I had no intention of completely abandoning this place last week. It was an odd week with sick children and a day working at home and it kind of got away from me. It didn't help that I had like a bajillion games to review. Ok, not a bajillion, three actually, but still. All the reviews are done, and while they're not posted yet, I can assure you that when they do they'll crack Teh IntarWebs in half. In half! Now I get a week off until Phoenix Wright drops and then it's back into the reviewing fray. It's not a total vacation as I have to write a Mr. Binky column but those don't involve any actual effort and I can usually pound them out in my head to minimize the writing time. At some point, very soon I'm thinking, they'll realize that I have no idea what the hell I'm doing and pull the plug on the column entirely. Does two installments count as a run? Well, it was a good whatever it was.
We've had our first TV casualties in the Team Hyphen household. "Back to You" started working the daughter into the show, as I feared they would, and as such, my interest plummeted. That's not the shows only problems though. Patricia Heaton is basically the same character she was on "Raymond", a shtick that got tiring about 5 years ago. Fred Willard is amusing, but I have "Best in Show" for my Willardian amusement. The other show to go was "Dirty, Sexy Money". Peter Krause was great, but everyone else was just a caricature of people who, in the real world, I can't stand. Not exactly a good way to spend an hour. Besides, Blair Underwood kind of bugs me and he was about to join the show. I'm thinking that Bionic Woman won't end up making the cut either as they haven't done much with her Bionics. Maybe I'm just asking too much, but I want her to like kick a dude in half. Right now she can fight and scan people's faces, but that's it. Ooooh, exciting. Not sure what else I want her to do, but if I want to see someone feverishly scanning the faces for an enemy and then running off, I'll watch The Unit. I also find Katee Sackhoff's character supremely annoying.
I bought the new Jimmy Eat World cd, as was expected and so far I'm diggin' it. It's not as rocktastic as "Futures" however it flows a lot better. I always thought that "Futures" had two somewhat jarring stopping points and they always bugged me. This album doesn't have any of that. I haven't spent too much time listening to the lyrics, so I don't know how they can compare to some of the gems on "Futures" but I'm sure they won't disappoint. I was surprised to see the band got a nice spread in Entertainment Weekly along with an A- grade for the review. Go Jimmy, it truly is your birthday. I'll be seeing the band a week from Friday and I am very excited. My elbows will be sore from knocking people out of the way so that I can get to the front row and rock the fuck out. Sorry elbows!
Finally, to continue on the semi-regular feature detailing my family's trips through the culinary expanse that is our dinner time, I present to you volume two of "What's For Dinner".
Prosciutto and Mozzarella Paninis
A year or so ago my mom got me a Rocco DiSpirito cookbook, autographed no less. It's got some good recipes in it, however most of them can't be made in the short amount of time I have from when I get home until when the children arrive, desperate to be given food they have no intention of consuming. I did, however, find this recipe for a very tasty sandwich in the back of the book and it debuted to rave reviews from 3/4 of Team Hyphen last night. 75% is a damn good number for our family, so I'm considering it a success.
4 ciabatta rolls - I bought a loaf of ciabatta bread and cut it up, however I'm thinking rolls would be better. The end pieces of the loaf worked fine, but the middle pieces didn't hold up as well to my fervent pressing.
8 oz prosciutto - you're looking for about 8 slices here, with each slice about an ounce. Don't just ask for 8 slices of prosciutto as it's usually cut tissue paper thin and 8 slices won't be enough. If you want to get crazy with your salted pork self, through some pancetta on there too.
8 oz mozzarella - again, eight slices about an ounce each
8 slices tomato - make 'em as think or as thick as you want
8 fresh basil leaves - do not use dried basil here. Spend the 2 bucks and get the fresh stuff. It makes a world of difference
Slice the ciabatta rolls. On each sandwich put two slices of prosciutto and two slices of mozzarella. Season with salt and pepper. Add two slices of tomato and two basil leaves. Brush the outside of the rolls with olive oil and using either a sandwich press or a two skillet combo (one to cook the sandwiches in, and one for pressing on the sandwiches) grill the sandwiches until they're golden brown on each side. I used a grill pan for cooking and a big skillet for pressing so that I could get those cool grill marks. My pictures of the sandwich post cooking didn't come out all that well, but here's a picture prior to cooking.
These sandwiches would work well as appetizers too. Instead of using rolls, find some good rustic bread of a smaller diameter, like for bruschetta. Season the bread and brush with olive oil. Bake 'em on a cookie sheet until the bread is crisp. Place a small amount of prosciutto and a small amount of mozzarella on each piece, and pop 'em back in the oven until the cheese melts. Top with a slice of plum tomato, also of the small diameter, and a small basil leaf. Looks good, tastes better.