Saturday, August 09, 2008

Pizza night

Tonight's Menu

  • homemade pepperoni pizza
The girl told me after tonight's dinner that I'm not allowed to buy frozen pizzas from the grocery store anymore. Um. Okay, then. Fortunately, with a little advance planning, the homemade version was just as fast and easy as the frozen version.

The crust: was made with the olive oil dough from the bread book. I mixed the dough up the day before so it could sit in the fridge overnight. This was my first time working with the olive oil dough (we usually make the master recipe or European peasant dough) and it was fabulous! It made for a soft, tender, and delicious crust.

The sauce: was made from roasted tomatoes, eggplant and and garlic, pureed with a stick blender. I made this earlier in the day -- chunks of tomato and eggplant, whole garlic cloves, a bit of fresh basil and oregano, salt and pepper, a glug or two of balsamic vinegar, and lots of olive oil roasted at 300 degrees F for about two hours, stirring occasionally (do this on the weekend and it'll keep in the fridge for use during the week). I let it cool and then pureed a small amount with my stick blender, adding a bit of tomato paste and water to get it to the right consistency. The puree was NOT pretty -- hello, red and green make BROWN -- but it was delicious! And no, I did NOT tell my family they were eating eggplant. That's just between you and me, a'ight?

The toppings: since I live with a bunch of pizza traditionalists over here, I went with fairly mundane toppings -- shredded mozzarella and sliced pepperoni. That's it.

It really wasn't any trouble to assemble. While the baking stone was heating up in the oven (at 500 degrees F), I covered the pizza peel (that's the wooden paddle thing) with cornmeal, rolled out the dough on the countertop, moved it to the peel, spooned on some sauce and sprinkled on the toppings. By that time the stone was hot, so I transferred the pizza to the stone (I get a little thrill out of successfully executing that jerk-and-tug motion it takes to get the pizza off the peel and onto the stone)(though I am NOT always successful at it, I hasten to add) and baked it for 8-10 minutes. While the first pizza was baking, I made another one (we can put away A LOT of pizza over here, y'all) and stuck it in the oven when the first one came out.

There is something about pizza made with FRESH dough, y'all. I don't know. I think I agree with the girl -- we can never go back to frozen now!

1 comment:

Jaye Joseph said...

This sounds great. What a good way to use the eggplant from the CSA. I almost bought frozen dough yesterday and stopped myself. I need to make my own. You've inspired me!