Saturday, August 25, 2007

Cooking with Kids on ABC7

To promote Purple Asparagus' benefit at Crust, I appeared on ABC7's 11:00am show yesterday, sharing my recipes for Peach Salsa, Smashed Tomato Bread and Sneak It in Pizza with Sylvia Perez and July Hsu. To see the video, click on

Sneak-it-in Pizza
Serves 4

I call this the Sneak-it-in Pizza because of the whole-wheat flour in the crust and because I top our family’s with fresh vegetables. Kids love pizza and would never suspect that the crust isn’t made solely from white flour. I’ve found that if you set out a bunch of vegetables and tell them to “decorate” their pizza, they will be more likely to enjoy them. It’s a chance to sneak in healthy foods, while still having fun. If you're pressed for time, you can always use your favorite store-bought tomato sauce.

Pizza Dough
1 cup water
1 ¼-ounce package yeast
½ teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon white wine
¾ cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 ¾ cup unbleached all-purpose flour plus more for rolling out the dough
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
Coarsely-ground cornmeal
Pizza Sauce
1 28-ounce can of tomatoes
1 large clove of garlic, peeled
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
½ teaspoon good red wine or balsamic vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound fresh mozzarella, thinly-sliced, or 12 ounces grated mozzarella
Desired toppings, preferably lots of fresh vegetables such as tomato, eggplant, red onion, summer squash, peppers, zucchini, even broccoli

Make dough: Heat the water in a microwave for approximately 30 seconds until 110° F. Pour the water into a large bowl or the bowl of stand mixer. Sprinkle yeast on top and add honey, stir to combine. Let the yeast mixture sit for 5 minutes while it foams. Add white wine, the flours, olive oil and salt to the bowl. Mix with a wooden spoon or with a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook until the water is absorbed. If kneading by hand, remove the mixture from the bowl and knead on a floured surface until it is smooth and elastic, but slightly tacky. If using the mixer, knead with the dough hook for approximately 2 minutes. Remove from the bowl before the dough is completely smooth and knead by hand for a few minutes or until smooth and elastic, but slightly tacky. Put the dough into a large bowl coated with oil and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let rise for 1 hour. If you have a pizza stone, put it in the oven at this time. Preheat the oven to 500° F. Uncover the dough, punch it down and let rise for another 45 minutes.
Make sauce: While the dough is rising, make the sauce. Coarsely chop the tomatoes, preferably in a blender, pulsing once or twice. Finely mince the garlic clove. Heat the oil in a medium-size sauce pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté approximately 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, oregano, salt and pepper to taste. Cook until slightly reduced, approximately 20 minutes. Add vinegar and cook for another 5 minutes.
Rolling and baking pizza: Cut the dough into four pieces with a chef’s knife or a dough scraper. Press or roll out each piece on a lightly-floured surface. If using a pizza stone, sprinkle a sheet pan or a baker’s peel with coarsely-ground cornmeal. Lay the dough on top. Brush the edges of the dough with the olive oil. Spread a quarter of the sauce on top of the dough, top with mozzarella and then “decorate” with desired toppings. With a flip of the wrist, transfer unbaked pizza to stone in the oven. If you do not have a pizza stone, bake the pizza on a baking sheet. Close oven and reduce the temperature to 450° F. Bake for approximately 10 minutes until the edges are browned.
Do-ahead notes: The dough can be frozen. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator.

Smashed Tomato Bread (a.k.a. Pa Amb Tomàquet)
Serves 1, increase accordingly for more

1 slice of good peasant-style bread
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 fresh tomato
1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher or coarse sea salt
METHODS: Toast, griddle, or grill bread. Crush clove of garlic and rub on the warm bread. Halve tomato and rub each on the bread, allowing the juices of the tomato to soften the bread slightly. Discard tomato. Drizzle olive oil and sprinkle with salt as desired.

Peach Salsa and Tortilla Spikes are found in the Sprouts recipes.

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