Pizza and a Movie #3: Texas BBQ Chicken Pizza with Prosciutto and The Black Scorpion (1957)

The Black Scorpion centers on a misunderstood prehistoric creature who is accidentally freed from his underground cave by a volcanic eruption and proceeds to roam all of Mexico in search of friendship and understanding.

Unfortunately, he is unable to find it, so instead he decides to slash his way through thousands of locals, demolish infrastructure, and create economic chaos in an attempt to weaken the peso.

Click here for the Recipe!

BBQ Chicken Pizza

For the first time in over three years, I’m a non-working television producer.  As of today, I have been without a job for eight whole days.  Breaking it down, that’s 192 hours, which isn’t so bad.  Heck, I’ve slept more than 192 hours straight on several different occasions.

You can also think of it as 11,520 minutes, which starts to sound a little frightening… though not as frightening as 991,200 seconds.  Holy smokes!  I’ve been a non-working producer for 991,200 seconds?  It’s true what they say about life… it really passes you by before you know it.

You may have noticed that I’m using the term “non-working,” which I think is much nicer than “unemployed,” don’t you?  In fact, if we put our minds to it, we can put a much nicer spin on any unfortunate situation just by tinkering a bit with word choices.  Examples:  My show wasn’t “canceled.”  It just “concluded its run.”  My financial situation hasn’t “stagnated.”  It’s merely “awaiting an upcoming monetary installment.”  You’re not “old.”  You’re simply “well seasoned!”

I’m doing my best to stay in the moment, which is what everyone is telling me I need to do.  Actually, before they tell me to stay in the moment, they ask that question all “non-working” producers just love to hear: “So… now what?”

It’s like they think I keep thirty or forty fully developed careers on stand-by for just such an occasion.  “Well, let me take a look at my handy list here… oh!  Next up is ice cream man.  Perfect!  Summer is just around the corner.  Kids are out of school.  All I need is a little paper hat and a van that plays “Do Your Ears Hang Low?” and I’m right back in the game!

People also do their best to get you very excited about having potentially endless free time on your hands.  “Think of all the things you can do now!” they encourage brightly, “Re-decorate!  Write a novel! Run a marathon!”  Why in god’s name would I want to do any of those things?  Those sound worse than having to go to work every day.  Even if I was independently wealthy, I don’t think any of those things would interest me.

I appreciate all the words of encouragement, instructions on what to do when life gives me lemons, and the reminders that I’m only about thirty work years away from having to scoop up french fries and assemble Happy Meal boxes if I don’t play my cards right.

But for the next 991,200 seconds, I think I will focus on making pizza.

Have you listened to a steaming hot pizza pie just out of the oven recently? The way it sizzles and hisses as the cheese bubbles pop hyperactively from one end of the crust to the other? That aroma of tangy sweet and spicy sauce snaking its way through your kitchen? Even those charred little pockets of mozzarella left behind on the walls of your oven take on a fragrant reminder the next morning… man, I love pizza!

And that’s… what’s now.

So if you’re in the Hollywood area, you should definitely stop by and snag yourself a slice. And don’t worry about gaining weight. At Tv Food and Drink, your butt never looks “fat.” It merely looks “super existent.”

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BBQ Bison Burgers

OK, yeah, so MG and I made complete pigs out of ourselves with these burgers tonight.

ARE YOU LOOKING AT THEM? If so, you can hardly blame us.

MG threw me a culinary air kiss (fingers to puckered lips which then shoot off into my direction – is there a better name for that?) and declared this “one of your most satisfying meals yet!” He doesn’t just give these kinds of compliments out, people, so take a very good look at this burger. I don’t often pat myself on the back, but…

It didn’t hurt that I used ground bison instead of beef or lamb (if you follow me here, you know beef is almost non-existent in my diet, and lamb has recently surpassed turkey as favorite burger meat of choice).

Bison is new to my kitchen. A few of its merits: less fat, less calories, and more protein than a comparable serving of beef. Also, similar to lamb, it just breaks apart in you mouth like magic. In fact, you need to take extra care in the pan as well or it might just fall apart on you during a flip. No matter though… push it back together, or don’t. Scoop it out it pieces, melt a little cheese over it and eat it over the sink.

The meat also really absorbs whatever flavors you pack into the pre-cooked patties.

And while you might feel the need to slather it in BBQ sauce as you would a beef burger, DON’T.

In fact, to be honest, I would have enjoyed it just as much with no BBQ sauce and maybe a fresh slice of avocado in its place. Bacon is most certainly a welcome addition as well.

Dare I go the route next time of cheese, avocado, bacon AND BBQ sauce?

If you were here, you would see the angel and the devil that have magically just appeared on my shoulders and have begun fighting for control of my soul.

Bison, people… BISON!

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Pulled Pork Sandwiches

As of last night, I am no longer the Last American Crock Pot Virgin!

After months enduring slings and barbs from my co-workers for spending as much time as I do in the kitchen without a crock, I finally lucked out and scored myself one for Christmas, courtesy of my mom and dad.

It’s little.  It’s like a “Bachelor Crock Pot,” or perhaps a “Baby’s First Crock Pot,” or a “Vern Troyer Crock Pot.”  I didn’t actually think there were crock pots this little, but now that I have mine, I see them in this little Hobbit-size nearly everywhere I go!

As for the first meal to make in it… that wasn’t a tough call.  I’d just recently enjoyed a fantastic pulled pork sandwich at The Tipsy Pig, a great gastropub up in San Francisco, and it had been flickering around in the back of my mind like a fugitive kite ever since.  Plus, I’m always looking for a reason to use barbecue sauce, and finally and most importantly, my boyfriend wanted it.

I let the pork cook through most of my Saturday afternoon.  The smell that slowly snaked its way through my apartment… well, you can imagine.  Even my twenty pound cat who doesn’t do much of anything other than lie on his back all day was dancing back and forth through the kitchen with his nose twitching and pointing up to the counter.  When MG finally showed up and walked through my door, the first thing he said was, “Hey, it smells like North Carolina in here!”  What kitchen-dabbler could ask for a better compliment than that?

So, thank you to my co-workers in the booth for the bullying, and to my parents for listening to them, and to MG for loving food, and to pork everywhere, and to the pulling of pork, and most importantly to the Naxon Utilities Corporation of Chicago for giving birth to the original slow cooker that would eventually go on to a life of fame and praise.

Pulled Pork Sandwiches

  • 1-2 pound pork loin, trimmed of fat
  • 1 1/2 cups barbecue sauce, divided
  • a medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 bell pepper, chopped
  • hamburger buns or the rolls of your choice

Place pork loin in crock pot and top with onion, pepper and barbecue sauce

Cover and cook on LOW for 7-8 hours or on HIGH for 4-5 hours

Shred with a fork, stir and continue to cook for another hour at least

Pile it up on your hamburger bun or roll and have at it!

Click on the below pics for hi-res versions.