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01 February 2013

Pizzette (Mini Pizzas) For My Second Year!


I hear music.  It's everywhere I go, in every nook and cranny of the house.  But I hear it loudest in the kitchen where I stay rooted from morning until night time.  I was once a music enthusiast, a lover of jazz music when I was as little as a first-grader.  I grew up with older siblings who loved jazz music and I picked up on it.   I woke up to Alphonse Mouzon's Morning Sun and slept with Earl Klugh's Late Night Guitar album.   That was my discovery of music and I never stopped listening  to it until a few years ago. 



It just happened.  It's like the power button went off and never went on again.  I refused listening to music for a few years and preferred total silence.  I loved hearing the familiar noises of the house when I am alone.  That was my music for so many years.

But like the abruptness of switching it off, at the start of the year, my musical sense woke up and this time, the house is filled up with melodic tunes again.  Now there is lovely music to accompany my days while working in the kitchen.


This new year brought a lot of changes to my blog, to myself and to my objectives in cooking.  So many things have happened that I don't even know where to begin but bear in mind that everything is positively wonderful, which is what is fundamental.  And here I am on my second year of blogging, more passionate than ever, spending more hours in the kitchen experimenting and creating recipes, feeding my family, trying to go after everything but accomplishing only half and a couple of tads more tired but happy.  Positivity has dropped its cargo on our doorstep and I'm keeping it at home. 


Today marks my second blog anniversary and I want to celebrate it with you with a lot of music, pizzette (mini pizzas) and other antipasto that I prepared for the occasion.  Blog life had been good and gave me so many opportunities, lessons, errors, successes and friends as I traversed through my daily routine of cooking, writing and photographing.  I still see myself doing this for a long time so I will be sticking around longer with more stuff to share with you.

Thank you for staying on my side for two whole years and I hope you stay around for more!  


Pizzette (Mini Pizzas)

Pizza Base:

Ingredients:
Makes around 30 pizzette (depending on the size of your pizzette)

  • 1-1/2 cups lukewarm water
  • 600 grams flour "00" + extra for sprinkling
  • 1 (25-gram) cube fresh baker's yeast (lievito di birra)
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil  + more for drizzling
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
Directions:
  1. Crumble the yeast in a small bowl.  Add sugar, a little bit of lukewarm water, about 1/2 a cup, from the 350 ml.   Mix well until the yeast melts. 
  2. Mix the salt with the remaining water. 
  3. Put the flour in a large bowl (or better in a mixer).  Add the yeast mixture, oil and salted water. 
  4. Mix the ingredients very well until the dough becomes smooth, elastic and a little bit sticky.  If the dough is too sticky to work with, add some flour (not so much though because the the less flour there is the better it will be) until you have a ball.  Make sure it doesn't become too dry with too much flour.  
  5. Take away the dough from the bowl, sprinkle some flour at the bottom of the bowl then put back the dough. 
  6. Cover with a clean cloth and let it rest in a warm, draft-free place for 2 hours (or until the volume of the dough rises to twice its size.  
  7. After the dough rises, put it on the working table and flatten with a rolling pin.  
  8. Using a round food mold or a drinking glass, cut circles in the dough.  
  9. Put the pizzette on an oiled baking dish then brush oil on every pizza.
  10. Put the toppings then bake at 180 degrees C for 10 - 15te minutes or until cooked through.


Pizzette With Fresh Tomatoes and Oregano

Ingredients:
  • 1 - 2 cherry or grape tomatoes per pizzetta
  • dried oregano
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt 
Directions:
  1. Slice tomatoes horizontally in 4 pieces.
  2. Push each tomato slice on the oiled dough.
  3. Sprinkle with dried oregano and salt.

Pizzette With Potatoes, Mozzarella and Rosemary

Ingredients:
  • fresh rosemary needles, finely chopped
  • 1 potato, thinly sliced with a mandoline
  • salt
  • 1 small mozzarella ball 
Directions:
  1. Squeeze mozzarella lightly to send away excess liquid.
  2. Tear it apart with your hands and distribute on the oiled pizzette.
  3. Top with the potato slices.
  4. Sprinkle with rosemary and salt.  

Pizzette With Anchovies, Mozzarella and Garlic

Ingredients:
  • 1 anchovy per pizzetta
  • garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 small mozzarella ball
  • dried oregano 
Directions:
  1. Squeeze mozzarella lightly to send away excess liquid.
  2. Tear it apart with your hands and distribute on the oiled pizzette.
  3. Top with torn or whole anchovies.
  4. Sprinkle with garlic and dried oregano.


Pizzette With Olives, Capers and Rosemary

Ingredients:
  • olives, pitted and halved
  • capers
  • fresh rosemary needles, finely chopped
  • salt
Directions:
  1. Push each olive slice and capers on the oiled dough.
  2. Sprinkle with rosemary & salt.


Pizzette With Prosciutto Cotto (Cooked Ham) and Mozzarella

Ingredients:
  • prosciutto cotto (cooked ham), diced
  • 1 small mozzarella ball
  • salt
Directions:
  1. Squeeze mozzarella lightly to send away excess liquid.
    Tear it apart with your hands and distribute on the oiled pizzette.
  2. Sprinkle prosciutto cotto on top.
  3. Sprinkle with salt.



Pizzette With Arugula, Brie and Bellota Ham

Ingredients:
  • bellota ham (or any cured ham)
  • brie, chopped
  • salt
  • arugula
Directions:
  1. Sprinkle pieces of brie on the pizzette.
  2. Top with torn arugula.
  3. Sprinkle with salt.
  4. Put the slices of ham after the pizzette come out from the oven. 

Pizzette With Radicchio, Pear and Gorgonzola

Ingredients:
  • radicchio
  • 1 pear
  • gorgonzola, chopped
  • salt
Directions:
  1. Sprinkle pieces of gorgonzola on the pizzette.
  2. Top with pieces of pear and radicchio.
  3. Sprinkle with salt.


Pizzette With Tomatoes, Mozzarella and Pecorino

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup tomato puree
  • salt & pepper
  • 1/4 onion, chopped finely
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • grated pecorino
  • 1 small mozzarella ball
  • dried oregano 
Directions:
  1. Sautè the onion in a small saucepan with extra virgin olive oil.  After about 2 minutes, add tomato puree.  Cook for about 15 minutes.  Sprinkle with dried oregano, salt & pepper when almost cooked.
  2. Cover pizzette with the tomato sauce.
  3. Sprinkle with dried oregano.
  4. Put the mozzarella after the pizzette come out from the oven. 
  5. Squeeze mozzarella lightly to send away excess liquid.
  6. Tear it apart with your hands and distribute on the cooked pizzette.
  7. Sprinkle with pecorino and dried oregano.

Tomatoes, Arugula and Olives on Toast

Ingredients:
  • slices of bread
  • tomatoes, sliced thinly
  • arugula
  • olives, sliced thinly
  • mayonnaise
Directions:
  1. Toast bread.
  2. Put a thin spread of mayonnaise.
  3. Distribute arugula on top, followed by slices of tomatoes then olives.   


Round Danish Fontal Cheese with Piment d'Espelette (Espelette Pepper)

Ingredients:
  • Danish fontal (or any cheese)
  • piment d'Espelette
Directions:
  1. Using a small round cookie cutter or any shape you want, cut through the cheese.
  2. Sprinkle some piment d'Espelette on top.  

Bresaola With Rucola and Parmesan Flake Rolls

Click on this link for the recipe.



Mini Ham Sandwiches With Olive, Fig and Almond Tapenade

Click on this link for the recipe.