Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Week 9 Day 1 – I'm Baaa-aaaak!

I am so happy to be cooking with a purpose again. I know...I am so weird. For some reason, I just can't seem to get motivated by everyday life. I have to have some sort of crazy goal I am working towards. And I have become such a nerd with this challenge. I sit in a coffee shop on Monday mornings with my folder full of recipes (literally a manilla folder crammed with pages I have ripped out of magazines) ready to plan the meals for the week and make out my shopping list. It brings me so much joy that I think I need to re-evaluate the rest of my life.

On a side note, as this challenge goes on and my folder gets fatter I think I need to figure out some better way to organize these recipes....Note to self.... Think about that tomorrow.

I would say that cooking is similar to riding a bike. It all comes back to you, eventually, but you might fall off the bike or run into a tree stump (aka spill flour on the floor and burn some primary ingredients) a couple of times at first. So I started off the month with Sausage, Spinach and Provolone Pizza from Real Simple. Pizza is easy right? Nothing to mess up there. Well, I didn't totally screw it up, but it wasn't my best attempt either. It tasted good (kind of like a sausage biscuit) but didn't really feel like a complete meal. Should have served a salad or something with it. And if I make this again, I will use shredded provolone cheese rather than slices. I just think it would look prettier that way. It looked kind of "made it up myself" with the giant cheese polka dots. All and all not too bad for my first day back on the job. I give it a B-. More to come...

Sausage, Spinach and Provolone Pizza
1 lb of pizza dough, thawed if frozen ( I just used Pillsbury pizza crust)
Cornmeal for the pan
2 TBSP olive oil
2 links Italian sausage, casings removed (about 3/4 lb)
1 small bunch spinach, thick stems removed (about 3 cups)
Kosher salt and black pepper
1/3 lb thinly sliced provolone (next time I will use shredded provolone instead)

Heat oven to 425º. Sprinkle a rimmed baking sheet with cornmeal. Shape dough into a 14-inch circle and place on prepared baking sheet.

Brush dough with 1 TBSP of the oil and bake until puffed and golden (about 15 min)

Meanwhile, heat the remaining TBSP of oil in a large skillet over med-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, breaking it up with a spoon, until no longer pink, 4-5 min. Add the spinach and 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper and cook, tossing for 1 min.

Top partially cooked dough with the sausage mixture and cheese. Bake until the crust is crisp and the cheese is melted, about 12 to 15 min.

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