Thursday, January 21, 2016

A Summery Treat In January

As we anticipate the Blizzard of 16  we long for those summery meals , full of of fresh veggies and fresh flavor. We can have that, not surprisingly  with  a California style pizza. Make it ,  have a cooling drink and think  of sun soaked days on a hot beach .

David Tanis thought of this in his A City Kitchen column in yesterday's New York Times Food section. He gives us  the recipe for a California pizza, one topped with fresh vegetables than sauce. The main star is the dough, Mr. Tanis gives instructions on how to make one that will result in a light delicate crust with crispy edges. According to him the best pizza dough is a relatively soft one.Resist the temptation  to add extra flour or the result will be a heavy crust - not the end result you want.Don;t heavily flour where you'll be kneading it. Go for lightly dusting the area. It
is is a great exercise for novice home bakers. It is an exercise in using yeast as well as kneading, discovering exactly what the phrase smooth and elastic means. You can make double the amount . Pizza dough can be stored  for three to four days in the freezer. it makes for excellent calzones and garlic knots, the last the perfect mate for a wintry minestrone soup.

As for the California topping(this type of pie is sometimes called pizza primavera or Spring pizza), Mr Tanis uses sliced bell or sweet peppers. He also throws in a jalapeno one for excitement and heat. All of these should be thinly sliced because they need to thoroughly cook up during their short time in the oven ( the pizza only takes a mere five to seven minutes to cook up )He also adds sliced red onions along with fennel rich Italian sausage,This should be crumbled all over the top so every
 piece has an equal amount. For cheese lovers, don't worry. You can either opt for mozzarella or Fontina with another helping of extra mozzarella for the cheesy topping.It is a layered pie with the grated cheese going on first, then the peppers. The sausage is then sprinkled on , and the pizza is finished off with a mozzarella covering.Fresh marjoram is then dusted over this, although if you want a more traditional taste go with oregano.Vegetarians can sub in soy sausage and soy cheese as regular meat eaters can use chicken or turkey sausage instead.

Bake this California style pizza when the snow is piling up outside.It 's a sunny taste of the garden that will melt away those winter blues. Have a slice, along with a cooling drink, and pretend you're on your favorite beach.

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