Saturday, January 5, 2013

flu

The last week has pretty much disappeared in a haze of Nyquil for me - I did manage to go to work for 2/3 of the work-days last week, but I'm lucky they like me there because I wasn't good for much. And I collapsed when I got home both days. So we ate a lot of leftovers and delivery; Victor also whipped up several of his go-to dishes (fried rice and omelets). Before I got sick, I did manage to make one meal, though. It's quickly become one of my favorites, mostly because (assuming you've pre-made the dough), it comes together in a snap and requires pretty minimal ingredients.

Margarita Pizza
from the wonderful new Smitten Kitchen cookbook

  • ~ 1/2 C strained and pureed tomatoes (I literally strain them to get excess liquid out so it doesn't make the pizza soggy, though I'm not sure that's what she intended)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • few drops red wine vinegar
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
  • 3/4 lb ball pizza dough (recipe follows, or use your own favorite)
  • 4-5 oz fresh mozzarella, sliced
  • some basil leaves, torn or chopped (or use fresh oregano)
Heat your oven as high as it goes (ours goes up to 550F, which works wonderfully). Sprinkle a rimmed baking sheet (9x13) or a medium-sized pizza pan with cornmeal or spray with that cooking-spray-plus-flour stuff I'm so fond of.

Blend the tomatoes and seasonings together. Stretch the dough to cover your baking sheet/pizza pan - no worries about holes or whatever, you can always pinch them together. Spread the mostly-flat dough with tomato sauce, sprinkle with basil leaves, and arrange the cheese slices to more-or-less cover your pizza. Bake for 7-11 minutes (in my oven, it always takes the full cooking time). The cheese should be very bubbly and even a little blistered.

serves 2 generously

"Leisurely" Pizza Dough
also from the new Smitten Kitchen book; she has a "rushed" pizza dough, too, but I've never made it; instead, I make a double batch of this one and freeze the second half. The day before I want to make pizza, I move it to the fridge and then proceed with the recipe as written. The book also has directions for hand-kneading the dough.

  • 1/2 C warm water
  • 1/4 tsp plus 1/8 tsp dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 C (190 g) AP flour (or a combination of AP and whole-wheat flour - I generally do about 50/50)
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt 
  • little bit of olive oil
Combine water and yeast in the mixer bowl; let stand for a few minutes if that's a thing your yeast needs. Add the flour and salt and mix with the dough hook until you have a craggy mass. Reduce the speed to low and let it bang around for about 5 minutes, until it is a smooth and cohesive ball. Take the dough out and coat it with a little olive oil; then put it back into the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rest in the fridge for at least 8 hours and up to 24.

When you're ready to use it, remove from the fridge and allow to double in a warm spot (I put mine on top of the kitchen radiator).
makes about 3/4 pizza dough, enough for a medium pizza

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