Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Sub Sandwich Pizza

It took a long time for us to have the same nights off and share a dinner together, but I wanted this to be fresh and not a leftover. Why? Because I have never made this before, but I remembered it from a little cafe that was in downtown Vancouver Washington.

Theo's closed many years ago, too many for me to remember, but this pizza I never forget. I only enjoyed this delicious pizza a few times, but it was so different and delicious, that when they closed, I knew I needed to try making this myself.


Delicious but Not really Theo's Submarine Sandwich Pizza
425 degree oven

1 pound of pizza crust dough (I am using the parsley and garlic dough found here, but Theo's used a plain dough)

1/2 c favorite pizza sauce
8-10 slices honey ham, deli style
12-14 slices dry salami
8 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 large green pepper
1 large tomato
thinly sliced Peperoncini

On a cornmeal sprinkled surface press and pat dough out to about a 12 inch pizza size. I wanted to be able to slide the raw pizza onto the pizza stone heating up in the oven.









Cover with the sauce and get ready to layer on the flavor.

Sprinkle with most of the cheese, layer on the ham and then the dry salami.









Add the green pepper and the rest of the cheese. Now carefully....


....and gently make sure the pizza crust has not begun to stick. Slide a large flat turner around the edge of the dough. 

Take the cutting board to the oven, and slide the assembled pizza onto the hot stone baker. I did have to assist in the movement, but after a gentle nudge, the whole pie slide gently off the board and onto the stone.
Bake 20 minutes or until golden.

Remove from the oven, and let cool a minute (or 5 this stuff is hot!), slide back onto the cutting board. Add thinly sliced tomatoes and Pepperoni garnish. Cut and serve! Yum is all I can say.

Recipe rating:  Oh Yes! (will make again)

As always thanks for stopping,
it makes my day to have friends stop by!

This post is shared with:
fresh clean and pure friday @ la bella vita

Friday Potluck @ EKats Kitchen

Fat Camp Fridays @ Mangoes and Chutney

12 days of Bloggie-mas @ a moderate life

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Pizza Dough with Parsley

Most folks are aware of parsley, as being that little green sprig on the side of the plate. Usually right beside the lone black olive, that you did eat. See, you do know. Parsley is usually ignored or folks think of it as not something to eat. But parsley is very nutritious and available year round. It is also a frugal purchase. Most bunches of parsley are 59 cents or less. Many years ago, I was told by my Grandmother that parsley was put on the side of the plate as a breath freshener, to be eaten after your meal. It is full of chlorophyll, a natural odor eliminator for onions and garlic. When eaten, your breath will be fresher and you will also get vitamins K, C and A.

But alas we do not seem to eat parsley, it is in the same category as many other frugal, yet fabulous foods. Foods we should eat, but usually don't. In my ongoing quest to eat healthier and maintain a frugal lifestyle, parsley has come to the forefront. Again, why do these things take me so long?

The other day I made a cucumber salad adapted from this recipe. I enjoyed that salad very much and remember the loaf of herb bread I made earlier? Because of these delicious foods, I have decided to spotlight various foods on Saturday. Lets start with parsley, shall we? There are 2 basic types, curly leaf and flat leaf. It is much easier to find the curly leaf parsley, and it may be substituted for the flat leaf in any recipe. Just be aware that the flat leaf parsley is more tender, therefore your curly leaf parsley may need to be chopped more.

I know that summer is upon us here in Vancouver, and in full swing in other parts of the state. This is the peak of the most flavorful, fresh food time of year. But don't leave parsley out, it is that healthy.  Also it stores easily, and for a long time.

While the parsley is still banded, wash well under cold running water. Shake to remove excess water from the leaves. Remove band from around parsley, cut stems to fit the length size of jar. Add 1/2 inch fresh water to the bottom of jar.

Cap and store in the refrigerator. Fresh, clean and ready.

To prepare dry leaves for immediate use, try this process:

Wash parsley in a bunch as described above, snap or cut leaves at stem. Lay out in a single layer on a soft dry towel.

Roll towel up gently, fold into a horseshoe shape and secure with a rubber band. Let rest for 5 minutes or until needed.

Unroll towel, and use as desired. I am going to use these parsley leaves in a Parsley and Garlic pizza dough.

Don't forget the stems, I throw these into my freezer container that holds all of the veggie trimmings. These will add delicious flavor to the next batch of stock.

Now lets make some pizza dough. This is a large 2 pound size batch, use some now and freeze the rest or freeze it all now to use in the future. Dough freezes very well, and is so nice to have on hand. Just pull it out in the morning, let rest in the fridge while you are busy, use it that night. Fresh, homemade and easy.



Parsley and Garlic Pizza dough
adapted from Regal Kitchen Pro Collection
makes 2 one pound dough knobs

10 liquid ounces water, potato water or whey, room temperature
2 c of whole parsley, you will want to "snuggle" the leaves into the cup, but do not pack tight
2 to 4 cloves mined garlic, use the amount that will please your family
1 t salt
3 T olive oil
1 to 2 T sugar
4 c flour
2 t dry yeast
Combine in the ABM pan, in the order listed, with yeast placed on top of the flour. Process for dough, sit back and relax or multi-task. If you do not use a machine, throw it in your mixer and follow along as the manufacturer recommends.

You can also make by hand, but then I have seen the light about the AMB!

I am a bread machine voyageur, I cannot, NOT look!

This is how your dough will look when the dry and wet ingredients have been combined. The whole leaf parsley works so well in bread dough, and it is easy to see, that chopped parsley would be lost in this dough.

In progress.  

Almost done. 

 Done.

Dough is now ready to remove from dough pan, deflate, and divide into 2 knobs. Moisten the dough knobs with oil, then wrap for storage. Refrigerate for use now, or freeze for use later.

Pizza tonight, stay tuned for a delicious pizza based on a sandwich. Delicious and different.

Recipe rating:  Oh Yes! (will make again)

As always, thanks for stopping by to visit!




Sunday, June 13, 2010

Easiest Cinnamon Rolls ever!

Simple things are usually the best.....like these delicious Cinnamon rolls for Sunday June 20th.


Now you might be asking why would someone would make a pan of Cinnamon rolls for Sunday June 20th? Well it also happens to be Father's Day, and I have yet to meet a Dad that did not like Cinnamon Rolls. The thing is though, you might want to get your skill down with a "practice" pan. That way you will have a really good idea of just what a great gift you can make for Dad. However I need to be honest; you don't really need practice, because these rolls are easy.

But a practice pan this weekend, would sure be a plausible excuse to make some now and next weekend too! You can also make the recipe through the final rise, cover and refrigerate overnight and bake fresh for breakfast the next day. Yeast doughs are usually very agreeable to an overnight rest in the fridge.

The process and ingredient list does look involved, but (please) do not let that sway you in your decision to make these Cinnamon rolls. I assure you, the ingredients are everyday, the steps are easy and the rolls are delicious. 

Easy Peasy Cinnamon Rolls for Dad and Everyone
adapted from Yakima Herald Republic Newspaper - Yakima WA
currently in my little black binder,on a very splattered page
makes a 9X13 pan of rolls

Dough
1 c milk, heated to very hot, but not boiling
1/4 c butter, sliced into pats
1/4 c sugar
1 t salt

Place butter, sugar and salt in a large glass bowl, pour hot milk over let sit until warm to the touch. The hot milk will melt the butter and warm the bowl. Prepare yeast mixture.


1 package yeast (2 1/2 t)
1/4 c warm water
pinch of sugar
Combine and let yeast activate or bloom. 



To make the dough, you will need:
up to 41/2 cups of flour, measure out the full measure of flour and dip from that, do not use more.  
1 egg 

When the milk mixture has cooled to warm, stir in about 1/3 of the flour, beat well (11/2-2 minutes with a hand held electric mixer is a good measure, you will develop enough gluten for a well textured and yet tender roll).



Add the egg, stir well.



Add another portion of the flour, beat until smooth (another minute works well).

Stir in the yeast mixture, and beat until smooth.

Add enough (or all) remaining flour or enough to make a soft dough - do not exceed the original 41/2 cups.
Mix well, dough may appear lumpy.


Do not worry.
No kneading required, you could not knead this dough. It is very soft and will produce a soft roll.



Cover bowl and set aside in a warm place to rise, rising time may be 1 - 2 hours depending upon how warm your kitchen is.

When doubled, deflate dough and turn out onto a lightly floured surface.

For rolling/patting out the dough, you will need approximately 1/2 c flour.

 I prefer using a jelly roll style pan to keep the boundaries, both in terms of clean up and size of the patted/rolled out dough.

 You will need to use about 1/3 c flour on the pan, then sprinkle about 2 T flour over top of the dough. 
Important to remember:  This is a very soft dough, you will need to simply proceed with the directions, knowing that all will turn out as promised.


Turn the dough over in a tossing gesture, to gently coat with flour. Roll/pat dough out into a flat rectangle 
about 1/2 inch thick.

Spread with the filling, to within 1 inch of the perimeter of the dough. You will want the outside edges free from the filling, so that you can keep the filling in the dough together before cutting.

Filling
3 T melted butter
6 T sugar
3 t cinnamon
3 T brown sugar
Combine to make a spreadable paste.

Starting on the long side, roll up the dough.

 
Cut the rolled up dough into 12 equal pieces.

 I prefer to work in sections, I divide into four sections, then cut 3 rolls from each section.

Because the dough is soft, it may not keep a pretty shape, again do not worry. Simply proceed to cut each section and place the dough rolls into the pan.


Place in a prepared 9X13 pan. Cover again and let rise until doubled, 45 - 60 minutes.



Bake at 350 degrees for 25-35 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool. Glaze if desired.



Glaze
1/2 c powdered sugar
1 1/2 t milk
1/4 t vanilla
1 t butter
Beat until smooth, spread lightly over cooled rolls.

Makes 12 large rolls

Recipe rating:  Oh Yes! (will make again)

As always thanks so much for stopping by, have a great Sunday!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

lettuce soup, seriously?

This is earthy, warm and delicious.

If I was taken to food abuse court, I would have to plead, "I'm guilty, your Honor". Because I am guilty of food waste. I do not like that I am guilty of the crime; and I am placing myself on self imposed probation for the remainder of my future to monitor my behavior and not repeat this crime again.

I am not proud to report this crime, and the imposed sentence, but honesty is a fault of this blog!

Yet it is so easy to commit this crime. You shop, you eat, you want, you eat, you do not monitor. It is that simple. .......you do not monitor...... That is when it happens, you do not monitor the food already purchased, that should be cooked and or eaten, before the purchase of more food.

Personally I have never been a mood eater, eating only what I was in the mood to eat. No; I am more of a nomad, eating what is there until I am no longer hungry, or full. My eating style is actually less dignified than that, because I will just fill up on what is close at hand, never caring if I am eating correctly or not.  But picky, I am not.

Oh sure, there are a lot of excuses I can use, and they are valid if I actually needed to plead my case with the Judge, but they are excuses none the less. The reason? I cook. It is as simple as that. I cook, enjoy cooking and food should not be wasted in this house. And yet, I am so guilty of produce waste.

I have given this some thought, and come up with two areas that will help avoid produce waste in the future. Sipping soups and Smoothies. I enjoy soup, and usually the soups made here are meat and stock based or stock, meat and beans. Soups so hearty they are the meal. I will still make these and have some in the freezer ready to go, for those days that dinner was not planned well. A sipping soup on the other hand is light, smooth (blended) and ready for a quick warming on the stove.

Lettuce soup, really? Yes, really.  A quick google and you can find many recipes for this soup. Previously I had noticed it in a beautiful presentation on Foodgwaker, for the same reason I will make it today. To prevent food waste.

Lettuce Sipping Soup
adapted from the web

1 shallot or small onion, chopped
2 T oil
1 medium potato, peeled and diced
4 c (packed tightly) shredded salad greens
1 t garlic salt 
1 t thyme, crushed finely or herb of choice
11/2 - 2 c broth
1/2 - 1 c water
2 T white wine

Saute shallot in oil, add remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, cover and simmer 25 minutes.










This looks like a salad ready to be tossed. This was right before putting the lid on to simmer.

Carefully puree in a blender. Adjust salt and or seasoning to please. To finish, add 2 t balsamic vinegar. Refrigerate.

This looks like a green smoothie, and really it is - a warm and savory sipping soup.

To serve, heat a portion, add 2 T yogurt, stir and sip. This is good, it is mild, tangy and good for you!
Serves 4-6

Recipe rating:  Hmmmm. (thought this would be better)

As always thanks so much for stopping by,
I do appreciate your visits.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Scallion, Parsley and Cheddar Bread


I think that is, what is happening. So many things are wonderful about an old fashion life, like time together (without TV or ?), eating together (instead of over the sink), cooking the food you eat (no membership in those take it home places), and a whole host of other old fashion ways, thoughts and simple stuff that suits your own family. Which is why we reminisce about years ago, in so many ways we want some of that today. Like homemade bread.

So lets talk bread, shall we?

For years I avoided purchasing a bread machine. Why? Well the list is quite long actually, but here goes and I request you not judge me too harshly.

1. I know how to knead, and some days I like to knead. It is great for tension relief.
2. I have a kitchen aid mixer with dough hook, for those times I don't need tension relief!
3. I considered myself an old fashion cook, and therefore WHY would I have one?
4. I am stubborn and I had already declared my status of being an old fashion cook, and couldn't change now.
5. Years ago a co-worker brought AMB bread to share, I did not think it was different from store bought bread.
6. Yet I can be wrong, and I was. I have a bread machine now.

Why the change? As I was baking bread I noticed that with the kids married and gone from the dinner table my recipes were out of date. I had stale bread coming out my ears or riding on my hips. Neither place is the right place for bread, by the way. I have been know to purchase specialty baking items from the King Arthur Flour company and I came across the page in the catalog that displayed their stock of bread machines. Being the old fashioned cook that I am, decided to simply turn the page and get on to the serious purchases that I needed, when I spotted it. The line...Why you should purchase a bread machine.

Oh yeah, I thought, really? But I read why, and they were........well they were right. I did not purchase from KAF, instead I purchased the machine I still own today (9+years) on sale at a local store. I was impressed with the machines KAF offered, but what did I know about baking in a bread machine anyway, and honestly felt I should go frugal to begin the journey. This is the line that sold me on a bread machine.

"The perfect kitchen machine to mix, knead and bake a single perfect loaf of bread". Or words to that effect, remember it was 9 plus years ago.

There it was in print, before my eyes, ready for me to take the information in and use it accordingly.
A single perfect loaf of bread, just what I was looking for. A way to make bread and not have it come out my ears or ride my hips! And thus began my partnership with the AMB.

I do not bake in the bread machine. I prefer the additional rise of the dough, after the dough cycle has ended. This allows a shaping of the dough that is what you need for the meal you are serving the bread with. I found personally the pan shape in the AMB was not what I was after, most of the time. I also think the additional rise adds flavor to the finished product. Plus you can start with refrigerated eggs and milk and the dough cycle will warm everything perfectly. However baking in the machine is perfectly acceptable.

Scallion, Parsley and Cheddar Bread
adapted from, The bread Machine Cookbook II
1 c water or whey
2 T butter
1 c sliced scallions, I chop through the sliced scallions to make smaller pieces
1 bunch Italian flat leaf parsley, prepared
2 eggs
1 1/2 t garlic salt
2 T sugar or 1 T for water if you prefer
1/4 t black pepper
1 1/2 c whole wheat flour
 2 c flour
 2 1/2 t (scant T) yeast
1 c grated sharp cheddar for second step

To prepare the parsley, wash, drain, pluck and squeeze.











Roll leaves in the towel, twist in opposite directions, loop and secure with a rubber band.


 
Load ingredients into machine in order listed. Press dough cycle. When cycle is complete, remove dough from machine, press into a rectangle of approximate 9X13 size, sprinkle with the cheddar.

 I prefer working from a shallow rimmed pan, it keep the working area small. Flour does not go everywhere, and keeps the clean up, to just a few items.

Roll dough up starting at the corner, you will get a rustic free form loaf. Transfer dough to large flat baking sheet, cover with a clean towel. let rise until double in size. The final rise goes quickly, if your house is a bit cool, just find a warm spot. This final rise time should be between 30-45 minutes, depending upon conditions. 











When dough is doubled, slash in a diamond pattern (does not show real well in this photo) and add a little trail of cheese. This is step is completely optional, and simply for presentation.


Bake in a preheated oven at 400 degrees 10 minutes, reduce to 350 degrees and continue baking 25 to 35 minutes.

Let cool, and serve your family with pride.

Recipe rating:  Oh Yes! (will make again)

As always thanks so much for stopping for a visit. I love having company, come to call!

This post is being linked to: Make it from Scratch #181 

Simple Lives Thursday @ GNOWFGLINS

Pennywise Platter Thursday @ Nourishing Gourmet