Monday, September 06, 2010

MUST BUY: "Simple Suppers"

I had planned pizza for dinner last night, before I knew we were going to a party instead. Soooooo . . . pizza's just as good for lunch!

Lately, I've been making two pizzas instead of one, and this seems to work well -- Dan doesn't feel like he has to "ration" the pizza while it's hot and fresh, and we still have plenty of leftovers cold for lunches. I experimented with using crusts made from all whole-wheat flour this time, and it worked well! (Victoria gave me her Artisan Bread 100% whole wheat version a while ago, and I'm just now getting around to trying it out!) The front slice features olive oil, Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses, heirloom tomatoes, basil, salt and pepper. The rear slice is smothered with organic pizza sauce, mozzarella and feta cheeses, red onions, artichokes, mushrooms, roasted red peppers, kalamata olives, chili flakes, and dried oregano. Both were deeeeeelicious, but Dan and I agreed that we both liked the heirloom tomato pie better. Why? Who knows! We usually prefer the stronger-tasting pizzas, but not today, I guess!

Here are a few pizza-making tips . . .

~ Use a baking stone. You will achieve a FAR superior crust quality!
~ Allow your pizzas to cool on a wire rack before slicing. You'll keep that crispy bottom crust!
~ If you are using really moist ingredients, (like fresh tomatoes or fresh mozzarella,) I've found placing them on a clean dish towel for fifteen minutes sucks enough moisture out of them that your finished pizza isn't all soggy.
~ No matter how many toppings I use, I find about a half-cup of each seems to be the right amount.
~ If you're going to use Parmesan and mozzarella on your pizza, put a layer of parm on top of your sauce, add your toppings, and top with the mozzarella. Parm has a tendency to burn and get dried out in the oven. If you bury it, it will be fantastic!

Anybody else have tips to share? I'm always looking to improve my pies!

Here is something fantastic that I have been meaning to make ALL SUMMER LONG, and never got around to making until today!

WATERMELON AGUA FRESCA!!!! Yum yum yum yum, this is like dessert in a glass. What did I do? I juiced one lime, added a pinch of salt, 2 tablespoons of sugar, 1 cup of water, and half a seedless watermelon, diced, and pureed the heck out of it. Strain your "juice" using a mesh strainer, and chill. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm! I would use even more lime juice next time, but alas, I only found one lime in my fridge today.

Dinner tonight was exceptional, if I do say so myself!

I made "Roasted Ratatouille," from Moosewood Restaurant Simple Suppers. I MUST BUY THIS COOKBOOK! If the other recipes, (and I have at least 20 marked) are anything like this, we will eat well into eternity! Unfortunately, someone has requested this cookbook from the library, so I won't be able to renew it three times. :( Wah. Ok, back to dinner -- I did add a couple of things to the ratatouille, (chickpeas and some chopped carrot, since I have so many on hand,) and served it over polenta, as the cookbook suggested. Oven-roasted sweet corn made a lovely accompaniment! Dan and I both exclaimed continuously during dinner about how fantastic this dish is! We also both agreed that we don't eat enough polenta.

I think I'll have to head over to the used bookstore next weekend and see if they can find me a copy.

What cookbooks are on your "to buy" list?

1 comment:

Ali said...

I have heard rave reviews of Simple Suppers before but you have convinced me that I need this book too!

Creamy polenta is on my fall food "to-do" list as well! Your simple supper looks delicious!