14 November 2007

And the winner is....

This work week seems to be skipping by so quickly. Here it is Wednesday and "Hump Day" already. With the new doctor we have moved into this century with all new computers; an Interac machine for the sale of mattress covers, desensitization serums, etc; a new fax/scanner/photocopier/printer combo. With all this new technology at work we had to get with the program very quickly. We have had a few training sessions in the last couple of days because with the new computers comes a new Osler system which is our billing and scheduling program...very different to the dinosaur! What does this mean? Meals have been light and quick in our household this week and lots of overtime hours. Every little bit helps over the looming holiday season with it's excess spending and excess food!

Not so far in the past, my poll on this blog asked you what type of pizza you would like to have? From the choices... "Roma Tomatoes, Fresh Basil and Buffalo Mozzarella" was the overwhelming winner. I discovered a recipe from Todd English of Food Network fame that fitted the bill. I wanted to try it, so I did!

Todd English is a Texan born restaurantuer, author, entrepeneur and Food Network star. His flagship restaurant Olives, and Figs his small chain of high-end pizzerias, plus over 7 other restaurants have put him in the forefront. Visit his web site Todd English for more exciting recipes.

**Roma Tomatoes, Fresh Basil and Buffalo Mozzarella Pizza**

**Figs Pizza Dough**

Todd says, "With a little bit of time and effort, Figs pizza dough can easily be mastered However, if you don't have the time or are intimidated by working with yeast, call your local pizza place and see if they'll sell you some of their dough. In some areas you can buy refrigerated dough (not the kind in a tube); this would also work well. If you use a heavy, bready, prebaked, vacuum-packed pizza crust, it just won't be the same.Our dough is far wetter than you'd ever believe; it makes a light, crisp crust It may take you a few tries before you get it right. Be patient and err on the side of underworking the dough; if you overwork it, the crust will be tough and dry.This recipe makes four rounds of pizza, though the topping recipes make two pizzas. We figure that this way you only have to make the dough every other time. Simply wrap the remaining two balls of dough in plastic wrap and freeze for up to two weeks."

1/4 cup whole wheat flour

3 1/2 cups all purpose flour plus additional for rolling
2 teaspoons (1/4 ounce) fresh yeast
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 2/3 cups lukewarm water

Place the whole wheat flour, all purpose flour; yeast, salt, and sugar in a mixer fitted with a dough hook. While the mixer is running, gradually add the oil and water. Knead on low speed until the dough is firm and smooth, about 10 minutes.

Divide the dough into four balls, about 7 1/2 ounces each. Line two cookiesheets with parchment paper. Place two balls on a sheet and cover with a damp towel. Let them rise in a warm spot until they have doubled in bulk, about 2 hours.

To roll out the dough: Dab your fingers in flour and then place 1 ball on a generously floured work surface and press down in the center with the tips of your fingers, spreading the dough with your hand. When the dough has doubled in width, use a floured rolling pin and roll out until it is very thin, like flatbread. The outer border should be a little thicker than the inner circle. Pick the dough up with a spatula or the back of a knife, allowing it to fold up almost like an umbrella and transfer it to a paddle. Do not worry that the pizza is not round, you are looking for; an 8- to 10-inch shape, a cross between an oval and a rectangle. If you get a hole; simply pinch the edges back together. Repeat with the remaining balls and proceed; with any of the following recipes.

Makes four 8- to 10-inch pizzas (Serves 1 to 2 people per pizza)


2 pizza rounds
Cornmeal for sprinkling
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
2 pinches kosher salt
2 pinches black pepper
1/2 cup Basic Tomato Sauce
6 to 8 thin slices mozzarella cheese
2 Roma tomatoes thinly sliced
12 whole fresh basil leaves
4 teaspoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

One hour prior to cooking, place a baking stone in the oven and preheat it to 500 degrees.

Roll out 1 pizza dough as thinly as possible. Place it on a pizza peel sprinkled with cornmeal. Cover the surface with 1 teaspoon oil, 1/4 teaspoon minced garlic, and 1 pinch each salt and pepper. Be sure to leave an outer lip of 1 inch all the way around.

Evenly distribute 1/4 cup Basic Tomato Sauce on the pizza. It is not necessary to cover the bottom completely. Top with 3 to 4 slices of mozzarella cheese, 6 basil leaves, and sprinkle with 2 teaspoons Parmesan cheese.

Shake the paddle lightly and slide the pizza onto the baking stone. Bake until browned, about 6 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a firm surface and cut into slices.

Serve immediately.

Repeat with the remaining dough.

Makes 2 pizzas

**Tomato Sauce**

Todd says, "Let's talk about tomato sauce: I don't know why it is so bad so often. I have dreadful memories of the school cafeteria tomato sauce loaded with green peppers, sugar, and tomato paste. What would make somebody think of putting a sauce like this together? No. No. No. Simple and fresh is best. Buy the best possible ingredients (keeping in mind that fresh tomatoes are not always as good as canned because the tomatoes have to be canned when they're perfectly ripe). Don't add too many flavors. Don't overdo it.In Italy, I've even seen some pizza tomato sauces where they simply crush the tomatoes in their hands, pour olive oil over the top, add a little chopped garlic, salt, and pepper, and then tear some fresh basil over it and place it on a pizza to cook."

1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup red wine
1 tablespoon dried Greek oregano ( I finally found some at our local Italian market!!!)
One 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
One 28-ounce can whole tomatoes in juice
1 cup Chicken Broth or water
2 1/2 tablespoon fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
1/2 to 2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Place a large saucepan over medium heat and, when it is hot, add the oil. Add the garlic and cook until lightly toasted, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the wine to deglaze the pan and cook until reduced by about a third, about 5 minutes.

Add the oregano, tomatoes, and Chicken Broth and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Lower the heat to low and cook until the mixture starts to come together as a sauce, about 45 minutes. Add the basil, salt, and pepper.

Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate up to 3 days.

Makes about 1 1/2 quarts.
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  1. Bang-up job on the pizza, Val.

    I know someone who actually doesn't like pizza...now that's nuts!

  2. Classic combination for Pizzas are always the best. People make the toppings too complicated sometimes! Looks delicious!:))

  3. Lovely Pizza Valli!!! I will try your dough, my recipe is similar but I will try yours, and the favorite is the childs like more.Beauty pictures. Gloria

  4. I have been looking for a good pizza dough recipe. I'll have to try this one out!

  5. I've wanted to visit his flagship restaurant ever since I saw it on a Food TV show years ago!

    Your pizza looks professional. I'm sure it tasted that way, too!

  6. What a sexy pizza!! I find people go nuts over this combination. I did one a while back on my blog and was surprised at the reaction. People..it's just pizza!

  7. Mmmmmmm..
    you know..My oldest daughter and I used to watch his cooking show on PBS just to look at him..he has awesome eyes.
    Not that I ever noticed, you know, my daughter pointed it out to me. :)

  8. This is soo yummy looking Val, I can almost taste the tomato sauce, and since it is almost 5 pm YOU ARE MAKING ME HUNGARY! I have seen Todd English on the Food Network but never visited his site. I'll have to pop over. Hope things go well for you at work and you do not get too "overworked"!

  9. Making your own pizza is always fun. Roma tomatoes, fresh basil and buffalo mozzarella pizza is one of my favorites.

  10. Valli, that pizza looks absolutely delicioso!!!! P.s. I tagged you, check out my meme!!

  11. When I was 11 I tried pizza for the first time at a friends birthday party. I didn't like it then. Who knew?? Of course it was Chef Boy-Ar-Dee make your own pizza....what a faux pas that would be these days Peter!!
    I love pizza of all kinds Asha!!!The dough worked out very well Gloria and Deborah!
    I wish I lived closer so that I could check out his restraurants Olives & Figs in the States.He also have 7 other restuatants all over. I wonder if they all have an Italian theme?
    Pizza is a universal food Aimee. I have never thought of it being sexy...but let me rethink that!
    Yes Mr. English has very nice...eyes...Marye!!Now adays I go for Jamie Oliver, not sure exactly why. I think I like blondes.
    The tomato sauce actually was absolutley delciuos Deb. It really added something to the pizza!Very fresh tasting.

    Pizza is fun to make Kevin. During the work week I had made the dough on Sunday, the sauce in the AM before work and assembled it once I got home.
    I will check out your blog PIC.Another meme, I'm not that exciting, but I will give it a go!

  12. Hey Valli, I tagged you for a Meme today. I know you are very busy right now so do not feel like you have to do it. It is a short but fun one! Cheers!

  13. Wow that pizza looks so delicious, I'll have to work it into next weeks menu!

  14. I love to make pizza. The smell in the house drives you crazy.

  15. Hi Valli, I can't go past a well-made pizza such as yours.

    I have a silly question to ask - Is there fig in the "figs pizza dough" recipe? Or maybe that's the name of the recipe since it's from the restaurant. Sorry for this dumb question...

  16. Figs is the name of the pizza chain by Todd English. I have seen fig on pizza somewhere on the blogosphere...I think at Leftover Queen.

  17. LOL, I was wondering why it had 'figs' in the title!
    It looks wonderful - I love pizza and that is one of my favourite toppings.


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