31 March 2010

This one's for my brother

Wildflowers are here!

And so are the bees. Thank goodness.
They say this is one of the best years for bluebonnets that we have had in a long time. (For the record the flowers above are not bluebonnets, but I love them anyway, because they are what is blooming in my yard.)

03 March 2010

Caramelized Onion Pizza with Mushrooms

I was really craving pizza, so I decided to look for a pizza recipe for my March contribution to gourmet unbound. The options were limited. The Caramelized-Onion Pizza with Mushrooms (March 2006) was the closest recipe to the kind of pizza I was craving. But I must admit, I wasn't very excited about the flavors.
My favorite pizza is generally a margherita. I like the fresh simplicity of it. Caramelized onions and mushrooms and boursin sounded very rich and earthy, not exactly what I had in mind. But I surprised myself and found it to be much better than I expected. The onions were sweet (I know, I know, that's why they are called 'caramelized'), the mushrooms were mild and the boursin wasn't as rich a topping as I expected.
I bought the onions and the mushrooms at our local market. I think next time I make this I will use the locally produced chevre that is sold at the market, I think they have a garlic and herb version that would be similar to the boursin.

I used the pizza crust recipe from The Baker's Companion. I made four small pizzas: the caramelized onion, a Hawaiian for the Texan, a classic veggie, and a strange concoction with leftover pea & parsley pesto, spinach and tomatoes for me. I stretched two of the crusts too thin, so they burnt a bit. I actually had the semolina flour that the recipe calls for. I didn't notice any difference from when I have made the same recipe using only all purpose flour. So, if you are making the same crust recipe, don't go out of your way to find semolina.

On a completely non-pizza note- Aren't those the coolest salt and pepper mills? The Texan got them for me for Christmas. They are made by Vic Firth, who is apparently famous for making really good drum sticks. I don't know anything about drum sticks, but I have been very impressed with these mills. The salt grinder has hard plastic grinding parts, so they don't corrode. Both grinders have a good range from powdered to quite course. The thing I like best is that they grind very quickly. I never use pre-ground black pepper, so when a recipe calls for 1 teaspoon of ground black pepper, I grind away. With my old pepper mill, this took forever. This one can grind a teaspoon in just a few twists. Which leads to my only warning about these mills. When you first get them, grind your salt and pepper into your hand or a bowl instead of directly into your food. You may find what used to take 20 twists of the pepper mill only takes a few twists.