A lot of people have been wondering why we haven’t posted that many recipes on our blog, even though we claim that we love to cook so much. The reason is simply because the weather has been so hot lately that neither Josh nor I have had much desire to slave away in our tiny kitchen with poor ventilation. We don’t have an overhead fan above our stove, and there is no switch to turn on the tiny vent next to the burners that is supposed to automatically come on when it senses smoke. And by supposedly, I mean the fan rarely kicks in, and so whenever we cook our apartment inevitably fills up with smoke.
As a result, on nights that we don’t go out or order in, we’ll just throw together something simple like Caesar salad with homemade dressing and grilled chicken or arugula salad with lemon and parmesan. Tasty, but nothing exciting to blog about. Our favorite simple supper, however, is prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, tomato, basil, and a nice baguette, all arranged on a cutting board for easy noshing. We slice the baguette into little rounds and just pile on whatever toppings we choose. It’s fun, easy, and requires absolutely no cooking.
On truly lazy nights, we’ll get by with supermarket mozzarella, prosciutto, and baguettes. They’re not the greatest but they’re passable in a pinch. However, when Josh took our friend from Singapore to Chinatown for some banh mis, and he very thoughtfully picked up some fresh mozzarella and burrata from Di Palo’s.
One night I convinced Josh to stop at Amy’s Bread and Sullivan Street Bakery after work for some baguettes, so we could do a side-by-side comparison. Unfortunately, by the time he got to Amy’s bread they had run out of regular baguettes so we had to settle for whole wheat. Not a big deal. He did manage to get a regular baguette from Sullivan Street, so while we couldn’t do an exact comparison, we did have a nice variety for dinner that evening.
We rounded out the meal with some decent Citterio prosciutto that we picked up for cheap at Costco, basil from our windowsill, a nice ripe cantaloupe, also from Costco, and some super sweet cherries.
The last time we had burrata from Di Palo’s, it was imported burrata. This time Josh got the domestic burrata, which still had great flavor but it wasn’t as milky or creamy on the inside as the imported variety.
Both baguettes were delicious. Fortunately the whole wheat one from Amy’s Bread wasn’t too wheaty in flavor, since I usually don’t like whole wheat bread. It had a subtle nuttiness to it, and a slightly firmer chew, but otherwise it was just as good as a regular baguette. The one from Sullivan Street Bakery had a nice airy and chewy interior, though I wished the crust was a bit more crispy. Not a big deal, we can just pop it in the oven for a quick toast next time. I really liked both baguettes, and while the location of Amy’s Bread is much more convenient, I’d happily make the trek down to Sullivan Street Bakery once in a while for some delicious bread.
The addition of the cantaloupe was a nice change of pace for us. It’s no wonder that prosciutto and melon is a classic pairing. The super sweet melon and the salty sweet prosciutto were simply divine together.
I’m sick of the hot weather but I’ll be sad when the summer is over and my excuse for not cooking will no longer be valid. But even though we won’t have super sweet ripe summer tomatoes and fruit available when the weather gets cooler, I’m sure we’ll still have many lazy nights when we’ll have a simple feast of prosciutto, mozzarella, and tasty fresh baguettes.
Amy’s Bread (multiple locations)
672 9th Ave. between 46th and 47th St.
New York, NY
Sullivan Street Bakery
533 West 47th St. between 10th and 11th Ave.
New York, NY
Di Palo’s Fine Foods
200 Grand St. between Mulberry and Mott St.
New York, NY