Sunday, March 23, 2008

Veg for the Holidays

I've decided that it's time to re-train my family when it comes to holiday dinners. I'm tired of trying to make a meal out of their side dishes, or having to prepare a completely different dinner for myself. But what can we make that I can eat and we will all enjoy?

Our new Easter dinner is pizza. Ours was made from scratch, although you can buy fresh or frozen dough if you don't want to bother coaxing the yeast, kneading the floury paste and waiting for the resulting mass to rise. I had margarita pizza, topped with lovely tomato, basil and mozzarella. The carnivores had something similar, but with a little meat added. And then a salad on the side, with romaine, mushrooms, carrots, green peppers, diced egg and a creamy dressing (also homemade).

We use this dough recipe:

1 pkg active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (115 F)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons olive oil
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon cornmeal

Soften yeast in warm water. Stir in salt and olive oil.
Gradually mix in cornmeal and 3 cups of flour to form a soft dough.
Knead until smooth (about 5 minutes) on a mat* coated with about 1/2 cup four.
Cover and let rise about 1 hour, until doubled in bulk.
Punch down dough. Divide into two balls and roll out about 3/4 inch thick.
Place each oval of dough on a greased baking sheet.
Brush the top of the dough with olive oil.
Top with your choice of ingredients.
Place one baking sheet at a time on the lowest rack of a preheated 500 degree oven for approximately 10 to 12 minutes (we baked ours for 9 minutes and it was perfect, so keep an eye on your pie while it is baking).

*We used a non-stick silicone baking mat, which makes it much easier to work with dough, and also helps increase the surface areas you can use to work with dough when you have a tiny little kitchen like mine.

No comments: