Saturday, May 31, 2008

Summertime Pizza

Using Joe's Whole Wheat Pizza Dough Recipe I put together this summer medley

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
(Adapted from Eating Well)

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
3/4 cup warm water
1 tablespoon olive oil (I used garlic olive oil)

Combine flours, yeast, salt, and sugar in a food processor; pulse to mix.
Combine warm water and oil in a measuring cup.
With the motor running, gradually pour in enough of the liquid until the mixture forms a sticky ball. The dough should be quite soft. If it seems dry, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of warm water; if too sticky, add 1 to 2 tablespoons flour. Process until the dough forms a ball, then process for 1 minute to knead.Lightly coat a large bowl with cooking spray. Place dough inside, turning to coat. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel and let rise about an hour, or until doubled in size. Punch down and let the dough rest for about 10 minutes before rolling.
*If you want to knead by hand feel free - knead for about 10 minutes.
As made, this recipe makes about 1 pound of dough.

Oil your baking stone (Pampered Chef for me) with some garlic olive oil.

I made my own sauce to complement the vegetables I was using.

Pizza Sauce
8 oz tomato sauce (1 can)
1/8 cup red wine (today was Beaujolais)
1 heaping tablespoon of black cherry preserves (yes, you read it correctly)
1 splash of garlic olive oil

Wisk and heat slightly to blend flavors. Set aside.

Slice vegetables:
1/4-1/3 orange sweet pepper
1/4-1/3 red sweet pepper
3/4-1 cup mushrooms thickly sliced
3/4 cup cherry tomatoes sliced in half lengthwise
1/2-3/4 baby zucchini sliced medium thin
lemon pepper
2 oz. crumpled goat cheese

Form pizza dough as instructed. Spread sauce within an inch of the edge. Arrange vegetables. Sprinkle/drizzle sparingly with some garlic olive oil, lemon pepper and the crumpled goat cheese.

Bake about 20 minutes until vegtables are hot/medium crispy/cooked and dough is crispy.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Spice It Up!

Take a trip to Penzeys. They are in many cities and have fabulous prices. My field trip today netted: Fenugreek, star anise, adobo, Hungarian sweet paprika, Spanish Paprika, cumin seed. Their site also includes some great sounding recipes. You can order on line or visit one of their many stores "peppered" across the US.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Cranberry Orange Scones

I used a basic Buttermilk Scone recipe from Simply Scones and revved it up a bit.

2 cups all purpose flour (I used flour with baking powder in it, adding 1-1/2 teaspoons to this measurement and omitting the baking powder listed below).
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2/3 cup dried cranberries coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 tablespoon vanilla sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Cut the butter into 1/2 inches cubes and distribute them over the flour mixture. With a pastry blender or two knives used scissors fashion, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Mix in the zest. In a small bowl, stir together the buttermilk, egg, and vanilla. Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture and stir to combine. Stir in the cranberries.

With lightly floured hands, pat the dough into an 8-inch diameter circle on an ungreasted baking sheet (silicone baking sheets). Sprinkle with the vanilla sugar and press lightly into the mixture. With a serrated knife, cut ino 8 wedges (carefully if using the baking sheets). Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until the top is lighly browned and a cake tester or toothpick inserted inot the cent of a scone comes out clean.

Remove the baking sheet to a wire rack and cool for 5 minutes.

Using a spatula, transfer the scones to the wire rack to cool. Recut into wedges, if necessary. Serve warm or cool completely and store in an airtight container.

Makes 8 scones at better than the coffeeshop calorie count of 251 calories each.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Spanish Rice

Spanish Rice from Simply Recipes

This is the perfect accompaniment to the Chicken or Pork Enchiladas.


2 tablespoons olive oil (can use up to 1/4 cup)
1 onion, chopped fine
1 garlic clove, minced
2 cups of medium or long-grain white rice (I prefer Zatarans)
3 cups chicken stock* (or vegetable stock if vegetarian)
1 heaping tablespoon tomato paste or 1 cup of diced fresh or cooked tomatoes, strained (I think the fire roasted tomatoes might be tasty in this and add some flecks that would be pretty)
Pinch of oregano
1 teaspoon salt

*Check the instructions on the rice package for the proportions of liquid to rice. They can range from 1:1 to 2:1. If your rice calls for 2 cups of water for every cup of rice, then for this recipe, use 4 cups of stock for 2 cups of rice.

In a large skillet brown rice in olive oil, medium/high heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook onion rice mixture, stirring frequently, about 4 minutes, or until onions are softened.

In a separate sauce pan bring stock to a simmer. Add tomato sauce, oregano, and salt. Add rice to broth. Bring to a simmer. Cover. Lower heat and cook 15-25 minutes, depending on the type of rice and the instructions on the rice package. Turn off heat and let sit for 5 minutes.

Serves 4 to 6.

This doesn't take anything away from the enchiladas but serves as nice complementary side dish.

Today's Enchiladas

Another Culinary In the Dessert Winner!
Pork Enchiladas with Green Sauce
Which they Adapted from Everyday Food

1 pound trimmed pork tenderloin
1 teaspoon cumin
salt and fresh ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 pounds tomatillos (husks removed), well washed and coarsely chopped
3/4 cup water
1 cup corn kernels
12 6" white corn tortillas
8 ounces shredded sharp white cheddar (I like Beecher's cheese).
Preheat oven to 450
Dust pork with cumin and rub to adhere - season with salt and fresh ground black pepper. Place onto a baking sheet coated with nonstick spray - place in the oven and roast until an instant-read thermometer registers 145 degrees, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven, place on a wire rack and set aside to rest for 10 minutes. Shred pork into bite-sized pieces

In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium. Stir in onion - cook until the onion softens, about 4 to 6 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in tomatillos and water - bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until the tomatillos are soft, about 5 to 8 minutes. Pour the mixture into a food processor or blender - process until smooth. Season the sauce to taste with salt and fresh ground black pepper.Combine 1 cup of the sauce, the corn and pork - mix until well combined. Add just enough of the sauce to thinly coat the bottom of a 9" x 13" baking dish coated with nonstick spray. Pour the remaining sauce into a shallow dish.

Wrap tortillas, stacked, in a moist paper towel - place in the microwave and heat for 1 minute to soften. Using one tortilla at a time, keeping the rest covered, dip into the sauce and place on your work surface. Fill the tortilla with about 1/4 cup of the pork mixture and 1 tablespoon of the cheese. Roll up and place into the prepared baking dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Once all are in the baking dish, cover with the remaining sauce and cheese.

Cover the dish tightly with foil and place in the oven to bake until the sauce is bubbling, about 15 to 20 minutes. Uncover and continue to bake until the cheese has browned, about 10 to 15 more minutes. Remove and place on a wire rack for 10 minutes to rest before serving.

* I needed a teeny more kick to the green sauce so I added a splash of habanero sauce.

Makes 6 servings.

Chicken and Cheese Enchiladas

This is an old favorite recipe of mine from the Sugar Busters Cookbook. While I don't buy into the diet itself - some of the recipes from the cookbook are pretty good.

1 medium yellow onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup canola oil
1 1/2 cups tomato sauce
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoong ground black pepper
8 6 in whole wheat tortillas
1 four ounce can whole green chilies trained and cut into 1/2 inch strips
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
1 cup sour cream (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the onion, garlic and 2 tbls. of the oil in a 1 quart saucepan. Stirring occassionally, cook over medium heat until the onion turns translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the tomato sauce, oregano, and salt. Reduce the heat to low and cook, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, season the chicken with the garlic, salt and pepaper and put in a medium nonstick skillet, along with the remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Heat for about 10 mintues over medium-low heat. Remove the meat to a bowl and warm the tortillas in the same pan for abut 15 seconds per side. Divide the chicken and the chilies among the tortillas. Roll the tortillas up and place them in a 9x3 inch baking dish that has been coated in cooking spray. Cover with the tomato suace, anf sprinkle. with the grated cheese. Cover and bake for about 15 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Top with sour cream if desired. Serves 4.

The Promised Pie Crust

Here it is - the piecrust recipe I promised. I thought I would try it a second time before posting it, but it was so very good -that you all need to have it NOW!

This is from the King Author Flour 200th Anniversary Cookbook.

Food Processor Pie Crust I
1-3/4 cups King Aurthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar (optional) (I used it for the rhubarb pie
1/2 cup (1 stick) unslated butter, cold or frozen, cut into 4 pieces
2 tblespoons solid shortening (I use Crisco sticks(
about 6 tablespoons ice water

Using the stell blade of the food processor quickly blend flour, salt, sugr, butter and shortening.

Slowly pour the ice water through the feed tube while pulsing the machine. Process only until a mass of dough has formed on the sitde of the bowl. Don't overdo it. Wrap the dough in plastic and chill for at least an hour. (You can also frzze the dough at this point.)

Roll out the dough on a floured counter. (Fold into quarters to lift off counter and unfold in pie plate. This crust can be filled and baked at this point, or baked blind.

When the edge of the crust is baked it is light and flaky and wonderful!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Mom's Rhubarb Pie

I remember Mom making this pie. It is and always has been my favorite.

4 Cup Rhubarb, cut into 1/2" pieces (about 12 stalks)
1-1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsifted flour
3 eggs
2 Tablespoon butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
dash salt

Stir together the sugr and flour. Beat eggs, add vanilla and salt slightly. Add sugar and butter. Beat to blend - mix in rhubarb.

Bake 425 degrees for 10 minutes and 375 degrees for 30 or 35 minutes.

I'll post the pie crust recipe if it turns out :)

Happy Mother's Day Mom!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Tropical Muffins with Coconut Macadamia Nut Topping

Tropical Muffins with Coconut Macadamia Nut Topping

Another winner from Cooking Light, (April 2008)

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour (about 6 ounces)
1 cup regular oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup mashed ripe banana (about 2)
1 cup low-fat buttermilk
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/2 cup canned crushed pineapple in juice, drained (small can)
1/3 cup flaked sweetened coconut
3 tablespoons finely chopped macadamia nuts, toasted
Cooking spray

2 tablespoons flaked sweetened coconut
1 tablespoon finely chopped macadamia nuts
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon regular oats

1. Preheat oven to 400°.
2. To prepare muffins, lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 4 ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl. Make a well in center of flour mixture. Combine banana and next 5 ingredients (through egg) in a medium bowl; add to flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Stir in pineapple, 1/3 cup coconut, and 3 tablespoons nuts. Spoon batter into 12 muffin cups coated with cooking spray.
3. To prepare topping, combine 2 tablespoons coconut and the remaining ingredients in a small bowl.
4. Sprinkle about 1 teaspoon of topping over each muffin. Bake at 400° for 18 minutes or until muffins spring back when touched lightly in center. Remove muffins from pans immediately; place on a wire rack.

Yield: 1 dozen at 205 calories. However (There's always one of those with me - isn't there?)....with my pans it made 18 at 137 calories!


Sunday, May 4, 2008

Watermelon and Goat Cheese Salad

May 2008, Food and Wine.

This was an absolute accident. I had peppered goat cheese. The watermelon was sitting on the counter, as was the olive oil, lemon juice, etc. I tried it with the light and the heavier olive oil. I thought the heavier offered more contrast.

I just did a quick mini mix, leaving out the pepper since it was in the goat cheese. Love at first bite. Again...I didn't have full servings, just some pieces with the mix. Yummy.

In Turkey, this popular salad is often made with Tulum cheese, a ubiquitous goat-and-lamb’s-milk cheese. Defne KoryĆ¼rek opts to make her version using creamy fresh goat cheese sprinkled with crunchy little nigella seeds (also called black onion seeds), which add a nutty, peppery flavor.
1 pound seedless watermelon chunks, cut into small slabs
6 ounces fresh goat cheese, cut into 12 rounds
1/4 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
1 teaspoon nigella seeds
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Arrange the watermelon slabs on 6 plates and top with the fresh goat cheese rounds. Sprinkle all over with the orange zest and nigella seeds.

In a small bowl, whisk the orange juice and lemon juice with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle the dressing over the watermelon and goat cheese and serve right away.

Israeli Hummus with Paprika

May 2008, Food and Wine

Before opening Zahav restaurant in Philadelphia, chef Michael Solomonov visited hummus parlors all over Israel trying to find the best recipe. “Hummus is the hardest thing to get right,” he says. “It has to be rich, creamy and mildly nutty.” To make his hummus luxuriously smooth, he soaks the chickpeas overnight with baking soda to soften them. While Americans now flavor hummus with everything from pureed red peppers to fresh herbs, Solomonov says among the fanciest garnishes you can find in Israel are whole chickpeas, paprika and lemon-spiked tahini, used for hummus masabacha.

1/2 pound dried chickpeas (or 3 15 oz. cans of chickpeas - I prefer S&W - drain and retain the liquid from one can)
1 tablespoon baking soda
7 large garlic cloves, unpeeled
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin, plus more for garnish
1/2 cup tahini, at room temperature (see Note)
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Paprika, for garnish
1/4 cup chopped parsley
Pita bread, for serving

In a medium bowl, cover the dried chickpeas with 2 inches of water and stir in the baking soda.

Refrigerate the chickpeas overnight. Drain the chickpeas and rinse them under cold water.

In a medium saucepan, cover the chickpeas with 2 inches of fresh water. Add the garlic cloves and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderately low heat until the chickpeas are tender, about 40 minutes. Drain, reserving 10 tablespoons of the cooking water and 2 tablespoons of the chickpeas. Rinse the chickpeas under cold water. Peel the garlic cloves.

In a food processor, puree the chickpeas with 1/2 cup of the reserved cooking water, 1/4 cup of the olive oil and 6 of the garlic cloves. Add the cumin along with 1/4 cup each of the tahini and lemon juice and process until creamy. Season the hummus with salt and transfer to a serving bowl.

Wipe out the food processor. Add the remaining 1/4 cup of tahini, 1/4 cup of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of reserved cooking water, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and garlic clove and puree.
Using a ladle, make an indent in the center of the hummus. Spoon in the tahini-lemon mixture. Sprinkle the hummus with the cumin and paprika. Garnish with the reserved whole chickpeas and the parsley, and serve with pita bread.

MAKE AHEAD The ungarnished hummus and cooked chickpeas can be refrigerated separately for up to 2 days.

NOTES Tahini has a tendency to separate, so be sure to stir the sesame paste thoroughly before measuring.

Teri's Notes: In my grocery store run today, I couldn't find dried chickpeas (and I'm still so NOT over my last adventure making hummus from scatch), so I used canned, cooked chickpeas. I reserved the canning water to mimic the instructions above. I boiled the garlic for 30 minutes and used part of the garlic water with the chickpea water. (I'm trying here folks!). I'm happy to report this fabulous recipe!

Brussels Sprouts

From Vegetable Love!

1/2 lb brussels sprouts
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
kosher salt to taste

Preheat oven to 500. Melt butter in the smallest pan avialable to contain the brussels sprouts in a single layer. (Note: I had a pound of b-spouts and used a 9x9 pan). When butter is melted add the brussels sprouts and roll around in pan to coat. Bake 7-15 minutes (stir at 7, check at 10 etc.). At 10 minutes they were slightly carmelized and crisp tender and I removed them from the oven. I let them sit in the stoneware pan for a few minutes to continue cooking a bit.

Let cool slightly or move to another pan (so you don't blow up your stoneware) and mix with the lemon juice and salt.

If you like cabbage you'll probably like these little guys. If you don' on and try something else.

This makes about 2 cups and I figured four servings at 50 calories a serving.

I'll have to think on what they could be paired up with. The filled the bill for me having something healthy to snack on while I cooked. Ideas are welcome!

Wine Pairings

Wine Pairings
I made some good wine pairings this last week. I don't know if they are "proper" or not yet, but they worked for me - in the style the food was described on the menu.

J. Llohr Chardonnay with Pad Thai - the Pad Thai was not the tomatoey version served in Utah - It was seafood and chicken and the lime and cilantro made it "light".
Covey Run Shiraz with excellent Chili Verde. The "peppers" of the two dishes danced around in my head. It was almost like having pop rocks.

I do not care for the Covey Run Huckleberry wine I purchased last week. I might consider it with some fresh goat cheese, but I think there are a lot of other options that would be classier. It was too sweet and might have been fine, but I didn't find the depth I was looking for.

Washington Ice Wines - I had a glass a few weeks ago at the Spokane airport with a fruit and cheese plate. The platter offered crip, paper thin sliced pears and apples, with red and green grapes, goat cheese, a sweetened cream cheese, sharp cheddar and smoked mozzerella. It was a fit for me with that dish. I can't say what else I'd pair it with at this point, but the fruits and cheeses offered made it a nice fit.