Friday, August 20, 2010

Day 176, Salad with Seafood

I just wanted a simple salad and had some imitation crab in the fridge, so I threw together some ingredients I like.

Salad with Seafood

1 bag spinach
1 (8 oz) package imitation crab flakes
1 can (3.8 oz) sliced black olives, drained
4 oz fresh mozzarella, cubed
raspberry vinaigrette, to taste
Place spinach in 4 bowls. Top with crab, olives, and mozzarella. Add dressing, to taste.

Serves 4

Sometime great things happen when I throw together a bunch of ingredients I have around the house, sometimes I flop horribly. Fortunately this wasn't horrible, but it wasn't spectacular either. Perhaps I need to plan my meals ahead a little better. It is getting harder to make new meals every day. Six months I had no problem, but now I'm starting to have to think about what I want to make and try to remember if I made it or not.

Flavor Rating: Ok, it was palatable, but not what I really wanted.

Ease of Preparation: Easy, the only prep work was to slice the mozzarella.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Day 175, Homemade Pizza from Scratch

I had to test some yeast from a sample I had, so I decided to make pizza from scratch instead of a box. I even went out and bought fresh flour for the pizza.

Homemade Pizza

1 3/4 - 2 1/4 cups flour
1 envelope pizza yeast
1 1/2 tsp sugar
3/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup very warm water (120 degrees to 130 degrees F.)
3 tbsp oil (I used olive oil)
Prepared toppings of your choice:
cheese, sauce, pepperoni, sausage, Canadian bacon, peppers, onions, etc...

Combine 1 cup flour, undissolved yeast, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Add water and oil. Mix together until blended; about 1 minute. Add 1/2 cup flour gradually until dough forms a ball. Add additional flour, if needed, to handle. Spoon dough out of bowl onto floured surface. Dough will be slightly sticky. Knead on floured surface. Knead until dough is smooth and elastic; about 4 minutes.
Place dough on a greased pizza pan and press to fill pan. Top with desired prepared toppings and bake on bottom rack for 12 to 15 minutes until cheese is bubbly and crust is browned.

Makes 1 hand-tossed pizza, serves 8-10

I had never worked with yeast before, so this was a new way of cooking for me. I ended up using slightly over the 2 cups of flour in the mixture, but it would vary depending on the humidity level of the day as to how much flour I'd have to use. I haven't seen the pizza yeast on the store shelves near me as this is a new product, but it seems like a quick yeast because you don't need to let it rise. The baking process made it rise more than I had expected. I think I would divide this crust into 2 separate crusts for a thinner crust. I don't like a thick crust, so I'd want it to be thinner than it turned out. Making it from scratch, different flours could be used; it would be easy to make whole wheat crust.

Flavor Rating: Great, fresh ingredients, fresh taste.

Ease of Preparation: Moderate, it's more kneading than cookies and pies, but not as much as you'd think for a bread.