No news here, I still love pizza and having recently spent some time with my brother and sister-in-law who have a real outside wood fired pizza oven I just had to do one more pizza post (not the last I’m sure). Getting the oven ready is quite a process involving several hours of loving attention, special wood and lots and lots of smoke, but the result was worth it – especially since I wasn’t the one providing the loving attention!
I like thin crust, thick crust and everything in between and have found this recipe to be even better than my original favorite (recipe here). The main difference is the high gluten flour that I don’t always have on hand so I still use the other recipe as an alternate. This dough is simple to make, easy to shape and can be rolled very thin almost like a cracker (popular with the designated taste tester – Husband). Printable Recipe Pizza Dough
3 3/4 cups Hi-Gluten Four
1 teaspoon yeast
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups lukewarm water, enough to make a smooth, soft dough
2 Tablespoons Italian Seasoning (optional)
Mix together all the ingredients except the water in a food processor, mixer or bread machine (or of course you could do it by hand) add water and process until it is well mixed and smooth (you may need a little more or less).
Allow to rise in a covered, oiled bowl for 1 hour or wrap in plastic and refrigerate for up to 2 days. If refrigerated, let it come to room temperature when you’re ready to use.
Shape the dough to the thickness you like. It makes a great thin, almost cracker like crust or flatbread.
Cover the dough while you preheat the oven and a pizza stone if you have one to the highest setting your oven allows.
Add your pizza toppings, or if making flatbread, brush it with plain, garlic or herb flavored oil and seeds or shredded cheese.
Bake for about 8-10 minutes until the crust is crisp and the toppings (for pizza) are cooked.
Our Daring Cooks’ December 2011 hostess is Sara from Belly Rumbles! Sara chose awesome Char Sui Bao as our challenge, where we made the buns, Char Sui, and filling from scratch – delicious! This challenge was a resounding success receiving the highest award from the taste testers at each step …
Once again, the Daring Cooks choose a great project for us. Sarah from Simply Cooked was our November Daring Cooks’ hostess and she challenged us to create something truly unique in both taste and technique! We learned how to cook using tea with recipes from Tea Cookbook by Tonia George …
This weekend’s episode was Chicken Canzanese and it looked so good I had to give it a try. I was not disappointed nor was the family! The chicken skin was crisp, the interior was moist and the sauce was fantastic. This is a chicken meal that you could definitely …
This post is a little different than usual and I don’t have any pictures of the food so I’ve substituted a few of my birthday flowers. I had dinner with a friend recently and she made the most wonderful food I just had to recommend the recipes! As we’ve pretty much established, I’m a picky eater and not too fond of anything beyond meat and potatoes and pasta so this is a real surprise. Having seen the recipe I’m sure I would have never tried it as it has some ingredients I’m not used to and it does take some time and effort, but the Fried Chicken with Poblano Mashed Potatoes and Chorizo-Thyme Gravy from Epicurious.com which she served, along with their recipe for Roasted Corn with Manchego & Lime was absolutely wonderful and I fully intend to make it myself. Everyone at the meal loved it and we all took home leftovers, which didn’t last long at our house!
I’m sad to say this dish was just not very photogenic. It has great flavor and was a big hit with family and friends but I just couldn’t get a good picture so I had put off posting it. However, it was very tasty and I’ve been requested to put it up so here it is! Printable Recipe for Potato Leek Tart
1 pkg frozen puff pastry
4 slices of bacon chopped finely (optional)
2 large well washed and finely sliced leeks
3 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 lb peeled medium diced potatoes (I used Yukon Gold)
1 cup heavy cream
4 ounces finely grated Gruyère cheese
Place both sheets of pastry on a jelly roll pan pinching together the sheets in the middle to make one single layers and bake at 400 degrees for approx 5 minutes – it will not be fully done. Remove from the oven and set aside, then reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees.
Boil the potatoes in a large pot for 15-20 minutes, they should be firm but mostly cooked.
In a large skillet or dutch oven, fry the bacon pieces until crisp.
Add the sliced leeks and cook until wilted.
Add the garlic and pepper and sauté for 1 minute
Add the cream 1/4 cup at a time while stirring constantly and allow most of it to absorb before adding another 1/4 cup.
Add the potatoes and mix well.
Add 1/2 of the cheese
Pour onto the partially baked tart shell and spread evenly.
Sprinkle with the remaining grated cheese. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the filling is browned and bubbling.
This month’s challenge was to make noodles, with a suggestion for Spätzle. A long (long) time ago I lived in Germany for several years and became very fond of them but although I’ve made lots of other types of noodles, for some reason just never tried these. I know my choice of meatballs in cream sauce really isn’t traditional with them, there was the usual time crunch and I had some ready made meatballs on hand that could be made quickly. Thanks for the great idea and I will be making these more often (and with more traditional meals – maybe schnitzel) now that I know how quick and easy they are!
Steph from Stephfood was our Daring Cooks’ July hostess. Steph challenged us to make homemade noodles without the help of a motorized pasta machine. She provided us with recipes for Spätzle and Fresh Egg Pasta as well as a few delicious sauces to pair our noodles with!
I followed the recipe given by Steph for the Spätzle but instead of the sauce she provides, I made the weekday meal version – prefab meatballs with a simple cream sauce to serve with them.
Meatballs and Cream Sauce
1 lb fully cooked meatballs (purchased or your favorite recipe)
1 medium onion finely chopped
2 TBS butter
2 TBS flour
1 TBS Better than Bullion (or 1 teaspoon bullion granules)
2 cups milk or half and half
Heat and brown the meatballs in a large skillet adding a little oil if needed, then remove and set aside. Add the onion to the skillet and brown well (add a little more oil if there is not enough fat from the meatballs).
Add the butter and stir in the flour and cook until it is lightly browned.
Stir in the Better than Boullion or bouillon granules then add the milk or half and half. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Return the meatballs to skillet and heat through, about 1 minute.
Ok I admit it, I lied. It is #NationalHamburgerDay and it’s been years now so I’m reposting this one. I’m also making them for the holiday. I know everyone is probably tired of these, but in honor of their being chosen in the Top 5 by the LA Times Battle …
As we have already established, I’m a picky eater. I generally don’t do salads of any kind mostly because I don’t like condiments – no ketchup, no mustard, no dressing (or anything with vinegar in it), absolutely no mayonnaise and healthy is clearly not my strength so coming up with a healthy potato salad recipe was a big challenge for me. I’m not a big yogurt fan either, but some of the flavored ones are ok so I went with that. The best part though is that I do love potatoes in pretty much any form so I had something to work with! This was inspired by the sweet potato casserole that usually goes with Thanksgiving dinner. Thanks to Jami for a great challenge.
Jami Sorrento was our June Daring Cooks hostess and she chose to challenge us to celebrate the humble spud by making a delicious and healthy potato salad. The Daring Cooks Potato Salad Challenge was sponsored by the nice people at the United States Potato Board, who awarded prizes to the top 3 most creative and healthy potato salads. A medium-size (5.3 ounce) potato has 110 calories, no fat, no cholesterol, no sodium and includes nearly half your daily value of vitamin C and has more potassium than a banana!
On a second baking sheet place the pecans, 1/2 of the coconut and the pineapple cut into half circles and sprinkle the pineapple and pecans with brown sugar, cinnamon and bacon (or regular) salt.
Roast both pans in 400 degree oven for approx 10 minutes until the coconut and pecans are toasted – watch carefully they will go from brown to burned quickly. Remove them from the pan and continue to roast the sweet potatoes and pineapple for a total of 30-45 minutes until tender and lightly browned. Remove from the oven and cool.
Drain the mandarin oranges, reserving the liquid. Mix enough of the liquid with the orange yogurt to thin it to a pouring consistency.
Reserve 2 pineapple 1/2 slices and cut the remaining into bite sized pieces. Mix the sweet potatoes, pecans (reserving a few for garnish), toasted coconut and bite sized pineapple pieces together in a mixing bowl with the dressing.
On the serving plate lay down the lettuce, add the potato mixture, surround with the reserved pineapple half slices and the mandarin oranges, sprinkle with the untoasted coconut, reserved pecans and dried cherries.
I’ve watched the little Italian ladies on TV make fresh pasta on a board by just putting down the flour, making a well for the egg, adding a little water and maybe some olive oil and gracefully mixing it up into a beautiful dough. Unfortunately my first few attempts were …