies are given to eat in Italy.
I had heard that prosciutto was not made in the United States. I heard that about 20 years ago. Whether true then, I do not know. However according to this exhaustive article about prosciutto, it is now made in the U.S.A. I also learned from this article that it is illegal to bring home Italian prosciutto in your suitcase. An automatic $250 and a very happy police dog are the results. (Okay, they incinerate the meat, but the dog must certainly drool from the smells of this wonderful stuff.)http://www.mmdtkw.org/VProsciutto.html
And now “PLAY BALL!”
That’s LBG in his catcher’s gear. We played a team from across town–the good side of town. We live on “the other” side of town, and we are known to play “scrappy ball.” We may have a scrappy team, but we won.
After baseball we headed over to Ice Cream Time for a treat. Then we headed home where Wendy and I visited a bit more. It was so nice catching up with a longtime friend. I hope work brings her back again.
The girls played in the living room. And here is what they played.
Can you guess? Here let me show it to you again.
Can you guess now? Any ideas?
Those crayons aren’t crayons; they are cigarettes. The crayon shavings in the silver container are their “ashes”.
And remember those Root Beer bottles from out trip West?
I give up.
COMMENTS: I haven’t mentioned the PIZZA DOUGH (pg. 141) recipe, but it is easy and tasty. I added a little more salt than called for in the PIZZA DOUGH. Other than that, I followed the recipe almost 100%. That is unusual for me. I loved the FIG-PROSCIUTTO PIZZA, but it won’t be an everyday dish in our house. The kiddos won’t eat it, and the prosciutto is expensive. It is good cold the next day, or at midnight when you are checking on the kiddos. Arugala keeps for a long time in the refrigerator, and I like the peppery bite it has. BRIE-STUFFED MUSHROOMS were delicious. Overall, I would say both of these recipes are specialty meals. However, the pizza dough is a basic, and will be used often.