Sunday, June 17, 2007

Pizza-Off night was awesome last night. There were eight of us there and four of us making the pizza---three grown men and 1 grown woman playing top chef..the cameras should have been rolling. Like us, our friends have a half finished kitchen and I have appliance envy. Not only to they have some tough looking six burner gas stove, but they have a full-size side by side, so the fridge is full size single door and the freezer is too...damn thats hot! I digress.

Dwayne totally won last night with his hand-tossed free -form pizza with fresh mozzerella and basil. He made a sauteed mushroom pizza too, but I was too stuffed by then. Though he professed his inexperience at cooking, I think we have a natural in the making. He made his own sauce AND his own crust, having never done so before and was then critcal of his own I said, a natural.

Pete took the prize for originality with his lemon and seasalt pizza. Now if he would make his own dough, I wouldn't have to disqualify him for using Hannaford dough!

Peggie wins for most colorful and healthy with a no sauce veggie pizza that was really fresh tasting and beautiful to behold.

I made my rosemary and salt foccacia dough and added fresh tomatos, fresh basil, hot sausage and monteray jack cheese.
But I won for most decadent dessert for my chipwiches!

I hope to have photos for the blog later on.


1 comment:

flynny5 said...

Ahh shucks,thanks for the kind words on the pizza. I had a great time and I'll have you know I ate another chipwich for breakfast. You know your dessert is good when a 250 pound man runs over to give you a hug.
The pizza recipe is no secret, I've added it below. I couldn't find fresh yeast so I used 2.5 packs of slow rise yeast and improvised. I think the key is the honey,it added flavor to the crust that sugar wouldn't have.


Classic Pizza Napolitana

1/4 cup light red or white wine, Fiano di Avellino
3/4 cup warm water
1 1/2 ounces fresh yeast
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
3 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 cups basic tomato sauce, recipe follows
1 pound fresh mozzarella di Bufala, sliced into thin medallions
12 fresh basil leaves

Place wine, water, and yeast in a large bowl and stir until dissolved. Add the honey, salt and olive oil and mix well to combine. Add 1 cup of the flour and mix with a wooden spoon until it becomes a loose batter. Add 2 more cups of the flour and stir for 2 to 3 minutes, incorporating as much flour as you can with the wooden spoon.

Bring the dough together by hand and turn out onto a floured board or marble surface. Knead for 6 to 8 minutes, until dough is smooth and firm. Place in a clean, lightly-oiled bowl and cover with a towel. Let rise in the warmest part of the kitchen for 45 minutes.

Knead the dough into 1 large round and let rest for 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F.

Add oregano to tomato sauce and ladle the tomato sauce in an even layer over the dough. Distribute the cheese evenly over the surface of the pizza, press the basil leaves into the sauce and cook in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes, until the crust is golden and the cheese is golden brown.

Basic Tomato Sauce:
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 Spanish onion, chopped in 1/4 inch dice
4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves, or 1 tablespoon dried
1/2 medium carrot, finely shredded
2 (28-ounce) cans peeled whole tomatoes, crushed by hand and juices reserved

In a 3 quart saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft and light golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the thyme and carrot and cook 5 minutes more, until the carrot is quite soft. Add the tomatoes and juice and bring to a boil, stirring often. Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes until as thick as hot cereal. Season with salt and serve. This sauce holds 1 week in the refrigerator or up to 6 months in the freezer.

Yield: 4 cups