Sunday, March 30, 2008

Great Books About Food

It all started from this book:

I love it so much it was on my coffee table for months. It is great conversation book for your guests. It is great book for cooking inspirations. French book show you cheese and wines and all foods specific for regions. I love France and I love this book. It has how-to as well.

My wife got this to know my home cooking better. It is amazing as well: with a lot of real pictures of food, places and Russian people, that are in majority not even Russian anymore, but Georgians, Ukrainians e.t.c.

This book we got as a tribute to Mario. It is great and looks very Italian

There are material on pizza there and you should not miss this one!

Finaly... Ya ... ya.. Valdemar ! We have some German friends and we like some of the German cooking, especially cakes.

The funny thing this book looks more Russian to me than Culinaria Russia. Go figure.

All books are very nice and very big with lots of pictures and amazing information. It is like travel books about food.

I say: GET EM ALL!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Oven under snow

On our 8th pizza rain started. When we were done with desert ... Snow
started so despite the sun we had today forecast was right: snow

Don Mario teach you how to make a REAL ITALIAN PIZZA DOUGH!!

This is a great treat for you for this week end.

As usual, we are making ... PIZZZZZAAAA!

No snow or rain will stop us ( snow - I am no kidding - it is almost April here in Redmond)

Anyway, one more great posting of Super Mario on YouTube. Check it out : he keeps posting and he is a very busy man, mind you!

First one from "How to make a Real Italian Pizza by Real Italian" Series!


I love music in this clip so much that I just let it play in the background some time just to cheer me up ( he he he !) Enjoy!!!! Great video Marioooooooooooo!!!!

You can also check ingredients here: approved by Natasha

Great pizza sauce

It takes only 2 ingredients and Mario discovered it here in USA- one need to find the best working local ingredients :-). Tomatoes come from Costco: it is organic = good for you . Also it is very cheap in packs they sold. It is not as good as making it from ripe fresh ones, but off season tomatoes and time make us use this excellent second best option. Note: you need ready cut, not paste or sauce - this one work best. All you do is open the can and add salt to your taste - less is more healthy, more is more tasty;-) I use sea salt and recommend you do the same. Quickly run it through the blender: almost any will do - just 5-10 seconds : you do not need Blendtec Total Blender (that will work too and if you have it you may not even bother opening the can and get some extra Iron in your diet )

for this task:-) caned tomatoes are soft and even pre-cut. So , put in some plastic container and you are ready to make pizza!!! Bon Apetito! If you need a receipt for great Italian pizza dough just click on left or here .

Friday, March 28, 2008

Gorgonzola Apple pizza by Natasha

This is a very nice pizza Natasha like to make. Use gorgonzola or mix
it with muzarela and apple slices like on the picture. It has a nice
picanty flavor. Try it: you may love it!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Million dollar pizza

We tried to make most expensive pizza in the world: replicating one
from Italy , mentioned in previose post :-) I used meat from lobster
tail and Armenian 5 star coniac. Red caviar and fresh basilicum
applied on pizza after it is baked and coniac sprinkled on the top.
Base is regular Margherita and you add raw lobster meat to cook or you
can brown it first if you like crispy. We made 3 of these and it was
huge sucess:-) : main pizza of the party. Pizza la grande oh mama MIA!!!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

My second oven outside dimensions

It is roughly 74 by 49 inch and 36 inch tall without chimney , that is
now unfinished and is 14 inch tall. Pizza oven mouth is 17 inch wide
and 10 inch tall. Chamber depth is about 40 inch and internal height
is about 13 , but both chamber and mouth has half round pizza oven
shape that outside of the oven outlines. Also chimney goes through ,
so it is longer then it outside part, obviously. The front table depth
is 25 inch - probably bigger than any pizza oven you see, so you can
make it much smaller, but I like this design and use it to rest pizza
and other cooking utensils before and after baking: it is handy for
me. Btw: it is elevated from the ground by 40 inch: height I find
convenient for myself, but your miles may vary.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The most expensive pizza in the world

I do not know if this is true or not. It sounds crazy :-) Even with premium ingredients. :-)

The most expensive pizza in the world, valued at 8300 Eur can be tasted in Italy. With generous toppings of caviar and lobster, the pizza has a diameter of 20cm and Louis XIII Remy Martin cognac poured all over it.

Read more about other cool foods in the source :

Well... anybody for regular good Margherita ?

I will not charge your more than ... let say ... 20 $?! :-)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Sundry tomato pizza

This is a low cholesterol veriety re-invented by my health concerned
friend Serg. Just put these sundried tomatos marinated in oil from
can: I use Costco variety and you are ready to go. It is a healthy
pizza , but I think fresh mozarela bufala can only make life better:-)
enjoy! Note : you actualy bake it: be carifull when you slide and
rotate pizza: tomatos with oil not nearly as sticky as melted cheese !

Pesto and mozarela pizza

This is nice variation for basil lovers: use pesto instead tomato
souce. I also put some mozarela bufala. You do not need extra olive
oil: pesto have plenty. Pay atantion on nice bubble: indicator of high
temperature and good dough.

Note: if you do not like bubbles for some reason you can use special
roll that will perforate your pizza: that what restatant do to make
pizza more uniform, but I LOVE the way REAL pizza look.

Mario's work in progress

I visited Mario and snapped his work site. He did just great with his new cement
mixer. Looking forward to his pizza party.

Now we both have IR 'laser' termometers so Mario have to provide
temperature profiles for his pizzas and for oven preparation.

This aluminum cap have to go: as you know from my previose post it
will melt if used.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

New chimney

After I finished my roof ... Rain started and I have to use atachment
I got in Home Deport. Few minutes latter I saw some thing strange
happened. When I came close I saw it melted :-) it is like aliens
blusted with power beam. Well... Aluminium is no match for that amount
of heat: big mistake: do not use any aluminium crap. I had to come
with improvised chimney to guard oven from rain: water on hot stone
can crack it. It worked realy well and with bursts of fire looked like
a dragon. I used 6 solid bricks and 2 so called standards with holes.
Regular red bricks even of the good quality I used can not be used :
they will flake with time. I will have to get fire bricks and
refractory concreat to finish a rain proof chimney.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Half roof is done!

It is a pity that super Mario can not make it in today, but we have pizza party anyway. Forecast turned wrong and we did not have that much rain ( correction - the moment I started the fire so the rain began!!!!), so I am outside now finishing oven roof : it is not a perfect arch, but you know what ? Hell with that! ;-) most important is what inside and outside it just have to look cool in my eyes;-) and it does look cool ;-) I like it . I will finish my beer and go back to finish second half ( dark side of the moon that you do not see):-) and than we will make fire and pizza: dough is in process of making : kudos to my wife!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Nobel Prize for pizza in space

Pizza: NASA can put a man on the moon but there is no way to get pizza on a space station or space shuttle mission. It just doesn't hold up. You can't freeze-dry pizza or dehydrate it very successfully and regular pizza delivery is probably a few decades off from becoming reality.

Astronaut Mike Massimino, a native New Yorker, misses good pizza. "It is hard to get good pizza in Texas. It is impossible in space we don't have it. Someone would get a Nobel Prize if they can figure out how to get pizza in space." There is also no ice cream in space. No freezer.

You can read a full story here but it made me laugh hard: may be me and Mario should figure out how to deliver pizza to space station from our back yards?

It look like a very profitable business: astronauts are hungry for pizza !

Btw, good pizza is hard to get not only in Texas,but in Washington as well. Till this time nothing beats our backyard pizzerias.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Pizza Margherita

This picture from this weekend party is posted here to course Mario some saliva;-) it
WAS VERY yammy! Note how nice mozzarella buffalo melts: you can even bake it for a bit longer if you like it slightly burned.

P.S. Don Mario read this blog. Bullet hit the target and salt was spread over his open wound :-)

Pizza party every weekend.

That is our life style and this week end was no exception : this is a
classical pizza "Margherita" in my hot oven. Mario DID NOT found excuse BUT
he missed this party again. It was my fault in communication. He is working on his new oven and keep himself
hungry for pizza or some thing.

Russian Cake "ptiche moloko"

This is one of the most famous Russian cakes: "Ptiche Moloko" - (birds milk ). There is no such thing so it means some thing so good it is out of this world. There is a number of variations, with and without biscuit layer ( you can use any type that you managed to master), but what is important is reach "suffle" made from egg whites , sugar and heavy cream: wipe it up with mixer to have a lot of air: use pasteurized egg whites ( make sure there is no flavor added - some target morning breakfast and will not do) Agar agar is used to make it "solid", but it can be substituted with gelatin. After cake is done and set you should cover it with thin layer of good chocolate. Let chocolate to solidify and enjoy your cake after pizza party with hot tea if you still have room left.

If you like to read more about this get this book:

This book is great. It is not your typical how-to cook book: it is so much more. There are tons of pictures and stories about culture of food in Russia for all it different republics. It is amazing. We got other books from this series and we love it.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

How to build a wood burning oven book

There are not much real printed books on this subject (we should make one!), mostly web sites, but I found one that seems to take this matter seriously:

It is not a fancy book, but you may want to consider adding it to your books collection if you are serious about wood burning ovens.

Here is another with more pictures if you are really deep in to it as I am :-)

... and finally a book that considered superior on matter of building bread ovens and baking bread, that are operated on lower temperature and a bit different from pizza ovens, still, you may find it usefully and even must if you want to bake bread in your oven: I do!

Carpe Pizza

Don Mario is working on a new and exiting project for pizza funs community: Carpe Pizza. To translate this from Italian (yes, he is giving me lessons, vaffanculo! : thank you very much in Italian, as absolutely beautiful Monica Bellucci said in Shoot 'Em Up - flick more about carrots than pizza) "Carpe Pizza" is for "No crappy pizza". You can read more about this here.

Mario use all kind of cool technologies on his new site to allow you to have your pie and eat it too :-) It is spicy!

Mario also started to contribute more to YouTube ( crapepizza ). You should be familiar with him tossing pie in the air from this post and now you can see how lazy Italian chefs do it: