Mark Bittman was one of the backbones of The New York Times Dining section every Wednesday. He went over to the Times Sunday magazine, giving us foodies excellent ideas about all sorts of delicious dinner and recipe ideas. I'm glad he's back on Wednesday- this time around with a new column How To Cook Everything. It's a great column, destined to get foodies back into the kitchen and to try old and new recipes.
He kicks off with a crowd pleaser a pizza recipe. Pizza can be a fun dish to make.It can also be tricky for novices not accustomed to working with yeast.Mr. Bittman recommends and prefers using a food processor for mixing everything together. He also believes in freezing it so it has a nice consistency to work with when it has to be flattened out. For that , the pizza maker can either roll it out or finger pat it. The second may cause dimpling in the surface and that could make the pizza look like a focaccia. Bakers can use whole wheat (which is what I would prefer) however it does come with caveats nit crisp enough and not chewy, however it has a deeper richer flavor.
As for the toppings, Mr. Bittman prefers the conservative and traditional choices. such as tomatoes with onions mixed in. He does add guanciale, a kind of Italian bacon made from pig jowls or cheeks.Another recipe is a pizza bianca basically a naked pie that just has oil and rosemary on top . He recommends anchovies (not always a crowd pleaser however the fishes' brininess brings out the sweetness of the tomato sauce)pepperoni along with both Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses. Fresh pesto can also be added along with eggplant or zucchini. Mr Bittman even suggests a seafood one, resplendant with shrimps , clam, steamed mussels and lobsters.
It's good to have Mark Bittman back at the Wednesday Dining section. His new column will and is getting the juices going of many a home chef and foodie. Each weekly column will be filled with fun , adventure and challenge!