Tag Archives: Italian seasonings

One Hot Tomato

Just another meatless Monday…..

If you asked my mother, she’ll tell you I don’t like tomatoes.

Tomato_scanned

Nothing could be further from the truth.

I LOVE tomatoes, and it is out of love of tomatoes that I pick them out salads all winter long.

I love tomatoes fresh from the garden, which here in Plymouth is possibly July, definitely August and into early September.

I buy tomatoes at the Plymouth Farmers Market and sometimes from roadside stands – and there do seem to be fewer of them with each passing year – and I accept them – greedily- fresh from the gardens of my friends and family.

Random passing strangers with bulging bags of fresh produce are never turned away, either.

It wasn’t until I moved out and lived on my own that I realized I didn’t have to eat pink cottony golf balls that are sold under the name of tomato in winter time – nicely packaged in little plastic crates – at all.Bright_red_tomato_and_cross_section02

I also love all sorts of canned tomato products, and dried tomatoes and tomato paste, especially in the little toothpaste like tube.Progresso canned tomatotomato paste tube

I needed one tomato to make Flora’s Lentils and Macaroni, so I did what I always do in the winter in the grocery store – I bee lined it straight for the mark down produce rack.

My winter shopping often starts here.

I started collected cauliflower recipes because it was so often found here, and often for under a dollar.

Good Eats at a Great Price!

And often things are repackaged or trimmed in such a way that for the single or single plus one, a much more reasonable haul.

So I found a package of tomatoes, one of which went into the lentils…what to do with the rest?

And FAST – even at LOW LOW prices I don’t want to pay cash money for compost.

One way to improve and generally pump up the flavor of tomatoes is to heat them up. Think hot summer sun and fresh off the vine……

These tomatoes are a long way from their vine, and the sun is not heating up much here (or if it is, the snowfall is masking it it). That leaves cooking them.

But First – a few words about

Jacques Pepin

Jacques Pepin in 2006

Jacques Pepin in 2006

Years ago,on some cooking show (but it was in color so after 1977)  where Jacques was trimming various vegetables, cutting and chatting and moving the trimmed bits into a scrap bowl….and then he caught sight of these so-called scraps out of the corner of his eye, and paused, speechless. With the knife still in one hand, with the other he pulled (and for the life of me I can NOT remember what) part of the discard OUT of the scrap bowl . He peered below the counter. He put down the knife, pulled out a second bowl, placed the now NOT garbage vegetative bits in second bowl and said either “for soup” or “for something else” and continued with the regular show.

This whole maneuver probably took under 10 seconds.

It also summed what I dislike most about cooking shows and  food magazines –

In the quest for the best,

 We toss aside far too much of the very good and the perfectly fine.

There’s a world of good eating, and often very, very good eating, in the bits that aren’t best. Cooking /seasoning/mixing things up together can make good things better.

And this is why I’m a major Jacques Pepin fan. He saved the good. Even when it wasn’t part of the script. Bravo, Jacques!

And now for

Pappa al pomodoro

(One Hot Tomato Bread Soup)

 

1 large out of season tomato

1 Tbs olive oil

1 clove garlic, crushed

4 oz day old, slightly stale crusty bread*

1 oz fresh basil or fresh rocket, coarsely chopped **

Salt and pepper, to taste

Olive oil (for sprinkling)

1 Tbl grated Parmesan cheese***

  1. Core and peel the tomato, then roughly chop, saving the drippings.

  2. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and stirringly cook until soft but not brown, about 3 minutes.

  3. Add tomato and juice and bring to a boil. Simmer for 3-5 minutes or until tomato starts to soften and break down.

  4. Add the bread to the tomato. Continue cooking for 5 minutes or until the bread soaks up the sauce.

  5. Stir in the leafy greens, salt and pepper. Simmer 5 minutes more. Scrape into a warm bowl and sprinkle with more olive oil and grated cheese.

adapted from Pappa al pomodoroThe Boston Globe, August 20, 2008. Jonathan Levitt.

* I’m using one of Jenny’s Bread Cheese Rolls, hence the weight  specific. Otherwise part of a stale loaf – pull it apart and leave it out for a while to hurry the staling (for the truly impatient a minute or two in the oven will dry it out)

** I almost never have fresh basil in the house in the winter (too cold grow citrus is also too cold to keep basil; I freeze it, which turns it black, which is fine for sauce because you can fish it out before serving, but this needs a little more substance). Rocket is another name for arugula and you need some zingy-zangy greenage to add here.

*** I actually prefer Romano, but PLEASE -nothing fr0m the green shaker can!

Pappa al pomodoro - pappa is indeedy related to pap....and pomodoro is tomato

Pappa al pomodoro – pappa is indeedy related to pap….and pomodoro is tomato

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Bread, Recipe

(Pizza) Pie Are Square

 \pi r^2 is the mathematical formula for the radius of a circle.

The old joke is

Pi R square.

No – Pie are round, cornbread are square

But real pizza are square.

Real pizza being the pizza I was raised on, made by my aunt at the crack of dawn and available when we went to visit. So, Italian pizza are square and American pizza are round.

Punch, or Puncilla with a a pizza - I know it's round, he's Neapolitan

Punch, or Puncinella with a a pizza – I know it’s round, he’s Neapolitan

I’m not sure when I got my favorite pizza pan, but this is the pan I have made LOTS of pizza in.

It's ceramic , so it's like a baking it in a pizza stone

It’s ceramic , so it’s like a baking it in a pizza stone  – I got this from the Pampered Chef

In 2007 I finally found a pizza dough recipe that approaches my aunts. It was in a story in the Boston Globe. I have the clipping, so I know the exact date: December 12, 2007.

In this story, family members compete for the best pizza, in a Pizza face-off. Between the the two dough recipes, I found my best, most reminiscent of my childhood  dough.

Big Pan Square Pizza

Dough

4 cups  flour  – it’s really better if part of it is whole wheat – anywhere from 1/2 cup to 2 cups as part of the total 4 cups.

4 1/2 teaspoons  dry yeast (don’t sweat the details) that’s 2 packets

1 cup warm water with 3/4 cup warm milk

2 teaspoons salt

1 Tablespoon Italian seasoning*

6 Tablespoons (or more) Olive oil

Toppings:

sauce/cheese/etc – you know the drill

  1. In a large bowl mix the flours together. Add the yeast and mix some more. Add the salt, you’re seeing the pattern. Add the herbs and mix it up one more time.
  2. Add the water and milk mixture and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Mix until you can’t mix anymore, then turn it out and knead it until it’s all smooth and and when you poke it with your thumb, it springs back at you.
  3. Add a little more olive oil to a bowl (wash out the one you started with if you want to use that – no rough ragged bits in the side to slow you and complicate things later). Cover. Refrigerate overnight or up to 72 hours.
  4. Oh, you want pizza TODAY??? Then leave out of the fridge and let rise until doubled 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
  5. If you’ve refrigerated the dough, let it come to room temp, about 2 hours.
  6. Set oven to 500 and if you have a pizza stone, put it in the oven now.
  7. Put 2 Tablespoons olive oil in your cookie sheet/ large four cornered baking pan.  Press the dough into the pan, dimple the top with your fingers (it’s no really necessary, but it’s lots of fun). Put sauce on (not too much). Because this is going to bake for a while, you’re going to put the cheese on later.
  8. Bake for 25 minutes.
  9. Take out of the oven and put on the rest of your toppings. Put back in the oven for another 5-10 minutes, until everything is hot and melty and just right .
  10. Let it cool a little before before slicing and serving.
  11. Mangia!

* Italian seasoning – I never bought a premixed Durkee’s definition of Italian until I made this recipe. I have no idea what possessed me. I have actually made repeat purchases. One shaker jar V. pulling out several and making choices…..

The original also called for dry milk powder, which I bought and used for virtually nothing else, and when I ran out I started using just plain old milk, which I’m much more likely to have on hand.

The original story was Pizza face-off is a family holiday festivity by Nancy Shohet West in the Boston Globe, December 12, 2007 p. E4.

Durkee Italian Seasoning

Durkee Italian Seasoning

Leave a comment

Filed under Christmas, Pizza, Recipe

(Pizza) Pie Are Square

 \pi r^2 is the mathematical formula for the radius of a circle.

The old joke is

Pi R square.

No – Pie are round, cornbread are square

But real pizza are square.

Real pizza being the pizza I was raised on, made by my aunt at the crack of dawn and available when we went to visit. So, Italian pizza are square and American pizza are round.

Punch, or Puncilla with a a pizza - I know it's round, he's Neapolitan

Punch, or Puncinella with a a pizza – I know it’s round, he’s Neapolitan

I’m not sure when I got my favorite pizza pan, but this is the pan I have made LOTS of pizza in.

It's ceramic , so it's like a baking it in a pizza stone

It’s ceramic , so it’s like a baking it in a pizza stone  – I got this from the Pampered Chef

In 2007 I finally found a pizza dough recipe that approaches my aunts. It was in a story in the Boston Globe. I have the clipping, so I know the exact date: December 12, 2007.

In this story, family members compete for the best pizza, in a Pizza face-off. Between the the two dough recipes, I found my best, most reminiscent of my childhood  dough.

Big Pan Square Pizza

Dough

4 cups  flour  – it’s really better if part of it is whole wheat – anywhere from 1/2 cup to 2 cups as part of the total 4 cups.

4 1/2 teaspoons  dry yeast (don’t sweat the details) that’s 2 packets

1 cup warm water with 3/4 cup warm milk

2 teaspoons salt

1 Tablespoon Italian seasoning*

6 Tablespoons (or more) Olive oil

Toppings:

sauce/cheese/etc – you know the drill

  1. In a large bowl mix the flours together. Add the yeast and mix some more. Add the salt, you’re seeing the pattern. Add the herbs and mix it up one more time.
  2. Add the water and milk mixture and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Mix until you can’t mix anymore, then turn it out and knead it until it’s all smooth and and when you poke it with your thumb, it springs back at you.
  3. Add a little more olive oil to a bowl (wash out the one you started with if you want to use that – no rough ragged bits in the side to slow you and complicate things later). Cover. Refrigerate overnight or up to 72 hours.
  4. Oh, you want pizza TODAY??? Then leave out of the fridge and let rise until doubled 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
  5. If you’ve refrigerated the dough, let it come to room temp, about 2 hours.
  6. Set oven to 500 and if you have a pizza stone, put it in the oven now.
  7. Put 2 Tablespoons olive oil in your cookie sheet/ large four cornered baking pan.  Press the dough into the pan, dimple the top with your fingers (it’s no really necessary, but it’s lots of fun). Put sauce on (not too much). Because this is going to bake for a while, you’re going to put the cheese on later.
  8. Bake for 25 minutes.
  9. Take out of the oven and put on the rest of your toppings. Put back in the oven for another 5-10 minutes, until everything is hot and melty and just right .
  10. Let it cool a little before before slicing and serving.
  11. Mangia!

* Italian seasoning – I never bought a premixed Durkee’s definition of Italian until I made this recipe. I have no idea what possessed me. I have actually made repeat purchases. One shaker jar V. pulling out several and making choices…..

The original also called for dry milk powder, which I bought and used for virtually nothing else, and when I ran out I started using just plain old milk, which I’m much more likely to have on hand.

The original story was Pizza face-off is a family holiday festivity by Nancy Shohet West in the Boston Globe, December 12, 2007 p. E4.

Durkee Italian Seasoning

Durkee Italian Seasoning

Leave a comment

Filed under Christmas, Pizza, Recipe