Sunday, February 25, 2007

Sunday Lunch

Ah, well even the best of us fall by the way occasionally and indulge in a little taste of the foods we've come to relish over the years, despite knowing that they are not good for us. I could do a kitchen confession and avow I am heartily sorry for exposing my body to the horrors that make up those little tasty slices of pepperoni. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea culpa.

In the spirit of all things in moderation, I gave in to the impulse to add a few slices of those nitrate treated, chemically endowed, dead pieces of questionable pig parts. Had it not been temptingly sitting on my freezer shelf, this whole paragraph would never have come into existence. Confirms my belief, if you don't buy it; you won't eat it! Now that I've offered a ridiculous apology for adorning my otherwise whole food pizza with eight slices of pepperoni, let me tell you, it was WONDERFUL!

Having ready to use balls of dough in the freezer, makes having pizza on demand a reality. I used the King Arthur Light As Air pizza dough recipe, using white whole wheat flour. The recipe makes one large or two personal size pies.

I've learned to keep on hand a supply of Muir Glenn organic fire roasted diced tomatoes, as the dough came to room temperature (I'd defrosted it in the fridge overnight) I cooked down the tomatoes with a generous helping of Mexican oregano, salt and pepper. Oftentimes, I mince up a shallot or a couple of garlic cloves, but this was just tomatoes. I used the immersion blender to break down the tomatoes after they'd cooked down a bit and then to be sure I didn't have a soggy crust, I spooned the tomatoes into a strainer just before transferring them to the rolled out crust which I had brushed with a light coating of olive oil. The oil acts as a protective moisture barrier, keeping the thin crust crisp.

I find that pre-heating the oven and pizza stone at 500° for a good 45 minutes to an hour prior to baking really helps to get a crisp crust on the pie. After covering the crust with the tomatoes, I added a generous layer of freshly grated mozzarella cheese, and then the slices of pepperoni. When placing the pie in the oven, lower the temperature to 450°. Depending on the oven, the size of the pie and how brown you want it, cook for 15 - 18 minutes. Keep an eye on it after 12 minutes or so. The fresh basil was added just before cutting. If you're so inclined, you might like to add a generous sprinkling of crushed red pepper flakes and a little freshly grated Parmesan cheese. It's fine without; better with!
With a little planning and a bit of practice, you can enjoy great pizza at home when the mood strikes.
Till next time . . . keep on cooking.


Freya said...

Homemade pizza - so good. I love how the salami (made from nefarious pieces of the pig, no doubt) goes all oily on the pizza. We had the same for lunch yesterday, but ours was from a box!

Asha said...

Ooh!! My kids favorite Pizza with Pepperoni and cheese.Looks delish.