When Michael crawled into bed at 3:30 last night smelling of double malt whiskey, ashtrays, and downright debauchery, I knew that something was up.
He had an episode of Iron Chef to film in the morning. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned about my adorable, bald, alarmingly imaginary husband. It’s that nothing comes in the way of Iron Chef. In a “bros before hoes” kind of way.
“Where have you been?” I demanded. In as insisting a voice as I could muster at half past three am.
Followed by, “Did you know that alcohol decreases your sperm count? How are we supposed to have cute, bald, alarmingly imaginary children if you are going to be out drinking until all hours of the night! I might as well just cover you in spermicide. It would be just as effective and at least it wouldn’t ruin your liver.”
I was irate. In case you couldn’t tell.
I really want cute, bald, alarmingly imaginary children.
He grunted some incoherent response. And then rolled over and spooned me.
That man. I just can’t stay mad at him.
The next morning, I woke up before him (shocker) and went to check my email. Only to discover a message from my best friend telling me that rumor had it, Michael had heard that Batali and I had been cooking together the day before. And, in a fit of rage and jealousy, took to the local bars like the good Eastern European that he is.
Oh my poor baby.
And so. Like the cute, not-bald-at-all-in-any-way, alarmingly imaginary wife that I am. I made him some morning after food.
Pizza covered in salty fatty delicious cured meats, fresh mozzarella, and this sweet tangy spicy shasha sauce that his grandmother used to make. The perfect hangover cure.
Do I know how to appeal to a man’s senses, or what?
This is not only for those who have imbibed to excess and thus have woken up feeling slightly less than par, however. Oh, no. This is good for just about any morning after.
The morning after you receive an email informing you that, guess what! School is starting on Monday and – what luck – you can go pick up your first set of lecture notes on Friday at 10AM, for instance.
Or, the morning after you spend two hours waiting in a doctor’s office just so he can point to a black line on a screen and say things like, “Here is a picture of where your stress fracture used to be.” And then send you on your merry way.
Or, and here’s my favorite. The morning after. Period. Because really, any day is a good day to make this pizza. (Even though, I should note that Symon originally intended for it to be a sandwich. But I have problems with my inability to not mess with a good thing.) So do it. Now.
And while I’m already on the subject of ordering you around. Please send me your entries to Regional Recipes: PUERTO RICO! They are due by Tuesday at midnight!
Soppressata Pizza with Fried Egg and Shasha Sauce
Serves 4, adapted from Symon’s Live To Cook
For the pizza dough:
3 cups bread flour
1 tbsp yeast
1 cup water
2 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp olive oil
1. Mix the yeast with 1/4 cup lukewarm water. Add in a pinch of sugar. Allow to foam (approximately 5 minutes). If it never foams, then the yeast is probably dead/defunct – not good. Get a new jar of yeast.
2. In a stand mixer, mix the flour with the remaining water, sea salt, and olive oil. Add in the now-foamy yeast. Mix on setting 2 for 2 minutes to knead. If too wet, add more flour. If too dry, add more water. Turn into a greased bowl and cover with a damp cloth. Allow to rise for at least two hours.
6 hot banana peppers (I used random hot peppers from Whole Foods since I couldn’t find banana peppers. Really they were labeled as “mixed peppers”.)
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup yellow mustard
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
3/8 cup sugar
1/6 cup AP flour
1. Slice off the top of the peppers and remove the seeds. Coarsely chop them. Toss them into a food processor with the garlic, mustard, and vinegar and puree.
2. Pour the puree into a nonreactive saucepan. Add the sugar and bring to a boil over high heat. Love the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Mix the flour and a quarter cup of water into a smooth paste. Whisk it into the simmering liquid and return the mixture to a simmer. Cook, stirring regularly, until very thick. Let the sauce cool, pouring it into a nonreactive container and refrigerating for up to a month.
1/2 red onion, sliced paper thin
3 oz soppressata (dry-cured Italian salami), sliced thin
4 large eggs
3 oz prosciutto, sliced thin
1 ball fresh mozzarella, approximately half a pound, sliced thin
1 batch pizza dough
1/2 cup shasha sauce
1 medium heirloom tomato, thinly sliced
1. Soak the onion in a small bowl of ice water for 2 minutes.
2. Preheat the oven to 500. Spread the pizza dough out on a sheet of parchment paper to desired size and thickness. Spread the shasha sauce over the top of the dough in a thin layer (it’s incredibly spicy so a little goes a long way).
3. Layer the pizza with the red onion and tomato slices. Place the salami on top of the tomato. Place the mozzarella on top of the salami. Place the prosciutto on top of the mozzarella.
4. Place in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until bottom is browned and cheese is melted.
5. Fry eggs in a small pan on the oven, sunny side up. Cut pizza into four slices and top each with an egg.