Thursday, July 19, 2012

Kelowna Pizza

Did you miss me? I was very busy vacationing ;) We just came back from sunny Kelowna. Similar to every other trip we’ve taken out to Southern BC, we decided we’d like to move there. Haha….maybe someday! There’s just something about that lifestyle. Sunny summers on the water…being able to grow so much of your own food in your backyard…and all that WINE so close! Sign me up!

During this trip with my sisters (their husbands) and parents, we were all responsible for making one dinner over the week. Of course, I made pizza! For this round, I decided to try making my own pizza sauce AND I am reporting findings tomorrow on a Gluten Free Crust as well.

I made my sauce from two types of tomatoes: One type was roma and the other was an on-the-vine organic tomato. What I can tell you, is that you need a LOT of tomatoes to make any good quantity of sauce, and I needed more than what I made for the three pizza’s I had to cover. For me, pizza is really about the sauce. (I think this may have to be the focus for the rest of the YOP). Anyway, the Roma tomatoes were the best to use because the skin peeled off soooo easily – just like they were meant to become pizza sauce! After I had de-seeded and de-skinned these tomatoes using a blanching method (such as noted here: I put them into the pan I used earlier to caramelize my onions – hoping to get some extra flavour from that. I then added some extra virgin olive oil and garlic. I let it cook down for a couple of hours and added some torn basil to the sauce towards the end.

For the regular (non-gluten free crusts) I used the Double 00 flour (Molino Soncini Cesare Pizza Flour “Flour Type 00 of Soft Wheat”) that I mentioned before. It really is the best flour that I have found to use. It allows the dough to have more elasticity than plain old all-purpose flour does. (And this time I also added some dried basil and oregano to the dough). But to be honest, I still don’t know how the hell those pizza experts get it to go nearly paper thin without it breaking. I must not be doing something right.

But in order to really know this (and share with you my exact recipe) I should have written everything down as I was making it. And here lies my biggest problem about food blogging, which I was going to write about anyway later on but since it seems relevant here, why not? I just fly by the seat of my pants people (for the most part). I generally go by how things look, how things are tasting, and how they are baking/cooking in the oven or on the stove. For baking this is more of an issue than cooking, but not THAT much. Generally, I look up a few recipes for something that I want to make and then just go for it. Sometimes, I chose more elements of one recipe over another – but they usually are a mish-mash. And, as you can imagine….sometimes that works out for me, sometimes it doesn’t. I figure that for something like pizza dough, as long as you add the obvious ingredients (making sure they are good quality) that the real issue is consistency. I think you know if more flour should be added by feel and not just because the recipe calls for it. You may remember that in my last attempt, I followed a recipe exactly and there was just too much flour.

So on that note, I am about to show you some photos of this pizza making adventure (including a homemade pizza sauce) and you may be disappointed that I don’t have the recipe available, but let’s look at it as food porn. We all love to look at photos of food but don’t always make the stuff we’re looking at. How many of those Pinterest recipes on your boards have you ACTUALLY made?? ;) 
Tomato Preparation

Taking an ice bath

Going for a good long sweat ;)
The flour with a few herbs
Dough before it's "rest"
Dough! After resting. Good nap!

Stretching of the dough

Adding Toppings

Cooked Pies!
One pizza I made sausage and mushroom, and the other was a Greek vegetarian. I have ‘loosely’ noted what went in to everything below…
Sausage & Mushroom
-homemade pizza sauce
-cooked up sausage meat (I used Mild Italian)
-sautéed mushrooms
-cheese (4 cheese combo – lazy route)

Greek Vegetarian
-homemade pizza sauce
-chopped spinach
-red onion
-caramelized white onions
-feta cheese
Homemade Pizza Sauce
-about 12 de-skinned and deseeded tomatoes (use roma)
-1/4 cup EVOO
-couple handfuls shredded basil
-couple cloves of garlic

(Cook them down until the consistence of sauce – took me a couple hours)

I’ll write more about the gluten free crust tomorrow…or the next day….It’s summertime you know ;)

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