Thursday, August 5, 2010

Lunch Feature 05.08.10

Pacific Ling Cod Calzone,
Local Caponata & Cabbage,
Carmelis Chevre,
Local Vegetable Gazpacho

Back too my roots with this one. Back to the roots of old Italian food as well.

My first "real" cooking job was at Boston Pizza. That job was most likely why I'm still cooking today. I had no Idea what to do with my life at the age of 20. I had given up on University pretty much straight away, I knew then that it wasn't going to get me a job in anything that I loved, mostly because I hadn't found it yet.

Throughout my time at Boston Pizza I learned a lot about managing chits, working very quickly and efficiently and unfortunately very little about cooking and food. The biggest thing I gained, was the love for the kitchen and a love for cooks.

I also made a ton of pizzas, literally, in the 10's of thousands. One of the things I did a lot of as well was calzones, or as they called them, "strombollies". Basically a pizza folded over itself and baked.

Everyone loves a good calzone. I find the key is to make a dough with a very crispy crust and a thin, soft inside. For my dough I use the following:
3 cups bread flour
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup white wine
1 tsp of instant rise yeast
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp salt
3 tbsp XVOO

Mix together in a bowl the flour, yeast, honey, wine and water. mix until a dough begins to come together.
Then add your salt and olive oil.
Knead the dough for about 8-10 minutes until a very smooth dough is acquired.
Let the dough double in size
Once the dough has doubled it is ready to use or it can be punched down and refrigerated over night. I find letting the dough sit overnight makes for a dough that gets very crispy with those lovely blisters on it.

For the filling of this particular Calzone I used sauteed local cabbage. A caponata with a tone of local eggplant, summer squash, tomatoes, onions, basil and a few other things that we don't have here such as, capers and olives. With the ling cod I seared the pieces on one side only so that it would cook properly with the crust and also for the flavor that searing gives the cod. Once it was baked at 400 degrees for about 10-12 min I took it out of the oven and brushed it with XVOO right before plating.

The Gazpacho is as easy as it gets. Pureed tomatoes, cucumbers, green peppers, onions, garlic, spinach, vinegar, olive oil and seasonings with a touch of vegetable stock to adjust the consistency. Serve chilled on a hot ass day.

Hope you like it, I know that I did.


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