Focaccia or whatever

So I had a portion of bread dough leftover from my cabbage and bread dinner and decided to make focaccia or some sort of something that is related to it and possibly pizza. This is french bread dough and while I’ve attempted this before and there’s really no way to ruin it, I decided to watch some YouTube videos before I set out on my path to rack and ruin. Welp, that may not have been the wisest course of action.

There is just no one way to make it. I watched Jamie Oliver, Samin Nosrat (in 2 different videos), Bon Appetit, Patrick Ryan and several other less engaging people make it, and none of them, not even Samin’s 2 videos, were the same. So fuck it. I already had the dough anyway which is generally the main event.

I had some sausage rounds that I ground up and cut up some tomatoes (Yes, you can do this and still call it focaccia—Jamie Oliver put potatoes in his!!! The English. Peh) both of which I sprinkled liberally on top

This was fabulouso. I added a splash of hot sauce. Hey, if he can put potatoes on his I can put hot sauce on mine. One thing though, I cannot for the life of me get this dough into the corners. And I find that frustration so annoying I’m going to do it in round pans from now on. I just cannot stand there and scream “get in the fucking corners” at what I suspect, but may not actually be, an inanimate object one more time. My mental health is fragile enough as it is.

Garbage for dinner

I was thinking I’d make lemon pepper chicken on the grill for dinner since I saw an alluring (and complicated) recipe for the making of lemon pepper. But I was meeting an old friend for a drink after work and thought I really wouldn’t have enough time to actually make the lemon pepper which requires some oven time to dry properly, so I decided just to grill plain chicken but when I was at the store I saw they had pre-marinated lemon pepper chicken breasts. Good enough. Or so I thought.

I have purchased these pre-marinated chicken breasts from MetroMarket exactly one other time. The Italian marinated. I seemed to recall, while I stood at the butcher counter, that I hadn’t liked them but I wasn’t going to buy the Italian marinade, so fine. Later, after I’d purchased the marinated lemon pepper chicken and was in my car driving to meet my friend, there was a certain smell emanating from the package . . . and I recognized it immediately. Garbage. It’s what I hadn’t liked about the other marinated chicken I’d had. That smell was off-putting but I eat stuff that smells like garbage; sauerkraut juice, bleu cheese, cantaloupe, all the time.

They didn’t smell so much like garbage once they were grilled but they weren’t lip smacking. I ate them (one for dinner, 2 were for lunches) doused them with Frank’s Hot Sauce. It killed the stench and any suggestion of lemon pepper. I’ll eat anything.

The next day when I was going to work, I had the chicken in a bag. I could smell it. I was also taking out my garbage and of course a neighbor got on the elevator. I wanted to tell her that it wasn’t my garbage that smelled like that, it was my lunch. But I didn’t. I smiled and hoped I’d never see her again although if I were to bump into her again, I will not have any MetroMarket marinated chicken on me. Not falling for that garbage again.


Chicken wings are totally delicious. It’s the skin. Crispy, hot and buttery. They are really only done properly on a grill. I bought a grill plate specifically for this task. It works beautifully but it’s a freaking mess to clean. I used to use aluminum foil but the wings stuck to it pretty badly. In Cooks Complicated, er, Illustrated they put them directly on the grill but to me that creates a lot of grease and fire.

I bought whole wings and cut them in half with a kitchen scissors. It takes 40 seconds. 

One hour on the grill, 30 minutes per side, brown and crispy, then dumped in sauce that’s half melted butter and half Frank’s Hot Sauce. Nothing else will do. The sauce sizzles when you pour it on and thermally bonds to the wings.

I find commercial bleu cheese salad dressing works pretty well. The heightened spiciness of the flavors all seem to support one another just fine. I forgot to put it out though.

Cleaning the grill plate was another issue.

Mmmm, seitan

I know it doesn’t look exactly unappetizing. But it is. Unappetizing. It looks deceptively like toasted bread. It doesn’t taste like it though. I can say it is edible since I ate it and I didn’t die. Or even get sick.

I had it for breakfast with steak sauce and Frank’s hot sauce all over it. As a delivery system for sauces it’s not unworkable. Particularly if you like the texture of sponge and the taste of, well, sponge. A very wet sponge that you left in the sink for too long. But I’m going to get used to it. Once we can no longer eat meat, or the price of it becomes so prohibitive, I’ll be lovin’ this stuff. Love might be too strong a word.