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CSA Week #8: Pizza, pizza! (pan, pan)

August 12, 2010

This was a pretty haul – with three types of fruit! Week #8 was full of: basil, romaine, callaloo, pickling cucumbers, corn, new potatoes, peaches, blueberries, cantaloupe, whole grain bread and farmer’s cheese.

Really Good Pizza

Growing up, my mom made pizza every Friday night, without fail. She’d start by heating the pizza brick in the oven, and then assembling the rest. One of my favorite smells to this day, is the scent of cornmeal hitting a hot pan. It is the distillation of my childhood.

1 packet of Fleischman’s Pizza Dough Yeast (and dough made according to directions)

1/2 onion, minced

1 pint grape tomatoes, halved

1/2 cup sliced mushrooms

basil

salt, pepper, oregano, red pepper flakes

fresh mozzarella, sliced into rounds

I generally make my pizza sauce with crushed tomatoes and then add spices, but I wanted to make a fresh vegetable pizza, and so I used the tomatoes I had in the fridge.

Make the dough according to directions. It’s really quite easy. I have personally used it about 10 times. It’s kind of thin and crispy, in my experience. If you’re using a pizza brick, preheat your oven to 425 and place the brick inside. Let it heat up while you’re assembling pizza.

To make the sauce, add a little olive oil to a pan and add your onions, tomatoes and mushrooms. I add everything at once. Let it cook down a bit, and add your spices to taste. Generally, I go a little lighter on salt due to the salt in cheese, but it should be to your preference. Pizza sauce needs little help in the way of spices – oregano is the deal-sealer in my opinion.

Once the tomato mixture has cooked down (it should look sauce-like), remove from heat and let stand. Cut your mozzarella so you can assemble quickly. Roll the dough out onto a floured surface.

Sprinkle cornmeal onto the hot brick, so that the pizza doesn’t stick. Fold the dough in half to transfer to brick, or wrap around rolling pin and then unwrap on the brick (I prefer the fold method). Add sauce, making sure there isn’ t too much sauce in the center. This will result in wet pizza. Add cheese.

Cook about 10-15 minutes. Dough should be browning, cheese should look done. Top with basil once removed from oven. The residual heat will cook the basil, and since it bruises easily, you’ll get those purplish marks from the heat. Let it cool a few minutes, so it’s easier to cut and voila! Pizza, pizza!

Italian Style Greens

This was a quick, little thought required kind of side dish. If you haven’t had raisins in a savory way, I urge you to try it. Golden is the way to go here.

1 head of callaloo or any other greens (spinach would be fine)

1/2 cup raisins

1/4 cup mixed pignolia nuts and sliced almonds

olive oil

salt and pepper

This is super simple: heat up your oil and add the greens. Sautee until wilted. Add salt, pepper, raisins and nuts. Serve as a seriously tasty side dish. Took about 10 minutes total!

Chipotle Corn Chowder

My girlfriend Anne and I were talking about the corn surplus we seemed to have, and what to do with it. This became a conversation about corn chowder, and feta cheese and cilantro and new potatoes…..And then this lovely was born. I put a chipotle pepper spin on mine – for heat and smoke.

1 small onion, diced

2 new potatoes, diced

2 ears of corn, kernels cut from cob

2 celery stalks, chopped

2 carrots, chopped

2 dried chipotle peppers, soaked in hot water until soft, then sliced

3 cups low sodium vegetable broth

1 cup milk (I used 1%)

salt, pepper, 2 bay leaves

cilantro and farmer’s cheese (or feta)  for topping

Sautee onion over medium low heat until very soft. Add remaining vegetables and sliced chipotle peppers, and season with salt and pepper. When potatoes start to soften, add broth and bay leaves, bring to a simmer and partially cover until potatoes are cooked.

You can use either an immersion blender (which is what I did) or laddle about a cup or so of the soup into a blender and puree. If using this method, just return puree to pot when blended. I like using the immersion blender on soup because clean up is easy, and I can just blend until I like the consistency.

Spoon into bowls, add a little cilantro (if you like it) and farmer’s cheese. I feel like you only need a bit as the soup tastes really decadent! I hope you like it, too! 🙂

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