Food52's Managing Editor Brette Warshaw is throwing no-stress weeknight parties for anyone, anytime, and (almost) every kitchen. You're invited.
Today: Brette conquers her fear of yeast, and puts together a plan for a weeknight pizza fest.
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For those who make pizza reguarly -- who always happen to have dough in some state of readiness, who can stretch and top and flip with the grace of a Benihana chef -- pizza is the weeknight savior. And so the fact that I've neglected to throw a pizza party after a year and a half of Monday night dinner parties seems, well, amateur. Inexperienced. Irresponsible.
And when it comes to yeasted things, I am all of those things. We all have our kitchen fears, and doughs -- stretchy, springy doughs, things that bubble and burp and are very much alive -- are mine.
If you're like me -- and even if you're one of those weeknight pizza people -- just turn to Jim Lahey. He gives you a dough that's easier to make than a batch of cookies, one that can turn into dinner with a few stirs and folds and a bit of cheese. You'll make it all a few days ahead, forget about it, and then somehow pull off a party that feels way too fun for a weeknight.
When you get home from work: Toast your breadcrumbs with the garlic, chili, and lemon; set aside. They will go in with the snap peas once they're cooked. Take your dough balls out of the fridge; you want them to be at room temperature when you go to shape them.
When it's almost dinner time: Enlist a friend to dress the Kale and Anchovy Salad; it'll need to sit for around 15 minutes. Start shaping your pizzas -- see here for step-by-step directions. Cook your snap peas just until they're bright green -- about 2 to 3 minutes. Toss with your breadcrumbs. Pour them into a bowl.
Dinner time! Gather your friends at the table, and feed them salad while your pizzas cook. Bring each out to the table with a flourish, and watch them get devoured. Serve with the breadcrumby snap peas.
When all the pizza is gone: Serve your crumb cake, and send the leftovers home with your guests; it makes a noble breakfast.