Posts Tagged ‘ Italian ’

Bruschetta….

Another family staple in my house is bruschetta. You can’t go wrong with tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and some fresh bread. Throw some cheese on it, and you’ve got a pretty filling sandwich alternative.

The recipe I used to use for bruschetta is sadly no longer online… or if it is, I can’t find it….

I’m horrible at writing down quantities, I just kind of chuck everything into a pan until it tastes right, but here’s my best effort:

Ingredients:

-1 baguette/focaccia bread

-4 cloves garlic (I always double this)

-1 /3 cup olive oil (extra virgin is best!)

-1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

-1 tbsp chopped fresh basil

-Salt and black pepper to taste

-700g roma tomatoes, chopped

Directions:

1. Mince or crush the garlic and add it to the olive oil, set aside.

2. Slice the baguette into 1.5cm slices.

3. Brush the slices with some of the olive oil/garlic mixture. Make sure to reserve 1 tbsp.

4. Put the bread slices oil side up on the top rack of the oven, and broil until the bread browns a bit. This should take about 5 minutes, depending on the oven. You just want to dry the bread enough so that it’s not soggy when you put the tomatoes on it. Be careful not to burn the bread!

5. In the meantime, put the remaining olive oil and tomatoes, balsamic vinegar  into the pan on medium heat. Add in the balsamic vinegar and  basil, mixing the ingredients with a wooden spoon. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook the tomatoes until they have softened a bit, no more than 5 minutes.

6. Spoon the tomato onto the bread slices and serve. Alternatively, you can put the bruschetta back in the oven after you’ve put the tomatoes on, and sprinkle it with some finely grated parmesan or some other low-moisture Italian cheese of choice.

These days I’m trying to stay away from bread, but I still love tomatoes, so I often prepare tomatoes bruschetta style to serve as a side dish. Here they are, and the next time I make proper bruschetta, I’ll add the pic.

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Pizza Pizza daddy-o!

On Friday I decided to make some home-made pizza. The pizza in Holland is pretty crappy… it tends to be way too salty, overpriced, or both, so a lot of the time, when we have the energy, we like to make our own. I won’t write a long protracted entry about pizza, but I’ll just summarize the highlights.

I found this simple dough recipe on allrecipes.com a while back while I was in Korea. I like it because you don’t have to let it rise, so if you need a pizza in a hurry you can make it within an hour. When you do have the luxury of time, letting it rise is great, it gives the dough a nice texture when it’s baked. I like to throw in some dried thyme and basil into the dough when I’m kneading it, to make things a little more gourmet :P.

Otherwise… my mom insists that the real Italians use balls of fresh mozzarella cheese on their pizza, so that’s what we buy. Since I like to bastardize things, I still throw on a little belegen cheese, because I find the mozzarella a bit bland, but too much gouda would make it way too salty.

As for the sauce, I just take straight pureed tomato, throw in some herbs, salt and sugar till it tastes right, then spread it on my pizza. No need to buy the fancy stuff when you make it the way you like it 🙂

Since I always have a bit of dough left over because I am particularly inept when it comes to rolling out the dough, I also try to do something with it. Sometimes I make a mini pizza, sometimes my sister makes raw pizza (it’s exactly what it sounds like) and sometimes I like to make a pizza pocket. On Friday I went for the pizza pocket. It turned out good, probably my best one in a while… the only thing I need to figure out is how to stuff it in such a way that even when the dough rises a bit, there’s not a ton of air between the walls of the pocket and the filling. That probably involves making a dough with less yeast, I guess.