Friday, July 8, 2011

All Jazzed Up

I've never been much of a pretzel girl.

Thin sticks (which were a hot commodity for trade in middle school)...traditional hard bow pretzels (which top off Dad's snack bowl every night) unsalted pretzels (which often "fill" 100 calorie snack bags)...salty rods (which used to be a family favorite)...flavored nuggets and nibblers (which are done best by Synder's)...big soft pretzels from the mall (which are frequently doused in excessive amounts of mustard)...

They just don't make me oooh and ahhh in the same way, that say, garlic knots do. So you can understand why I was a little skeptical when my mom steered me towards a stand at the local farmer's market with a "Pretzel Logic" sign. After a quick look inside one of the big glass jars on display, I admit I was intrigued. These soft gourmet pretzels were clearly homemade and gorgeous to boot. Upon closer inspection, I saw a little sticker labeled "garlic/herb/parmesan" and my interest ratcheted up another notch. The kind and competent Amy Gross (who bakes the pretzels out of her kitchen in Monmouth, ME) encouraged us to try a sample...and after a tentative first bite, I was sold.

Garlic/Herb/Parm Pretzel, From Pretzel Logic Gourmet

The pretzel was deliciously doughy, with sprinkles of parmesan cheese and swirls of heady garlic spice reminiscent of an Italian-style artisan bread (one that tastes even better than it smells). It was the kind of baked good that makes you want to chew extra slowly, with your eyes closed. Amy doesn't have a website up and running just yet, but she does have a winning recipe at her fingertips. Make that multiple recipes, because I saw labels for cheddar, honey wheat, and cinnamon raisin too. I bet it won't be long before I see Pretzel Logic Gourmet in the "local" section of the bakery at Whole Foods in Portland...

Business Card

By the time Grandpa's clock started chiming at 6pm, we were still sighing with pleasure and silently thanking the genius who thought to pair garlic and parmesan together for the first time. Our pretzel was long gone, but our craving for these two flavors was not, so we decided on a pizza night. I've never met a version of Brother #3's pizza recipe that I haven't liked and tonight's pie was no exception. A garlic dough made from scratch was jazzed up with a surprisingly good store-bought pizza sauce, a melted mixture of mozzarella and parmesan cheese, and handfuls of broccoli, onion, chicken, and prosciutto.

Pizza-making Mess

Stir-fried Chicken, Onion, and Broccoli

Prosciutto Pieces

The combination was heavenly - the garlic crust didn't disappoint and the tiny slivers of slightly salty prosciutto were sublime. I'm probably going to be battling a tough case of garlic breath for awhile, but luckily Boyfriend is miles away in CT!

Brother #3's Latest Concoction

Pizza Night

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