Easy Pizza Dough
August 19, 2014
Last week, I asked people what they’d like to see on this blog. One of the responses called for budget recipes. When I think budget foods, the first things that come to mind are pizza, pasta, rice. What you decide to top, fill, or stir into those are all dependent upon what’s in your fridge or bank account.
For example, when we were really really broke after moving across the country, I mixed up this pizza dough recipe and simply drizzled olive oil and salt and pepper over it. We basically ate breadsticks and egg-fried rice until my stipend came in.
Nowadays, I make a pizza every week or two. It’s a great way to use up leftover sauce, bits of cheese or veggies, etc. And it’s fast. Faster than delivery fast, if you just think to make the dough earlier in the day. A note about that. While you could mix this up and let it sit for only 5 minutes, you really ought to let it sit an hour or two. The texture of the dough will be puffier and lighter than with a shorter rise (which will leave it denser and chewier).
Next week I’ll be passing along my new favorite pizza recipe (a cheesy vegetarian pizza that’s made with summery cherry tomatoes and pesto). For now, I leave you with the dough recipe. And this adorable picture of Toddler Chef trying to wield my rolling pin mid-shoot.
- 1 packet yeast (or 2¼ teaspoons)
- 1 cup very warm water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2½ cups flour (can swap in up to ⅔ cup whole wheat, if desired) plus more for rolling out
- Combine yeast and warm water, whisking till dissolved and bubbly (if not using rapid rise yeast, let the yeast sit a few minutes to activate).
- Whisk in the salt, sugar, and olive oil. Using a sturdy wooden spoon gradually mix in the flour and combine until the dough moves away from the side of the bowl and comes together. Form into a ball and return to bowl. Cover with a tea towel and let rise, anywhere from 5 minutes to several hours (preferably the latter).
- Heat oven to 400.
- When ready to assemble, roll dough to desired pan size. Top, and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden and bubbly.
Weekly Meal Plan – Summer Week 2
August 17, 2014
Mon: Chicken Nachos with homemade tortilla chips and dip
Tues: Red Pepper and Gruyere Quiche, salad, cantaloupe
Wed: Lettuce Wraps (made with chicken, mushrooms, and water chestnuts), potstickers
Thurs: Salmon with Fresh Green Herb Sauce, roasted vegetables, cantaloupe
Fri: Pesto Pizza (crust recipe coming Tuesday) with cherry tomatoes, goat cheese, gruyere, and cheddar cheese, salad
Sat: Hamburgers on the grill, roasted potatoes, baked beans Dessert: Strawberries with Angel Food Cake and Chocolate Whipped Cream (recipe coming Thursday)
Fresh Green Herb Sauce
August 16, 2014
It’s kind of hit me that summer will soon come to an end. Too soon. There’s so much I still have yet to do that I’m crafting an end of summer to-do list:
~Make one more batch of strawberry jam
~Pick and preserve a batch of blackberry jam
~Make and freeze pesto (from my basil plant! That I didn’t kill!!!)
~Wash the car
~Have a fried chicken picnic date (this was how Patrick proposed)
~Make a couple more ice creams (mint with hot fudge and whopper or toffee)
~Learn how to mix a Pimm’s Cup
~Take at least one more trip to the coast
Now that I’ve typed it all out, it seems a bit daunting. I mean, I don’t want to run out of summer before I can get to my second ice cream.
To my credit, I have been enjoying a string of wonderfully spent days. I’m no green thumb, but I can pull weeds and trim rose bushes. I’ve also set Baby Chef (who is more like Toddler Chef now) loose in the yard with chalk.
The heat has also made me a bit of a pro with prepping dinners that require little to no oven use (my crockpot has to be wondering what happened). When I do turn the oven on, it’s usually for no more than 20-30 minutes. Here’s a typical meal: roasted salmon or pork sausages served with roasted green beans and new potatoes. If that doesn’t sound summery to you, you have got to try it with this Fresh Green Herb Sauce.
I’ve modified it only slightly from Yoto Ottolenghi’s recipe from Plenty. It’s essentially a lot of parsley and cilantro brightly flavored with lemon juice, garlic, and a bit of olive oil, then blended with Greek yogurt until completely smooth. You’ll find yourself pouring it on everything. It really freshens up a roasted dinner. We also found that picky toddlers will eat almost anything that you dip in this sauce.
So, if you’re like me and fretting about how you’re going to make the most of summer, relax. Step away from the to-do list, pour yourself a glass of sangria (or cocktail of choice), and make this herb sauce to go with whatever you’re making for dinner. Consider it your meal’s perfect summer accessory.
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup parsley, chopped
- 2 cups cilantro, chopped
- ½ cup basil, chopped
- Blend together in a food processor or blender till completely smooth and green. Use within a few days.