Here in Leslieville, some of us celebrate Saturdays by going over to Stratenger’s at 2pm and having a few drinks. We’re usually done by 4:30, and then go on our way for the rest of the weekend and rest of the week.
Nancy (on twitter: @Nancy178) started off the summer season by hosting Patio Club on her amaaaaazing balcony. I decided to finish off the summer with Patio Club on my back deck on the Labour Day long weekend.
I prepped by sauteeing three types of mushrooms (oyster, beech, and Nebrodinis) and simmering a San Marzano tomato sauce. I pitted a variety of olives. I grated mozzarella. I oven-dried some yellow cherry tomatoes, and preserved them in olive oil.
I bought a bunch of jars of interesting things at Domino’s at the St. Lawrence Market: some black olive paste, some basil pesto, spicy eggplant strips (love them!), artichoke hearts, and upstairs at Scheffler’s, some pearl bocconcini, and a hot and mild sausage.
I also bought some 00 wheat flour from Domino’s, and made pizza dough. Warning: test your yeast first, hmmm? I didn’t, and… it didn’t, either. Flat icky mess.
First thing on Saturday morning I was over at Loblaw’s, buying their frozen pasta dough. Thawing it. Then cutting each ball into 4, and rolling, stretching, pleading with it to stop creeping back into a ball. Resting it, fighting with it some more. Then popping it in the oven long enough to bake.
I discovered with the first two that they blew up just like pita bread (heck what’s the difference?). I needed to be doing something like blind baking. It actually didn’t occur to me to put beans on the rounds (I just thought of that now: that’s something I’ve known for a long time). I did puncture the rest of the rounds with a fork multiple times. They still rose a bit, but not to full ballooned-pita-ness, if you’ve ever seen them in the oven.
Guests arrived, and we started drinking! We also had some nibblies: I bought some strange things from the snack section at Domino’s: beet chips (they were great) dried/fried peas in pods (meh) and dried/fried okra (hmm. kinda meh). And some Fritos. Oh. And a contribution from @BeeRich33 — some Black Diamond cheddar that he cold smoked in sticks. I cut into cubes, they all disappeared. Everybody loved Rich’s cheese.
Then we made pizzas. Since everything had been precooked, it was really only a matter of choosing which ingredients to put on the ‘za, and put it on the barbecue for long enough to melt the cheese (and, one hopes, not burn the bottom of the pizza bread too badly).
We finished off with some Ontario peaches that @pronosher brought: I cut them in half, brushed olive oil on the cut side, then face down on the grill until they had good grill marks. Turned them flat-side-up, sprinkled a bit of Demarara sugar, broiled a bit longer, then let cool a bit. That was dessert!
All in all, a pretty good Patio Club. The last people left after dark, so I’ll take that as a mark of satisfaction 🙂