If you learn a few basics, like sautéing, you can make a variety of soups and sauces. The French word actually means, “to jump” and is a very useful method to learn if you want to take your cooking from good to great! This technique is carried out by cooking food quickly in a hot pan and using a small amount of fat. It is important though not to use too much fat or you will go from sautéing to frying your foods. When properly executed, sautéing does not dry out the food but actually leaves some pieces called “fond” into the pan. These “leftovers” have a wonderful caramelized flavor that you can use to create a wonderful yet simple reduction sauce.
First, lets discuss what foods are good to be sautéed. The best foods must be tender, thin, and portion or bite-sized. Many types of meat, poultry, fish and shellfish are appropriate for sautéing. To prepare thick or dense meats for sautéing, simply slice them thinly before cooking for bite-sized pieces or pound them thin (with a meat mallet or back side of a frying pan) for portion sized pieces. Vegetables, fruits, precooked grains, pasta, beans and other legumes are also candidates for sautéing. Thin, tender items like snow peas, apples and mushrooms may go right into the sauté pan. Thicker, denser items such as carrots and broccoli should be par-boiled before hand.
My personal opinion is that the best
everything pizza comes from Italy, but most Greeks would disagree with me. They, of course, prefer Greek pizza, Greek food, Greek music, etc. I guess that the main differences being the crust and tomato sauce. Don’t get me completely wrong, it is possible to find good pizza here in Greece, even at one time in Lesvos. We used to order pizza as a quick “we are too hungry to cook” dinner, but unfortunately out of the two restaurants that make pizza, one closed and one switched from mozzarella cheese to gouda, no thanks! What other choice did we have but to start making our own.
Plus, when making pizza at home, you have complete control over every ingredient and are able to even transform a traditionally unhealthy food into one full of fiber and vitamins, somewhat 🙂 I have always preferred using whole wheat flour when possible, it not only benefits your waist, it also gives a slight, attractive nutty flavor to the crust.
Basic Semi-Wholewheat Pizza/Calzone Dough Recipe: (Makes 2 – 8″ medium crusts or 3 – 6″ thinner crusts)
7 g. (2 1/2 tsp.) instant yeast
1/2 tsp sugar or honey (optional)
1 1/2 cups water, temp around 180°-185°F
2 Tbsp. EVOO
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups bread flour (or all purpose)
1/2 -1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic, basil
Handful of yellow flour or cornmeal for bottom of crusts
Extra flour for kneading
In a large bowl, mix 1 cup of each flour with the yeast, sugar, oil, and water. Stir with a wooden spoon, let rise for 30 minutes in a warm area. Stir in remaining spices and flour using 1/2 cup at a time. Once a ball of dough has formed, turn out onto a floured surface and knead gently for 8-10 minutes; you should be able to feel the dough transform in your hands into a soft, pliable texture. <For a better crust, continue to rise again, but it is possible at this point to skip this step and move onto the dividing and shaping.> Place in clean, slightly oiled bowl, and let double in size in a warm area (if your house is chilly, use your oven with a 5 minute pre-heat and then leave on the oven light).