Posts Tagged ‘herbs’
I have two pizza classes scheduled within a month. I was at Serious Pie Downtown on a Wednesday morning for the first one. The pizza classes are held on weekdays and Saturdays before the restaurant opens. The city felt lethargic on a cloudy midweek day and it was a little odd walking into an empty Serious Pie.
Coffee and banana chocolate walnut loaves greeted us. I nibbled on the sweet, nutty bread as I leafed through the printed notes.
The Kitchen Table is the new private dining room at Serious Pie Downtown. For dough-shaping and dining parties, the dual purpose room was rustic and decorated in warm tones. Twinkling lights were strung overhead.
Vases of dried flowers lined the window sill as an organic curtain. Metal shelves were laden with commercial size tubs of World Spice herbs and spices.
I was happy to spot a large container of Murray River flake salt in their inventory.
Chef Audrey Spence was ill so Cari kindly shared her expertise with us. The Serious Pie dough recipe is a secret but there is a modified version for the home cook. Cari detailed the three-day dough making process. Bread flour, semolina flour, biga starter, olive oil, honey, salt and water are mixed, proofed and hand-shaped. Cari demonstrated how to stretch the dough.
Silky and supple, the wet dough wobbled and yielded easily to touch. We each dusted the wooden surface with flour and stretched a ball of tacky dough. Gentle and nimble fingers were the key! We sprinkled the pizza board with semolina flour and slid the dough on top.
Mise en place: basil, caramelised onions, clams, fennel sausages, hedgehog mushrooms, pancetta, potatoes, olive oil, roasted garlic, roasted peppers and tomato sauce.
Parmigiano, Provolone, Feta, Mozzarella and herbs were in terracotta dishes for us to sample.
Clockwise from top right: Provolone, tarragon and Parmigiano.
I created a half and half pizza. On the left: olive oil, hedgehog mushrooms and caramelised onions. On the right: tomato sauce, pancetta, roasted red peppers and basil.
My half and half pizza on the rack in the queue for the oven.
Our cheeks were rosy from the heat of the apple wood burning pizza oven.
Gauge of the wood fire pizza oven indicated a temperature of 658 °F (348 °C).
The pizza was placed at the edge of the fiery glow and in one swift motion the board was displaced. An enormous stainless steel paddle pushed the raw pizza to the side and back where it blistered and crisped. After five minutes, Cari dabbed on the Provolone, and the pizza was rotated and cooked for another two to three minutes.
A pinch of marjoram perfected the seasoning. I wielded the mezzaluna and sliced the pizza into eighths.
We settled into the dining room with our artisanal, personalised pizzas.
It was deeply satisfying to eat the pizza I had handmade, and without any clean up afterwards!
It was fun to be in the Serious Pie kitchen to learn some of the techniques of their famous pizzas!
I read the Modernist Cuisine blog post on Mayuri on the morning of the October Seattle Foodies lunch. I mentioned it to my dining companions at Café Juanita and Carol suggested that we drive to Redmond since we were already on the Eastside. I was curious about this Indian grocery store as I haven’t been to an ethnic supermarket in Seattle except for Uwajimaya.
In a neighbourhood shopping mall, Mayuri has a distinctive red and blue sign. A family business, Mayuri means peacock in Hindi and they also own restaurants of the same name in Bellevue and Bothell.
The inviting aromas of the Subcontinent greeted us. The compact store had aisles of dried herbs, spices, pulses, grains, flour, condiments, snacks, frozen goods, fresh produce, kitchen merchandise and pantry items.
Packets of dal, split lentils, peas and beans, were on sale.
Red baskets contained dried herbs and blended spices such as fenugreek, cumin and garam masala.
Jars and tins of ghee, clarified butter, were stocked in a variety of brands and sizes.
Shelves were laden with tapioca chips and other fried snacks.
Plastic boxes and cylinders dispensed the staples of grains, pulses and flour in bulk.
The fruit and vegetable section had fresh garbanzo beans.
Plentiful of okra and Thai chilli were sold by weight.
Bunches of fresh herbs were at the bargain price of ninety nine cents.
Mayuri is where to shop when cooking Indian cuisine!
I’m a recent convert to quinoa. I’ve noticed it on restaurant menus in the last couple of years but never ordered it. What piqued my interest was a cous cous salad at Christmas lunch – I generally don’t like salads but it was surprisingly palatable. We sometimes have cous cous with lamb cutlets but I haven’t considered making it a meal. I had read about the nutritional value of quinoa and decided to experiment with that instead of cous cous, and so a box was delivered by AmazonFresh with our groceries.
Quinoa makes an easy weeknight dinner and mixes well with leftovers. This is a vegetarian version but I’ve made it with roast chicken and roast beef before. I like to think of the quinoa as my canvas and my fridge as the paints! Wilted vegetables can be revived and curled up herbs not wasted. sun-dried tomatoes near its use by date? Toss it in! To make it more robust, stir in a can of tuna or add a poached chicken breast. It is light and healthy, yet satisfying and bursting with flavour. It is a versatile ingredient and requires minimal preparation time.
Recipe – quinoa with vegetables and herbs
1 cup quinoa
2 cups vegetable stock, low sodium
1 eschalot, diced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed or minced
3 cups vegetables, diced (I used 1 cup each of bell pepper, carrot and peas)
1 cup herbs, finely chopped or sliced (I used basil and cilantro)
2 tablespoon olive oil
2 lemons, zest and juice
Feta, crumbled to serve (optional)
Pine nuts, toasted to serve (optional)
1. Place quinoa and stock in a medium size pot and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low. Simmer covered until all the liquid is absorbed, 10-15 minutes. The quinoa is soft and translucent when cooked.
2. While the quinoa is simmering, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Lightly brown garlic and eschalot. Add vegetables, cook until softened.
3. When quinoa is cooked, lightly fluff with a fork. Gently fold in vegetables, herbs, pine nuts, cracked pepper and lemon zest and juice. Crumble feta on top to serve.