Monday, April 30, 2007

You CAN please everyone

To each his own

Here's how:

In advance, during late afternoon take 15 minutes to make a big batch of dough:

1 24g. cube of yeast
1 kilo or 2 pounds of flour
1 sugar cube
2 teaspoons sea salt
water as needed (between 1.5 and 2 cups)
4 teaspoons of olive oil

Run the tap water until it is as hot as it gets. Put the yeast and sugar cube in a breakfast bowl and add a cup of hot tap water. Let it dissolve, stir it, and let it be for about 5 minutes. It will foam and froth.

Put the flour in a bowl and add the sea salt. Mix it well and add the yeasty liquid. Give it a good kneading and add more water until it comes together. Add as much water as you can before it turns sticky. Adding a little too much water is better than not adding enough. It should be homogenous and very pliable. If it is too sticky you can sprinkle flour on it until the dough won't stick to your floured hands. Work it for 10 minutes. It will soften even more. Put a teaspoon of olive oil in the bowl where it will rise, turn it over twice, and set in a warm place to rise. It will really rise a lot.

Punch it down and work it every hour until the guests arrive, repeating the teaspoon of olive oil in the bowl.

Set into bowls to eventually put on the table:

Buffalo Mozzarella, sliced thin
Scarmorza, or any smoked cheese you can find
Fresh white farm cheese which has been seasoned with minced aillee (fresh young garlic shoots) and sea salt
Mountain cheese like Comte
Olives, green and black
Thin sliced breast of Bresse chicken (sliced with the grain)
Good Chorizo sliced thin
Sliced ham of various kinds
Local sausage
Fresh thyme flowers
Fresh and also dried oregano (last weeks which has been hung) for those who prefer it
Fresh and also dried sage

Steamed asparagus
Onions, sliced thin
Bell Pepper
Mushrooms in season
Wilted spinach (briefly sauteed)
Tomato Sauce
Zataar mixed with oil
Your secret stock of excellent olive oil
Red pepper flakes

Support your local artisans at apero

At the table:

Begin with a generous salad of ultra fresh market vegetables. Roquette, julienned Oseille (sorrel), spinach, mixed greens, white radishes, mushrooms, carrots, onions, peppers, fresh spring veggies, and house vinaigrette, on the side.

Bring out the dough and give it one last kneading, at the table. Set out the toppings. Cut the dough with a knife into 8 pieces. It will be soft and easy to roll. Quickly and efficiently roll out the dough thin to make individual pizzas at the table, pass them around on baking parchment, let them choose, discuss, and pass the toppings. Cook as many pizzas as will fit in the oven at the time, in a medium-hot oven, warm enough to cook the crust and melt the toppings without browning them too much.

Everyone will state that their pizza is perfect. Isn't that amazing?

Serve with copious amounts of excellent 2005 Saumur Champigny. Monitor the glasses carefully and fill them as needed. Keep fresh spring water available to the non-drinkers.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a lovely idea for pleasing everyone.....and minimum hassle for you as hostess.

11:16 PM, May 07, 2007  
Blogger Lynda said...

Yum - I am hungry now. We do something similar in Australia during the summer bbq's - making up a style of pizza dough - rolling it out very thin - oiling it and tossing it on the grill - it puffs up a bit like Indian nan bread. Turn it over and put some fresh cheese of choice - rocket - a bit of pesto (whatever you have to hand) - always a hit.

6:32 AM, May 08, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did 'mini' pizzas like this for children's parties for over 20 years...soo fun to watch the young 'chefs' decide...ditto on the grilled pizzas here in Ohio..gather fresh ingredients from the garden and put the right on top...wonderful memories...hope you had great fun.

6:43 AM, May 08, 2007  
Blogger Connie said...

you really don't have to go through all that trouble to please me! this whole spread looks amazing

5:21 PM, May 08, 2007  
Blogger Unknown said...

Asparagus is just so darned photogenic!

4:36 AM, May 15, 2007  

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