Monday, June 8

More Assembly Foods

I know, I know. I've been slacking. It's been a week. But seriously, I've been having difficulty being culinarily creative lately, in part due to my severe Mass Effect addiction. Ever since Mass Effect 2 has been announced, I've been on a mission to make sure the characters I port over into the next installment of galactic drama are friggin' perfect. As a result, I've been sticking to the basics. I mean, yes, beer-brined pork chops with roasted potatoes are delicious, but who wants to watch me make them?

But enough about my nerdish addictions. I've been thinking lately about presentation, how we eat with our eyes first. And I realized that in the course of making food, there are times where the product looks awful. Today, I will study one such food: the pizza roll/stromboli/stuffed bread. Someone should get around to standardizing the term for this thing.

Has anyone out there actually gotten the Pillsbury Pizza Crust in a can? it looks pretty nasty. All off-white and sticky and rectangular. I tried rolling it into a sphere once, so I could reshape it into a disc. I failed miserably. However, the rectangular shape is ideal for what we need it for today. Though really, if you get the chance to make your own dough or pick up a ball from your local pizzaria, go for it. Pillsbury ain't bad, but I imagine anything else would be better - I'm just lazy today. Here, I have the dough stretched out in some sort of mishappen quadrangle.

Note the dollar for size reference. It's surprisingly large, this hunk of gooish dough. This is what I'm talking about in terms of appearances. This is kind of gross. Basic, but gross.

The assembly process isn't hard from here.

I just layered cheese, sopressata, spinach, and capricola on top of the dough, taking the time to squish down the spinach as I did. After all, the spinach was going to lose moisture and shrink as it cooked, so we want to minimize that. Yes, I could have avoided that by wilting the spinach down before I put the layer down, but what do I look like, a guy that isn't lazy? Anyway. At this point, all the layers actually look pretty on top of that pallid palate of pizza dough. But it's not hard to go from this:

(Ooo. More fontina!)

To this:

Again, with the dollar for size reference. Tell me that doesn't look like a palette-swapped dinosaur turd covered in parmesan. It's that weird, football-on-a-pasta-binge look to it that's less than appealing. It doesn't even look good when it's done cooking.

Bleah. No, this is not a visually appealing dish... until you cut it open.

Take a look at that. That's all cured meat and spinach and cheesy goodness, all rolled up in an easy-to-eat crust. So let that be a lesson to you.

Okay, so I'm not really sure where I'm going with that. Ugly food is tasty food, too! Now leave me alone, I have a headache.

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