Now I'm back, and I brought my dear friend Mr. Jet Lag with me. I have whiplash from the change of pace. I went from leisure to full frontal DC. We're not the sweetest city. All our escalators seem to be broken, the buses are always late, and as I got off the metro to go to work a homeless woman was screaming her curses for all to enjoy. I miss the lavender fields.
After a red eye flight, a bus ride from Baltimore to DC and a grueling metro ride that forced me to carry my heavy bags half a mile to my office, a full days work to make up for missing 10 days, broken escalators and the metro ride home....only then do I remember I have no fresh foods. That's not so bad. I'm a trooper, I'll drive to the store.....nope. After all that I get home, and my car is completely blocked in. No food for Jana.
Ha. Like I'm the giving up type. So, I scan the fridge, strike out, and sadly I open the freezer and low and behold: a ball of homemade frozen pizza dough, frozen ricotta, frozen homemade pesto cubes, and frozen spinach. Oh that's right, my little lesson on how to freeze herbs just rocked my world. Because yes, I have homemade pesto, homemade ricotta, homemade pizza dough all waiting for me. And luckily I had some shredded mozzarella that hadn't expired yet.
By the time I threw together and ate my pretty awesome make shift dinner, cars were moved and I was able to get to the store. Thank heaven because if I need some good fresh foods to kick Mr. Jet Lag out of my life.
So, without further ado, may I present, the best ever meal to come from your freezer:
Neapolitan Spinach Pesto & Ricotta Pizza
1 ball frozen homemade pizza dough from Bread Maker's Apprentice --I don't have permission to print this recipe. But, 101cookbooks does! Hollah!
1 cup ricotta cheese, thawed (see recipe below)
3 cubes frozen basil pesto (see recipe below)
1/2 cup frozen spinach, thawed and drained (fresh preferably)
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
Pick up at step 4 of the instructions I don't have permission to print. Ha. Top with thawed basil cubes and dallops of ricotta, and thawed spinach. Dust generously with shredded mozzarella cheese. Continue following the instructions and bake on a pizza stone at the highest temperature you can.
Enjoy! and to make up for not being able to post the dough recipe myself, here are the recipes for the components I can print:
2 quarts whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Line a large sieve with two layers of cheesecloth and place it over a large bowl.
Slowly bring milk, cream, and salt to a rolling boil over moderate heat, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching. Add lemon juice, then reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring constantly, until the mixture curdles, about 2 minutes. Pour the mixture into the lined sieve and let it drain for a few minutes. After discarding the liquid, chill the ricotta, covered. It will last two days or you can freeze the cheese for up to two months. If freezing, freeze in an ice cube tray. Allow to freeze for a few days, then pop ricotta cubes into a freezer bag removing the excess air. Store in freezer for further use.
1 1/2 cups fresh basil, leaves picked and chopped
1/2 cup pine nuts, very lightly toasted
1/2 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
extra virgin olive oil
a wee bit of lemon juice
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Combine the basil in with the pine nuts in a food processor. Pulse a few times. Add garlic and continue pulsing.
Turn mixture out into a bowl. Stir in Parmesan, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.
Use fresh or freeze in an ice cube tray. Allow to freeze for a few days, then pop pesto cubes into a freezer bag removing the excess air. Store in freezer for further use.