Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Mr. Hawthorne And Rosie Have A Hankerin' For Pizza.

Every now and then you want pizza.
And this was some pizza.
When Marion and I went to Harris Teeter the other day, she espied this package of mushrooms on the rack of rapidly rotting food and snagged it. 3.5 ounces for $1.00 Maitake Mushrooms. AKA Hen of the Woods. AKA Grifola frondosa. Here's an interesting bit of trivia: The Japanese word "maitake" means "dancing mushroom" because people in ancient times were said to dance for joy when they found these mushrooms, which were literally worth their weight in silver. Here's what Maitake looks like in the wild. I'd never heard of Maitake. But I read a bit about it and it is thought to possess some cancer-fighting properties, to reduce insulin resistance, thus being beneficial for diabetics, and to lower blood pressure and blood lipids, two key-risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Maitake mushrooms apparently provide a "wealth of protein, fiber, B Vitamins', and Vitamin C," along with most of the "estimated 38,000 species of mushrooms." I wondered about that above statement. Most of the estimated 38,000 species. I remember a conversation I had years ago with a former SEAL and he told me to never eat mushrooms in the wild. More often than not, they'll kill you or either you'll wish you were dead. Also he told me mushrooms had no nutritive value. So even if they didn't kill you, they wouldn't help you. I believe that is in the SEAL Handbook. And the Mighty Maitake is also a fecund source of Beta-Glucan, Beta-Glucans, of course, being polysaccharides of D-glucose monomers linked by glycosidic bonds. They're a diverse group of molecules which can vary with respect to molecular mass, solubility, viscosity, and the all important three-dimensional configuration. From HERE:

As of the early 21st century, much has been written about maitake and its purported magic healing qualities. This has sparked a great deal of interest in its use for various human illnesses.

What is the evidence?

Maitake mushrooms and the maitake D-fraction prepared from them contain a type of polysaccharide (a large molecule formed by multiple sugar molecules linked together), called beta glucan (sometimes called beta glycan). Beta glucan is found in several mushrooms, yeasts, and other foods. A polysaccharide is a large and complex molecule made up of smaller sugar molecules. Beta glucan is believed to stimulate the immune system and activate certain cells and proteins that attack cancer, including macrophages, T-cells, natural killer cells, and interleukin-1 and -2. In laboratory studies, it appears to slow the growth of cancer in some cell cultures and in mice.

I found this interesting quote in my "research:" Beinfield also recommends maitake mushroom for stomach ailments. "It aids digestion by regulating the stomach and intestines, and helps eliminate food stagnation," she explains. (Emphasis mine.) Food stagnation. Don't you just hate it when that happens?
Well, here's my little gem of a fungus.
I pulled it apart and sliced some garlic.
Little olive oil, heat it up, then add the Maitake and garlic. Rosie Tip #237: Never salt a mushroom while it's cooking. Salting draws out the moisture and your shroom will steam, not sear. I just sauteed for a few minutes and set aside. The Maitake was the inspiration for this pizza. I had to use the Maitake and I wanted to use the Sun-dried Tomato and the Basil Mozzarella Marion and I made the other day. I ran this by Mr. Hawthorne and he wanted to make it. This left me to take pictures of his mise en place (HAH!) and his oh-so-careful execution of the repast. This is a problem between me and the Mister. He gets riled when I say "Hold it!" "STOP! Move your damn arm out de way!." "WAIT!" "Lemme getta picher dat!" He just wants to cook. He has tried to be patient with me but Rosie can be persistent. Actually, when Marion was here last week, she gave us both unintentional compliments. She has enjoyed and appreciated my, at times, Herculean efforts to bring dinner to the table. See The French Laundry's Braised Stuffed Pig's Head . Maybe Julia Child's Gateau of Crepes. But she especially loves Mr. Hawthorne's execution of a meal. It's fast. It's no nonsense. It's doable. It's delicious. Mr. Hawthorne is doing the honors tonight. Bless him.
He's just poured a yeast package into more water than necessary and added some sugar. I took this opportunity to tell him 1 cup of water would have done, not 2 cups, and that I like to sprinkle the yeast on top of the water, then sprinkle the sugar on top of the yeast, just so I can watch the sugar molecules grab the yeast molecules and wrestle them to the bottom. He didn't know about that. But he did know about the "proofing." I guess some of my stink has rubbed off. I give the man credit. Truly I do. But what he was doing was driving me crazy. Because it wasn't the way I do it. I really need to let go.
First he started adding all purpose flour to the yeast/egg mixture. I stopped him, saying, "I use Bread Flour." "Where's the bread flour?" "In the flour drawer." "No. It's not." "Yes. It is." "No." "Yes." "Where?" "In the drawer." Mr. Hawthorne, reaching ... "That's corn meal." "No. It's not." "Yes. It is." "No. It's bread flour." "Oh."
By my counts, Mr. Hawthorne has about 2 cups warm water with 1 packet of yeast and a tablespoon or so of sugar, then some all purpose flour and some bread flour and some very fine corn meal. I think an egg was involved and some milk.
Mr. Hawthorne works his dough for maybe 2 minutes. I knead mine for 20 minutes.
I told him to use only 1/2 the dough. Thankfully, he listened.
Bitch SLAPPED dat dough!
Again and again.
Spreading the dough out in the oiled pan. Just WORK IT!
Slicing some deer sausage.
Here's what's left of my maitake mushrooms. Seems someone liked them.
Mr. Hawthorne sliced some pepperoni and I'm putting it in the microwave for a quick nuke.
Seeee? The nuke gets a lot of grease out.
Mr. Hawthorne slices an onion.
Nuked pepperonis, black olives, pretty colored peppers, sliced onions, maitake mushrooms.
Chop the peppers and find a small can of tomato sauce.
Here's Mr. Hawthorne's pizza dough. He goes right to the finish. No initial rise. This rise is it. He pressed the dough out in the greased pan and set it in a 100 degree oven for a tiny rise.
I don't know what the hell I spilled that would put out this amount of smoke but it was awesome. I was waiting for the alarms to go off and for ADT to call me to check on my sorry ass.
Everything, topping-wise, is ready for the pizza. From left to right - nuked pepperoni, sliced tomato, chopped peppers, pesto mozzarella, sun-dried tomato mozzarella, sliced onions,black olives, maitake mushrooms, oregano, Lawry's seasoned pepper, onion powder, small can of tomato sauce.
Then Mr. Hawthorne added some Swiss and mozzarella cheeses.
Ooohh. Lookey. Funky rise.
Mr. Hawthorne begins the toppings.
Usually, for my sauce, I'll saute chopped onions, peppers, garlic, and seasonings (oregano, thyme, sage) then add the sauce and simmer for about an hour. He went for straight out of the can.
Onion powder.
A little granulated garlic.
Tomato slices and pepperoni.
Grated cheeses.
Bake in a 400 degree oven until cheese is melted and lightly browned. About 15-20 minutes.
Excellent pizza, Mr. Hawthorne. Loved the crust.


Debbie said...

That looks soooo darn good!!
and yeah, it's hard to "let go" when our "Mr's" do the cooking.

Mr. P said...

Where can I get Rosie Tips #1 to 236? I think I would like to give them to my wife. Thanks Rosie.

Marion said...

Hey! Who are you calling "unintentional"? ;-)

Garlicpbo said...

porn....pure porn!