Thursday, January 10, 2008

"Would you like some cheese with that whine?"

I just got back from breakfast (late enough for you to say, "brunch?") and wanted to report on the ham and artichoke pizza.

Because I'm just that tireless.

But really, I was pleasantly surprised to find hot food in Annenberg past ten, when it starts getting shuffled away. That said, it looked they had a sufficient amount of leftovers to keep it going.

That's a surprise, because there were three pans of pizza left (one entirely full; two halfway-taken - one for each line), and the pizza definitely beat the greasy mushroom-and-cheese frittata that we have every two weeks. Or the vegetable omelette, made with dehydrated broccoli that necesitates the Heimlich. Or even today's meal, which seemed to be an open-faced egg sandwich (though it looked like another sleeper hit that I didn't try - there were only two left).

And that's where the pro of Annenberg is: the square pizzas. By consensus, this might be the epitome of an Annenberg meal...especially when served with tatortots. The flavor is great - the Margherita adaptation features fairly tender tomatoes, although I wish there were more of a basil presence. The vegetable pizza features seemingly-roasted peppers, tomato and squash, while the ham-and-artichoke is flavorful without being too salty. All three pizzas share a good balance of herbage (not to be confused with pwnage) as well as bite-sized, diced toppings (so I don't have to try to take down that two-foot-long green pepper ring in one bite). The whole wheat crust (like an upgraded pita - at times the crust of the pizza can be too hard, even though the center is undercooked) allows for the rationalization that the pizza is healthy.

But don't get me talking about the round pizzas, actually - well, too late now.

Although bacon-and-spinach or pepper-and-onion are actually great topping combinations, it's the cheese that's the problem on these round pizzas. So...let's reminisce about junior high, when the pizza came fast and greasy and everyone would take a one-inch stack of cheap, tiny-sized napkins to wipe (or dab, in a few cases) it off. The girls would scream in a coo about how gross it was, and the guys would probably have thrown the desecrated napkins at each other by the end of lunch. I don't really do that anymore - and really, the Annenberg pizzas are so healthy that you don't need to.

But the cheese on the round pizzas is white-colored, not because mozzarella is naturally white, but because it's been undercooked. It's clammy-textured and yet barely warm; in fact, the cheese hasn't really interacted with the actual pizza part and so it's like eating crust with good toppings and this random chunk of cheese hanging on top. Dannng.

I didn't really have to deal with that today (or yesterday), but I certainly thought about it a lot. My tip is that you cover up the cheese (or actually remove it if you weren't a fan to begin with) with more red pepper and oregano (that's grilled cheese spiking, by the way). Or just get the square pizza in the first place.

[P.S. My roommate reminds me to say that "the bananas today were beautiful."]


Tara said...

Good Lord, I love this blog. And you.

Tara said...

Oh, and this might be the most delicious recipe of all time. I'm thrilled to have experienced it.