Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Friday Night dinner and a movie:

I almost hate to give away my olive tapenade recipe, because of the rave reviews it gets when I take it to parties. Everyone thinks I'm a culinary goddess, and it's really so easy I think of it as my little secret weapon. But it's just too good to hoard.

First, you will need a really good food processor. Now, I feel about my Cuisinart the way other foodies feel about their Kitchenaids, that is to say, it's among the things I would take with me if my apartment was burning down, so if you don't have one, I suggest you go the Cuisinart route. This is the one I have, and I love it, but I gotta say that if someone wanted to get my this bebe one for my impending 30th, I would be ecstatic.

Olives. Mmmmm, olives. I love olives. They're firm and juicy and salty and oily and all the good things the world of food presents. The texture of the black ones is a little mealy for me, although but sometimes I use them for my tapenade or my puttanesca. This time, however, I went to Central Market and they have an olive bar. Hello!!! I got a large container (a pint, maybe?) of pimento-stuffed Spanish queens and a smaller container (about a cup) of pitted Kalamatas.

1 large jar or container of green olives, pitted and drained
1 small jar or container of black or kalamata olives, pitted and drained
2 T capers
3 garlic cloves, minced
juice of 1/2 a lemon
tiny squeeze of anchovy paste (optional)
fresh cracked pepper

Pulse in your processor until the consistency is even, then s-l-o-w-l-y drizzle in extra-virgin olive oil while the blades are running. Probably about 1/4 C, but it will depend on how oily your olives are. You can also throw in some fresh herbs (basil and/or oregano) at the last minute. I serve with feta on top; you could also use some flaked parmesan or romano. Eat with crackers.

NEXT: pizza. What's better for a night on the couch than pizza?? Now, I think I've mentioned before, I'm violently allergic to yeast, so pizza crust is somewhat of a trial for me. However, I've perfected my yeast-free version- it's the right texture, if a little bland, and is a perfect vehicle for the toppings of my choosing.

1 1/2 C whole wheat flour
1/4 C corn meal
1-2 T salt
1/2 t baking powder
couple of pinches of dried oregano
1 1/2 C +/- of cold (but not ice) water
drizzle of olive oil

Mix all the dry ingredients and add the water a little at a time. The dough will pull away from the sides of the bowl and form a ball naturally. Roll it out on the counter to about the size of your pizza stone (and don't even THINK of making homemade pizza without a pizza stone). Scatter some cornmeal on your stone and transfer the crust. I brush it with a little bit of olive oil, but don't use too much or it will get soggy. Bake at 400 for 15 minutes.

THEN... add your toppings. I always keep homemade sauce in my freezer (onions, roasted garlic, basil, and oregano) and that can go on at room temperature. This pizza is sweet Italian sausage (cooked and drained), mushrooms, and basil- but I like to use baby spinach, onions, fresh tomatoes, olives, or whatever other veggies I happen to have lying around. Top with medallions of fresh buffalo mozzarella (not shredded) and cook for another 15 minutes. Voila! The perfect Friday night dinner!


Dannybrou said...

you would be so proud. I actually have the baby one...

iamchanelle said...

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm! love it! all of it!

and very a informative post, too. :)

i still stand by my kitchen aid, though. just made cookies in it, as a matter of fact!


krysten said...

ooooooooor, pizza stone.... ;-)

flaxseed (whole or meal) can add some nuttiness, and fiber! to your pizza dough.

hello jamie: said...

Chanelle, a Cuisinart is a food processor and a Kitchenaid is a mixer - I wouldn't dare compare the two except to say how strongly I felt about it as an appliance... *wink*

and Krys, feel free to set me aside a new stone - that's the exact one I have and it has DEFINITELY seen better days. I, in fact, have a whole list of things to buy from you!! Send me your site or whatever I need to do so you get credit.

Kisses to both of you!

iamchanelle said...

dude, i know about the appliance difference....i was just CLARIFYING how much i love my kitchen aid, since YOU went over to the other side of appliance land.... :)

but i still love you.

hello jamie: said...

and apparently, will be scorned until the end of time...

krysten said...

*snort* "scorned until the end of time"

not by me! i think the spinning bowl mixers are awesome too!

i wont get my personal site up until the end of june, but i believe you can order through the regular site and just be sure to type me in as the consultant.

send an email with what you are wanting and we can work on your list...

krysten said...

nope, my bad, you cant submit it on the regular site, they assign it to a random consultant.

your best bet will be to just make up a list and i'll submit it from my end.

hello jamie: said...

my mixer does not have a spinning bowl. it clicks in place, just like your more-expensive, lower-powered one.


list in progress...

krysten said...

but can yours become an ice cream maker??? or a sausage maker?? or a grain mill???

hmmmm??? HMMMMMM?????!!!!


hello jamie: said...

you are a mean, mean rich girl.


Brain Diva said...

This looks absolutely delicious, Jamie. I'm looking forward to having a bigger kitchen and more money so I can get myself all these wonderful appliances.