Sunday, June 24, 2012

Pizza Dough & Sauce

From Todd Wilbur's A Treasury of Top Secret Recipes, pages 281-282 and 438-439.

This is a combination of the California Pizza Kitchen crust and the Pizza Hut sauce, and it's delicious!  Make sure you start the night before so the dough has enough time to rise.
Our cheese got a little overcooked, but it was still yummy!
Prep: 20 minutes + rising/resting (4-5 hours and overnight) / Cook: 10-12 minutes
Yield: one 10" pizza

CPK Crust:
1/3 cup + 1 Tbs. warm water (105-115F)
3/4 tsp. yeast
1 tsp. sugar
1 cup bread flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. olive oil

Start the day before you plan to serve the pizza.  In a small bowl or measuring cup, dissolve the yeast and sugar in the warm water.  Let it sit for 5 minutes until the surface of the mixture turns foamy.

Sift together the flour and salt in a medium bowl.  Make a depression in the flour and pour in the olive oil and yeast mixture.  Use a fork to stir the liquid, gradually drawing in more flour as you stir, until all the ingredients are combined.  When you can no longer stir with a fork, use your hands to form dough into a ball.  Knead the dough with the heels of your hands on a lightly floured surface for 10 minutes, or until the texture of the dough is smooth.

Form the dough back into a ball, coat it lightly with oil, and place in a clean bowl covered with plastic wrap.  Keep the bowl in a warm place for about 2 hours to allow dough to double in size.  Punch down the dough and put it back into the covered bowl and into your refrigerator overnight.

Take the dough from the refrigerator 1 to 2 hours before you plan to build the pizza so that the dough can warm up to room temperature.

Form the dough into a ball and roll out on a floured surface until very think and 10" in diameter.  Put your pizza crust on a baking sheet or pizza pan, spread with sauce and toppings of your choice, and bake at 500F for 10-12 minutes or until the crust is light brown.

PH Sauce:
1 can tomato sauce (15 oz)
1/4 cup water
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
1 bay leaf
Dash onion powder
1/2 tsp. lemon juice

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Heat the sauce until it starts to bubble, then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 30-60 minutes until it reaches the desired thickness.  When sauce has cooled, store it in the refrigerator in a tightly sealed container.

- I kneaded my dough on a lightly floured Silpat-type silicone baking mat, and it was awesome!  The dough is somewhat sticky at first and stuck to my hands, but by the end of the 10 minutes, it was a smooth ball, and neither my hands nor the mat had any stray dough on them.
- The second time we made this pizza, we cooked it at 485 or 490 to keep the cheese from scorching, but the crust didn't get quite as crispy.  Just play around with it to find what you like.
- I have used the pizza sauce without allowing it to cool down, so don't worry if that's what you have to do, too!
- The sauce makes enough for a few pizzas, depending on how much sauce you like.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Granola-Yogurt Pancakes

From Lou Seibert Pappas's Pancakes & Waffles, page 20.

I know, I know . . . another pancake recipe.  I just am in a pancake phase right now.  These pancakes claimed to have a crunch from the granola, but mine did not.  Perhaps it was the type of granola I used.  (Or it may have been how long my three-year old was mixing the batter while I fed his little brother some breakfast--multitasking fail.)  Even so, I loved them!  They were deliciously chewy and filling.  I topped mine with granola, fresh fruit, and (you guessed it) Buttermilk Syrup.
1 1/2 cups granola
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup packed brown sugar (optional)
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
2 cups plain yogurt
2 large eggs
1/4 cup canola or nut oil

In a bowl, combine the granola, flours, sugar (if using), baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.  In another bowl, beat or whisk together the yogurt, eggs, and oil.  Add the yogurt mixture to the dry ingredients and mix just until combined.

Heat a griddle or large skillet over medium heat and grease lightly.  For each pancake, spoon or pour about 1/4 cup batter onto the hot griddle.  Cook until bubbles appear on the surface and the edges look dry, about 2 minutes.  Turn over and cook until golden brown, about 1 minute more.

- I accidentally left out the brown sugar and was happy I did because I think my pancakes would have turned out too sweet otherwise.  Use your own judgment and add as much or as little of the brown sugar as you want, depending on the sweetness of your granola.
- I used French Vanilla Almond granola to make these, but the possibilities are as plentiful as the types of granola you can find (I can't wait to try this recipe with the Gingersnap, Cherry Vanilla, and Pumpkin varieties of granola in the bulk bins at our Smith's!)
- This batter was somewhat thick, so I tried to spread it out a little after pouring it into the skillet.  I wasn't keeping close track of the time, but I think it took longer than the recipe says.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Four-Grain Fitness Pancakes

From Lou Seibert Pappas's Pancakes & Waffles, page 18.

I was really excited to try these pancakes, and they did not disappoint!  They were hearty with a hint of spice from the cardamom.  The texture was great, and so was the flavor.  Pappas recommends topping them with plain yogurt and fresh fruit, but I just couldn't resist that delicious Buttermilk Syrup from my sister's blog.  At least I used the fruit, though.
Yield: About fourteen 4" pancakes.

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup rye or oat flour
1/2 cup barley or buckwheat flour
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup toasted wheat germ
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground cardamom
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
2 large eggs, separated
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup canola oil
2 Tbs. honey or maple syrup

- For the life of me, I couldn't find rye flour, so I used oat flour.  (You can make oat flour by processing oats in a food processor.)  After all, Pappas suggests, "Vary these healthful pancakes with the grains at hand."  She also recommends tossing in toasted sesame seeds or toasted chopped nuts.
- Look for buckwheat flour in the bulk bin section of your grocery store.
- Look for the wheat germ in the cereal aisle.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Chicken Apple Sausage Couscous

Adapted slightly from Mel's Kitchen Cafe.
Serves 4-6.

1/3 cup pine nuts
1/2 yellow onions, diced
1 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
12 oz. precooked chicken apple sausages, chopped
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. curry powder
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth, divided, + additional if cooking couscous in broth instead of water
1/3 cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped
1 cup uncooked couscous

Cook couscous according to packaged directions.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, toast pine nuts over medium-low to medium heat, tossing frequently, until golden.  Remove nuts to a small bowl.

In the same skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat until shimmering.  Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 4 minutes, or until they begin to turn translucent.  Add the sausage and brown lightly, about 2-3 minutes.  Add 1/3 cup broth and the pepper, thyme, cumin, coriander, and curry powder; stir to combine.  Simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated or been absorbed; the mixture will still be somewhat wet.

Add the cranberries and remaining broth (2/3 cup).  Simmer for 2-3 minutes until cranberries are heated through and a bit softened.  Stir in the cooked couscous; simmer for another 2-3 minutes until the liquid is mostly absorbed but the couscous is not dry.

Top with pine nuts.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Ricotta Souffle Pancakes with Raspberries

From Lou Seibert Pappas's Pancakes & Waffles, page 24.

See how I'm finally getting around to trying all these delicious pancake and waffle recipes?  Pappas writes that these are "a treat for brunch or dessert," and I totally agree.  Though I made a breakfast out of them until they were all gone.  They're light and fluffy but somehow kept me full.  I'll definitely be making these again.
 Yield: About sixteen 3 1/2-inch pancakes.

4 large eggs, separated
2 Tbs. sugar
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
2 tsp. grated lemon zest
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 cup fresh raspberries for topping

In a bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until soft peaks form, then beat in the sugar until medium glossy peaks form.

In another bowl, beat the egg yolks until thick and pale in color, then beat in the cheese, flour, butter, zest, and salt.  Fold 1/4 of the beaten egg whites into the yolk mixture to lighten, then fold in the remaining egg whites.

Heat a griddle or large skillet over medium heat and grease lightly.  For each pancake, spoon about 3 large tablespoons batter onto the hot griddle.  Cook slowly for about 1 1/2 minutes until golden brown underneath, then turn the pancakes over and cook about another 30 seconds longer.

- I used part-skim ricotta, which didn't seem to cause any problems.
- This recipe made me wish I either had another mixing bowl for my Kitchen-Aid or a little hand mixer that I could use for the egg yolks.  As it was, I gently scooped the beaten egg whites into another bowl so I could use the mixer for the yolks (tried doing it by hand--too tiring for me!).
- I made a glaze out of 1 Tbs. melted butter, the juice from 1/2 a lemon, probably 1/2 tsp. (maybe a little more) lemon zest, and enough powdered sugar to make it the consistency I wanted.  YUM!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Mexican Chicken Pizza with Cornmeal Crust

Adapted from Eat Better America 2012 calendar.
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbs. sugar
1 1/4 tsp. regular active dry yeast
1/4 tsp. coarse salt (kosher or sea)
3/4 cup warm water
1 Tbs. olive oil
1/3 cup yellow cornmeal
Additional cornmeal

2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend
1 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
1 can (14.5 oz) fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1/4 tsp. chipotle chile powder (regular or Mexican varieties are good, too)
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 medium yellow bell pepper, chopped
1-2 sliced green onions
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 avocado, diced
Sour cream

Heat oven to 450F.  In a medium bowl, mix 3/4 cup flour, sugar, yeast, and salt.  Stir in warm water and oil.  Beat with electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds.  Beat on high speed for 1 minute.  Stir in 1/3 cup cornmeal and remaining flour to make a soft dough.

On lightly floured surface, knead dough until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.  Cover; let rest for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix chicken with cumin, paprika, chile powder, oregano, and the juice from the tomatoes.

Spray a large cookie sheet with nonstick spray; sprinkle with additional cornmeal.  On cookie sheet, press dough into 10x14" rectangle; prick with fork.  Bake 8-10 minutes or until edges just begin to turn brown.

Sprinkle with 1 cup of the cheese blend.  Top with chicken, tomatoes, bell pepper, and green onions.  Sprinkle with remaining cheese.  Bake 6-8 minutes longer or until cheese is melted and edges are golden brown.  Top with cilantro, sour cream, and avocados.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Honey & Spice Baked Chicken

Adapted slightly from Simple & Delicious (Dec./Jan. 2012), page 21.

Prep: 5-10 min. / Cook: 25-30 min.
Serves: 8

3 tsp. garlic powder
3 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
8 boneless skinless chicken breasts (5 oz. each)
6 Tbs. honey
2 tsp. cider vinegar

Combine first six ingredients; rub over chicken.  Transfer to a greased 10x15" baking pan.  Bake at 375F for 25-30 minutes or until juices run clear.

Combine the honey and vinegar; baste over chicken during the last 10 minutes of cooking.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

BBQ Pulled Pork Sliders

From Better Homes and Gardens Skinny Slow Cooker (2012), page 23.
Prep: 30 min / Cook: 9-10 hours (low) or 4.5-5 hours (high), plus 1 hour (low)

1 (2 1/2-3 lb) boneless pork shoulder roast, trimmed
1 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 tsp. dried thyme, crushed
1/2 tsp. dried rosemary, crushed
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 cup balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup ketchup
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbs. Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
20 cocktail-size whole grain hamburger buns or small round dinner rolls, split and toasted
Deli coleslaw
Coarsely chopped sweet or dill pickles

If necessary, cut meat to fit in a 3 1/2 or 4 quart slow cooker.  In cooker, combine onion and bell pepper.  Add meat; sprinkle with thyme and rosemary.  Pour broth over meat.  Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 9 to 10 hours or on high-heat setting for 4 1/2 to 5 hours.

Meanwhile, for the barbecue sauce, in a medium saucepan, combine vinegar, ketchup, brown sugar, honey, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, garlic, black pepper, and salt.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat.  Simmer, uncovered, for 20 to 25 minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally.

Transfer meat to a cutting board.  Using two forks, pull meat apart into shreds, discarding fat.  Strain vegetable mixture, discarding liquid.  Return shredded meat and strained vegetables to cooker.  Stir in barbecue sauce.  Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 1 hour.

To serve, spoon meat mixture onto bun bottoms.  Top with coleslaw and chopped pickles.  Add bun tops.

- The only "pork shoulder" I could find was a boneless pork shoulder butt roast, which ended up being about half fat (I'm serious).  I may try this with a different cut of pork next time so I actually get a decent amount of meat.  As my husband pointed out, really fatty cuts of meat like that are great for slow barbecuing, but I had to cut off so much of it so it wasn't drowning our food in so much grease.
- We bought 10 medium-sized Telera rolls, which were a little chewier than regular buns, but not too chewy.  We'll probably only use 7 or 8 by the time we finish the leftovers.
- This is terrible, but I don't really know how many quarts my slow cooker holds.  Ha!
- I have something against buying coleslaw and other mayo-based products at the grocery store deli.  I bought a bag of shredded coleslaw vegetables (cabbage and carrots) from the produce section and mixed up the following sauce, combining a Bobby Flay recipe with an Emeril recipe: 3/4 cup mayonnaise, 2 Tbs. sugar, 1 tsp. celery seed, 3 Tbs. apple cider vinegar, 1 Tbs. Dijon, dash cayenne pepper, salt, and freshly ground black pepper.

Nutrition Facts (if making 20 sliders):
1 slider = 320 calories, 14 g total fat (4 g saturated fat), 44 mg cholesterol, 487 mg sodium, 34 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 13 g protein

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Classic Buttermilk Pancakes

From Lou Seibert Pappas's Pancakes & Waffles, page 13.

I was given this book along with a waffle maker at my bridal shower, and although I frequently found myself staring dreamily at the recipes and pictures, I am embarrassed to admit that until recently I had only ever made two (Caramel-Pecan Waffles and Swiss Whipped Honey Butter).  But then I gave these buttermilk pancakes a go, and I love them!  Typically I prefer something heartier (whole wheat, multigrain, oatmeal) or exciting (Pumpkin Spice).  Combine these with the delicious Buttermilk Syrup that I stole from my sister over at Rate the Plate Utah, though, and I can't help loving these yummy, fluffy, melt-in-your-mouth pancakes.  Mmmm.
Yield: about fourteen 4" pancakes

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
2 large eggs, separated
2 cups + 2 Tbs. buttermilk
2 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted, or canola oil

In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  In a small, deep bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until soft, glossy peaks form.  In another bowl, beat or whisk together the egg yolks, buttermilk, and butter.  Add the buttermilk mixture to the dry ingredients and mix just until combined.  Fold in the egg whites.

Heat a griddle or large skillet over medium heat and grease lightly.  For each pancake, spoon or pour about 1/4 cup batter onto the hot griddle.  Cook until bubbles appear on the surface and the edges look dry, about 2 minutes.  Turn over and cook until golden brown, about 1 minute more.  Serve immediately or transfer pancakes to a baking sheet and keep warm in a 200F oven.  Bake remaining batter as directed.  Top with butter and maple syrup, Swiss Whipped Honey Butter, or Maple Sugar-Pecan Butter.

Buttermilk Syrup

From Rate the Plate Utah.

I fully realize that if you read my blog, you've likely already seen this recipe on my sister's blog.  But oh well, I can't help myself!  It's kind of like those Pumpkin Spice Pancakes I posted in December: I can't get enough.  As soon as my first batch was out, I made another.  It's like I have to have it in my fridge at all times.  Maple syrup just doesn't cut it anymore!  My 3-year old is even addicted to the stuff (okay, so that's no surprise--it's sugar).  Forgive the lack of a decent picture.  Syrup is apparently hard for me to photograph.
This is a terrible picture, but at least you can see how deliciously thick and gooey the syrup is, even after sitting on my hot pancakes.
1 cup butter
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups sugar
2 Tbs. corn syrup
2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. baking soda

Put butter, buttermilk, sugar, & corn syrup in a large pot.  Bring to a boil, and boil for 3-5 minutes.  Add vanilla & baking soda (it will foam up . . . a lot).  Stir with a wire whisk.  Serve.

- I use lite Karo syrup for the corn syrup.
- My 3-quart pot wasn't large enough for the extreme foaminess, so I've switched to my 5-quart pot.  Adding the baking soda is my son's favorite part--he's obsessed with volcanoes and hot lava.
- The syrup becomes thicker and gooier in the fridge.  The last time I made it, I may have overcooked it because it's more like a thick caramel sauce and I have to let it come to room temperature before I can hope to have it run off of the spoon and onto my waiting pancakes.  Still tastes divine, though.

Swiss Whipped Honey Butter

From Lou Seibert Pappas's Pancakes & Waffles, page 74.
Yield: about 1 1/2 cups

2/3 cup honey
8 Tbs. (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup heavy cream

In a small bowl, combine the honey and butter and beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.  Add the cream and beat until blended.  Spoon into a small bowl and serve or cover and refrigerate for up to 1 week.

- I really like adding cinnamon to ours!
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