(June 19, 2020) There is a general agreement among philosophers that time is continuous, and that it has an intrinsic direction that progresses from the past to the present and ultimately the future.
But, this may not always be the case. Allow me to explain.
Objectivity and subjectivity come into play and distinction is imperative if comprehension is to be obtained.
Objectivity is a viewpoint or standpoint that is neutral with respect to various subjects. Subjectivity, on the other hand, is directly connected with one’s personal feelings and opinions.
One might be wondering where I am going with this?
As I continue the daily progression of life, I find myself taking a break from my busy schedule and peeking into the past. Relishing recollections of loved ones is a way to celebrate, respect and preserve our ancestry.
My father played a key role in my life and greatly influenced my personal and culinary point of view.
Even though he is no longer with us, strangely enough, I find myself thinking about him more and more. One might think it would be just the opposite.
My father loved food and I have followed his footsteps. I remember how he enjoyed grocery shopping and his meticulousness with his purchases.
Canned goods and fresh eggs were wiped clean with a damp paper towel. He said food products are stored in warehouses, and you have no idea what they have come in contact with.
In addition, fresh vegetables were immediately washed before placing them in our refrigerator. Some may have thought he was obsessive. Today, he would be considered wise.
Dad worked for the government; he was a lithographer by trade. Working the midnight shift provided extra money and at the same time eliminated the need for a babysitter.
I remember being awakened late at night as swirls of spicy pork chops permeated my bedroom. My mouth-watering taste buds persuaded me to work my way downstairs in hopes for a much-anticipated bite.
Even though these chops of deliciousness were going to be his “lunch,” he always shared them with me and then encouraged me to get back to bed before mother awakened.
“Papa Elephant” and Baby Elephant” were fun nicknames that we gave each other and were perfectly harmless. I am sure by today’s standards these innocent names would “offend” someone and might even be “banned” for future usage.
Times are very different now and I wonder what my father would think of the events that are taking place not only in this country but around the world. One thing is for sure, everyone is affected and everyone matters.
Father’s Day is here and I wanted to come up with a recipe that would include his love for pork and at the same time take into consideration my need to count calories.
Diets are a daily affair and one’s menu must be adjusted accordingly. But Father’s Day is a special day and the thought of carrot and celery sticks does not tickle my fancy.
A grilled white pizza with grilled sausages and veggies takes top prize for creativity and would have pleased him.
White pizzas are delightfully refreshing and do not get the notoriety they deserve.
In case you are not familiar with white pizzas, they are comprised of a crust, a blend of ricotta and mozzarella, a touch of garlic, fresh basil and a drizzle of olive oil. What could be simpler?
Also, the “white cheesy canvas” is a great way to show off one’s artistic skills.
A few tips follow for a fabulous, grilled white pizza with grilled sausages and veggies.
Let us start with the crust. There are several options.
You can make your pizza dough from scratch. Homemade pizza dough tastes the best, but it does take time.
You can opt for a frozen pizza crust, and go from there.
But for simplicity and grilling purposes, Stonefire Artisan Flatbreads are the way to go. Just place the flatbread on the grill for a few minutes on each side and you are ready to assemble your pizza.
As far as the sausages are concerned, I prefer to simmer the pork in water.
Using a fork and puncturing a few holes allows the fat to escape and the sausages to cook faster, which lessons the chance for overcooking. Once they are almost done, remove from the simmering water and place them on the grill to get a nice char.
Grilling vegetables is very simple, but one step is imperative for perfect results. Mushrooms, zucchini, squash and peppers have a lot of natural juices, and grilling them brings out the natural liquids even more.
After these particular vegetables are grilled, remove stems and seeds, and cut them into the desired shapes.
Place chopped vegetables in a fine mesh strainer, then place the strainer in a larger bowl.
Place a small plate on top of the vegetables, then add something with weight on top of the small plate. Allow to drain for 1 hour.
The pressure of the weight forces the excess juices out of the vegetables. You may have to empty the bowl with juices a few times so the strainer does not sit in its own juices.
Once the excess liquid has been removed, toss the vegetables lightly in olive oil and kosher salt.
The cheese mixture is the next consideration.
Ricotta, mozzarella and/or provolone are your typical cheese combinations. It is best to add extra cheese when topping your white pizza with meats and vegetables. There has to be enough cheese to support the rich toppings.
The instructions for a grilled white pizza, with grilled sausage and peppers is quite easy.
Simmer your sausages in water until they are three-quarters cooked, remove from heat, and set aside.
Fire up your gas or charcoal grill. Grill the flatbread briefly on each side to get a slight sear. Remove from heat and set aside.
Grill your vegetables, follow the process mentioned above for removing the natural juices, and set aside.
Asparagus, eggplant, red onions and cherry tomatoes are other options for grilling.
In a medium bowl, combine 2 cups ricotta, 2 large cloves of minced garlic, and kosher salt to taste.
Spread the ricotta mixture on your flatbread, leaving a slight border around the edges free of cheese. Top the ricotta with 1cup of mozzarella and 1 cup of provolone cheese.
Artfully arrange your grilled meats and veggies on top of the cheese mixture. Cook at 425 degrees for 20 minutes.
Remove pizza from the oven. Garnish a handful of fresh shredded basil, a light drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil, and a dusting of coarsely ground black pepper. Serve immediately.
In closing, Father’s Day is not a sad occasion for me. Even though the clock of time ticks forward, my time with him remains within. The past is part of the future and the future will always be a part of the past.
Dad, I miss you dearly, Happy Father’s Day!
Secret Ingredient – Dad. “To the world you are a dad. To our family, you are the world.”