THE OFF SEASON: the long weekend + pizza

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Labour day long weekend is usually the Julian calendar marker for the end of summer.  I don’t believe [or refuse to believe] that summer is over just yet,  but if it is, I was happy to have sent it off on 2 legs with a cottage weekend surrounded by friends surrounded by food.

cottageWith all our lives continuing to move at lightening speed, the faces that I had often blogged about and regularly saw on Football Sundays were no longer a weekly constant.  Our ‘once-a-weeks’ were now limited to ‘whenever one is in town’ or the holidays.  However, as we did last summer, we were able to all come together + getaway from our busy city lives + hang for a weekend.

cottage_08cottage_03TV or no TV, I can rely on 2 things when this group gets together; football talk + food!  Though I likely know more about the sport than any non-football interested person would care to know, I often check out when the F-word rears its head.  However, I am 100% present when the other F-word comes around; FOOD!

cottage_05cottage_04As we were calming down from competitive matches of Beersbie + Bocce, the sun was starting to set and the centre piece of our weekend was beginning to unfold.  One by one, we gathered around the table by the brick oven and one by one the ingredients to our dinner started to fill the table top.

cottage_19Pizza was on the menu!  Mike was in charge of dough and I was on cheese duty.  We came up with quite a few different combos but Kial spiced things up when he strayed from the tomato sauce and whipped up a white-sauce based potato pizza.

cottage_13W H I T E  P O T A T O +  T R U F F L E  P I Z Z A

Ingredients:

  • 2 red skin potatoes
  • garlic oil
  • thyme
  • rosemary
  • chili flakes
  • pickled ramps [optional]
  • salt + pepper
  • garlic confit purée* [3 garlic bulbs + olive oil + 2tbsp balsamic vinegar]
  • 8oz cream cheese
  • 3/4C whole [3.25%] milk
  • 1tbsp bacon fat [optional]
  • hot sauce
  • mushrooms
  • mozzarella
  • truffle oil
  • pizza dough rolled out to 8″

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*garlic confit purée
w/ skins on, place 3 garlic bulbs in a small sauce pot
submerge in olive oil + balsamic vinegar
simmer over low heat for 4hrs
remove bulbs from oil + peel + mush with a fork  adding salt/pepper to taste

thinly slice potatoes crosswise 
in a bowl, combine potatoes with pickled ramps and lightly coat in garlic oil
toss in thyme + rosemary + chilli flakes + salt + pepper 

cottage_11cut cream cheese into cubes
combine cheese pieces + milk + bacon fat in a small sauce pan 
heat mixture over low heat melting cream cheese
add salt + pepper + hot sauce to taste
remove from heat when mixture is heated throughout and combined
if mixture appears thin, keep on low heat to reduce and further thicken

cottage_17coat skillet with olive oil
place rolled dough in skillet
layer on cream cheese sauce, garlic purée, cheese, mushrooms, potato mix, 
drizzle on truffle oil
cook in pizza oven or commercial oven temp’d at 500ºF for 10 minutes

cottage_18cottage_20cottage_21cottage_22We continued to create and cook pizzas until dusk.  Note, I have no pics of cooked pizzas.  As each pizza was scooped from the oven, it lasted no longer than 10 minutes on the table.  I was too focused on getting a piece than on capturing the rustic beauty of each cooked pizza.

cottage_25cottage_26cottage_27After a well rested night on pizza stuffed stomachs, we cleaned  + packed + hit the road.  Before we went our separate ways, we stopped for brunch at the Swiss Bear Restaurant and Bakery, ate our eggs + schnitzel, and with large pecan pies in hand we headed home.

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Initially, when I looked back on my summer, I thought it uneventful.  I missed out due to my shut-in injured status. My crutches were hard to operate, my leg was 24/7 hot in its cast, and travelling from point A to B took twice as long on the best of days.  However, I suppose my achilles tendon injury was quite the event in itself.  I started my summer with a new experience, turned 30 along the way, and ended it with 2 functioning legs driving back to Toronto ready to take on the fall and the next 6 months of football that comes with it

 

Here’s to my uneventfully eventful summer 16!
madelaine

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