Monday, February 21, 2011

Monday Night Pizza

When M and I first started dating we would get together Monday nights to make homemade pizza and watch Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations. The bread machine tackled the dough while we shared chopping and saute duties, made the sauce, and had a glass of wine. The dough and prep work were usually done at about the same time, M would roll out the dough and we readied the pies for their cold oven start to bubbly goodness. Our timing got to be pretty good so the pizzas came out of the oven right before the sound of "NOOoooo Reservations, aaaaaah."

Oyster and Cauliflower Mushrooms on top; Pizza Margherita below (in cold oven).

Fast forward a few years... We still have pizza on Mondays but the bread machine didn't survive the move; there's no cable so we're more likely to be catching up on missed seasons of good TV (Weeds, the Sopranos, etc.); and M is working 12 hour days so the mise is usually en place by the time he gets home. The demise of the bread machine (and my underemployed status) created an opportunity to find a new recipe for pizza dough; we're still experimenting. Right now we use the Beer Pizza Dough recipe from Penzys Spices. The recipe makes enough for four pizzas, which is two too many despite our reliance on pizza for lunch. We've had mixed results with using the frozen extra dough (although it is handy); now we let the remainder rise a second time, drop it into a preheated 450 degree dutch oven and bake it like we would no-knead bread. The texture has a dense, slightly sweet crumb, makes wonderful toast and is a nice alternative to the ever-present loaf of no-knead.

What goes on the pizza is dictated by what's available in the garden, freezer or pantry -- and our moods. We tailor the sauce to the ingredients but it's usually a riff on a basic tomato sauce or seasoned olive oil. Some of our go-to combinations: homemade bacon, green chile and onion; spicy shrimp; pizza margherita; boletes and pancetta; and smoked salmon with feta (awesome cold, too). Leftover seasoned ground lamb with chard, feta and pine nuts made the grade just recently.

The next candidate for the backbone of our Monday Night Pizzas is this recipe from one of my favorite food bloggers, Bob Del Grosso at A Hunger Artist.  I'll let you know how it turns out.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I posted a response to your question on my post:

    So excited to do You Capture tomorrow! I will be sure to check out your photos.