…or, Wherein I Learn to Use My New Camera
So my camera bit the dust. My trusty Nikon Coolpix, which has served me well for the past two years, finally bid adieu to this cruel world. Our waitress at Jules Casual French Bistro accidentally bumped the table, sending the camera tumbling to the floor, and it just didn’t work after that. It was a very awkward situation, actually. She felt appropriately terrible. I was bummed, but didn’t really expect her to pay for it or anything. I mean, it wasn’t a new camera or anything.
The resolution came when she comped us our meal (complete with a nice bottle of wine) and I promised I would still give the restaurant a good review. Which I will, when I get to reviewing it. In the meanwhile, if you find yourself wandering around Gastown and stop in, give that poor girl an extra good tip. In the uncomfortable exchange, Scott and I slipped out and forgot to tip her. We realized on the way back to the hotel, but didn’t have any cash.
But that’s neither here nor there. I made the pizza for you. The Pizza That Will Send Me To Europe. Even though I technically don’t believe in recipes, here it is (copied directly from the Bolla website).
Chanterelle pizza with arugula-pumpkin seed pesto and chevre
•1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
•3/4 cup warm water (105-115°F)
•2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus additional for kneading and dredging
•1 tsp. salt
•3 tbsp. olive oil
•4 cups (about 6 oz.) arugula leaves, packed
•1/4 cup pumpkin seeds (or pine nuts), toasted
•1 clove garlic
•1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese, packed
•1/4 cup olive oil
•2 tbsp. olive oil
•1/4 cup shallots, thinly sliced
•2 cloves garlic, minced
•12 oz. chanterelles (or other wild mushrooms), thinly sliced
•1/4 cup golden raisins (or dried apricots), chopped
•1/4 cup Bolla Soave
•2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar (preferably aged)
•1 tbsp. fresh thyme, minced
•8 oz. chevre (goat cheese)
To prepare dough: Stir together yeast and water in a small cup until the yeast is dissolved. In a large, bowl mix flour and salt. Add yeast mixture and stir until dough forms. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead until dough is smooth and elastic (about ten minutes). Note: this can be done with the dough hook attachment of your kitchen mixer, which gives you time to sit back with a magazine and enjoy a glass of wine. Transfer dough to a large, oiled bowl, and roll dough around to coat. Cover loosely with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and set aside in a warm place for 1.5 hours to rise. You may now return to your glass of wine and magazine.
Turn dough out onto a floured surfaced and flatten with your hands. Cut dough in half and form two balls. Dust the balls lightly with flour and cover with a kitchen towel or inverted bowl (large enough to allow further dough expansion), and leave for an hour until the dough has doubled in size. While dough is rising, prepare pesto and topping. If using a pizza stone, begin preheating oven to highest setting.
To prepare pesto: In a blender or food processor, blend arugula, pumpkin seeds, garlic and cheese to a thick paste. With the machine running, drizzle in the olive oil to loosen the pesto to a spreadable consistency.
To prepare topping: In a large pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Sauté the shallots and garlic for one minute, then add the chanterelles and raisins. After about five minutes, when the mushrooms release their liquid, increase the heat to high and cook, stirring often, until the liquid evaporates (one or two minutes). Add Bolla Soave and balsamic vinegar to deglaze the pan, and cook another minute until the wine completely evaporates. Turn off heat and stir in thyme.
To assemble pizza: Preheat oven to highest setting. Using a your fingers, flatten each dough ball into 9″ rounds, lifting and turning the dough several times. Dust with flour as necessary to prevent the dough from sticking. Carefully slide dough onto a lightly floured baker’s peel or rimless cookie sheet. Give it a quick shake to make sure it’s not sticking (toss a little flour under the dough if is sticking). With the back of a ladle, smear half the pesto onto each dough round,
working in a circular motion, to an inch from the dough’s edge. Top each dough round with half the mushroom mixture (scoop with a slotted spoon or tongs to prevent adding liquid to the pizza) and dot with pinched-off bits of chevre. To transfer the pizzas to the heated pizza stone, line up far edge of peel (or cookie sheet) with the far edge of pizza stone and gently jerk peel (or cookie sheet), pulling back carefully as the pizzas are laid onto the stone. Once the pizzas are on the stone, do not move them until they’re ready to be removed. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the
dough is browned and crisped. Move the pizzas from the oven onto a cutting board and slice into wedges or squares.
(Note: if using a baking sheet instead of a stone, bake at 425°F for 15 minutes.)
I also added a little bacon this time, just for shits and gigs. In a week or two I will be going out picking for the first time this fall, and will have chanterelles coming out of my ass.
Oh, the new camera? A Nikon D40 DSLR. It’s what Peter uses, and I think his photos are the cat’s pajamas. Now if I could only get his huge windows and open daytime schedule…