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Posts from the ‘Pizza’ Category

Well, well, well… (remember me?)


This poor little blog has been neglected the last couple of months by yours truly.  Blame my new job!  I’ve been traveling like crazy and have hardly been home to cook.  So to talk you into sticking around…here’s as much of a post as I can get out there.

Let’s start with the most recent addition to our kitchen…

For my birthday, Woody gave me a baking steel, from Modernist Cuisine. Which is very cute and thoughtful…he really knows the way to my heart.  It’s through Pizza!  And a couple of nights ago…the first time, we’ve both been in town at the same time in weeks, we made one of these…

…actually we made two…and left only crumbs!

This is the closest we have come to making Neapolitan style pizzeria pizza, with a blistered crust, fresh buffalo mozzarella, San Marzano tomatoes and fresh basil.  I can’t wait to have it again!

I recently taught a 10 day course in Chico, CA and during a free afternoon, found myself touring the Sierra Nevada Brewery, which of course finishes with a tasting.  The hoppier the beer the better!  I loved the Hoptimum – it has an IBU (International Bitterness Unit) 100.  And their dry hop cold storage room smelled amazing!

Their operation is impressive, even more so because of their emphasis on being green! (Large solar array, hydrogen fuel cells, water treatment plant, etc.)  I really enjoyed Chico…quite a fun little town.  Of particular note is Chico Chai, Avocado Peach Margaritas at this place, and breakfast at Cafe Coda.

Feeling like something on the lighter side…

I experimented with a cold Soba noodle salad with seared tofu, sautéed mushrooms, steamed broccoli and fresh snow peas with a carrot, ginger miso dressing.  It needs a little tweaking, but certainly filled our bellies!

In early May, I had a craving for Chicken Tortilla Soup and whipped this up!

Those are house-fried tortilla strips on top, and the bowl is not ready until you’ve squeezed some fresh lime juice over the top and added fresh avocado as well!

Woody ordered some chile powders from New Mexico and was intrigued by this Blue Corn Pancake Mix.  We threw a batch together one morning, and can now speak from experience…it’s delicious!

Reaching way back (like late April), we made this awesome salad with roasted golden beets, fresh hazelnuts from Oregon, bacon and goat cheese!

I’m about to hit the road again tomorrow and I’ll be gone until the end of June.  I’m SOOOOO looking forward to July, summer produce at the farmer’s market, time to cook, patio sitting and a few slow weeks!

Until July…

Cheers!

 

2011 Meals in Review | part one


As I’m a bit behind these days, I noticed while perusing my photos from the past year in search of a couple photos for a new year’s card to send out, how many delicious moments we had in 2011.  What follows is not only what we made, but what we enjoyed! 

The delicious moments of 2011…


January

Rosemary Sea Salt Dinner Rolls (recipe credit: Pioneer Woman)

Creamy Pheasant and Wild Rice Soup

Orechiette with Pheasant, Bacon and Spinach

Butternut Squash, Shallot and Goat Cheese Pizza

Pot Roast…good the first time, better the second…

Cumin-scented Butternut Squash with Onions and Wild Rice

Pot Roast Ravioli

Homemade Fettuccini

Boboli’s done right…!  (yes, you are correct…that is an egg cracked on top peeking out from underneath the arugula and parm!

 

February

yummm…pancakes

Delicate Scrambled Eggs with Truffle Salt

A Birthday dinner at Bouchon

Cod Brandade with Tomato Confit and Fried Sage Leaves

Frisée aux Lardons et Oeuf Poché

Croque Madame

Back at home…Cheese Soufflé

Lump Crab Cakes

Valentine’s Day Cheese Fondue

Tempura and Cold Soba Noodles

Baby Artichoke Gratin (recipe credit: latimes.com)

 

March

Fancied-Up Burgers

Seared Scallops with Cream of Cauliflower Soup

Welsh Rarebit

 

April

April brought with it a trip to Vienna for Woody’s work…

Käsekrainer – near perfect street food

Beef Tartare with all the appropriate accoutrements

Veal Medallions

Finally in the homeland…a full plate of spätzle just for me!

A celebratory meal at Meinl am Graben began with a Veal Carpaccio for Woody

Tortellini with Consommé and Crisped Prosciutto

Honestly…I can hardly remember what exactly this course entailed…but I DO remember that it  was incredibly amazing!

The third course of our prix fixe…again…perfection!

Although I can’t say the name of the place…the fare was delicious

A trip to Vienna without Viennese coffee would be a crime!

Back at home…Pacific Spiny Lobster with Fava Beans and Meyer Lemon

Grilled Cheese Invitational…who says no to that…?

Burrata with Cherry Tomatoes…there were plenty more sandwiches and a lot more cheese, but most disappeared before I could get a shot!

And of course, an annual batch of Deviled Eggs for Easter!

 

May

Fried Chicken Salad with Goat Cheese

Onion & Bacon Tart

Minted English Pea & Lemony Feta Crostini

Another birthday was cause for a trip to the Los Olivos region, some wine tasting and of course a meal or two…

Bistro Burger

Spring Vegetable Pot Roast

Ebelskivers

Savory Lentil Salad

House guests meant a trip to the Original LA Farmer’s Market and an Oyster Po’ Boy

June

Chicken Garlic Sausage & Swiss Chard Flatbread

Potato Salad – Two Ways

Poppyseed Cake with Strawberries and Mascarpone Frosting

Part two coming soon…

DLW: Chicken Garlic Sausage & Swiss Chard Flatbread


Dinner Last Week::

I love when a delicious and distinctive meal comes out of whatever is lying around in the fridge.  I think it actually improves the whole meal experience…ya know, low expectations!  Maybe I should lower my expectations all the time and be pleasantly surprised when dinner is quick and delicious and did not require it’s very own trip to the store for exact ingredients!

This is one of those dinners!  Swiss chard that was on its way to being sad, some garlic chicken sausages from Trader Joe’s, just enough mozzarella, a quarter of a red onion and some pizza dough from the fridge.  I quickly sautéed the chard and sliced and browned the sausage a bit.  Seasoned with salt, pepper and herbs and drizzled with some garlic oil!  I also pre-bake the pizza dough as I find it stays a bit crispier.  Oven is preheated to 450º with a pizza stone, roll or stretch out the dough, load it into the oven for 4-6 minutes, just until it is firm enough to pull out in one piece without ripping or tearing.  Toss all the ingredients on top and throw it back in the oven for another 3-6 minutes.

Poof!  Flatbread!

Roasted Butternut Squash Pizza with Goat Cheese, Shallots, Bacon & Thyme


Dinner last week…

There is not one thing on this delicious piece of crust that was a disappointment.  The crust was great and even better on the next day when it rolled out thinner and crispier!

Oh my, how the summer flies…


So we’ve been traveling a bit this summer.  Not a lot, but enough to throw off the routine…enough to make us forget which day of week it is…and just enough to provide more photos and projects than I have had time to post.  (read: explanation for my lack of regular posts from this summer)  One of the things I love about traveling, and returning for visits to locations that are familiar is returning to some favorite spots, digging into a favorite dish that you just can’t find anywhere else.

We found ourselves in Minnesota for a few days, and I had to make sure we squeezed in a meal at Punch Pizza.  I am well aware that this is a chain…but it is local to Minnesota…and I think they have a great business model and an impressive product.

Their whole gig is Neopolitan Pizza…made like you are in Italy.  And in fact, it is the closest thing I’ve tasted to the pizzas I enjoyed in Rome when I traveled there in 8th grade.  Crust, San Marzano tomatoes, a few toppings and fresh cheese…that’s it.

It is amazingly fast, since the wood-fired oven remains at a toasty 800º Fahrenheit…and if you left a pizza in for more than 90 seconds…you’re pizza would be unrecognizable as food…and certainly inedible.

My favorite topping of all time is olives…and more recently…green olives.  I can’t get enough of them.  I ordered the Napoli and added green olives.

Woody ordered a Toscano – roasted red peppers, sausage, basil and cracked red pepper.

My only complaint with this place is that the experience is over so quickly…there’s hardly any time to really drool and anticipate your pizza being brought to the table…they’re just so damn fast.  And I wish they could open a location in Pasadena…is that really asking too much?

3 Words: Duck. Confit. Pizza.


Let’s be honest…words are really not necessary here.  So I’ll keep it short.  I love pizza.  I feel childish, immature, and a bit like a sheltered and naive teen saying this…as if I was not aware of the culinary adventures that exist out in the big wide world.  But I love pizza.  I’m not even that discriminating.  But the pizza that follows takes it to a ‘whole, ‘nother, level.’  (I’ll be impressed if you caught the MadTV reference!)

Dough recipe is courtesy of my brother…it’s super simple, does not take very long to prepare…and always results in extra thin and crispy pizzas.

Duck confit just waiting to be unearthed from its tomb of fat.  It’s a little buried treasure.

It took some restraint to not eat all the tasty morsels right as I shredded them.

We found some squash blossoms at the farmer’s market the day before, and decided they also belonged on pizza.

Mise en place.  Wild mushrooms – check.  Purple potato – check.  Petite zucchini + blossom – check.  Fresh tomato – check.

If I’ve learned one thing in pizza making…you should always start with a basic pizza.  You can make sure the pizza stone is hot enough, the dough is rolled thin enough…and it makes everybody drool for more.

Yep – there she is.  Duck. Confit. Pizza.

Complete with thinly sliced potato, red onion, wild mushrooms, fresh mozzarella, and topped with lightly dressed spinach.  It was all that we hoped it would be.  The high heat of the oven crisped every confit piece perfectly…reminiscent of bacon!

On to the next one.  Squash + blossom pizza.

Another Duck. Confit. Pizza.

And again…

The crispy crust, and rich duck contrasted nicely with the bite of onion and mellow flavor of the zucchini.

Yep, you guessed right…another duck confit pizza.

This was the last one.  Didn’t think Woody and I would eat 6 pizzas…but when there is duck confit involved…what are you going to do?  Seriously.

Good to the last bite.

*UPDATE*

In the words of my brother…the recipe is as follows:

Thin & Crispy Pizza Dough
2.25 c flour
.5 c water
1 t salt
2 packages yeast
1 egg
.5 t sugar

dissolve sugar in water & add yeast
mix flour, salt & egg in cuisinart, then add water through pouring hole
mix until sticky
put in oiled bowl and let rise at least 2 hours
makes 10-16 pizzas – depending on the size you need.
cook on pizza stone in 450 degree oven

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