Sunday, December 23, 2012

Easy Peezy Pizza Dough

I apologize for the title, but I just couldn't resist. It does explain it perfectly. 3.5 cups bread flour* - plus a little extra 1 tsp sugar 1 packet yeast (or 2.25 tsp yeast if you bought the mega bag at costco like me) 1-2 tsp kosher salt (depending on how you prefer to use salt) 1.25 cup water at no more than 110 degrees (this is important) 2 tbsp olive oil Combine dry ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer. I usually do this part by hand so that I can be sure there isn't any yeast or salt sitting at the bottom of the bowl. While the mixer is running with the dough hook attached, add the warm water slowly. Using warm water makes a big difference because it helps everything combine better, but if you put water that is too hot in there, you'll kill the yeast. Once the water is in, add the olive oil. Let the mixer do its thing for a few minutes. If the dough is super sticky start adding flour one spoonful at a time. The goal is to get the dough so that it looks smooth and elastic and only sticks to the very bottom of the mixing bowl a little bit. When you take it out it will be a little sticky, but nothing that well floured hands can't manage. Place dough in oiled bowl and cover with a kitchen towel until it has doubled in bulk (30 minutes to an hour depending on how warm hour house is). After the dough has risen, turn out onto a well floured surface and shape. This recipe makes 6 10 inch pizzas (normal crust) or 6 6x18 inch pizzas (thin crust) or two rectangle cookie sheet pizzas. If your dough stops cooperating while you are shaping it, just give it a 10 minute timeout, or a short cat nap. Once your dough is shaped, you can top it first and then cook at 450 degrees for about 10 minutes, or you can cook the dough first for about 5 minutes, put the toppings on and cook for another 5 minutes or so. Its all by eye. But it should be golden brown. *It doesn't have to be bread flour, but it tastes so much better!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

This Chicken Needs a Fancy Name

So I was inspired by this recipe on Epicurious tonight, but their recipe name was uninspired and the instructions left a little to be desired. However, the combination of ingredients was fantastic and the process was oh so easy! I can't wait to make it again. I just need to come up with a fancy name for it so that when I serve it to company, it sounds more impressive than "chicken thighs with green olives" 4 bone in skin on chicken thighs 2 tbsp high heat oil like grapeseed oil 1 medium onion sliced thin 3 cloves of garlic minced 1/2 tsp cumin 3/4 cup orange juice 1/2 of a lemon, juiced 1/3 cup green olives sliced in half length wise salt and pepper to taste 1. Heat 2 tablespoons of high heat oil in a heavy skillet (cast iron is the bomb) over medium high heat. Brown the chicken well (but not till cooked - we're just trying to get a crispy skin). Don't fuss over then, just put them in and let them sit while you slice the onion. 2. Once the chicken is browned, set the pieces aside on a plate. remove all but about 1 tbsp of oil from the bottom of the pan and reduce the heat to medium. Add the onions and saute until limp. Add the minced garlic and saute for a few minutes more but don't let the garlic burn! Add the cumin and stir it all up. 3. Next add the orange and lemon juices and the olives and return to a simmer. Once everything is hot, add the chicken pieces and cover until the chicken thighs are cooked through (not sure how long this is, I overcooked mine at 20 minutes so it will depend on how long the thighs were browned for, how big they are and how hot you have your stove). 4. Once they are finished, arrange the thighs on a serving platter on on dinner plates and top with sauce, onions and olives and serve. A garnish of thinly sliced lemon and fresh Greek oregano would be lovely too!