Monday, January 16, 2012

If you want it bad enough...

Have I mentioned before that true, Chicago-style deep-dish pizza is not (to my knowledge) to be had in the country of Botswana? Yet, sometimes, it is just the thing. The combination of watching Top Chef All-Stars and a sudden craving yesterday resulted in this brain-child. It took me about 15 minutes to make, from the moment of walking into the kitchen, concept fully formed in my brain, to serving it up. Here goes, the recipe for feeding two people:

Stewing sauce:
1 small (~410g) can of diced tomatoes
1 tsp chopped garlic
1 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
1/2 tsp dried rosemary, crumbled
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp mixed "Italian herbs"
2 Tbsp red wine
freshly ground black pepper (I used about a 1/4 tsp)
salt to taste (I used about 1/4 tsp, Himalayan)

Combine in a pot that will have plenty of room for expanding dumplings; bring to a simmer. Let simmer while you grate cheese and mix dumplings.

On* Dumplings:
3/4 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1 egg
1/4 cold water

Mix dry together; add wet. Drop by the sloppy spoonful into the simmering tomatoes to make a circle of dumplings.

mozzarella cheese - as much as you like (I did about 1/4 cup, when grated)

Immediately after putting in dumplings, sprinkle the cheese over them. Cover. Simmer without uncovering for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and eat.

I was floored by how well this satisfied the craving! Will definitely be doing this again and again. I may even introduce some favorite toppings in the future, maybe some sliced Kalamata olives, a little additional fresh basil. I hope that this brings many of you pizza-craving satisfaction, especially those who are living in places where great pizza is ne'er to be found.

* My only modification to the basic recipe that I know that I'll be trying next is to use a different dumpling recipe. I have two basic recipes, both of which I use and love. The only reason that I would choose one over the other is that one is designed to be cooked on top of a thick stew, the other is meant to be cooked in a soup. The On version is the one that I used this time - so you can use this dumpling recipe from above on top of any stew for beautiful fluffy dumplings every time, in just 3 minutes. But, as I noticed when dropping the dumplings, the tomatoes were really liquid enough that I should have used the In recipe, which is follows.

In Dumplings:
1 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp oil
1/2 cup milk

Mix dry together; add wet. Drop by the mounded spoonful into simmering soup. Cover and simmer without removing the lid for 15 minutes.

Edit on January 21, 2012 - I take it back; I won't do the In dumplings in the future. I tried it last night and it was very similar to the On version. The primary difference is that the original On version was much faster and the melted cheese with the original recipe was more like melted cheese, less like a bubbly cheese-flavored foam. So, go for On!

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