jim lahey - the creator of the no-knead bread - has now created the no-knead pizza dough ! and it is just as impressive as his bread.
it’s the real deal for the home cook and it takes only 5 minutes to stir it up in a bowl. the most difficult part is to remember 18 hours ahead of when you want to enjoy your pizza !
the 18 hours allows for the developed flavor - texture & chew …it’s very neapolitan ! we made guanciale & onion pizza topped with egg & dusted with parmesan and a grilled eggplant- smoked tomato - spinach & goat cheese pizza. of course most anything would taste great on this dough…..even just a little rosemary & sea salt with EVOO.
the book - titled MY PIZZA -offers lots a great recipes for both red sauce and white sauce pizzas - plus a few salads & soups - along with great photos and jim’s detailed technique. it’s a great book to own ( buy it ) !
one of our favorite meals to prepare for a crowd at our place is paella. hanging out by the hot grill - sipping cold cava- and laboring over the stages of making a perfect one.
there are always a few cooks in our group of friends which means there’s always discussion ( heated debate) over the details of making the perfect paella.
is there a good socarrat …. too much or not enough ? does it have to be a “classic ” paella or can it be “creative” with the ingredients …………and so it goes……paella makes for a fun & causal time around the fire pit.
lay out a spread of tapas - a variety of spanish wines & a never-ending game of dominoes on the patio…….and you have yourself a party !
check out addie broyles latest article on E’s paella - plus info on the paella-event of-the-year ” Paella Lovers United” …..happening next month.
tired of the summer’s produce - the dwindling of peppers & zucchini - summer squash & eggplant - i was happy to be buying the first of local kale. i recreated a favorite salad made at ASTI by our chef kenzie allen ( soon to be found on our menu and in the bloggers pages of texas monthly too ).
i love this tender kale from johnsons backyard gardens ( wheatsville coop and farmers market ). lightly oil salt & pepper the full leaves and throw on the grill for a few minutes while they soften and char around the edges. chop into bite size pieces
kabocha squash ( or butternut ) cubed and roasted
creamy goat cheese
drizzled with balsamic vinegar this salad tastes of fall.
(kenzie’s version includes a few strips of smoked bacon or pancetta) yum !
i can do without icecream. i know that sounds crazy but i don’t crave the creamy cold custard. but i do like the play of savory flavors in an icecream and i do love the texture of a just-churned icecream ( i often “taste test” from the machines at the restaurant ). two spots in san francisco hit the spot !
i was delighted by smitten icecream. what a concept. a framed out cargo box dropped on a cool corner spot ( hayes valley neighborhood ) and showcases ‘freeze-to-order’ icecream. they designed and are the first to use this one-of-it’s kind machine (for now) called the kelvin (as explained below). it ‘s a specially designed machine and uses liquid nitrogen. brilliant !
smitten offers a revolving 4 flavors on their chalkboard menu - which can be embellished with sundae like items. we went for a salted caramel with candied almond topping and a TCHO chocolate straight up. the custard base is poured into a churning machine and within a mere minute or two ! your name is called to pickup your frozen treat. deep freeze = small ice crystals = smoother icecream. the texture downright sexy !
another favorite is standby humphry slocombe with their creative flavors. obviously larger ice crystals here ! ( perhaps even grainy ) but who can top flavors like this - salt & pepper ! peanut butter curry ! sweet summer corn ! and a couple of their signatures like ‘breakfast of champions’ with bourbon & cornflakes and boccolone’s prosciutto. with flavors like that you need to try a few !
so i guess on occasion a can scream for icecream !
just off the conveyor belt - happy water ! the bubbly version of Richards Rainwater - otherwise known as “carbonated cloud juice ’ !
if you have not experienced the taste of Rainwater - you are missing out. it is water truly worthy of being bottled. it is local - from tank town in dripping springs texas. it is pure - no use of chlorine or other chemical germicides for disinfection - as with other bottled water. it is one of a kind - it is the first (as far as recorded) company to be licensed to bottle rainwater.
what an achievement. talk about bottling from ” the source” ! ( “water that has never touched the ground” ).
clearly - i am a fan. he is a man committed to water - and bringing it to the masses. he does it with a lot of hard work - and humor ( “fresh squeezed cloud juice made over dripping springs texas”). richard not only bottles rain water - he also installs rainwater collection systems.
emmett first met richard 12 years ago and the topic of us building a home in dripping springs came up in conversation. richard excitedly talked up the idea of collecting rain water off the roof instead of drilling a well. that was crazy talk ! who would do something so primative ? ( this was the beginning of our friendship with richard ). we did not have the convenience of city water here at that time - and i am glad we didn’t. once we got the shpeel from richard - a lightbulb went off - it made perfect sense. of course we will collect rain off our metal roof ( 3200 sq. ft. ) into a ( 10000 gallon ) tank and filter it back into the house ( thru UV and micron filters ) and enjoy the perfect PH - not hard - not soft - spot free - delicious tasting water ! ( the garden flourishes ). at the collection rate of .6 gal per 1” of rain per sq. ft. of roof - we usually have the luxury of rainwater in the tank. of course last years droughts and slow times in between force us to have city water ( yuk ! ) delivered. what a difference. we are spoiled.
and you can be too ! drink rainwater ! get happy !
our group was planning menus for the upcoming memorial day - a weekend to be spent poolside with drink in hand. but our host rick wanted goat ……..which lead us away from the pool and on our way to hayes farm - just south of fort worth.
this place is a trip. chicken, duck, pig, sheep, rabbit & goat. tejano music playing - a makeshift taco stand and all kinds of folks here to pick up some fresh meat.
along with a couple of chickens - we picked out this 45-pound goat. 45 minutes and $155 later we were walking back to the car with it in a bag ! talk about being close to your food source. i was feeling a bit too close - seriously !
the butchered pieces were marinated in harissa (a concoction of chiles-garlic -cumin-coriander & mint ) and slow cooked for almost 8 hours. ( chicken was dry rubbed with chile & fennel and spit roasted ).
so busy getting a plate - i forgot to shoot it. this succulent goat ( and tasty chicken ) was served with couscous salad with feta cheese - garden tomatoes stuffed with salsa verde & a cabbage-fennel-jalapeno slaw washed down with more rose wine and a lineup of chianti wines. thankyou goat #321. another swim anyone ?
just back from a fix of the big apple - and all it’s wonderful restaurants - i was struck by the sameness of the plated dessert. the formula must include no less that six components flavors colors & shapes - include sweet sour & savory - creamy crunchy frozen crispy - use of sousvide paco jet fryer & dehydrator….. and all topped off with torn cake ! not that i’m complaining………they were a treat.
i love this hidden downtown gem. it’s a tiny space with a great menu & wine list & lots of personality. it’s Mulberry. it probably seats 25 - 30 inside - mostly around the bar - but we like to sit outside under the umbrellas. taylor knows what we like to drink ( yes - rose bubbly to start please) and if jacob is in the kitchen he comes out to say hello. mulberry is good anytime ( including brunch) but i love to go for happy hour.
while there’s a good menu selection ( considering the tiny kitchen ) - i have a few items that i crave and always order………..
fresh - creamy ricotta crostini with cipolline onion jam -black salt & pepper
salmon sashimi with fried capers - thinly sliced garlic & hot garlic oil
brussel sprout salad ( fried & raw ) with radish - dried shitake “bacon’ & ‘the best ever’ ranch dressing
meatballs in brodo with crusty bread
taking a tip from taylor we tried this greek wine ( when did greek wine get to be so pricey - $14 glass). worth it !
save room for dessert - it’s always a treat. this is one sophisticated s’more !
I’ve been enjoying produce from my kitchen garden for the past couple of months - and now that the weather is turning warm and thoughts of spring/summer garden arise - the pressure is on to consume the last of beets - kale & swiss chard ( and pass more on to friends & neighbors - enough already ! )
this is one of my favorite beet dishes. it is an italian recipe that was on our menu at ASTI Trattoria. it is from the veneto ( northeast region ) hence the mascarpone and poppy seeds. it is a beautiful dish rich in beet color and flavor - the whole beet and nothing but the beet ( plus a few shallots).
this is a beet risotto. start with diced shallot and the beet stems. saute a few minutes and deglaze with white wine. add carnaroli rice ( my preference of risotto rice ) and stir for a few minutes. using traditional risotto making technique - patiently add ladles of water while stirring ( i do not use stock as i want only the pure beet flavor). separately roast the beets in the oven. towards the finish - toss the beets into the risotto - along with the ‘beet juices” from roasting. add a handful of chopped beet greens. beautiful !
serve with mascarpone & poppy seeds - and a few fresh baby beet greens tossed with evoo……………