Tuesday, November 16, 2010

on comfort

  i wanted to write my first blog ever about something adventurous and thrilling. maybe some extravagant sushi dish or something i ate at some hot spot that just blew my mind. something using science methods and lasers and i don't know, edible origami. but with all things in my life it always comes back comfort. in this case, comfort food.
  we all have our dishes. for me there's home style mac and cheese, tuna casserole, a nice pork roast, tortierre, lentil soup, hearty beef stew, and of course pizza. oh yes, is there nothing more comforting then a good slice?
  you see, last night i flipped my car, across the highway. it sucked. not gonna lie, it scared the crap out me. it was quite the bang up and its safe to say i'll be relying on public transportation for a bit. but after the cops and the chaos and my parents  had come to pick me up. after we all got home i noticed something...i was freaking STARVING! my was i famished. nothing like a near death experience to get the gut grumbling i guess. and what was the perfect choice? Pizza. Just made the call to one of our faves (extra olives please!) and 30 minutes later i was enjoying a gooey slice with my folks and my girlfriend and feeling much better and very much alive.
  Yup, my first entry into the world of culinary blogging is about pizza. I'm enjoying the leftovers from last night right now in fact. What a delightfully resilient dish pizza is. you can dress it up, dress it down. hot date or helping a buddy move. thin crust, deep dish, no crust, stuffed crust, seafood, veggie, meat lovers, extra cheese no cheese, feta cheese, even grilled! is there anything this dish can't do!!!??? love it. and last night it was just what i needed.
  So, as i worked in a italian joint with a lovely thin crust for some time, i'm going to share my fave pizza recipe.
The Dough
it's always about the crust. it's a difference maker.
in a container put 1 1/2 tbsp of honey.
cover with dry yeast. also about 1 tbsp
cover with 1/2 cup water and let sit somewhere warm.
now you're gonna want to wait for the yeast to rise at this point. What you're looking for is  a good froth on the stuff. About an inch thick. Now, in a mixing bowl give yourself  6 cups of flour. a hearty dash of salt and pepper. 1tbsp each of dry oregano and thyme. 1tbsp olive oil.
form yourself a little bowl in the flour and dump the yeast on in. add about another 2 cups of water.
Using a spatula, fold in flour to water and yeast until it starts to get goopy. Now wash your hands. it's time to use 'em.
Keep folding the flour and dough together. and really work the dough. if its too sticky and wet keep adding small amounts of flour at a time. vise versa with water if its to lumpy and dry. what you are looking for is a dense, but easily mailable texture. Now cover with saran and let proof. aprox 15 mins. the dough will rise nicely. when it's got it's puff going on ( think snooki hair), punch it down. and set yourself up a floured work surface to roll out your dough!
i prefer to go about a quarter to half an inch thick. the trick to a good circle pie shape is the ol' roll and quarter turn. A hard roll up and down then place palm in center of dough an give a quarter turn, and repeat until desired thickness. Now just dress it up with your favorite ingredients and pop it in the oven! 400 F for 15-20mins. I highly recommend putting on some freshly minced basil or the like on after the pie is cooked for an added freshness. I also recommend pancetta as one of your pizza's ingredients. Basically italian cured bacon, it can be found at most meat shops.
 So that's it! my first blog entry. Wasn't this fun? Don't you want a slice right now? And don't worry about ool' me. i'm a tough cookie and still got my appetite so i know i'm ok. The car on the other hand.....yikes. Oh! and also if you feel like posting you pizza stories or a comfort food story please do! I look forward to hearing about it. Kay so i'm  peacing out. talk to ya next time!

Big Heart Chef

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