Friday, April 27, 2012

Dessert Night and Pinterest

Wednesday is Dessert Night!  After hearing our kids beg for sweets and dessert all the time, we decided to designate a dessert night.  It works out so well!  Usually I try to make something homemade or we go out for ice cream.  This past week, Mike made cream puffs for the first time.  Oh deliciousness!

Cream Puffs

It's Friday!

Fridays mean pizza night around here!

I have a guilty love for taco pizza - what's not to love?  Apparently a lot, according to Mike.  This week I decided to ignore Mike's protest and put together an easy taco pizza.  I used the Pioneer Woman's "Mexican Flatbread Pizza" recipe as a base but made my own crust, skipped the meat, and put spinach on top.  It was delicious!  Everyone seemed to like it (and Mike's plate was clean - hrm!).

Taco Pizza

Last week, we made a Bird's Nest Pizza. I could have licked the plate clean! The recipe calls for Saint Nectaire cheese but I couldn't find it so I used another french cheese - l'edel de cleron. The creamy and stinky cheese coupled with the runny eggs and parmesan was so amazingly delicious. I left the l'edel de cleron off the kids' side of the pizza because I didn't want them to waste it and then they picked off the asparagus, too. Ah well.

Bird's Nest Pizza

Jim Lahey's Bird's Nest Pie

serves Makes one 10- to 12-inch pizza

3 thick asparagus spears
1 ball of Pizza Dough, shaped and waiting on a floured peel (I like Emeril's dough recipe and I use cornmeal on the peel)
1/4 C finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
3/4 ounce Saint Nectaire cheese, cut into 6 chunks (I used l'edel de cleron)
4 to 6 quail eggs (we used regular eggs which was a bit of a problem with cooking time - use small eggs if you can)
Pinch of kosher salt

Place the pizza stone in a gas oven on a rack about 8 inches from the broiler. Preheat the oven on bake at 500°F for 30 minutes. Switch to broil for 10 minutes (or until egg whites are set).

Cut away about 2 inches of the base of each asparagus spear. With a vegetable peeler, shave the entire asparagus from bottom to top, reversing your grip and rotating as necessary to shave as much as possible. Don’t rush it; be deliberate for the greatest precision.

With the dough on the peel, sprinkle the Parmigiano evenly over the surface and distribute the chunks of Saint Nectaire (or other cheese) on top. Arrange the asparagus shavings over the cheese.

With quick, jerking motions, slide the pie onto the stone. Broil for 2½ minutes under gas (somewhat longer with an electric oven). The cheese should be bubbling, the crust only slightly charred. Using the peel, pull the pizza out of the oven. Close the oven to conserve heat.

Crack the eggs very carefully to keep each yolk whole. Place the eggs around the pizza (one for each slice). Sprinkle the salt evenly over the pie. Return to the oven to broil for 1 minute (or more depending on size of egg - use the small eggs if you can!), until the eggs are set but not hard and the charring is deeper.

Using the peel, transfer the pizza to a tray or serving platter. Slice into wedges (cutting through the egg yolks to allow them to spread slightly). Serve immediately.

Note: If quail eggs are unavailable (farmer’s markets are often an excellent source), go with the smallest eggs you can find.