Saturday, April 24, 2010

Hockey & Pizza

So this past week was a busy one. I got a job on Tuesday, realized it was no good a few days later and quit. Which really sucks, because I was really good at it, but I am not going to work for someone where I will be working my ass off for 55+ hours a week and not make enough money for the effort. So, cooking wise, I didn't do so hot this week. I made pizza on Monday, then we ate out Chinese for Tuesday (since I was working and then had to go to the store I didn't get home till LATELATELATE), Pizza again on Wednesday using leftover dough and ingredients, Thursday we went out to dinner with our neighbors and yesterday we ordered pizza (don't really know why, because mine is BETTER, but everyone else was doing it, I was tired, it was hot, and I was lazy) and ate it on the street with everyone else. Organic-wise - I was 2 for 5 this week. Pretty sad. Though I did learn that I really need to work harder on making stuff and freezing it for easy and fast meals!

One problem that I'm having is this: I go shopping once a week at the Whole Foods market in my area - there are two close to me - but they're both a 30 minute drive away. Of course, no matter how meticulously I plan and execute my shopping list, something (or many things) inevitably gets left off. So then, I have to go to my local Publix. Which doesn't have a very lot of organic ingredients. For example: the mozzarella for the pizza which I totally forgot to put on the list! It really sucks, because I really would rather have organic mozz, but I just can't justify driving 30 minutes (an hour if it's traffic time) out of my way for just a couple of ingredients. Oh well, I guess you can only do as good as you can!

The [hockey] playoffs are going on right now and I think my blood pressure will remain raised for the duration. I am a DIE HARD (might not be strong enough adjective) fan of the Washington Capitals and right now we're up in the first round against the Habs 3-2. NOT GOOD ENOUGH Caps! My neighbors call after me mockingly as I rush in from the street on game days - something about it's not that big of a deal and why am I turning anti-social. The Women of RiverPark (our neighborhood, really just us on the street) had plans for Margarita Saturday and The Hub told them on Friday night (while I had myself hunkered down in front of the game), "You know if they have a game tomorrow she's not coming." LOL. What can I say, the Caps are like crack to me!

The pizza I made this week is SO GOOD. I make mine with a thin layer of garlicky ricotta cheese, but The Hub likes his with no ricotta. Do make sure if you use the ricotta that you either put the pizza pan/baking sheet on a HOT pizza stone or else directly on the pizza stone or the crust will get soggy, and soggy pizza ≠ delicious. You can put on whatever toppings you want, but I love the combo of mushrooms, capers, sun-dried tomatoes and red onions. It would also be really great if you put a sprinkle of diced pancetta on top of the cheese so it would get nice and crispy and ooze yummy goodness all over the pizza.

Mushroom, Caper & Sun-Dried Tomato Pizza

Prepared pizza crust for 1 personal size pizza - recipe follows
½ cup ricotta cheese
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon salt
Diced sun dried tomatoes, sliced red onion, sliced mushrooms, and capers
Mozzarella – diced, sliced or shredded (I prefer diced or sliced)

Pre-heat the oven to 425˚. Prepare the pizza dough according to directions for a personal sized pizza. Mix ricotta with the garlic powder and salt. Spread over the pizza crust. Top with the sun-dried tomatoes, red onion, capers and mushrooms. Grind a little bit (or a lot) of black pepper over everything and then sprinkle liberally with the cheese. Place in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly and the crust is brown and crispy. Let sit for 5 minutes for the cheese to set, then cut into wedges or squares and serve. Yum!

Brandy Brooke's Delicious Whole Wheat Pizza Crust
1 package yeast
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 cup warm water
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups AP flour
1 cup whole wheat flour

Combine yeast, sugar & warm water and stir to combine. Let stand until foamy, about 5-10 minutes.

Mix in the salt & olive oil. Add the flour a little at a time (you may not need it all). If sticky, add a bit more flour. If crumbly, add more water. Mix for about 5 minutes until the dough forms into a ball, then dump out onto a floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes or until elastic. Form the dough into a round and place into an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a damp cloth. Place the bowl some place warm (72-80) and let the dough rise until doubled, about an hour.

When double is size, knead the dough a little bit. For a medium/large pizza, divide the dough in half. For a personal size, dived the dough into fourths. Form each section into a round and let the dough rest for 10 minutes so it will roll out more easily. Roll into a round or rectangle, top with items of your choice and bake in a 425 oven for 15-20 minutes. Delicious!

Note: For thin crust: after rolling out, top and immediately place in oven. For thicker crust: top and let sit for 5-10 minutes or until the dough rises a little bit.

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