31 January 2010

Pizza Night

Last night I recreated my favorite pizza: the patate, lamb n' ham from Vincente's. It consists of lamb sausage, prosciutto ham, roasted red potatoes, mushrooms, and smoked mozzarella. I was assembling our grocery shopping list (care of New Seasons online) and thought pizza would be a fun Saturday night dinner. I've been dying to try out a beer pizza crust and finally made time to do it. I had beer pizza crust once before, from Jet City Pizza in Seattle, and became enamored with the idea of beer in my crust. I found the recipe on Foodista, but made a whole wheat crust from the Test Kitchen, just in case.
Which dough will rise first?
Cheese pizza I ended up making with the whole wheat crust
Our delicious ingredients

The Results
The crust was delicious, although made an odd amount--not quite enough for two, but too much for one. I ended up making bread sticks out of the extra, which was a fabulous idea. I brushed them with olive oil and threw on some coarse ground kosher salt. The toppings turned out amazing. Whether at home or at Vincente's, that combination remains at the top of my list.

05 January 2010

Burgers & Fries

As an engagement present, our friends gave us a burger cookbook from the fabulous chef Hubert Keller. We're big fans of burgers and are always looking for fun new ideas on how to make improvements. We had one condition--when Chris came back to visit over the holidays, we owed him some Keller burgers. Deal.

Saturday night they came over for burgers and fries, slightly gourmet style. I didn't alter two of the recipes I used from the book, so obviously, I can't publish them. I made the oven fries with red potatoes and whole cloves of garlic. Yum. The only thing I'd change there would be to not crowd the pan so much. I knew I shouldn't have, but I was lazy. I also made a kalamata olive tapenade. It was pretty salty on its own, but with the burgers...I had faith in its ability to take them to the next level.

With the burgers, I took a little creative license. On New Year's Day we went over to our friends' house to watch the Rose Bowl and brought sandwiches fixins. Since we already had sharp cheddar cheese, I used that instead of the monterey jack cheese. Basically, it was a rather large burger patty with minimal seasoning cooked with a little bit of light oil. I finished the patties in the oven so the cheese would get really melted. While those were finishing, I decided to coat some thinly sliced shallots in flour and fry them. All of that was thrown onto a lightly toasted ciabatta roll, which had a thin spread of tapenade, and plenty of red butter lettuce. Just wish I had taken a picture with something other than my phone.