Monday, August 19, 2013

Eastern Mediterranean Pizza

It is summer.  That means vacation.  That means traveling.  

I missed the last blog posting and recipe, Eastern Mediterranean Pizzas, due to the hardships of summer.  

But now we are back and I wanted to catch up with the Tuesdays with Dorie baking crew.   This recipe takes basic pita bread dough and instead of baking and filling them as tradition, a tomato and lamb topping is placed on top and little "pizzas" are made.  The recipe states, if one wants to omit the lamb, it is possible to just cook up more tomatoes.  Since I am a vegetarian, this is what I did.  

The topping comes out delightful with touches of cinnamon and allspice, but it isn't enough to make the pizzas satisfying; it really does need the lamb or something else.   As my husband stated, it comes off more as a snack than a meal.  And it really took too much effort for a "snack".  But the pita dough is tasty, and I have half a recipe worth in the fridge awaiting this Wednesday's dinner.   Let's hope round two is an actual dinner.

Here's Rhiannon:

Johnny Cake Cobbler

Cobbler is one of those desserts that I have tried and tried again, never settling on one solid recipe, kind of like brownies.  One turns out too watery, to thick, the next one too little topping, the next one too much topping.  So when this one was slated for this week's Tuesday with Dorie, Baking with Julia group, I was excited to try it. Maybe this one would be the one that I hang on to.

First, it calls for prepping the fruit, in this case plums and nectarines (I substituted peaches for the nectarines): slice and mix with an already heated butter and sugar mixture. Then it states to cook it for a  few minutes (maybe a few more) to cook off some of the juices.  

Then, it's time to prep the topping which includes a small amount of fine cornmeal to give it some texture.  Sift the dry ingredients and cut in the butter with a food processor.  (I did this by hand).  Fold in some cream and spread it on the prepared fruit.  This is ideally done in ramekins or small bowls.  I do not have any of the right size, so I went for one big cobbler.

Then into the oven for a short time to bake the topping (the filling is already cooked so it is a very short cooking time compared to most cobblers).  So, this is where I messed up.  I cooked it for 4-5 minutes too short and the topping did not cook through entirely.  We ate some of it anyway this way, and then I experimented and put it back in the oven.   In my experience this never works, to put an already baked  item that has cooled and been cut into, back into the oven to finish cooking.  But it worked!  The topping came out fully cooked and perfectly proportioned to the fruit (I like a lot of topping per fruit).

Is this my go-to cobbler recipe?   I don't think so, but maybe...  I like cooking the fruit ahead of time in order to be able to better control its consistency and flavor, but I also hate cooking it ahead of time; it is one extra step and more dishes.  The topping is great with a light, cornmeal texture and with the richness of cream.  This recipe needs a few more go-arounds before I give up on it.

And Rhiannon...