Two Ingredient Pizza Dough Test

II recently saw an article on the front page of Yahoo for a two ingredient pizza dough. I was intrigued enough to click through to the article written by the Yahoo Food Team. The recipe is from Elettra Wiedemann of the Impatient Foodie blog. She first read about the method in The Slow-Roasted Italian.

Elettra states this for any naysayers about whether or not it works,” I SWEAR IT DOES. I am totally confounded by the chemistry of this, but it tastes amazing and the texture is perfect. I tested it in multiple kitchens with multiple people and everyone was like, “WHOA. Why didn’t we know about this before?”

It simply uses self-rising flour and Greek yogurt with active cultures. The dough doesn’t need to rise, it’s ready to use as soon as it’s formed. I let it sit for a couple hours just to give it time to develop.

The science behind it made sense to me because self-rising flour contains baking powder and salt. Baking powder also has an acidifying agent, cream of tartar, which is important because this combination is what reacts with the sodium bicarbonate when liquid is added. This is what causes carbon dioxide gas that provides leavening. Baking soda on the other hand is pure sodium bicarbonate and won’t rise with liquid unless some sort of acid is add, that’s the science behind buttermilk biscuits with the buttermilk providing the acid.

OK…..enough of the science already, I made the dough in a large batch and baked one piece off as a round and it had extraordinary rise. I cut the rest of the dough into smaller pieces and rolled it through a pasta machine to get nice long pieces so I could make crisp crust flatbreads. I par baked them with asiago cheese which actually allows you to freeze them for later use, which I did this and here are the results.

Left – Gorgonzola & Pear Flatbread, with fig jam, smoked bacon, scallions, and parmesan.

Right – Smoked Salmon, with roasted garlic white sauce, chives, and capers.

Left – Grilled Chicken Flatbread, with goat cheese, roasted garlic, and asiago.

Right – Grilled Chicken, with BBQ sauce, and cilantro.

Devilish Deviled Eggs

Deviled eggs have awakened after dozing off in the 70's. Deviled eggs were standard fare at family get-together's but everyone's were the same. It was like there was a master recipe out there that didn't allow anyone to vary from the "Standard Deviled Egg"......well, how many of those can you possibly eat? So they just faded. Classics always come back in a reinvented's now time to put the "Devil" back into Deviled Eggs.

with Broadbent's bacon and chives.

with smoked salmon and capers

The Art of Writing Recipes

René Redzepi, owner of Noma in Copenhagen holds the number 1 spot on the World's 50 Best Restaurant list. Redzepi is also the man behind MAD, A non-profit community of chefs, cooks and farmers with an appetite for knowledge. "Mad" is also the Danish word for "food."  EATER recently did an article about a tour of the Culinary Science Bunkers of Noma. MAD also has a resource site called MADFeed which has great articles and videos.

One of their recent articles was about writing recipes. In the piece Christine Muhlke, executive editor of Bon Appétit and co-author of Eric Ripert’s On the Line and David Kinch’s Manresa explored different styles of communication and addresses topics I have always thought about while writing my own recipes.

I have spent most of my career writing recipes for Chefs and Cooks who are located 100's or even 1000's of miles away. This article really hit home with me because it addresses how much intuitive cooking ability you should rely on from the end user, or what are some visual markers that reduce any misinterpretations about the cooking process embodied in these recipes.

Here is one style provided:

Get a frying pan very hot, pop in your knob of butter, followed by the hearts, and fry them for 4 minutes, rolling them around occasionally. Apply a splash of balsamic vinegar and chicken stock, season, and let the hearts get to know the liquor for a couple of minutes. Place the hearts on the toast, leave the sauce on the heat to reduce for a moment, and pour over the toast and duck hearts. Eat. The hearts have an amazingly ducky quality. — From “Nose to Tail Eating: A Kind of British Cooking,” Fergus Henderson.

Kentucky Proud

I've been working on Low Country cuisine recipes and I've been graced with some fantastic products from Kentucky. There's a cool group called Kentucky Proud that works hard to get these local products into restaurants, it's been pretty great working with them. This is a fraction of what I've used during recipe development, there's also been great hams, Kenny's Farmhouse White Cheddar, and so much more! Here's a sampling of few items they represent.

From Top Left to Right

Broadbent's Country Bacon, Kuttawa Kentucky
You know it's REAL bacon, the way it was made 100 years ago, when the label says "No Refrigeration Required".

Weisenberger Mills White Stone Ground Grits, Midway Kentucky
These are some of the best grits made with non GMO corn grown in Hardin County Kentucky at the Rogers Farm.

Bourbon Barrel Foods, Louisville Kentucky
If you haven't heard of this soy sauce it's a must have. They make it with non GMO Kentucky grown soybeans and pure limestone filtered spring water. It's brewed and aged in used bourbon barrels and the barrels are only used once. It's a true micro brew, each bottle has a handwritten batch number and bottle number.

Bourbon Barrel Smoked Sugar!
After the bourbon barrels are used once for the soy sauce they are used to smoke different items.

Kentuckyaki Sauce
That's not a typo!

Smoked Sea Salt
This is a great finish for steaks, pork, butter, caramel sauce....... I could go one endlessly!

As The Gardening Season Winds Down...

It was brought to my attention this summer that my garden looked better than my lawn.....guilty I guess! How excited can you get about growing a lawn? You can't eat it so what's the point? Maybe this is just "Chef Brain" but there is so much talk about organic sustainable gardening that I think it would be perfectly acceptable to till up your entire yard to grow tasty Vittles.....Nope, the subdivision committee and city council would be on me like foodies on Foie Gras! When I lived in London the English Garden would embrace this idea. Martha gets it in this article describes it as "Edible Estate".