Sunday, December 6, 2009

Cornmeal Pizza Crust



I'm still trying to get my cooking mojo back. Desperately I search for it each day, in a race against time, to recover my skills to full power before next weekend's holiday dinner party. Saturday morning I attempted to make hash brown potatoes. I even turned the food processor into a shredder to get evenly shredded potatoes (and no shredded fingers). They sure did turn brown. Crispy on the outside. Mushy and brown on the inside. I swear I've made excellent hash browns before - but not this day.

Later in the afternoon, I forged ahead. I gave myself a challenge that I've been avoiding. I thought, if I can succeed at this, I'll regain some kitchen confidence and hopefully pull out of the food funk. I've never been able to make a good pizza dough from scratch. Because, as I always say, I'm no baker - I'm a cook. Baking is science, and cooking is just knowing which flavors work together. Foodnetwork.com is my go-to source for recipes that work, so I decided to try Bobby Flay's pizza dough recipe. Success #1: my yeast grew and doubled, despite being slightly expired. Success #2: the dough doubled in size while rising - yay! Success #3: my sauce turned out great, although it started out too watery and I had to boil it down for a while. Overall, the pizza turned out well. It wasn't as doughy and light as I might prefer, rather bread-y, but no major complaints. I over-salted a bit, but we can live with that too. I'm hoping this is a sign that this week my luck will change, in time to cook for 12+ people on Saturday.

Cornmeal Pizza Crust (Foodnetwork.com)
(Recipe is for 4 small thin-crust pizzas, but I made 1 12" pizza)

Sweet Garlic Pizza Sauce
(enough for 2 large pizzas)
1 28oz can peeled Italian Tomatoes (Whole) in sauce
¼ C tomato paste
1 clove garlic
½ tsp sugar
Salt
Pepper
Dried Oregano

Add entire can of tomatoes and sauce and about ¼ C tomato paste to blender with garlic clove. Puree just a few seconds to blend in the garlic. Pour in saucepan and boil over medium heat (loosely covered) until sauce reduces and thickens – about 20 minutes. Add sugar, salt, pepper and oregano to taste.

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