Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Thin Pita Pizzas

1. margherita
2. mushroom, mozz, ricotta
3. pesto and mozz

these thin style pitas are large and come out nice and crispy. love these. 

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Quick, Messy, Delicious, Home-Made, Thin Crust Pizza

Crust - 
about 3.5 cups flour, 2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp yeast, 1.5 cups warm water. put yeast in water and let sit for several minutes. pour in half of flour and mix well. pour in rest of flour and salt and work by hand for several minutes until dough is consistent in texture and no flour is visible. cut into equal sized parts of abut 200 grams each and let sit for s much time as you have (at least several hours) 

Toppings - 
Margherita - home made tomato sauce (sweet sauce is prepared with i large can of diced tomatoes, salt, pepper, oregano, sugar, olive oil, 5 cloves of garlic and 3/4 cup of chopped onion. saute garlic and onion and oregano in olive oil, add tomatoes, salt and pepper, let simmer for 10 minutes. use immersion blender and blend until smooth. ad sugar to taste. let simmer for 20 minutes) fresh basil and thinly sliced mozzarella 
Pesto - home made walnut pesto (fresh basil, garlic, romano cheese, walnuts, olive oil, salt, pepper) mozzarella 

Prepare - 
on a heavily floured large wood board. about 200 grams of dough makes a good sized pizza. use LOTS of flour, fingers and palms to shape it - thin in the middle with a bit of thickness around edges.  place sauce and thinly sliced cheese. slide off onto pizza stone. 

Bake - 
on pizza stone - 550 (or your oven's highest) degrees for about 6 minutes

time - 
about 1 hour prep and cook

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Chicken Sausage Sweet Potato Bake

So, we eat a lot of chicken sausage. Not just any chicken sausage, although, will do. It is from a great grocery store in Long island called John's Farms, where it is made on site, and there really isn't any other chicken sausage comparable. It is very fresh tasting and much lower in fat than other sausages. It is the thin ring style and we have came up with many different variations on preparation. Normally in the summer the best thing to do is put a skewer through it, splash on some olive oil and throw it on the grill. But recently I tried a new method that turned out to be delicious and extraordinarily healthy, which most of the time those two are somewhat mutually exclusive, and on top of that it is beautiful looking and very colorful.
So basically it is a bake, very hearty with a Tuscan feel and look, of chicken sausage, sweet potatoes, spinach, cannellini beans, onion and garlic. Here's the recipe:

Chicken sausage - 1 lb - cut into 1 inch pieces and browned in olive oil
Sweet potatoes - 2 large - washed and cut into chunks
Spinach - 1/2 lb frozen, chopped
Cannellini beans - 1 can, organic
Onion - 1, yellow, small, chopped
Garlic - 5 cloves, chopped
Olive Oil - extra virgin
Salt, pepper and whole nutmeg

Pre heat the oven to 375. Cut the chicken sausage into one inch pieces and brown in a pan with olive oil. After the chicken sausage is browned on all sides place it all in a large baking/casserole dish. Add the sweet potatoes, spinach, beans, onion and garlic and mix well all together. Add salt and pepper liberally or to your preference, and grate some fresh nutmeg on top. Cover with foil and place in oven. Bake covered for 30 minutes, take out of oven, mix, put back in uncovered for 10 minutes. 

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Fresh Tomato Chili

a mix of 10 large red yellow and green tomatoes - poached and peeled. quart of chicken stock. 1 large chopped onion, 6 cloves garlic, mix of 4 large yellow red and green bell peppers, 1 long green chillies. 1/2  lb cubed then browned sirloin and 1 lb ground chuck, lots of chili powder, i can red kidney beans, 1 can large white butter beans, salt pepper. 1 large can organic diced tomatoes. cook for 2 hours. serve with a big spoonful of sour cream and chopped scallions..real good. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Pane Salsiccia

During my undergrad study in Rome, I think somewhere around 03, an Italian riend of mine brought me to a small enoteca called Nuvolari, just 4 blocks east of Vatican city on Borgo Vittorio at Via degli Ombrellari 10. Besides the very cool atmosphere, all wood, lots of candles lit in old wine bottles covered in wax drippings, an excellent wine selection and not to mention the free buffet served in the evenings, there was one dish in particular that has stuck with me since that I have been trying over the years and have come up with two versions of it that work really well. The dish is called Pane Salsiccia and it is a ground pork sausage pate with white truffle on small crostini. Here's how to do it.

Sweet or Mild Pork Sausages in casings - 1 lb
White Onion - 1 large, chopped
Garlic - 2 cloves chopped
Nutmeg - ground, 1 tsp
Olive Oil - 2 tbs
White Truffle Oil - 2 tbs
Baguette - sliced into 1 inch thick pieces
Salt & Pepper - 2 tsp each
Parsley - 1 tbs dry or fresh

Take all of the sausage out of the casing by slicing them down the center. Saute onion and garlic in olive oil until translucent then add sausage. Stir and mash into small pieces until fully cooked, add nutmeg, salt and pepper and 1 tsp of truffle oil and stir well. After cooked put the mixture into a food processor and mix, adding olive oil if necessary, until it becomes a smooth pate. Heat the oven to 350. Place the crostini on a large baking sheet and spread some olive oil on each, toast until slightly golden. Spread a generous potion of the sausage pate on each crostino then drizzle the rest of the truffle oil on top of each and bake again for about 8 minutes. When done sprinkle some parsley on top and if you like some grated romano cheese. 

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Garlic Risotto with Yellow Zucchini Squash and Tomatoes

Needed a lite and flavorful carbohydrate for last night's dinner and came up with this: I made a basic garlic risotto and added Yellow Zucchini Squash and Tomatoes.
It is incredibly easy and fast.
Arborio Rice - 1 cup
Water or Chicken Stock - 2 - 3 cups
Yellow Zucchini Squash - 1 cup chopped
Cherry tomatoes - 1/2 cup sliced
Garlic - 2 cloves chopped
Butter - 2 tbs
Olive Oil - 1 tbs
Salt and Pepper - to taste

Melt butter and olive oil in a large pan on medium heat, add garlic and saute for a minute. Add chopped Zucchini and saute for 1 minuet. 
Add rice dry and mix and saute for several minutes.
Add first cup of water or stock and mix well and reduce heat to a low simmer. Stir frequently for several minutes until the water is absorbed then add the next cup. 
Stir frequently again and add the rest of the water if needed. 
When rice becomes soft add the chopped tomatoes to the top, sale and pepper to taste, stir once then remove to a bowl and let sit for several minutes before serving.
Add some grated parmesan or romano cheese just before serving.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Cream of Broccoli Soup

I made this several weeks back for my girlfriend and her friends for brunch and it came out pretty well and was quite easy to make. heres how i did it.
2 large heads broccoli chopped into small pieces, you can leave out the bottom 2 inches or so of the stem but the rest can be used.
1 qt chicken stock
1 large onion - minced
3 stocks celery - minced
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 stick butter
olive oil
2 medium potatoes peeled and chopped into small pieces
1/2 qt water
2 cloves of garlic, minced
3 tsp salt or to taste
3 tsp pepper or to taste

in a large deep pot saute onion, garlic and celery in a bit of olive oil and the butter until soft. add potatoes and broccoli and stir. add chicken stock and bring to a boil, covered, for about 30 mins or until the broccoli and potatoes are fully cooked. 

use an immersion blender or regular blender and blend all together until smooth. add the water and heavy cream, stir in well, and blend again. cook over low heat for about 30 mins. add salt and pepper to taste at the end. 

i put a bit of regular sour cream on top just before serving

(you can use more butter and/or cream depending on how fatty, and tasty, you want it)

Polenta Rounds w/ Pulled Chicken

This is a really easy yet amazing looking appetizer that I came up with recently when in the mood for something fresh and a bit spicy. 
Polenta - easiest to buy the precooked roll of polenta, I got mine from Trader Joe's 
Red bell pepper
1 lb boneless and skinless chicken thighs
1 tsp Saffron
1 qt Chicken stock
1 small onion
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup goat cheese
1 cup ricotta cheese
olive oil
canola oil
cut polenta rounds at about 1/4 inch thick each until you have as many as you need to serve. lightly salt and pepper the rounds and set aside for a bit. cut the chicken thighs into about 2 inch strips. mince onion and garlic. add a bit of olive oil to a deep pot and turn on medium high. saute the onion, garlic and saffron for several minutes and then add the chicken. brown on all sides and then add the chicken stock. lower heat and simmer for about 30 minutes or until the chicken is able to be pulled apart with a fork into thin strips. 
for the rounds - in a large flat pan add some canola oil and turn heat to medium high. place rounds in and saute until they start to become a bit brown and then flip. this will take about 3 minutes per side. remove from pan and place on paper towel to drain oil. 
mix goat and ricotta cheese with a pinch of salt and pepper
cut wafer thin slices of the red pepper. place several slices on the polenta rounds. add a bit of the pulled chicken, then a spoonful of the cheese mixture, parsley on top.