Archive for February 16, 2014

Pizza Perfected

I love my standing mixer and this pizza dough is one of the reasons why. It kneads for 30 mins! The secret is to allow proper rising times and use a super hot oven. Perfect pizza would be a wood fired oven, but lacking that, I use a super hot oven and a pizza stone. pizza2

This recipe comes from a book called Pizza Napoletana and I’ve used it for years. It does take a bit of planning since it has to rise twice but is so worth it I don’t mind. 

Authentic Neapolitan Pizza Dough

Preheat oven to 475 (I leave my pizza stone in the oven to reach max temp then

transfer my dough onto the hot stone which makes it crispy)

1 1/2 C warm water (105-115)

1 t active dry yeast (or half a package)

3 C all purpose flour

1 C cake flour (make your own if you don’t have any. 2 T of cornstarch in a one cup measure then fill the rest of the cup with all purpose flour. Sift together)

1 T sea salt

Combine water and yeast. Proof till it foams about 10 mins

Mix flours and salt in bowl of heavy duty stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the proofed yeast mixture to flour and knead on low for 30 mins. Shape dough in a round and place in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover and let rise 4 hours. After 4 hours punch down dough and divide into four balls in four bowls. Brush lightly with oil and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise for another 2-4 hours. Shape by pressing fingers into dough leave an edge to create a rim. Working your way around the circle I let the weight of the dough pull itself to desired thickness.

As the dough dangles, it stretches while the edge stays plump. I bake my pizza on a pizza stone. Make sure whatever pan you use it can take the heat. It cooks pretty quickly because the oven is so hot. If your oven is dirty you may wanna scrape out any loose debris cause it will likely smoke (I happen to know this from experience).

Greek Pizza

Pesto (Buy a jar at Costco and make mounds on plastic wrap and freeze in a gal ziploc so you can pull out a bit of pesto whenever you need it)








Chinese Hot and Sour Soup


Hot and Sour Soup

dried mushrooms

Soak the dried mushrooms


Cook the pork

fresh mushrooms

Sautee the fresh mushrooms


Simple yummy flavor




Chinese Hot and Sour Soup

10 C shicken stock (I use chicken stock paste)

1/4 lb lean pork strips ( I used a lean pork chop )

1 T siracha

2 T soy sauce

3/4 tsp white pepper

1 egg

5 T cornstarch

small can bamboo shoots

small can water chestnuts – sliced

1 C mushrooms sliced

1 C dried mushrooms ( had some dried mushrooms I bought at Costco – it was a variety mix but any kind would do )

1 cake firm tofu

1/4 white vinegar

1/2 tsp sesame oil (I was out, but it was still yummy)

finely chopped green onions (not pictured, I was out and didn’t want to run to the store)

Pour hot water over dried mushrooms to rehydrate. Bring stock to a simmer.  Cook pork slices in skillet with a T oil. Remove pork.  In same skillet, sautee the fresh sliced mushrooms. To the stock add soy sauce,  the cooked pork, cooked mushrooms and rehydrated mushrooms chopped up and chili paste.  Simmer for 10 minutes. Add pepper, vinegar, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts and chopped up tofu. Simmer 5 mins.

Mix cornstarch with 5 T water and add to the pot . Bring back to simmer and pour the slightly beaten egg in a thin stream over the surface. Let stand for 10 seconds before stirring in the sesame oil. Serve with garnish of chopped green onions.