When it comes to topping pizzas, do as the Italians do and keep it simple. Though adorned with nothing more than tomatoes, mozzarella, garlic, and fresh herbs, the enduring quality of this pizza resides in its perfect interplay of clean and simple flavours.
1 1/3 cups (330 mL) warm water
2 tsp (10 mL) active dry yeast
1/2 tsp (2 mL) honey
1 Tbsp (15 mL) extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra
1 3/4 cups (435 mL) whole wheat flour
2 cups (500 mL) unbleached all-purpose flour, plus extra
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
1 - 28 oz (796 g) can San Marzano plum tomatoes, drained and coarsely chopped
8 oz (225 g) fresh mozzarella, such as buffalo mozzarella or fior di latte, torn into pieces
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
Fresh oregano and basil
Freshly ground black pepper (optional)
In large bowl, stir together water, yeast, and honey. Set aside for 5 minutes, allowing yeast to bloom. (If mixture does not become frothy like the head on a beer, the yeast may be inactive and you will need to repeat this step with a new pack of yeast.) Stir in oil. Add flours 1 cup (250 mL) at a time, stirring well after each addition until smooth. Along with last addition of flour, stir in salt. Turn out dough onto lightly floured surface and knead until satiny and firm, about 8 minutes.
Place dough in bowl lightly oiled with olive oil and turn to coat. Cover with clean kitchen towel and set aside in warm corner of kitchen to rise until almost doubled in size, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. At this point, refrigerate dough overnight.
If you have one, place pizza stone in cold oven and preheat oven to 550 F (290 C).
Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface and knead for 1 minute. Divide dough into 4 equal pieces and shape each into a thick disk. At this point you can freeze your dough, sealed tightly in an airtight container for 2 weeks. Let dough thaw in refrigerator for 24 hours before continuing.
Working with 1 ball of dough at a time, with lightly floured hands, gently start to stretch the edges of dough. Once pizza is about 8 in (20 cm) in diameter, drape dough over your fists and gently move your hands away from each other, turning the dough as you go. When dough is about 1/2 in (1.25 cm) thick and 10 in (25 cm) in diameter, place on oiled pizza pan, flour-dusted pizza peel, or rimless cookie sheet. Cover dough with clean kitchen towel and let rise for 30 minutes.
Working with one pizza at a time, lightly drizzle with some olive oil and scatter some of the tomatoes, mozzarella, and garlic over top. Slide pizza onto hot stone (or bake in pizza pan) and bake until crust is golden brown and bubbly and cheese is completely melted, about 8 to 10 minutes.
Carefully remove from oven, brush crust with a little extra olive oil, if desired, and top with some oregano, basil, and a little ground black pepper (if using) before slicing into wedges. Serve immediately while continuing to top and bake remaining pizzas.
Each serving contains: 331 calories; 13 g protein; 12 g total fat (5 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 45 g total carbohydrates (1 g sugars, 5 g fibre); 189 mg sodium
source: "Italian Food the Italian Way", alive #366, April 2013
Tourtière is, for me, the dish that best represents Québec. It can be traced back to the 1600s, and there’s no master recipe; every family has their own twist. Originally, it was made with game birds or game meat, like rabbit, pheasant, or moose; that’s one of the reasons why I prefer it with venison instead of beef or pork. Variation: If you prefer to make single servings, follow our lead at the restaurant, where we make individual tourtières in the form of a dome (pithivier) and fill them with 5 ounces (160 g) of the ground venison mixture. Variation: You can also use a food processor to make the dough. Place the flour, salt, and butter in the food processor and pulse about ten times, until the butter is incorporated—don’t overmix. It should look like wet sand, and a few little pieces of butter here and there is okay. With the motor running, through the feed tube, slowly add ice water until the dough forms a ball—again don’t overmix. Wrap, chill, and roll out as directed above.
My love of artichokes continues with this classic recipe, one of the best ways to eat this interesting, underrated, and strange vegetable. Frozen artichoke hearts are a time-saving substitute, though the flavour and texture of fresh artichokes are, by far, much superior and definitely preferred.
Cervelle de canut is basically the Boursin of France, an herbed fresh farmer’s cheese spread that’s a speciality of Lyon. The name is kind of weird, as it literally means “silk worker’s brain,” named after nineteenth-century Lyonnaise silk workers, who were called canuts. Sadly, the name reflects the low opinion of the people towards these workers. Happily for us, though, it’s delicious—creamy, fragrant, and fresh at the same time. Cervelle de canut is one of my family’s favourite dishes. It’s a great make-ahead appetizer that you can pop out of the fridge once your guests arrive. Use a full-fat cream cheese for the dish, or it will be too runny and less delicious.