Pear Prosciutto Honey Pizza Friday

We had quite the Pizza Friday this evening.  Requests this evening were Pulled Pork Pizza, Sausage Pizza, Stuffed Shells and Baby Back Ribs.  Quite a variety of food wouldn’t you say?!  I also wanted to try a different pizza and found a suggestion in a pizza blog I frequent.  It was red pear, prosciutto, mozzarella, gorgonzola cheese, walnuts, pepper from a mill and honey drizzled over the pizza.  I thought I took better photos but apparently I did NOT!

Before (Pear Pizza)

I had different opinions of the Pear Pizza.  Rachel thought it was really salty(from the Prosciutto and Gorgonzola cheese).  Eric thought it was to too sweet from the honey.  Martin enjoyed it but thought it was a little too salty. Then there was Sean who really liked it and took some home with him. Kent also thought it was very flavorful and was surprised he enjoyed it.  Hey, you just never know!

After (Pear Pizza)

 

Here is the pizza dough I have been using since I bought the 00 European Flour at the Italian Grocery Store in Milwaukee, WI.  EVERYONE loves this dough.  Kent says this is the best dough I have made since making pizzas at home.  I am looking forward to make a focaccia bread with this flour.

 

Authentic Vera Pizza Napoletana Dough Recipe

Ingredients

By Volume
4 cups Caputo 00 Tipo flour
1 ½ cups, plus 2 TBL water
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dry active yeast

By Weight
500grCaputo 00 tipo flour
325gr water (65% hydration)
10gr salt
3gr active dry yeast

Cooking by weight works for me. It is fast, and easy to get the exact hydration and dough ball size you want. Being exact counts, and nothing works better than a digital scale. However, no problem using dry measurement. (I did that tonight and the dough was just as delicious.)

Mix the dough in a stand mixer, by hand or in a bread machine. If you are using a stand mixer, mix it slowly for two minutes, faster for 5 minutes, and slow again for 2 minutes. (I do exactly what these directions say.  It works great for the dough.)

Cover the dough and let it rise for 1 1/2 – 2 hours, or until double. Punch it down and push out the air bubbles. Form the dough into a large ball, then cut it into three equal pieces. (I make 2 dough balls.)

To make your pizza balls, shape each piece of dough into a ball. Gently roll your dough into a ball, then stretch the top of the ball down and around the rest of the ball, until the outer layer wraps around the other side. Pinch the two ends together to make a smooth ball with a tight outer “skin.” Set your ball seam-side down where it can rest. Dust your pizza balls with flour, and store them under a damp towel, in a proofing tray, or under plastic wrap. This will prevent the outside of the ball from drying out and creating a crust, and becoming difficult to work with. The top of the pizza ball should be soft and silky.

Your pizza balls will need to rest for about an hour to become soft and elastic, so that they can be easily stretched into a thin crust pizza.

If you won’t need your dough for more than an hour, refrigerate it until you are ready to start. (I generally make the night before and put in the fridge)

If you want to learn more about this dough click on the link above.

The great thing is you can freeze this dough and it works just as great as if you made it the same day.  It also lasts in the refrigerator 3-5 days.  This is so easy to make and you will really enjoy your pizza.  Another simple and delicious recipe.  Ciao!

Failed Chocolate Chip Cookies

Tonight I wanted to bake some chocolate chip cookies for work tomorrow.  It has been a rough week and it is only Tuesday!!  Well, as I was making the batter I was chit chatting with Eric.  I thought I put all the ingredients in the bowl.  I guess I was a little distracted.  🙂  When the batter was done mixing it did not seem to have the right consistency.  I thought about it, tasted it, and decided I forgot to add the white sugar.  So, I added 3/4 cup of white sugar and mixed it in to the batter.   That seemed to be okay.

Well, I put the cookies in the oven and baked as usual.  I ended up with a flat, crispy cookie.  Not my usual puffy, chewy chocolate chip cookie.  I suppose they are acceptable.  Eric thought they were delicious.  I told him I was passing on bringing them to work and he was okay with that!!This is Eric being goofy on a Friday evening.  I had to put this pic somewhere.  It cracks me up!   😀

I tasted one of these failed cookies and it brought me back to when I was little girl.  My mother used to take me grocery shopping with her every Saturday.    (I even loved grocery stores when I was little.)  The store we liked the most was William’s.  She used to work there so she knew many of the employees and it was nice having people say hi to us and tell mom how cute I was!  😉  

We would start in the produce department and make our way to the bakery.  She always let me have the choice of a doughnut or cookie while we were shopping.  Many times I would choose a chocolate chip cookie.  The failed cookies I made tonight brought me back to a very wonderful time in my life.  I loved going grocery shopping with my mom when I was little.  I always enjoyed having my time with her all by myself.  She worked second shift at Bristol Labs when I was younger and I didn’t see her as much as I wanted to.  Just being with her meant so much to me (still does).

So, tonight that failed chocolate chip cookie was well worth it.  I will definitely be adding an extra 3/4 cup of white sugar to an occasional batch  of chocolate chip cookies.  That way, I can remember those wonderful Saturdays long ago!

Thai Basil Chicken

I went to the Farmers Market Saturday.  I picked up a some garlic, green leaf lettuce, red onions, Thai basil, and Thai peppers.  Eveything looked so pretty I couldn’t resist!!   I didn’t know what to do with the Thai basia and Thai peppers so I searched online.  I found a recipe that sounded like something we would enjoy and I improvised.  It is always nice to change things up!

Thai Basil Chicken Recipe
(Variation from this website)

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 Thai chilies, minced (I removed the seeds, that was a good idea!)
  • 1 small red onion
  • 10 oz. chicken breast, chopped into small, bite sized pieces
  • 1 Tablespoon Sesame Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
  • 1 big bunch Thai basil leaves, stems removed
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Method:

Heat a wok or a heavy skillet over medium high heat until very hot. Add the oil, garlic and chilies and stir fry until until the garlic is very fragrant. Add the onions and continue stir frying until the onions have wilted. Add the chopped chicken and fry until the chicken is cooked.

Stir in the sesame oil, soy sauce, brown sugar and  pepper.  If your pan was hot enough you should not have any liquid at the bottom of the pan, but if you do, continue cooking until the liquid is gone. Add the basil and toss a couple of time until the leaves are wilted and bright green.

Serve over rice (I used Jasmine) immediately.

Kent enjoyed the Thai Basil.  He said it had a minty flavor. He also loves a little heat in his food.  I love basil and the spicy peppers worked for me.  Oh, and today was National Hot and Spicy Day.  Perfect timing!  This was a SIMPLE and DELICIOUS meal.  Took 30 minutes and on the plate.  A great weekday plate.  ENJOY!

Caputo Tipo 00 Flour – I found it in Milwaukee!!

**UPDATE – 3/13/17 – I can get OO Flour in Green Bay now.  I get in on occasion.  I still make pizza every Friday but I tend to make 2 doughs, one with bread flour and one with all purpose.  An occasional Milwaukee trip but not as often as we used to do.**

This weekend Martin and I took a drive to Milwaukee.  We had a great time as always.  I have been wanting to go to an Italian market called Glorioso’s on Brady St.  I was hoping they had Caputo Tipo 00 Flour.  I have been trying to find this flour since I started our pizza nights. This is an Italian flour which is very high in protein.  This flour is meant to be able to stretch without breaking.  The perfect pizza flour.  Well, Glorioso’s had it and I was soooo happy!!

We continued our shopping on the north side then ventured back to Green Bay.  When I got back home I just had to make a pizza!!  The dough turned out fabulous.  It stretched without getting any holes and baked perfectly. I plan on trying different pizza dough recipes and when I think I have it right I will post for you.  All I know is we will be making regular trips to Milwaukee to get this flour for our pizza nights.

On a random note; do you ever think these are the happiest days of your life?  I do. Every day (well almost) 😉 but especially on Fridays.  I am a very lucky lady!!

Speaking of pizza nights,for pizzas they have been pretty uneventful.  I definitely make pizzas but keeping it simple with cheese, a meat pizza, veggie pizza and an occasional State pizza from prior pizza nights.  If anyone has some ideas for different pizzas please post.  I would love to try some different ideas.   Keeping things SIMPLE and DELICIOUS!! Ciao!!