Hello

Here are some recipes that I’ve worked with over the years. Some are new, most are modified.

Enjoy!
Steve

stevewillows.com


Filed under: News. Print / Link / Tweet
BBQ Pizza

Homemade NY Style Pizza (and techniques)

I’ve spent the better part of the past ten years working on pizza.

For best results, pick up a decent kitchen scale. This recipe is a 3 hour (emergency) recipe adapted from Tom Lehmann (a legend in the dough world). I make two 12″ pies from this recipe.

Tools

1 Pizza Peel (I prefer one with a long handle made of metal)
1 Pizza Stone (or similar surface)
1 Kitchen Scale (I have this one)

Ingredients

7.14 oz.  High-gluten flour (202.26 g. or 1 3/4 c. plus 1 t.)
4.49 oz. Water*,  (127.42 g. or between 1/2 and 5/8 c.)
0.12 oz. Salt (3.54 g. or 5/8 t)
0.07 oz. Oil (extra-virgin olive oil), (2.02 g. or a bit less than 1/2 t.)
0.05 oz Instant dry yeast (IDY), (1.42 g. or a bit less than 1/2 t.)

* Temp. adjusted to achieve a finished dough temperature of between 85-90 degree F

Note: All measurements U.S./metric standard

Method

In a large mixing bowl, mix room temperature water,  olive oil and yeast. Allow the yeast to grow to the sides of the bowl.

Dust your hands with flour then gradually pull in sifted flour / salt, pulling from the sides of the bowl to the middle of the liquid. Try and find a rhythm for this. Knead until you have smooth, cushy dough.

Place the ball of dough in a large flour dusted bowl. Use the same bowl if you prefer. Cover with a damp cloth and store in a warm place (around 70° – 80°) for about three hours.

Make your sauce and prep the toppings.

Marinara

Ingredients

  • 1 Can of Whole San Marzano Tomatoes
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced (or more — I like a lot of garlic)
  • Small handful of fresh basil, sliced
  • salt and pepper to taste (I like a lot of pepper)

Method

Put this all in a pot and let it simmer until it’s reduced down to a thick sauce. If you’re going to have olives, be aware of the salt content on the overall pie. If you’re in a pinch, mix a tin of tomato paste with two cloves of garlic and a lug of olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste.

Toppings

Pizza - Oven LayoutI try and go for toppings without a lot of moisture. Fresh mozzarella (torn into little pieces), basil, olives, prosciutto and a great tomato sauce are my go-to. I sometimes like to oil the crust and crack some kosher salt. It’s really salty, but sooo good.

For mushrooms, put some paper towel in a bowl and microwave them for 30s or so to remove some excess moisture. This is a dirty trick — but it works. Do the same with any high-moisture vegetables like peppers.

Your dough should have doubled in size. Set your oven to 550F (or 260 C) and have your rack just below the middle of the oven.

Moving the dough to a flour-dusted surface, knead it and then stretch to the pie shapes you desire.  Place on parchment paper and cut to shape.

Once your oven is up to temperature and your pies are made, transfer one to your peel. Give it a light shake to ensure that it will slide on to your pizza stone. After three minutes, remove the parchment paper and continue the bake. At around the 6 minute point, turn your broiler on ‘high’ for the remainder of the bake.

Pizza Parchment Paper to Peel


Cutting Styles

Pizza Parallelogram Cut

I had a dream about the parallelogram cut one night. I haven’t seen it done by anyone else.

Serve with fresh basil and a nice wine or beer.


Filed under: Pizza, Recipes. Print / Link / Tweet
Brassneck Brewing, Vancouver

Growlers in Vancouver

Over on Reddit, people have crowdsourced a decent list of places to refill growlers around Vancouver.

Brassneck
2148 Main St, http://brassneck.ca

33 Acres
15 W 8th Ave, http://33acresbrewing.com

Parallel 49
1946 Triumph St, http://parallel49brewing.com

Powell Street Brewing
1830 Powell St, http://powellbeer.com

R&B Brewing
54 4 Ave E, http://r-and-b.com

Storm Brewing
310 Commercial Dr, http://stormbrewing.org

Bridge Brewing
115-2433 Dollarton Hwy, North Vancouver, http://bridgebrewing.com

Four Winds Brewing
4-7355 72 St. Delta, http://fourwindsbrewing.ca

Green Leaf Brewing
123 Carrie Cates Ct North Vancouver, http://greenleafbrew.com

Big Ridge Brewing Company
5580 152 St Surrey, http://mjg.ca/big-ridge

Central City Brewing
11411 Bridgeview Dr, Surrey and 13450 102 Ave, Surrey, http://centralcitybrewing.com

Deep Cove Brewing
Unit 170 – 2270 Dollarton Hwy, http://deepcovecraft.com

MJG Yaletown
1111 Mainland St, http://mjg.ca/yaletown

Bomber Brewing
1488 Adanac Street, http://bomberbrewing.com

Main Street Brewing
7th and Scotia, http://mainstreetbrewingcompany.com

Coal Harbour Brewing
967 Triumph St, http://coalharbourbrewing.com

Steel & Oak
1319 Third Ave, New Westminster, http://steelandoak.ca


http://www.reddit.com/r/vancouver/comments/1y7wcp/growler_fills_in_vancouver_lets_compile_a_list_of/


Filed under: Tips. Print / Link / Tweet
donuts

Homemade Donuts

Here’s a really simple and amazing donut. I prefer to do these as bite-sized donut holes instead of massive rounds.

This yields about 36 donut holes.

Dough Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons yeast
  • 40ml room temperature water
  • 3/4 cup (176ml) milk, scalded, then cooled (read note!)
  • 1/4 cup (169g) sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons shortening
  • 2 1/2 cups (313g) all-purpose flour
  • canola oil for frying

Milk has an enzyme that inhibits gluten formation by latching onto the ends of gliadin strands.

Proof your yeast by adding it to the warm water.  Mix it up and let it rest.

Combine yeast, milk, sugar, salt, eggs, shortening, and  flour.

Beat on low for 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly.

Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally.

Carefully stir in remaining flour until smooth. Cover and let rise until double, 30-60 minutes, depending on the yeast you used.  If you don’t have a room that allows for 70°, put the oven on for two minutes and then turn it off. This should be close.

After the dough has risen, roll it out on a floured surface to 1/2″ thick. Using anything sharp and round, cut out as many circles of dough as you can. You can flatten the scraps and cut them too. I used the lid for a martini shaker.

Cover and let rise for another 30 – 40 minutes.

Now make the glaze!

Glaze Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cups powdered sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 tablespoons evaporated milk

Method
Melt the butter and stir in the powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth. Add evaporated milk and mix. Taste until your stomach hurts.

Bring oil up to 350° — should be around 3 on your stove-top. Use a thermometer to ensure you get the temperature right. Carefully place the donuts in the oil, cooking each side for around 15-20 seconds. Using tongs, place donuts on a rack or paper towels to drain.

Once slightly cooled, twist the top in the glaze and leave to cool down further. Test two or three with a tall glass of milk.

¹By having smaller donut holes you won’t be busted for eating a half dozen in front of your friends.


Filed under: Dessert, Recipes. Print / Link / Tweet
Porch Crawlers

Porch Crawlers

This is a quick mixed drink that everyone can enjoy. Follow the basic guideline with any type of beer, hard alcohol and citrus. This is the official recipe.

Ingredients

  • 48 oz Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer (4 cans)
  • 4 oz Stolichnaya Vodka
  • 1/2 Can Frozen Lemonade

Method

Tilt your pitcher at a 45° angle and pour the four PBRs to allow for minimal head. Follow with four shots (or a few glugs) of Stolichnaya vodka. While you’re at it, take a swig for yourself as a reward.

Next, add half a can of frozen lemonade. Refreeze the last portion of the can for the next round.

Mix and pour. Enjoy half-naked near a large body of water.

Don’t spend too much time on the internet this summer!


Filed under: Drinks. Print / Link / Tweet

Ultra Simple Tomato Sauce

This is an ultra simple tomato sauce that I’ve been making for the past while. I’m not even going to post a fancy photo for this. Honestly, ignore all the measurements and go with your instincts.

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (a few glugs)
  • 1 red onion, 1/4-inch dice
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled minced (do your best)
  • 1/2 medium carrot, finely grated (ideally with a microplane)
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans San Marzano tomatoes, crushed by hand and juices reserved
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • A few Whole basil leaves, sliced
  • A thumb-sized chunk of grated parmesan or grana padano

You need to feel out this recipe as you go. Separate the tomatoes from the liquid. That’s the first step. Second, heat some oil in a medium to large sized pot then let the onion and garlic soften and slightly brown. Drop in the carrot and the tomatoes. Crush those tomatoes with any sort of masher or even your hand.

Since not all canned tomatoes are the same, you want to only use about half of the liquid — but this varies on your simmering time.

After those are in, let it simmer and reduce a bit. The longer the better as far as I’m concerned. Taste it often and add salt, pepper, and the sliced basil leaves. I like to add some finely grated grana padano to my sauce, but you need to feel it out.

I typically serve with spaghettini and some fresh meatballs (usually 75% chuck, 25% pork).


Filed under: Dinner, Recipes. Print / Link / Tweet
Salted Caramel Cookies

Salted Caramel Cookies

These jewels are an easy crowd pleaser. This recipe is shamelessly lifted from Sally’s Baking Addiction — the 2013 Nestlé Dark Pinspirations Sweepstakes winner. I’ve made these cookies enough to know that they are far more popular than I am. Well, that is until people try my donuts. I have modified this to what I have found to be the best combination of sweet and salty.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar (or light brown sugar)
  • 1 large egg, room temperature preferred
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (the real stuff, no caramel color)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 1/2 cup chocolate chips (your preference)
  • 19 Caramilk Squares (frozen — or at least chilled)
  • coarse sea salt

Instructions

Take an egg out of the fridge and put the Caramilk bars in the freezer.

Bowl 1 – Dry: In a medium size bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt together.

Bowl 2 – Wet: Using a handheld or stand mixer, cream the butter on medium speed for about 20 seconds. If your butter isn’t soft, put it in the mic for a few seconds on ‘defrost’. Add the sugars with the mixer running on medium speed. Cream it all together until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Slowly add to the wet ingredients from Bowl 1 into Bowl 2. Stir in the milk, then fold in the dark chocolate morsels. The dough will be thick and very sticky (almost fudge-like). Chill for at least 2 hours in the fridge.

Take 2 Tablespoons of chilled dough and split in half and roll each into a ball with your hands. Thumb a dent into one side and place a Caramilk square inside. Top with the other ball of dough and seal down the sides so that the caramel is securely inside. Repeat with the rest of the dough and 18 Caramilk squares. Sprinkle (liberally) each with sea salt and put in the freezer. This is important as you’ve heated up the dough again with your hands. This will keep your cookies tight like a tiger.

Preheat oven to 350°F degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper, silicone baking mat or just ungreased. Place 8 – 10 of the re-chilled cookies on the pan.

Bake for 12-13 minutes. Cookies will appear undone and very soft. Allow to cool on the cookie sheet for at least 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Dust again with fresh cracked sea salt and serve with a tall glass of milk.


Filed under: Dessert, Recipes. Print / Link / Tweet
Groceries

How to Shop Quickly

One necessary evil we all endure is the busy grocery store. Here are some quick tips to get through as fast as possible.

Start from the furthest point and work backwards, crossing isles at the rear-end of the store.
The natural flow that most people follow is to start at the first thing they see and follow the flow the store provides. As a result, most people navigate the isles at the front of the store where heavy line-ups and traffic occur. Instead, start with the furthest point (often the bakery and deli) and work your way forward.

If the deli counter is understaffed and a line is forming, do the rest of your shop first.

If you pass by there on the hour, chances are the other staff member is on break. Further, give your order to the person all at once if you’re looking for the same weight of each item. This way they can slice away without walking back and forth. While they slice meat, pick up any items in that direct area (olives, cheese, bread, etc.)

When approaching the checkout, give a quick weighted average to each line based on items

Payment for cash (+20s) is faster than credit (+30s), and credit is faster than debit (+45s). For every five items in line, add 10s — thus, a line of two people with 30 items would most likely take around 3.5 minutes where as ten people with two items would take just over 8 minutes. This doesn’t even account for the sheer ignorance some assume when working the self-checkout.This is a rough guideline. On instinct someone with only a few groceries will avoid a line where fewer parties have lots of groceries.

For larger grocery stores, look out for staggered checkouts. Often there will be a checkout tucked away.A more complex breakdown shows that 85% of the time is spent checking items through while 15% is spent keying in items (produce, bulk). Essentially one person in line is worth an extra 20 items. So if Line A has 1 person with 30 items and line B has two people, each with 10 items, it’s worth staying with A.

Sort your groceries!

- Flour, sugar and large bagged items
– Large items that won’t be bagged (paper towel, toilet paper — usually on the bottom of the cart)
– Cereal and other large boxes
– Smaller boxed items
– Canned items
– Meat (not deli!)
– Milk and other liquids
– Frozen things
– Solid items in jars (peanut butter, jam, etc)
– Yogurt and liquid items in plastic containers (sour cream, etc.)
– Bread, deli meat, and eggs (separate bags, on top)
– Muffins and other baked goods
– Produce
– Chocolate bars, spices and smaller items
– Cleaning items (own bag)


Filed under: Tips. Print / Link / Tweet