Thursday, March 15, 2012

Cook My Mailbox Weekend I

I thoroughly enjoy* my daily scroll through the web**.
But I love my real mailbox more***. 

This weekend, I cooked an entire meal out of the glossy pages that have landed there recently.  The results?

Let's just say I'm definitely going to be doing that again****.

Cook My Mailbox- Weekend I
The Rules:  All dishes have to be from a physical magazine or newspaper.  Nothing from a blog, a website, or a cookbook.  I'll try to stick with (and refer you to!) the recipes as written, but I might cheat a little because I'm like that.  Most of the time the articles that accompany these recipes are well worth a read, so I'm not going to upstage the authors.  Instead, I'll just chime in with my humble opinion on the results.   Sound like a plan?


OK, then. 

The Menu: 
Homemade pizzas using No-Knead Pizza Dough from Bon Appétit
Kale Salad from the LA Times
Dorrie Greenspan''s Vanilla Bean Sablé Cookies from Fine Cooking.

The Pizza!
As soon as I saw the magazine cover, I knew I had to make this.  
Original article: Click here
My notes:  Start the dough the day before you plan to eat it, because it has to rise for at least 18 hours.  The good news is, you don't have to do anything except plan ahead.   The other good news is, it's so worth the wait. I modified the recipe so I could use my sourdough starter, and added some whole wheat flour.  I followed the rest of the instructions exactly as written. 

Sourdough No-Knead Pizza Dough

7 1/4  c. flour (1 used 2 c. white whole wheat, 2 c. all purpose, and 3 1/4 c. bread flour)
4 tsp. sea salt
1 Tbs. sugar
1/2 tsp. yeast
1/2 c. sourdough starter
2 1/2 c. cool water

Topped with a mix of romano, asiago, parmesan and fontina cheeses, pepperoni, kale and basil.

My review:  Probably the best homemade pizza crust I've ever had.  The texture was pretty much perfect...crispy but with enough heft to produce those great chewy bites of crust, and plenty of interesting bubbling up going on.  From my modification, there was a little sourdough tang along with the nutty wheat to add interest without taking a thing away from the toppings.  I'm all about those convenient $1.50 bags of dough from Trader Joe's, but this stuff is in an entirely different league.

The Salad!
My husband will tell you I've gone a little overboard with the kale.  And that was before I knew the secret.  (Hint:  Involves a rubdown with oil, always a good thing in my book).  Now he'll probably divorce me.

Original article:  Click here.

My notes:  Instead of using one of their recipes, I used their method, and tossed the newly-relaxed greens in my own balsamic dressing, along with shredded carrots, sliced mushrooms, and blue cheese crumbles.  I also threw some on my pizza.  I think I heard my husband crying all the way in Mammoth.

Before the rubdown


My review:  Not only is this extremely therapeutic for you AND your kale, the results are truly magical. What a great trick!

The Sablé Cookies!
They had me at "vanilla bean".

Please, please, go read the original article.  It's Dorie Greenspan people!

My notes: I followed the recipe exactly except that I did add 1 tsp. of vanilla paste as well as the vanilla sugar, because my vanilla beans, instead of being "plump and soft" were more "withered and brittle".  Kind of like red vines that aren't so fresh, if you know what I mean.  I didn't want to take any chances.  I used Kerrygold Irish Butter, and raw turbinado sugar to finish the cookies.  I also adjusted the baking time down to 15 minutes.

My review:  These are simply amazing.  I mean, I intellectually believed when I read the article, but I was spiritually converted when I ate one.  That's how good they are.

* As my ever-growing "recipes to try" Pinterest board can attest.  Pinterest, btw, is a total chick thing.  I was at a board meeting the other day and not a single guy in the room had used it.  In fact, they looked scared when I brought it up.
** Today was a good one:
There were the resignation rants.
There was type made from hands via always-cool Colossal.

There was this collection of negative reviews of The Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison (hilarious)
There were confessions of a cookbook ghostwriter in the NY Times. (and a series of tweets from Rachel Ray, flatly denying she uses ghostwriters)
And a long article about how people no longer actually put recipes in cookbooks anyway.
*** Previously noted here and here.
**** Hence that odd Roman numeral "I" in the title of this post.

My stash of dough for later

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