Terrible pizza Margherita; overcooked green beans – 23 December 2016

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Looked fine, though.

Still moi cooking at Mom and brother B’s, so brother can take a break from cooking for Mom all the time.

But I made a really awful pizza. Backstory is that sometime in the past, when R&E were here, they preheated the oven to something pizza-ish, and it caught fire. Not good. So now I’m afraid to heat it up seriously (500) and stuck to 420. Didn’t work. Also, of course, we don’t have a stone here. So I pre-baked the crust till it got the slightest bit of gold on it, perhaps 10 minutes, where at 500 with a stone I pre-bake 1.5 minutes. Then topped with sauce and a cut-up 8 oz ball of Belgioso fresh mozz, and baked perhaps another 10 – till the cheese was fairly melted, though the crust never got dark. Then topped with torn basil leaves.

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Mom’s room, where we eat dinner and watch TV, is not lighted optimally for photography…

The crust was tough and hard. Ick! Also, this fresh mozz doesn’t melt properly and was pretty gummy. I don’t think it’s appropriate for this pizza. Also, I drained the slices for hours, and nothing dripped out from the strainer, but during cooking, whitish liquid arose on the pizza. thought the small vat in the freezer was Margherita sauce from a previous visit, but I must have used that up. It seems to be Trinacria sauce – the one with olives – so I refroze it. I pulled a can of Hunt’s diced tomatoes with oregano and rosemary, added some basil, and cooked down to perhaps less than a cup, after running the solids through the blender. The sauce was ok. But with concrete crust and rubber cheese, the pizza was basically a disaster. I made my usual crust, and there are two more lumps in the freezer, so I’d better figure this out. D is going to help by looking at recipes from Alice Waters’ book, where the crust is from (Chez Panisse Pasta, Pizza and Calzone).

wine161223B thought green beans sounded good, so I steamed up a bunch, and then left them in the pan with butter on low – too long, it turns out – while I negotiated getting the pizza finally cooked. It’s not like they were a disaster, but they had little or no texture to them.

So, even the wine was not great, or not… something. I chose an old favorite, Cantina Zaccagnii Montepulciano d’Abruzzo (2013). We used to have this at home as our “Friday wine,” But it was not as inviting as usual. Maybe I’m just not into food and wine out here, dunno.

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