Saturday, April 22, 2006

Pizza Tonight, and for Later

Tonight we're making pizza, using Tyler Florence's "ultimate" recipe, with a few alterations. I doubled the recipe, replacing part of the all-purpose flour with rye flour for a bit more structure, halved it after the first rise, froze one half and chilled the other until we were ready to bake it. Our local Ralph's market at Smoketree Center did not have fresh yeast, nor fresh mozzarella (when will Palm Springs markets catch up with the 21st century?); so we just used our regular active dry yeast and will shred whole milk mozzarella.

For the sauce, I had some leftover tomato puree and some canned diced tomatoes. To that I added a couple of sliced garlic cloves, dried basil and oregano, salt, some water and two dried peperoncini. This was brought to a simmer and allowd to reduce, uncovered, at which time I extracted the peppers and pureed the mixture in the blender and returned it to the saucepan. It was a bit tart, so I added a healthy pinch of sugar to mellow it out. I left the pan on the lowest setting and allowed it to reduce further to a nice "saucey" and spreadable consistency for a pizza.

Instead of shredding the cheese, I think we'll try thinly slicing it so each bit will contain a nice glob of gooey cheese. When the pizza comes out of the oven, I plan on scattering it with fresh basil from the garden.

BTY: "garden" is an overstatement. There is a basil plant, two tomato plants recently planted and a healthy rosemary bush. Anything we can grow in the desert is a welcome addition. For those of you who live elsewhere, you cannot imagine how different the growing season is here. Take what you do and reverse it. What grows for you in summer, grows here in winter, and vice versa. Get the picture? It's HOT here in the summer! Starting very soon, the daily high temperatures will not be below 105 degrees until about late September.

But I digress. To go with the pizza we are having a Blackstone 2003 Napa Valley Merlot. The afternoon winds have died down, the temperature is very agreeable, so I think we'll eat outside. Here is a picture of our beautiful view of the San Jacinto mountains.

Post-dinner notes:

Wow! The pizza was fantastic, not too thin with a nice chewy texture without being bready. The addition of the rye flour was just right. Although the part-skim mozzarella was really good, I can't help but wonder how much better the pizza would have been had the fresh been available. Also, half off the dough was plenty for two servings, and the rest we'll have tomorrow or Monday.

1 comment:

Joe said...

Hey boys! What a mountain view! We had some good luck growing eggplant of all things here in Phoenix!

How was the pizza?