Saturday, March 20, 2010

Pizza night!

One batch of dough makes 4 pizzas, which is the perfect amount of pizza for 4 people. (Unless you invite my stepmother, then you can invite a fifth). I joke that pizza night is really easy and relaxing. It kind of is for me, JustAwesome does all the work. I usually get the ingredients. The trick is great ingredients. Thankyouverymuch.

Margherita ala JA

The History of Pizza (in our house)
JA took a class with pizza legend Mark Bello, pie pro and founder of Pizza A Casa, which was held at our local Whole Foods. Usually he hosts classes in his apartment but starting on April 15, he’ll be opening a school on our block. He’ll teach you how to make great dough, in a regular house oven, as opposed to a pro oven that goes up to a bazillion degrees. You’ll never order in again. Take this class, it is a tasty and fun way to spend an afternoon and it’ll change your life.

Pizza in Thoiry, homemade peel

The Competition
JA’s whole family is really into making pizza. From Edinburgh to Thoiry, France to San Francisco, great pizza is being made. JA made a batch in France last Easter, for which Cousin Dan made a peel in his private wood shop (in about 15 minutes!). These people mean business.


On the Menu
We always serve a Margherita — fresh mozzarella, a simple, uncooked red sauce, pecorino and finished with basil. One of the pies is often a smoked mozzarella with sun-dried tomato and a spritz of balsamic. Usually, we have one or two “experimental pies.” My favorite is a white pie of sauteed potato and leek with pecorino, rosemary and finished with truffle oil. Last night JA went all Mario Batali and threw an egg on top (and fresh oregano). It was rich and yummy tasting. We’ll be doing this again. Our fourth had fresh ricotta with basil and the “good” olive oil. The ricotta hails from Salvatore Brooklyn. You MUST try. And try their smoked version. Anne sells it.

I like to throw arugula on my slices.

Wash down with wine or beer. Chase with gelato from the Lab. (The caramel was made 10 minutes before I bought it!)

Any ideas for future experimental pies?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Where’s the Beef?

First of all, no, I’m not a vegetarian. But JustAwesome is (ok, pescatarian) and so, this is now one of my favorite, quickie meals. I know that most vegetarians don’t want to eat meat, or things that taste or look like meat, but JA hasn’t really had much meat in her life. She isn’t trying to remember or avoid its flavor. To her, this “beef” is just a differently flavored protein. With an unfortunate name. To me, it is yummy.

“Beef” and broccoli. Onions. Add more things, or don’t. Red pepper? Carrot? Garlic? Ginger? Make with kale instead of broccoli? Whatever I get in the box that I want to use up. I like this wrapped in lettuce with korean red sauce. The whole meal ends up running me about 5 Weight Watcher’s POINTS. Which means, you know, more wine.

I’m not suggesting this meal for meat-eaters, just old school vegetarians, but you never know... Truth is, JA is out tonight and I’m on my own. I could’ve had real beef. Didn’t.