Sunday, July 11, 2010

Summer time in my mind

It's been comically cloudy and cool in San Diego for the past couple weeks; while our friends in the north, east, northeast, northwest, south, and whatever Texas is are "enjoying" the full force of summer, we've been wearing jeans and debating light sweater or coat.

Now to be clear I am not complaining -- we do not lack sunny days, and today I count myself among the lucky few in the US who could survive preheating the oven to 500 so we could give the pizza stone K got for her birthday a test run. I'm really sorry I'm posting so much pizza but this one was too good to pass up. Yet another secret about yeast that I did not know -- it doesn't like chlorine (surprise surprise). In addition to sunny days, the other thing we have plenty of is chlorine in our tap water... So this time I heated up a cup of filtered water in the microwave for the bloom and it made a huge difference (also didn't hurt that I let it rise for two hours instead of my usual impatient one)

Made a quick red sauce (half an onion sauteed, a 15-oz can of roasted tomatoes, 1/3 cup of sugar, 1 tsp of cornstarch, salted to taste, and pulsed a few times in the blender), a few halfway-to-caramelized red onions, goat cheese, baked for about 8-9 minutes, and then topped with a handful of arugula (walnuts would be really good on this too, but I forgot). Holy macaroni it was good, and what a difference the pizza stone makes (if you don't have one, a 12" cast iron pan still works pretty great)

Here is a little Vietnamee-ish BĂșn salad with peanuts and a tamari-honey sauce that Kris made a couple days ago. Also I was psyched that these came out of the camera white balanced pretty much perfectly (tried the "PRE" setting for the first time -- awesome)

Bonus hardly bartending! From 4th of July weekend, I present the Mint Julep, a.k.a. Whiskey Snowcone (wouldn't that be a great band name? much better than Whiskeytown) Typically these are served in metal cups, I used the bottom half of my cocktail shaker which quickly became too cold to hold for more than a few seconds, which I have to imagine is part of the allure of the drink. Real southerners I'd love to hear if this is right or wrong:

Mint Julep

Muddle 10 mint leaves with 1/2 tsp simple syrup
Fill cup with shaved ice -- about 3/4 of an ice try pulsed a few times in the blender
Pour 2 1/2 oz (2 shots) of bourbon over the ice (I used Bulleit which I love and is pretty cheap at TJ's)
Stir and garnish with a few mint leaves and maybe a dash of powdered sugar sadly, I wasn't really aware of liquor when I lived in Georgia. I remember a SoCo with Lime poster at Rocky Mountain Pizza and Jaegermeister at every bar, but I'm guessing Coke's presence kind of killed the chances for any cocktails that weren't Beam and Coke or Bacardi and Diet, Which in retrospect really seems like a shame so close to Tennessee and Kentucky


  1. it's here, love: