No Full Indian Dinner Here with Pizza and Thai Curry

Last friday I made a Thai green curry seafood soup. If that sounds fancy, rest assured that I used a lot of store-bought help. Jarred green curry paste, a bag of frozen seafood, a can of coconut milk, dried mung bean noodles, some fish sauce and pak-choy. But since the first-grader declared that I was “the best cook in the world”, I felt smug confident enough to post it on (Not)Recipes by Food52. This blessed app exists for people like me, who barely use recipes and cannot remember if the thing that they cooked owes its existence to half a dozen recipes and if so, exactly which. But the fact that it tastes good justifies taking a picture and showing off sharing it with like-minded people.

This weekend, or rather the last three months have been a flurry of “renovations” at our place. Meaning that we are changing some furniture. This process is pretty straightforward until you actually want to buy something. Then you realize that what you want does not really exist. So you have to go to ten different stores to find something that comes close to what you have in mind. Then you buy it and realize that actually there is something about your walls which makes it difficult for you to set up this piece of furniture in a stable sort of way. So then you have to go to the DIY store and get some thingamajig to make sure that your piece of cabinetry will not tip over and flatten your beloved first-grader. While you are doing the figuring out, you leave your tools lying around “because I am not done with them”, along with fragile glass panes belonging to said cabinetry. Which means that you have to navigate your own home like it is enemy territory.

Anyway, things came to a head this weekend, because it was Easter. That time of the year when one is supposed to be done with spring-cleaning and have a nice home. Nope, did not happen. But we tried, so at least this arrangement made us happy.

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In the end, cooking got the short shrift. The first grader coloured some hard-boiled eggs.

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Saturday evening rolled around and I realized that I had not planned anything for dinner. And neither did I have any time. A quick reconnaissance of the fridge told me that there was enough soup from the “green curry soup” to swim in, with nary a shred of seafood in sight, or a scrap of noodle. So I chopped up a bunch of asparagus, mushrooms and carrots and dumped them right in and served up the reconfigured soup with some rice.

Today I really wanted to make a “full Bengali dinner” to rephrase this great quote from “Bend it like Beckham”. Love that movie by the way. But the clock hit 4:15 and I realized that
1. I had not picked up the first-grader from school
2. I had promised him that I would make pizza.

So fearing the trembling lower lip and moist eyes, I hastily booted up the stand-mixer to make some pizza dough. I have this recipe that I cannot remember the origin of, but given that I worship almost daily at the altar of Food52 and Kitchn, it could be from a post in either. Actually now I remember. It is modified from a recipe posted by Amber Wilson on Food52. It needs flour, instant yeast, some salt, oil and water and presto! Pizza dough. I tucked it in the warm oven while I went to pick up the kid. When I got back, I took it out, nicely risen, rolled out thin pizzas which I topped with a tomato sauce, mozzarella, asparagus, arugula, bacon and eggs. The pizzas were light, chewy and crispy all at the same time. Good eats!

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If you are curious to know the (non)recipes, they are below. Otherwise, have a good week and see ya’round.

Pizza dough (adapted from Amber Wilson’s recipe on Food52.com)
3 cups flour (I took 2 cups all-purpose and 1 cup whole wheat)
1 cup warm water
1 pack dry instant yeast
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp sugar

Mix everything and knead for 10 minutes. Shape into a tight ball and coat with oil. Put in a large bowl and cover with tea towel. Let the dough rest in the oven (previously preheated to 90 degrees celsius and switched off) for an hour. Or if you live in a warm climate, then leave it on the counter until the dough has doubled in size. You could also do it the classic way and leave it in the refrigerator overnight.

Tomato sauce

2 cups tomato puree
1 tbsp olive oil (mine was flavoured with garlic and rosemary)
1 tsp oregano
If your olive oil is plain then a clove of garlic

Mix everything and cook in a saucepan until reduced by half.

For the toppings
1. Mozzarella cheese cubed and drained on some absorbent kitchen paper
2. Hard-boiled eggs cubed
3. Asparagus tips
4. Mushrooms sliced
5. Arugula (or any other greens) washed and drained
6. Bell peppers thinly sliced
7. Jarred green pesto
8. Bacon cubes or strips

1. Preheat your oven to the hottest it will go.
2. Divide dough into four portions and roll out into thin and round discs.
3. Brush with olive oil and poke holes with a fork.
4. Spread a couple of tablespoons or less of the tomato sauce. Not too much or else you will end up with pasta rather than pizza.
5. Now sprinkle your toppings in whatever proportion you wish. Leave out the greens.
6. Bake in the oven in the middle rack until the edges are nicely browned. This will be two to five minutes if your oven is very hot. Take out, cool for a couple of minutes and sprinkle your greens.

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