Mezzalunacy?

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So, a few years ago I actually invested in a “docker” which as you probably know is a rolling spindled device designed to gently prick dough to discourage crackers or dough baked blind from puffing up.

Since I like to make things like pizza and homemade crackers it is a tool in my drawer that -although it is a specialty tool- actually gets used. It is fast, efficient and it evenly pricks the dough for a consistent result. Of course for pie-crust I still use the tines of a fork (as my sweet Gran always did.)

I am including a recipe where I use the docker –

Mezzaluna – which of course means half-moon -but in my home it means a Chicken Caesar Salad with Pancetta and Pine-nuts enfolded in a freshly baked pizza crust.

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For the Pizza Crust:

1 tsp instant yeast

3 cups all-purpose or bread flour +/-

1-1/2 teaspoons sea salt plus a little extra

1 cup water +/-

1/8C olive oil, plus a little more for brushing

Put yeast, flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the bread blade. Turn on  the motor and add the water and oil through the feed tube. Process this for about 30 seconds until it forms a ball that is just slightly sticky to the touch. Add more flour or water a little at a time if it is too sticky or too dry. Turn it out onto a floured surface and knead a little until it forms a smooth ball. Smooth a little olive oil over the top Cover with a clean, slightly damp dish towel and let rise until doubled. (1 or so hours)  Proceed with other components of recipe while dough is rising.

To bake: Preheat oven to 500 degrees F. Roll dough out to one large or two smaller circles. Dock crust or prick all over with fork. brush with olive oil (get some in the dimples-you’ll like it) and sprinkle with a little salt or even garlic salt if you wish. Bake for 8-12 minutes. Remove when just done, so it will still be a little pliable to be able to fold in half.

Make a Caesar Dressing as follows: (this makes more dressing than you’ll need for this so share it with neighbors or use it in other salads etc., don’t store it too long if you choose to use raw eggs)

1-3/4 Tablespoons Red wine vinegar

3 cloves of garlic finely (FINELY) minced

1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard (not coarse)

enough salt packed anchovy fillets, rinsed and patted dry and minced finely to make 1 Tablespoon (I’d say optional but really it isn’t the same without them)

2/3Cup mildly flavored extra virgin olive oil (you can use 1/2 canola oil in a pinch)

2 very fresh, very cold eggs, wash and dry the shells before breaking them and buy and store them safely ( or use pasteurized or egg substitute if you’re worried about using raw eggs) see health warnings blah, blah, blah….

2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese (use the real stuff darn it! I will  disavow all knowledge of you if you even think about touching the stuff in the can- Yucko!)

Freshly ground black pepper

the juice of 3 lemons, reamed and pips removed

salt to taste -check to see if you need it as many of the ingredients are already salty

Whisk together the red wine vinegar, garlic, mustard, anchovies and oil in a small mixing bowl, add the eggs, lots of black pepper and a couple of pinches of cheese, whisk to emulsify. Add the lemon juice, whisk again. Taste it on a lettuce leaf and add salt and more lemon juice if necessary to get the flavor you like.

Croutons: I’m not giving you exact amounts just my method for however much I feel like making at a time. If you want a lot of croutons do them in batches, it’s all to your taste.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut day old sourdough or french or whatever kind of bread you like into 1/2 inch cubes. Melt some butter and olive oil together to cover the bottom of a large skillet. Add a little pesto if you like or whatever seasoning you like. Place bread cubes in pan and toss until fairly evenly coated. Place on a large cooking sheet in a single layer and place in oven for about 5 minutes. Remove pan from oven and stir and turn croutons to get evenly browned. Sprinkle with a little garlic salt and return to oven for about 5 more minutes or until they are as brown as you like them (they are your croutons -you know) They will crisp up as they cool so don’t worry if they are still a little soft when you remove them from the oven. Sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Cool. Try not to eat them all before you get them on a salad. I think they keep for a week or so, but they never make it that long in our house 🙂

Salad:

1 head of Romaine lettuce, cleaned and chopped

1 green onion, finely sliced

4 slices of Pancetta , cut into 1/4″ cubes and fried until it is crisp (or bacon crisp fried and crumbled)

1 cup cooked chicken, chopped into bite sized pieces

a small handful of pine-nuts, toasted

Assemble all ingredients in a cold bowl, add a little of the Caesar dressing and toss until it is coated, add more dressing if necessary, add more Parmesan cheese to taste and add croutons to taste, toss.

Place on half of freshly baked pizza crust and fold other half over. Cut in half.

Serves 2-4 depending on appetite. Two in our house.

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I made one last night and enjoyed it with what is becoming the summer house drink: a lovely, lovely Santa Cruz Organic Sparkling Lemonade with Ketel One Vodka (Rick likes his with Tanqueray-10 Gin) and a splash of Pama Pomegranate Liqueur over ice-so nice.

So this is my contribution to Not Eating out in New York‘s one off blog event That Crazy Kitchen Gadget over at “Is My Blog Burning? “.

Thank you very much Cathy for hosting the event, I enjoyed an excuse to play with all of my gadgets.

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5 comments

  1. Gabi says:

    Jen: Thanks so much for your comment and thanks for the Foodie Blogroll. I think it’s such a great resource!

    Robin: Thanks, this is a variation of a meal we first came across at Oakville Grocery in Napa Valley. We crave it regularly. I like the red wine vinegar in the dressing because it gives it a slight tang I haven’t been able to replicate with other vinegars.

    Cheers,
    Gabi

  2. Robin says:

    This is such an interesting meal! I’ve never made a caesar dressing with red wine vinegar either, I will have to give it a go! Thanks

  3. JennDZ - The Leftover Queen says:

    Sounds very cool! I love that you use your tools so much – that is great! Everyone has their favorite!

    Welcome to The Foodie Blogroll!

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