June, 2008 Archive

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

pizza with red and yellow peppers

pepper pizza

I hope you’re not pizza-ed out yet–and if you are, can you tell me your secret?–because I’ve got two more coming this week. Wait, why is everyone leaving? Come back!

To the four of you left, if despite all of my pleading and listicled efforts to convince you that you don’t need a pizza stone, pizza paddle, bread machine, dough hook or hours of free time to make awesome pizza at home, I’ve got one more for you: I made one of these with a broken oven. Or a mostly-broken one. Well actually, it was totally broken, but only for a few hours. Nevertheless, it was dramatic, as you can imagine; we’re quite fond of our flimsy, tiny Apartment Standard oven in the smittenkitchen.

prettiest bell peppers

You see, I had bookmarked yet another lovely, simple recipe from what I think we all know by now is my current favorite cookbook, Alice Waters’ Chez Panisse Vegetables a couple weeks ago, the Pizza with Red and Yellow Peppers. Yet I was concerned that I wouldn’t get the caramelized top I wanted by baking it in my oven–every oven is different, but mine simply does not excel in top-browning. So, I decided it would be time to take my own advice and such, and cook the pizza under the broiler.

color-sorted peppers, because i'm ocd

Continued after the jump »

Monday, June 16, 2008

pistachio petit-four cake

birthday cake

Last weekend, I baked three birthday cakes. One of my mother’s oldest friends was turning 65, and when she mentioned that she was going to order the cake for her birthday party from a bakery, I had to object. People, when I turn 65 someone better bake me a homemade cake, is all I am saying. I think the very least someone deserves for hitting such a fine age with style is a friend, elbows-deep in flour, frosting and devotion.

So I volunteered myself, and I knew exactly what I wanted to make. I had seen this utterly insane and therefore completely and totally awesome cake on Leite’s a couple months ago. It involved all of the best things on earth: a pistachio layer cake, thin ribbons of jam, sheets of marzipan and bitter-chocolate ganache filling and coating. It had marzipan flowers on top, with a trail of pistachios simulating leaves. It was the prettiest things I have ever seen.

pistachio cake batter

But as we got to discussing what would work for her party, we decided to go another route, one that would ensure there would be something for everyone, and in a move that everyone I know still considers utterly insane, I offered to bake three: one Hazelnut Brown Butter Cake (I doubled it, filled and coated it with ganache), one Tiramisu Cake and one Perfect Party Cake from Dorie Greenspan (don’t worry, I’ll get to this one soon). What can I say? I imagined three square cakes lined up on their stands, and the cuteness was almost too much to bear.

Continued after the jump »

Thursday, June 12, 2008

10 paths to painless pizza-making

10 paths to painless pizza-making

As you may have noticed, we’re kind of into pizza in the smitten kitchen. I mean, just a little. I can’t help it–in my mind, it combines the best things on earth: homemade bread, charred-edged ingredients, pairing well with a green salad and wine, and–the way I make it, at least–it never feels like a heavy meal.

Every time I post about pizza, I answer at least five or seven of the same ten questions in the comments, so I thought that it was time to create a FAQ on the topic that will hopefully answer all of your questions (feel free to ask additional ones in the comments) in one tidy URL. Consider this a primer for the new pizza recipe I will tell you about next.

Like the bread-making tips I shared way back in the newborn days of this site, my point of these are not to fill your head with reminders and cautionary tales that will cause you more worry when you get into the kitchen–there are enough sites that do that, I know that for many people, anything yeast-based is scary enough. Instead, I want to impart to you how easy it can be, and how strongly I feel that anyone on earth can succeed in making impressive pizza at home. I hope this helps.

Continued after the jump »

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

dead simple slaw + 6 heat wave reprieves


I have paused before posting because I’m certain that if I tell you about yet another slaw recipe, you’re going to revolt. There’s been my favorite classic, a green onion slaw, an Indian version and then four additional ones (a blue cheese version of my favorite, a pickled slaw, a spicy radicchio slaw and a Asian-inspired napa slaw) in an NPR article. One could say I was just a little bit into coleslaw.

And you’d think with seven slaw recipes logged and blogged, I’d consider the topic of slaw done. Complete. It’s coverage exhausted. And yet, I am in no way capable of ignoring a new way to mix for ribbons of cabbage and dressing, especially since it has fewer ingredients and more punch than my standard, and it was designed to go dreamily on a bun with shredded barbecue.

Alas, you might be aware that we’re experiencing a barely-noticeable rarely-commented-on heat wave in these parts of the country. I find I am only able to discuss it sarcastically: the city smells magnificently, the humidity is totally manageable and, oh, I have cooked dinner every night. I mean, who doesn’t cook when there’s a heat wave?

Continued after the jump »

Saturday, June 7, 2008

breakfast apricot crisp

breakfast apricot crisp

love them


BUTT (titled by Alex)

no knife needed

torn and pitted apricots

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