Last week, I continued my reign as the Girl That Blows Up Appliances. It’s quite the regal title, don’t you think? Although I prefer to look at it this way…. if nothing else, I’m consistent.
Anyway, as I was making the dough for this pizza, the mixer motor was skipping, chugging, sputtering and kept slowing down. A few minutes later, J walked into the kitchen and said, “Why do I smell a burning motor?”
Uh ohhhhhhhh. I finished making the dough by hand and silently thanked my mother for giving me her stand mixer, so I didn’t have to go into crisis mode yet.
The next day, I set out to prepare the fig filling for our favorite Cucidati Cookies, as they are a MUST during the holidays. If you’re not familiar with them, they are close to a Fig Newton, but far, far superior. Of course, copious amounts of rum in the filling might have something to do with it. But I digress. I set a little mood music on Pandora (Jazz Holiday Hits), and tossed the figs, orange peel, almonds and spices into the food processor. And then pushed the start button. Chopping, chopping, chopping, stop.
What? No stop, keep chopping! The food processor, however, had other ideas. Like not working. Dang it.
I scraped the filling into a container and left to pick up the posse. When we returned home, J was at the house waiting for me. Imagine my surprise when he handed this to me:
He said, “I don’t think the other mixer is going to make to the holidays”.
I was so overcome by his thoughtfulness and generosity that I didn’t have the heart to tell him about the food processor……
Stuffed Escarole Pizza – adapted from Epicurious
- 3 lb escarole (about 3 heads), tough outer ribs discarded and leaves thinly sliced (20 cups loosely packed)
- 1 lb pizza dough at room temperature
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- Fresh ground black pepper
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 10 oz chilled Italian Fontina, coarsely grated (2 cups)
Put oven rack in lowest position and preheat oven to 500°F. Lightly oil 9″ springform pan. Cook escarole in a 6- to 8-quart pot of boiling salted water, uncovered, until tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Drain in a colander, then immerse colander in a large bowl of ice water to stop cooking. Drain again and press gently to remove excess water. Transfer escarole to a large kitchen towel, then gather corners and twist tightly to wring out as much liquid as possible.
Cut off one third of dough (keep remaining dough covered with plastic wrap) and pat into cake pan, covering bottom. Brush with 1 tablespoon oil and prick all over with a fork. Bake until golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Let crust stand in pan on a rack.
Meanwhile, heat 1/4 cup oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sauté garlic, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 30 seconds. Add escarole, black pepper, and crushed red pepper, and sauté, stirring, until escarole is coated with oil, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a large shallow bowl to cool slightly, about 15 minutes, then stir in cheese.
Spread escarole filling over crust in pan, leaving a 1/4-inch border around edge. Roll out remaining dough into a 10-inch round (on a lightly floured board if it sticks). Transfer to pan, covering filling and tucking edge under bottom crust to form a flat top and completely enclose filling (stretch dough if necessary). Press edges to seal. Brush top with remaining tablespoon oil and bake until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes.
Run a sharp thin knife around edge of pan. Invert a rack over pan and, wearing oven mitts and holding pan and rack firmly together, flip pizza onto rack. Turn pizza right side up and cool 15 minutes before serving. Slide pizza onto a cutting board and cut into wedges.