After months and months of putting up with my current refrigerator randomly freezing items out of spite, we've broken down and purchased a brand new one. For some of you this may not be such a big deal, but for us, it's our first official appliance purchase. Ever. Until now we've made do with family cast-offs and the generosity of former landlords and friends.
We try not to be big consumers; if something is broken or needs replacing, we don't run out and buy the item brand new. There's always someone around who wants to upgrade or is moving into a furnished place and generally, if we come and get the washer/stove/whatever, it's ours for the taking. So far this has worked in our favor...until this renegade fridge came along.
Too long I have endured solid yogurt, rock-hard berries, and frostbit greens. Too long have I spent extra money for fresh seafood--only to have it frozen in my refrigerator before I get a chance to cook it. I was due for a brand new appliance and that's what I got.
It arrives tomorrow.
Who knew that shopping for a fridge would open my eyes to all the possibilities that I never considered as options? Suddenly I needed a built in Britta drinking water system--how do I get by without one? And it sure would be handy to know the exact temperature of my fridge displayed digitally for me at all times. How about a beeper that goes off when the door is left ajar? I do that ALL the time, it drives Danny nuts.
Oh well, for now I'll just have to content my self with a fridge that 'just' keeps things cold--not frozen. Although if anyone hears of a second-hand version of this model looking for a good home, I've got dibs on it. I would love the glass door. That is the coolest.
So, I've been cleaning out my old fridge in preparation for the switch. I don't want a pile of items just sitting around on counters for extended periods of time while the new fridge is installed and starts cooling. (Apparently you can't plug it in for THREE HOURS after it arrives?? Help!)
As usual I have dozens of small leftover items that need finishing off to fully empty those drawers: half a stick of Chorizo, a teeny block of feta, a tired bundle of asparagus, a rind of Parmesan; those items and many more were the inspiration behind this pizza.
If you can call it inspiration. More like desperation.
I made a batch of Jamie Oliver's pizza dough, rolled it out onto a cookie sheet, divided it into four quadrants and proceeded to disguise my fridge odds and ends as pizza.
Guess what? It rocked! Everybody ate it--even the baby, who particularly loved the soft cross of crust that divided the pizza. Clockwise from top left the flavors are:
- Chorizo, Olive & Mozzarella
- Spinach, Egg, Fresh Garlic & Feta
- Bacon, Plum & Cheddar
- Asparagus, Cippolini Onion & Parmesan
Adapted from Jamie at Home
this recipe will make 2 11x15 rectangle "Pizza Quattro Gusti". You can make one for dinner and freeze the other ball of dough for another night, or make tons and enjoy the leftovers.
7 cups white bread flour
1 Tablespoon sea salt
2 Tablespoons dry yeast
1 tablespoon raw sugar
4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 1/2 cups lukewarm water
Sift the flour and salt onto a clean work surface and make a well in the middle. In a large measuring cup, mix the yeast, sugar and olive oil into the water and leave for a few minutes, then pour into the well. Using a fork, bring the flour in gradually from the sides and swirl it into the liquid. Keep mixing drawing larger amounts of flour in, and when it all starts to come together, work the rest of the flour in with your clean, flour-dusted hands. Knead until you have a smooth springy dough.
Place the ball of dough in a large flour-dusted bowl and flour the top of it. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and place in a warm room for about an hour until the dough has doubled in size.
Now remove the dough to a flour-dusted surface and knead it around a bit to push the air out with your hands - this is called punching down the dough. You can either use it immediately, or keep it, wrapped in plastic wrap, in the fridge (or freezer) until required. If using straightaway, divide the dough up into as many little balls as you want to make pizzas - this amount of dough is enough to make about six to eight medium pizzas. (or two huge rectangles)
When you are ready to fire the pizzas, crank the oven up to 500F. Dust your work surface with a little flour, punched-down dough and divide in two. Roll out dough into a rectangle about 3/4 inch thick. Grease a cookie sheet generously with olive oil and spread out your pizza dough on it, using your finger tips to push it into the corners.
Trip a 1/8 inch strip off of one long and one short side of the rectangle and lay these in the shape of a cross in the middle of your pizza. Top with your four flavors of choice and place pizza in preheated oven. Bake for about 10-15 minutes until the dough is golden brown.