Sunday, April 4, 2010

There were a number of things that caused me to attempt food writing. I've mentioned a few but I saved the best for last.
So. I have this fantasy about the cooking I'm going to do when I'm older and retired. Well I am older and being unemployed is similar to being retired.
Sort of.
Just more stressful.
Anyway. One of the things I was always going to do was make pizzas. I like cheesy, tomato sauce old school pizza but that's not what I mean. Pizza is a great medium. There are a gazillion things you can do. Someday I figured I'd buy a pizza stone and a peel and start cooking.
And. I've been looking for a toaster oven. I've had my toaster oven for over fourteen years and I've never liked it. It's been fritzing out for the last few years and I knew I needed a new one.
And then. I was watching Avec Eric and wanted to see if he had posted a recipe from the show. I was looking around the site and noticed his web show: Get Toasted. After watching a few I bounced over to the Cuisinart page and start looking at the toaster ovens and ... there is was ... the toaster oven of my dreams. It was also way more money than I could rationalize. Ah well. Some day when I'm older.
But then.
One day I was I was looking at the Macy's web site for no particular reason and saw the same toaster oven for about forty dollars less. My neighbor Mimi works at Macy's so I sent her an email asking if she could get it at more of a discount and it turned out she could.
I am so crazy gonzo in love with this toaster oven it's ridiculous.
My knee is quite a bit better but still hurts if I stand on it for any length of time. The pain slowed me down. Years ago I bought a set of books William Sonoma books, one of which was about pizza. It's pretty good. Loranza De'Medici contributed to it. I spent a few days reading it and imagining all the things I could do.
Today it's raining and cold and seemed like the perfect day for pizza. I pushed through the pain and made the dough. The book has four or five dough recipes to be made in a Cuisinart or by hand. I used my Cuisinart but I didn't like it. It felt like the motor was going to burn up. Mine is pretty old but I think I'll switch to my Kitchen Aid next time. I was worried that the yeast wasn't going to work because the kitchen was cold but I turned on the oven and set the dough to rise on top. It worked.
I caramelized some red onion and once again my bad shopping messed with me. I didn't have any Balsamic vinegar. I ALWAYS have Balsamic vinegar. My kitchen has fallen apart. I used some red wine. Different taste but OK. I roasted some asparagus and two cloves of garlic and sliced some prosciutto. Cut some mozzarella balls in half. Got out the Grana and THEN...

I intended to take a picture when it first came out of the oven but I got too excited. I knocked on Kevin and Mimi's door and told them to come see as soon as I put the first one in the oven. We ate the ones with asparagus first and I'd cut this one before I remembered to take the picture. The dough recipe makes four small pizzas. I don't love the dough. It's thicker than I want it to be. It never got brown. I need to experiment with the temperature and possibly precooking the doughs. I'm also going to try the other recipes and the one in The Cheese Board book. And I've read a few on line. They're all pretty much the same. I'm ambivalent about whole wheat but half and half might be OK. I wonder if a little bit of wheat germ might add flavor. So many experiments await.
And then there's the toppings.
I understand how all the people with i books feel. I have a new toy. Cooking is science and art and great fun.

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