I have obtained another coveted 3 year 01 visa. It wasn’t easy to get. I’ll save the song and dance for a proper catch up face to face with wine!, but needless to say, I’m back in Los Angeles. The timer started 11 days ago. I figure I’d better make the next 3 years count.
Here’s an interesting statistic: auditions since returning- 0. Catering gigs (for my best buddy, so it only barely counts)- 1. I might love food more than what I came to LA to do. To act. I definitely love food more than twiddling my thumbs and waiting: for auditions, jobs, to grow up, have babies, to figure it all out. I love cooking with and for my fella and friends, and I’ve had the happy pleasure of guest blogging about it for my dear chum Jewel at Happy Opu (Yes yes, that Jewel. Sci-fi babe and actress extodinaire. Girls, guys, believe the hype. She’s your dream, I promise. She cooks like Betty, orders and eats like Veronica and does it all with a wine in her manicured hand and a cocker spaniel nipping at the scraps by her Jimmy Choos.) She’s been the best cheerleader a girl could have, let me tell ya, and among many other things (all involving wine), she’s inspired me to write this blog.
Tonight, we, the Dean Team, made pizza for dinner. Dear god (Martha Stewart), thank you for your pizza crust. Why? Because it’s just the fastest and easiest food processor recipe you could hope to whiz together. Top that good ol’ good ol’ basic dough with some leftover stinky blue, mushrooms and prosciutto from your best pal’s bon voyage soiree and Thursday night becomes a little Visa pizza party for two. In the mouth region.
Dough Recipe (Martha Stewart):
1 c warm water
1 pkg active dry yeast
1/4 tsp sugar
2 & 3/4 c flour (I used 1 & 1/2 c wheat and 1 & 1/4 c white)
1 tsp salt
1 & 1/2 tbsp oil
1) Whiz the flour and salt together in the food processor to combine.
2) Sprinkle yeast and sugar into warm water, stir with a fork and allow it all to bubble bubble toil and trouble for 5 minutes.
3) Pour oil and yeasty water over flour and pulse together until a ball is formed in the machine. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, knead 4-5 times, and form into a smooth ball.
4) Lightly oil a bowl, put dough inside, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in size, approximately 40 minutes.
5) Punch down, knead 4-5 times, and return dough ball to plastic wrapped bowl for another 40 minute.
6) Punch down again, divide dough in half, cover one for a later use (like a half hour after you digest the first pizza, you glutton) and let other half rest for five minutes before rolling into your crust shape.
BBQ Blue, Mushroom Visa Pizza
Some olive oil
1/4 lrg onion, finely diced
Some more olive oil
1/4 lb of your favorite mushrooms (we used a combo of shitaki, diced portabella, and plain ol’ button)
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
a splash of white wine, whatever you plan to drink
salt and pepper
2 pieces proscuitto, cut into strips
1 ounce blue cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup mozzarella, shredded
healthy handful arugula
4 big basil leaves, torn
1) Get Josh to light up that grill and let it get hot (the grill guys, the grill… keep it clean! For now).
2) Saute onions in a generous glug of olive oil until translucent and cooked through. (you could spend a half hour and caramelize them, yum, but we were too hungry to wait).
3) In a different pan, saute mushrooms and garlic over medium heat for 5ish minutes. Splash in the wine, make sure it boils or the pizza’ll taste all boozy, let the mushrooms absorb, season with salt and pepper, add chopped proscuitto. Cook another minute, then remove from heat.
4) Bring onions in oil, blue cheese, mushroom mix, mozzarella, arugula and basil out to the grill area.
5) On parchment paper, roll dough to a size that will fit on your grill. Bring rolled out dough, still on its paper, outside.
6) Remove paper (look ma, it doesn’t stick!) and place on hot grill, but turn it down to medium right away. Tss! (that’s the sounds it’s gonna make). Cook dough for approximately two minutes (until you see happy grill marks, but not too deep or dark), then, using tongs, grab a corner and flip it onto the raw side.
7) Work fast now! Spread onion and oil mix on crust, followed by blue cheese, mushrooms, mozzarella, arugula and torn basil. Close the lid of the Q for a few minutes- the time it takes for cheese to melt, crust to crisp, and also to run inside and grab a big cutting board or plate.
8)Remove pizza from grill onto cutting board, have your partner carry it in while you grab all the pans and bowls from prep.
9) Get Josh to cut the pizza while you clean the kitchen faster than a tornado.
10) Pour yourself a glass of Demetria Chardonnay, turn on the Edmonton/Minnesota hockey game, and enjoy your Visa Pizza with the one you love. Let it get hot. Bedwise.