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Archive for the ‘Pasta and Pizza’ Category

pizza with homemade dough and cheese

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ricottaWhat is better than magic? Homemade ricotta. Two quarts of milk in a stainless steel pot, heated until almost boiling, slug of vinegar, done! First I tried using lemon juice and it wasn’t really working. The vinegar reacted instantaneously. I bought a very fine mesh steamer, set it over a bowl, and ladled on the curds. I was left with two cups of extremely delicious ricotta. What to do?

tomatopizza

Maybe pizza isn’t the first thing that comes to mind, but living in the Land of the Morning Calm is living in the Land of the Minimal Cheese. I found a tiny and flavorless hunk of cheddar for $9. Pizza cheese comes exclusively in a bag. Actually “pizza cheese” is probably ok. But I wanted to try my ricotta!

Sign of the apocalypse: “pizza two ways”

figpizza

For dough, I decided to use this recipe from Smitten Kitchen instead of the one I linked to from Peter Reinhart or 101 Cookbooks, mostly because I didn’t want to wait overnight. Consulting the advice (also from Smitten Kitchen) about grill pans, I stretched my dough into an imperfect rectangle, stuck it on the oiled grill pan, and stretched it some more to fit the pan. Even so, the dough was uneven. But delicious! After two minutes I brushed the top with oil, flipped it over, and assembled my pre-cooked and warm toppings. First a layer of caramelized onions. Then, half with a sliced tomato grilled with oregano and basil. The other half received a fig grilled in a bit of honey. Finally, ricotta everywhere. I swear this was before reading today’s New York Times recipe about a caramelized onion and fig tart with rosemary and stilton. But here is a more delicious version of fig pizza that I used for inspiration: fig and prosciutto pizza with walnuts, rosemary, and ricotta. If only I could find/make prosciutto and rosemary! Also, my pizza was much GREENER than it should have been, apparently. But what to do when you grab the last box of figs of summer and the skin is already broken? The figgy taste was absolutely present though.

(Do you ever get that feeling where, you know, you’re on the internet and you look around and everyone is making their own ricotta? That is how I felt yesterday. I read so very many different ricotta recipes that I was a little bit intimidated. Then I realized that chemistry is chemistry and that ricotta merely consisted of milk, acid, and heat. In addition to the recipes I linked to the other day, this from Eggs on Sunday is a good guide… even though my ricotta didn’t look anything like the picture.)

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Written by clace

September 30, 2009 at 4:44 am

tomorrow i’m making pizza

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so tonight i’m making dough. here is how to make dough. here is a good explanation of how to make pizza in a grill pan, plus the nice idea of eggplant and olive pizza. here is something extremely complicated, but i would like to try that sauce.

and here are all of the pizzas i want to remember:

Written by clace

September 27, 2009 at 3:05 pm

Penne with a Puree

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In the back of my mind I knew it wasn’t a good sign that there is basically only one pasta-with-eggplant recipe on the internet. It comes from some Food Network host who I had never heard of before. But… I now have both a grill and a blender, and I was craving pasta. Yesterday I visited the old woman kitty-corner to my workplace for the third time. She recognized me and before I could say anything, she rose and grabbed a couple of eggplants that were sitting away from the main pile. Just for me?! I also bought cucumbers, green onions, and sweet potatoes, for a total of $1.50.

First I grilled some eggplant rounds with sliced tomatoes and walnuts. Then that stuff was pureed with cinnamon, mint, basil, and two bunches of greens I found at my amazing by-the-leaf supermarket greens department. One smelled like dead people but tasted fresh and peppery. The other looked like parsley but tasted like rot. Maybe I shouldn’t have put them in. Also, pasta water from my penne.

One good thing was how the puree clumped up inside the penne. Now I understand that penne and rigatoni are good for carrying sauces. The stuff wasn’t inedible, but it wasn’t good in any real sense. The parts with lots of Parmesan were good but Parmesan is like gold here so I couldn’t use a lot.

I did save the day food-wise by making a batch of caramelized onions. I noticed one onion was rotting so decided to do some preventative work. 3 onions, oil on the bottom, pat of butter and salt on the top, and a bit of ginger sliced up throughout. This was really fun and oh my goodness the onions are delectable. I used this recipe.

Soon I will try to make pasta.

Written by clace

September 26, 2009 at 6:42 am