Monthly Archives: September 2006

Seattle & Portland this week

I am in Seattle this week for the Seattle Innovation Symposium, where academics and industry are working together to understand and distribute the innovation. I will also be talking with some of the smart people at Microsoft about the OpenChoice project: a platform for Web Content Classification & Filtering that I’m working on with many others at UT.

I have already been in town a day and half. I’ve been enjoying the nice weather (no, that’s not a Seattle rain joke) and the downtown area. Yesterday I hit Dilettante Chocolates and walked down to the Pike Place Market for some fresh crab cocktail and hot french bread (a tasty sandwich indeed) at the waterfront park. Then a trip over to the Space Needle and the Experience Music Project (museum) and ran smack dab into a Star Trek convention (no, that’s not a Seattle geek joke). Then somehow I ended up at REI, which seems inevitable here in town (yes, that is a Seattle treehugger joke).

Later in the week, I’m driving down to Portland and will plan on at least one Lewis & Clark related stop, but am open to any road trip recommendations or must-sees in Portland. (I’ve never been to Oregon and I’m happy to correct that error. Also, that’s one more state I can say I’ve been to.)

Labor Day means Pizza

I’ve been working through Peter Reinhart’s book American Pie: My Search for the Perfect Pizza and working on my own quest for perhaps not the perfect pizza, but some very passable options I could make myself.

With Labor Day freeing up a little more time, I tried out two batches of pizza dough. This time I pitted two different flours against each other, with the constant of the bread machine as the dough prep system. (If it is possible to get passable dough from a home machine is a bigger test indeed.)

The first batch came out pretty good, but was perhaps a little heavier than expected, perhaps from the fresh basil and dried oregano I minced and mixed in with the dough. Here’s what I came up with (I forgot to get a picture before I started to cut up the pie):

pizza dough experiment 4, no cheese

While this pie was quite tasty, the key wasn’t the dough, it was the roasted red and yellow peppers (not hatch chiles, just peppers this time). If it looks a bit odd, note that I forgot to buy some cheese, but the majority of the time I don’t like most cheeses on pizza anyway.

The second dough batch was with a “bread flour” that I also partly sifted. I also tweaked my recipe by adding about 1/4 tsp. more EVOO. This time I added just a bit of dried oregano and some rosemary to the dough, but much less overall than the spices from the previous batch.

Here’s what I came up with, forgive the oddlly-shaped final form:

pizza dough experiment, no cheese

The key to this one? Chopped jalepenos and more fresh rosemary with slightly over-ripe roma tomatoes. Tasty. I also have to improve my abilities to evenly distribute toppings. The dough was definitely better, lighter and cooked just a bit better on this other pizza stone.