Monday, February 23, 2009

Pizza Pizza

Making pizza at home isn't especially difficult, it just takes a some advanced thought. To make a few pies on Sunday, you'll need to start the day before

SATURDAY AFTERNOON, start the dough

Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon dry yeast over 1 1/4 cups water and a pinch of sugar. Let stand until creamy. If the yeast doesn't become active, throw away and start again with fresh yeast.

In the meantime, in the bowl of your food processor, mix 4 cups flour ("OO" flour if you can find it, otherwise all-purpose is fine) and 2 teaspoons salt. Drizzle in 2 Tablespoons olive oil and yeast mixture.

Run mixer until the dough comes together.

Turn out onto a lightly floured board and knead until dough is silky.

Roll dough into a ball, transfer to an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and throw in the fridge overnight.


Punch dough down, re-cover and put back in the fridge for 4 to 24 hours.


Take dough out of the fridge, divide into 4 pieces and roll into balls. Loosely cover with a damp dishtowel and allow to rise for about two hours.

Crank your oven or grill (400-450° or so)

While it heats, assemble the pizza on pizza pan with the toppings of your choice. Bake until cheese is melted and the dough is crisp and brown on the bottom.

C's choice... pepperoni and sausage

J's choice... veggie veggie (pepper, onion, mushroom)

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Rosso Trattoria Italia

I'm happy to report the wait it finally over, Rosso Trattoria Italia is open!

C and I were lucky enough to get one of the soft opening reservations on Saturday night to get a sneak peek. The interior plays off the name Rosso, meaning red in Italian.

this photo courtesy of Rosso

Our table was close to the bar, separated only by the two large bistro-height communal tables (which I am guessing will be used for walk-in traffic).

Aside from the usual bar staples, they also feature almost the full line of Luxardo Italian spirits... from your basic sambuca and amaretto, to lesser the known herb appertif amaro abano.

Since I'm not sure if the menu is final, I will hold a full review until our next trip, but it's shaping up to be, what I would call, upscale-rustic.

* excuse the photo quality - I have a rule against ruining mood lighting with flashbulbs.

antipasto platter

the remnants of the antipasto, and the roasted half chicken

While we did notice a few kinks in service, nothing worth noting here... we're chalking it up to it being opening weekend.

Truely a great addition to the Columbia restaurant scene. We will be back, soon!

Rosso Trattoria Italia
Trenholm Plaza
4840 Forest Drive
Columbia, SC 29206
Phone: 803.787.3949

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Apple Pancakes

When it comes to pancakes, I don't think you can beat Bisquick... but when you need a little variety, cinnamon-apple Bisquick pancakes certainly do the trick.

Start by coring, and then coarsly grating, one apple (I don't bother to peel). Sprinkle with cinnamon, a dash of clove and a few drops of vanilla. Set aside while you prepare the pancake batter.

Pancake Batter
2 Cups Bisquick Mix
1 3/4 Cups Milk
2 Eggs

Once well combined, add apple mixture and stir well. Griddle to your liking.