The bad moodometer tick, tick, ticks. Faster and faster, louder and louder, the pulse accelerates, crescendos, as the lunch hour nears, arrives, passes. This is my downfall. This, my Achilles heel.
If I could hire an assistant, it wouldn't be to file, pay bills, answer calls. It would be to drag me like a caveman from my desk to the kitchen at noon each day for a superquick lunch. No frouffy food's necessary -- just some cheese slapped on bread'll do fine. On fancy days, yeah, we could expound on the theme, adding small porky nibbles or a slather of condiment, but the goal would remain thus: to get some food from the fridge to my belly in under 10 minutes, before I turn from a perky human into a fiery bloodsugarolopolous. I'll even do the cooking. My assistant's sole job would be to peel me from the laptop and shove me, hard, down the stairs.
Any takers? The pay stinks, and you'd have to deal with me, but otherwise it'd be a pretty sweet gig.
Recipe for Gooey Mozzarella Toasts with pancetta and quince
Here's what you need when you're starving and teetering on the edge of a moody cliff. I know you may not have pancetta and quince paste hanging around, but if you do, you'll end up with a few exceptional little bites. If you don't, melty cheese on bread is nothing to scoff at on its own. Stop being such a snob.
Serves 1 or just maybe 2
1/4 cup finely diced pancetta
1 ounce quince paste (membrillo), available at some cheese shops and Whole Foods
4 ounces dense, dark German bread (about 3 slices)
2 ounces mozzarella, cut into slices
Coarse black pepper and quartered lime, optional
Crisp the pancetta over medium high heat. Drain on paper towels.
Spread a thin layer of quince paste on each slice of bread. Top with cheese. Broil for a quick minute or two until cheese melts, and turns golden and bubbly, watching carefully to prevent burnage.
Sprinkle with crispy pancetta and a little coarse ground pepper, and squeeze with a little lime, if desired.