Saturday, December 8, 2012

Fiery Focaccia

The name of this bread made me think it might be too hot to handle, but it had just the right amount of heat and was absolutely worth every bit of the time and effort it took.  I started by mixing up my basic focaccia bread dough in the breadmaker, but varied it by adding 1/4 cup of tomato paste.  When the dough was ready it was very loose and sticky, so I ended up adding 2 to 3 cups more flour than the recipe called for until it had it the consistency of normal dough.  I rolled out the dough and sprinkled on 6 cherry peppers that been chopped, 2 roasted bell peppers that had been chopped, 2 1/2 ounces of cubed emmental and 3 1/2 ounces of chopped chorizo. All the ingredients were gently kneaded into the dough.  The dough was then divided between two 8-inch cake pans and allowed to rise for an additional 30 minutes before I carefully drizzled on some pizza oil and ground some sea salt over the top.  The foccacia was then placed in a pre-heated 400 degree oven and baked for 25 minutes.  I have never knowingly tried chorizo before and I was expecting it to be spicy, but it wasn't spicy at  all.
Both the cherry peppers and the red bell peppers were from a jar, and I thought perhaps the cherry peppers would be spicy, but they were not.  The pizza oil was the only thing that really added any heat to this bread.  The recipe does suggest using salame piccante instead of chorizo, provolone piccante instead of emmental , and Peppadews rather than cherry peppers;  you might consider using those if you want to kick it up a notch.  This bread received rave reviews from my dear hubby, but the fact that we didn't eat until 8:30 that night and were both very hungry might have had something to do with that.  Your family will always appreciate your cooking if they're about starved by the time you feed them!  Seriously, this was delicious, and the recipe said it even freezes very well.  I was intending to do just that with one of the loaves I made, but as I said, we were both VERY hungry!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Stuffed Focaccia Mini-Muffins

It has become our family tradition that on Christmas Eve I make an abundance of appetizer-type party food.  In years past we've thrown a birthday party for Jesus complete with balloons and streamers and cake and punch.  Since our children have moved away, it has morphed into a film festival of classic holiday films such as It's a Wonderful Life ,The Grinch, and The Nativity Story.  I tell you all this to explain that the first time I made these muffins it was part of this past year's Fountain Family Christmas celebration.  Since I had not started blogging at that time, I decided to revisit this recipe.  Perhaps it was the Christmas advertising starting WAY too soon that put me in a holiday mood!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Ricotta and Prosciutto Focaccia

This is another recipe that turned out to be very much like a quiche.  I think it had trouble deciding if it wanted to be Italian or French! Then I really confused it  by adding cilantro and giving it a Southwestern United States flare.  Boy, no wonder this dish has an identity crisis!  My sweet hubby was starting the focaccia dough, and I had mentioned to him that it used quite a bit more oil than our normal pizza dough.  He had that on his mind when he was putting the ingredients into the breadmaker and accidentally added a full cup of oil! 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Egg and Spinach Pizza Pies

I had been noticing the picture of these pizzas in my cook book for quite a while.  They just looked too cute and I have been anxious to try them!  Mine didn't turn out looking as pretty as the ones in the book, but I was pleased with the outcome.  I imagined these little pizzas might end up being similar to a quiche, and I was right.  They actually would be excellent for a fancy brunch. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Goat Cheese and Pesto Pizzette

This was an opportunity to try yet another cheese that was somewhat unfamiliar to me. 
Goat cheese, or chevre (from the French for goat), is cheese made out of the milk of goats.  Goat's milk cheese has a characteristic tart, and I thought a bit gamey, flavor. Although the West has popularized the cow, goat milk and goat cheese are preferred dairy products in much of the rest of the world. Because goat cheese is often made in areas where refrigeration is limited, aged goat cheeses are often heavily treated with salt to prevent decay. As a result, salt has become associated with the flavor of goat cheese.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Provencal Pizza

This pizza highlights Emmental, one of the other unique and hard-to-find cheeses I have been eager to try.  Emmental or Emmentaler is a cheese from Switzerland. It is sometimes known as Swiss cheese in the United States,Canada, Australia and New Zealand, although Swiss cheese does not always imply Emmentaler.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Pear, Pecorino, and Taleggio Pizza-Part 2!

One of the aspects of this pizza hobby of mine that I never anticipated was the exploration of a vast variety of unusual cheeses. Some time back my darling husband did some research on the Internet and discovered that there is a cheese shop at selected Kroger stores called Murray's Cheese Shop.  They have many of the more exotic cheeses that are difficult to find; and they will even ship if there is not one close to you!  We happened to be in Atlanta last week end visiting with our daughter and discovered a Kroger store near her neighborhood that has a Murray's Cheese Shop.    I purchased some emmental and some taleggio and decided to revisit the pear, pecorino, and taleggio pizza I made several weeks ago and  see what it would be like with real taleggio rather than substituting fontina.