Monday, February 16, 2009

Eating Our Way From NOLA to NAPOLI in One Day

Our days are full, and so are we. Yesterday was an unusual, but enjoyable example.

In the late morning, were treated by our neighbors, Geni and Larry to a lavish brunch, New Orleans style. There were pungent Bloody Marys, warm French Bread and butter; fresh strawberries and cream. Then, rich Eggs Sardou, dark roast coffee, and optional Mimosas. We agreed that the beautiful, fruit topped Pastel de Tres Leches would be best if we ate it much later in the day.

We wobbled the short distance home, where we took a necessary nap. After, we prepared a late lunch for Geni and Larry and two visitors, Didi and Barb. I made two large pizzas and Susan made guacamole and a salad. Didi brought a beautiful fruit bowl, and then, just barely, we all had some Pastel de Tres Leches.

I enjoy making pizzas with offbeat toppings. I had some daikon radish tops left from making radish kimchee. I simmered these with some salt and a little onion. Squeezed dry, the greens (really a sort of giant turnip
greens) became a topping for a half pizza, perked up with blobs of creamy requesón (ricotta) cheese, crisp bacon pieces and sliced chile serrano.
The other half was good old pepperoni plus sliced fresh onion.

I found the recipe for a pizza with greens and ricotta on the Oprah website! I don't like cornmeal crust, so I just made my regular dough. I also subbed fresh, seeded and deveined chile serrano for the red pepper flakes.

Our other pizza was totally dedicated to vegetables. It had sliced sweet red and yellow peppers, onion, mushrooms (canned), capers and Kalamata plus jumbo green olives.

I was unhappy with the crust, which wouldn't brown nicely as it used to. I do use 16 inch diameter perforated pans, and I had the oven up to 435º F.
I think that next time I'll add a tablespoon or two of powdered milk, to assist browning. I have in the past tried a pizzza baking stone, with poor results. They are also a lot of hassle and limit you to baking one pie at a time.

Next post "Weird pizza toppings I have made and loved."
Here are some favorite pizzas of the past.

I'm about to have a light snack of a couple of wedges.


Steve Cotton said...

I have never made a pizza from scratch. But that may be because I have never made a bread product from scratch. I just may try experimenting when I head south. No time these days.

Catherine said...

Sounds like a great eating day...with lots of tasty stuff on the menu...

Don Cuevas said...

It was very good, Catherine, thanks.

The last two days have been like a food festival, both at a friend's house and here.

Yesterday we had an informal Eclair Workshop, with a lunch of Salade Niçoise. I hope to write about that a little later.

Buen provecho,

Leslie Harris (de Limon) said...

When you do write your blog about "weird pizza toppings", please include "salchichas para hot dog". It's the one pizza topping that we cannot tolerate! None of the "norteños" that come visit like hot dogs on their pizza. We prefer homemade pizza from scratch.

I really enjoy your blog!

Don Cuevas said...

Leslie, salchichas are not in my pizza lexicon.

Here's one of the greatest pizzerias in America:

Don Cuevas