Sunday, September 5, 2010

Expensive week

So as if getting a $2,000 surprise at the bike store wasn't enough, I went to the carfix on Thursday to get an oil change and walked out $447 later with an oil change, a new headlight...and four new tires.

I had a slow leak in one of my tires, and it turns out the whole thing was ready to blow out. One of the downfalls of owning an AWD car is that you can't buy one new tire, or it will throw the alignment out of wack. So I am the proud owner of a lot of new rubber. Sheesh.

Anyway, new topic. While I plan to talk about the mundane randomness that is my life on this blog, I still expect it will be mostly centered around food. Because, let's face it. Who doesn't love food? And we all know Angie LOVES food. One of the things I'd like to talk about today is my greater appreciation for pairing food and wine. Thanks to Jim, I am becoming increasingly cultured in the world of wine, and he has taught me a lot about how to appreciate the taste of wine with food and the taste of food with wine.

Sidebar: I talk alot about Jim, so I figured you would like to see him. Here is a photo!

The first important thing, is how does one even do this? I have been taught to take a big sip of wine and swish it around in your mouth a little, while having a bite of food (with a little of everything from the plate) ready on your fork. From here, you go with what I like to call the double double S: Swish, Swallow, Shove, Savor. Swish the wine, swallow the wine, shove the ready fork in your mouth, and savor the enhanced flavors of the food. I find it very interesting that food can make wine taste very different and vice versa, with wine bringing out hidden or masked flavors in food. Try it next time you are out for some find dining.

And since I am aiming to talk mostly about food, I am going to do something that is long overdue: give you a recipe!

I am lucky to work with an awesome artist and a big time foodie as well. Tania and I enjoy talking about our cooking, swapping recipes, and geeking out over our creations. We also got lucky and filmed a cooking show together with local TV personality Anton ( The finished episode hasn't aired yet, but when it does I will be sure to share!

Anywho, Tania and I made pizza while we were on the show because Tania built her own brick pizza oven and is famous for her pizza parties. As the resident famed italian cook around, she and I whipped up some stunning concoctions, but they all started with on common thing: the crust.

So, here I share Tania's pizza dough recipe that I have adopted as my own. My next task is to find a variation of this recipe that is made with whole wheat flour, but for now enjoy!

Aspen Pizza Dough:

Yield: 6 pizza crusts

1134g high protein flour (such as bread flour)
715g water
20g salt
2.5 g yeast
Cooking oil

Using only about 70-percent of the flour, mix ingredients together until moist, then let rest for about 20 minutes. Add the remaining flour, knead thoroughly and let rest 10 minutes more. Form into 6 balls and coat with oil. Store in a plastic container and refrigerate. The dough will keep for a few days. Remove dough about 3 hours before use so it can warm and start to rise. Roll out to form a crust.

The key to this recipe is having a gram food scale. However, since Tania's recipe was featured in the summer edition of Edible Aspen, you can go here:

to view the converted recipe (and the article too!).

I also found out that, since this yields 6 doughs, they can easily be frozen. The trick is to defrost it fully in the fridge for 2-3 days before you want to use it. Also, make sure to coat the container with olive oil prior to storing the dough and freezing. Leave the fridge defrosted dough out on the counter for as much as a few hours before you work with it. You want a nice warm dough, or else it'll be too springy to roll out.

I recommend using a pizza stone and any of your favorite toppings from tomatoes, onions, and provolone, to pesto, pine nuts, and mozz. The hotter the oven, the crispier the crust. MMMM!

And since I discussed alcohol pairing, there's only one thing that goes with!

Boun Appetito!

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