I often find myself categorizing my dinner guests according to their food and drink preferences. After someone has sat at my table a few times, I will usually know which categories they fall into.
For instance, I will know if you like red or white wine and whether or not you are a beer drinker and if so, do you prefer a lager or a pale ale? In our house, there are two categories of beer: Corona and brown shi#*. Can you tell which one I like?
I will know whether you are a
boring traditional meat and potatoes sort or if you have an adventurous palate and are up to trying different ethnic foods. And if so, what level of heat do you like/can you stand? I have three categories: Wimp, Middle of the Road and Masochistic. So tell me, are you hot or not?
Do you like seafood? If not, I will usually make you try a fresh Sockeye Salmon dish, at least once, because this fish has been known to convert more than a few non-believers. In my opinion, it is the least fishy of fish. GWH likes to push the raw oysters on our guests because he simply cannot understand how anyone could not like these little morsels of oceanic ambrosia. I have discovered that under the right circumstances, i.e. lots and lots of champagne, that they are actually pretty good; the taste is reminiscent of a light ocean breeze. Did I mention that he insists that you chew them? Eww, right?!
Do you have a sweet tooth? There are some people that you can count on to have dessert. Every. Single. Time. You barely have the question out of your mouth and they are nodding their heads in agreement, fork in hand and a gleam in their eye because they know that their craving for sweet will soon be satisfied.
And speaking of cravings, how do you feel about chocolate? Are you passionate about it? Do you crave it? Do you hide it in the freezer? And if so, do you prefer milk, dark or white? This week’s theme at I Heart Cooking Clubs is Chocolate Cravings and I chose to make Chocolate Pizza from Giada’s Family Dinners cookbook. As you will notice, in this recipe there are three different flavours of chocolate to satisfy each category of chocolate lover. Although, because all the chocolates are melted together, this really will not work for those in the “all foods must be kept separate and cannot touch” category.
1 pound homemade pizza dough, recipe follows, or purchased pizza dough
2 teaspoons butter, melted
1/4 cup chocolate-hazelnut spread (recommended: Nutella)
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons milk chocolate chips
2 tablespoons white chocolate chips
2 tablespoons chopped hazelnuts, toasted
Position the oven rack on the bottom of the oven and preheat to 450 degrees F.
Line a heavy large baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll out the dough to a 9-inch-diameter round. Transfer the dough to the prepared baking sheet. Using your fingers, make indentations all over the dough. Brush the dough with butter, then bake until the crust is crisp and pale golden brown, about 20 minutes. Immediately spread the chocolate-hazelnut spread over the pizza then sprinkle all the chocolate chips over. Bake just until the chocolate begins to melt, about 1 minute. Sprinkle the hazelnuts over the pizza. Cut into wedges and serve.
1/2 cup warm water (105 to 110 degrees F)
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for bowl
Mix the warm water and yeast in a small bowl to blend. Let stand until the yeast dissolves, about 5 minutes. Mix the flour and salt in a food processor to blend. Blend in the oil. With the machine running, add the yeast mixture and blend just until the dough forms. Turn the dough out onto lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, about 1 minute. Transfer the dough to a large oiled bowl and turn the dough to coat with the oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm draft-free area until the dough doubles in volume, about 1 hour. Punch the down dough and form into ball. The dough can be used immediately or stored airtight in the refrigerator for 1 day.
- I used Pilsbury pizza dough.
- I sprinkled a little brown sugar on the outer edge of the pizza crust.
- I added dried cranberries and used pecans instead of hazelnuts.
- Next time I would reduce the cooking time for the crust as I found it took a little longer than one minute to melt the chocolate and the crust was a little too hard.
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