Friday, October 31, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
It also worked out nicley that my husband's birthday is in October so we had pizza night on his birthday. He chose the toppings: pepperoni, homemade marinara, buffalo mozzarella from a local maker, prosciutto, mushrooms, onions, fresh basil and a little fresh grated Parmeggiano Reggiano. It was excellent although I think my dough was a bit too moist. I cut the recipe in half and it made 2 good sized pies. We at 1 and I delivered te second hot and fresh to Mom and Dad!
Here's the recipe:
~ BASIC PIZZA DOUGH ~
Original recipe taken from “The Bread Baker’s Apprentice” by Peter Reinhart.
Makes 6 pizza crusts (about 9-12 inches/23-30 cm in diameter).
- 4 1/2 Cups (20 1/4 ounces/607.5 g) Unbleached high-gluten (%14) bread flour or all purpose flour, chilled
- 1 3/4 Tsp Salt
- 1 Tsp Instant yeast
- 1/4 Cup (2 ounces/60g) Olive oil or vegetable oil (both optional, but it’s better with)
- 1 3/4 Cups (14 ounces/420g or 420ml) Water, ice cold (40° F/4.5° C)
- 1 Tb sugar
- Semolina/durum flour or cornmeal for dusting
- Mix together the flour, salt and instant yeast in a big bowl (or in the bowl of your stand mixer).
- Add the oil, sugar and cold water and mix well (with the help of a large wooden spoon or with the paddle attachment, on low speed) in order to form a sticky ball of dough.
- On a clean surface, knead for about 5-7 minutes, until the dough is smooth and the ingredients are homogeneously distributed. If it is too wet, add a little flour (not too much, though) and if it is too dry add 1 or 2 teaspoons extra water. NOTE: If you are using an electric mixer, switch to the dough hook and mix on medium speed for the same amount of time.The dough should clear the sides of the bowl but stick to the bottom of the bowl. If the dough is too wet, sprinkle in a little more flour, so that it clears the sides. If, on the contrary, it clears the bottom of the bowl, dribble in a teaspoon or two of cold water.The finished dough should be springy, elastic, and sticky, not just tacky, and register 50°-55° F/10°-13° C.
- Flour a work surface or counter. Line a jelly pan with baking paper/parchment. Lightly oil the paper.
- With the help of a metal or plastic dough scraper, cut the dough into 6 equal pieces (or larger if you want to make larger pizzas).NOTE: To avoid the dough from sticking to the scraper, dip the scraper into water between cuts.
- Sprinkle some flour over the dough. Make sure your hands are dry and then flour them. Gently round each piece into a ball. NOTE: If the dough sticks to your hands, then dip your hands into the flour again.
- Transfer the dough balls to the lined jelly pan and mist them generously with spray oil. Slip the pan into plastic bag or enclose in plastic food wrap. Put the pan into the refrigerator and let the dough rest overnight or for up to thee days. NOTE: You can store the dough balls in a zippered freezer bag if you want to save some of the dough for any future baking. In that case, pour some oil(a few tablespooons only) in a medium bowl and dip each dough ball into the oil, so that it is completely covered in oil. Then put each ball into a separate bag. Store the bags in the freezer for no longer than 3 months. The day before you plan to make pizza, remember to transfer the dough balls from the freezer to the refrigerator.
- On the day you plan to eat pizza, exactly 2 hours before you make it, remove the desired number of dough balls from the refrigerator. Dust the counter with flour and spray lightly with oil. Place the dough balls on a floured surface and sprinkle them with flour. Dust your hands with flour and delicately press the dough into disks about 1/2 inch/1.3 cm thick and 5 inches/12.7 cm in diameter. Sprinkle with flour and mist with oil. Loosely cover the dough rounds with plastic wrap and then allow to rest for 2 hours.
- At least 45 minutes before making the pizza, place a baking stone on the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven as hot as possible (500° F/260° C). NOTE: If you do not have a baking stone, then use the back of a jelly pan. Do not preheat the pan.
- Generously sprinkle the back of a jelly pan with semolina/durum flour or cornmeal. Flour your hands (palms, backs and knuckles). Take 1 piece of dough by lifting it with a pastry scraper. Lay the dough across your fists in a very delicate way and carefully stretch it by bouncing it in a circular motion on your hands, and by giving it a little stretch with each bounce. Once the dough has expanded outward, move to a full toss.
- When the dough has the shape you want (about 9-12 inches/23-30 cm in diameter - for a 6 ounces/180g piece of dough), place it on the back of the jelly pan, making sure there is enough semolina/durum flour or cornmeal to allow it to slide and not stick to the pan.
- Lightly top it with sweet or savory toppings of your choice.
- Slide the garnished pizza onto the stone in the oven or bake directly on the jelly pan. Close the door and bake for abour 5-8 minutes or until cheese is bubbling and crust is golden brown.
- Take the pizza out of the oven and transfer it to a cutting board or your plate. In order to allow the cheese to set a little, wait 3-5 minutes before slicing or serving.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Monday, October 13, 2008
This was one of the simpler Last Suppers I've made so far and it's one I'll make again... and again. There are a lot of flavors packed into this hearty sandwich: Tuna, avocado, olive, bacon, arugula, lemon, egg, Parmeggiano Reggiano, a little mayo. The list seems neverending. But pile it all on and it's absolutely delicious. I prepped the toppings ahead of time so when we cooked the fish it was still warm.
The fish was about 1/2 inch thick and we grilled it on medium heat for just 1 minute per side. Any longer and it would have been overcooked. And who wants over cooked sashimi grade yellowfin tuna???
I also made homemade fries. I used a mandolin to cut 2 Idaho potatoes into 1/4 inch thick straws. I wrapped them in a towel in the fridge fro about an hour to remove some of the starch and let them dry. I then fried them in canola oil at 325 degrees for about 4 minutes. I let them drain on paper towels and cool for about 30 minutes then fried them again in the same oil, this time for about 2 minutes at 375 degrees. Golden brown and yummy!
If rare tuna doesn't scare you off, try this sandwich! the recipe looks long but it's easy. Oh and at Laurent's suggestion, we served it with a little Sriracha - Vietnamese hot sauce. Gave it a nice little kick!
BLT Grilled Tuna Sandwich
1½ pounds yellowfin tuna, cut into 12 slices, about 1⁄3 inch thick
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
½ cup olive oil
4 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ teaspoon chopped garlic
1 large bunch arugula, tough stems removed (about 2 cups)
½ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup Tapenade
1 loaf rustic Italian bread, cut into twelve ½-inch-thick diagonal slices, toasted
12 slices applewood-smoked bacon, cooked until crisp
1 medium red onion, sliced
2 ripe tomatoes, sliced
3 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and sliced
6 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, thinly sliced with a vegetable peeler or mandoline slicer
1 ripe avocado, preferably Hass
1 bunch fresh basil, tough stems removed
GRILL THE TUNA Preheat a grill pan or barbecue grill to high heat. Sprinkle the tuna on both sides with salt and pepper. Place the tuna on the pan or grill rack and cook 1 to 2 minutes per side, or until rare to medium-rare, depending on your preference.
DRESS THE ARUGULA In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper. Add the arugula and toss well.
ASSEMBLE THE SANDWICHES Spread some of the mayonnaise and tapenade on each slice of bread. Divide the bacon, onion, tomatoes, eggs, cheese, and avocado over half of the slices. Top with the tuna, basil, and the arugula salad. Cover with the remaining bread, coated-sides down.
TO SERVE Cut the sandwiches in half and serve immediately.
Project Last Supper score:
3 down, 27 to go.
Not sure which meal we will do next, but it won't be this weekend since we will be out of town for a charity walk.
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Some highlights from Daniel's Last Supper:
Asparagus soup with Sweet Pepper Coulis - Find his recipe on the website for Daniel, his NYC restaurant.
Marinated Lamb chops with two sauces - This recipe is also online - it's on Daniel's section on Starchefs.com. The sauces are a warm tomate ginger sauce and a cool yogurt mint sauce. Both were delicious on the lamb, which I left in a whole rack and grilled.
He gave us a Rotin Perigord Chevre from France, aged and delicious goat cheese; a Zamorano Sheep's milk cheese from Spain, and a Montasio Extra from northern Italy. I served it with a Pain Rustique from LaBrea bakery and a ripe fig. The perfect ending to the perfect meal!
Last Supper score: That's 2 done and 38 more to go. Next up: either Laurent Tourondel or Jaime Oliver