Wednesday, January 4, 2012

I'm Keeping It Out On The Counter

Whenever you get a new appliance, it's important to keep it out on the counter, not just so you can boast about it to anyone who comes by, but also so you learn to use it.

If it's hiding in a cupboard and you're used to doing things one way, you just sigh and think, "Okay, next time I'll get it out - I'm too busy right now." But if it's out there, close to hand and guilting you with every glance, you will pick up the manual and learn how it works.

So, I'm leaving my new amazing appliance on the counter. It paid off this week when I was suddenly hungry for pizza. Usually when that happens, I call down to the village and have them bring me up a medium mushroom pie and a large salad. It's fast unless I have a yen for pizza on a Friday night, that apparently being pizza night for most of the folks in our little town, and the pizza is better than average. This time, however, I saw the Kitchen Aid and thought, "Dough hook! It has a dough hook! I can make my own!"

I delved into my stash of cookbooks and found a recipe that Jamie Oliver likes. It took a few minutes to figure out how to put the dough hook into the machine and turn it on but, sheesh, isn't this why I went to college?

I did eventually get it done.

Almost literally dumped all the ingredients into the bowl and let it become dough. Like magic!

Even though I halved the recipe, it still made enough for four pizzas, so I stashed enough for two into the fridge and rolled out the other two to rough circles about eight inches across, very thin. For toppings, I had some ground lamb in the fridge, a tub of goat cheese and some Swiss chard, which I quickly sautéed in garlic and butter. I brushed the raw crusts with olive oil, laid down a pattern of goat cheese, topped that with limp and redolent Swiss chard, and dotted it with bibbits of ground lamb.

Into a hot, hot oven onto the pizza stone, they cooked for perhaps 10-12 minutes before I fished them out with the pizza peel and My Beloved sliced them into eight small pieces. With the rising, the whole thing took only about an hour, no more than calling the local pizza parlor would have taken on a Friday night.

We are still on the trail of the perfect pizza crust but this combination of toppings was truly swoon-worthy. And the pizzas were Goldilocks size - not too much, not too little, just right.

And all because I kept the Kitchen Aid out on the counter.


Blogger Greg said...

Oh that looks so good! With extra credit for the browned crust.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012  
Blogger cookiecrumb said...

Brava! First time success will draw you back.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012  
Blogger namastenancy said...

That pizza looks awesome. And I know that the search for the perfect topping is a fatiguing endeavor but you and The Beloved are strong. You CAN do it.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012  
Blogger Hungry Dog said...

Holy cow, this pizza looks amazing! I always feel too lazy to make my own dough but how hard could it be? And I totally agee about leaving new appliances out...if nothing else they shame you into using them now and then.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Greg, the secret is a pizza "stone" in a hot, hot oven. Cooks faster and browns beautifully.

Cookiecrumb, thanks and yes, I'm sure it will.

Nancy, toppings are the easy part - the serious search will be for a crust as good as Rosso in Santa Rosa.

Hungry Dog, pizza dough is seriously easy, even without the dough hook. I should have done this years ago!

Wednesday, January 04, 2012  
Blogger Chilebrown said...

How can you go wrong with pizza. It is perfect for you and leftovers. You will have a blast with that KitchenAid. You now have lots of attachments to buy.
My two cents are less yeast and longer rises for more flavorful crust. Less toppings are better.

Thursday, January 05, 2012  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Chilebrown, thanks for the tips - I will try the "less yeast, longer rise" next time.

Thursday, January 05, 2012  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Chilebrown, oh, and Buzz got me a sausage grinder/maker and juicer attachments, so I'm good to go for now. Any others you like/use a lot?

Thursday, January 05, 2012  
Blogger cookiecrumb said...

You get the sausage stuffer?

Thursday, January 05, 2012  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Cookiecrumb, yes, it comes with the "breakfast set." My next attempt will be Polish sausage - my Fairy Godson's grandmother made it every year and he was watching. He's gonna show me how. Lotsa garlic, I understand.

Friday, January 06, 2012  

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