Monthly Archives: January 2010

Whole Wheat Pizza Crust

When I learned that my husband was building an outdoor stone pizza oven I panicked!  I am not really into baking and had never even tried to make crust, much less own a mixer!  I immediately started my on-line research in the hope of  mastering the art of pizza dough.  This, of course, naturally led me to Craigslist–there was NO WAY I was manually whipping together a crust!!  So I went searching for an almost-new 6 qt, professional, KitchenAid mixer that wouldn’t break my bank.  The seller lived in a trailer court on the south side of Springfield.  Wow, that was an interesting and sorta scary experience that I may share at another time, but I am happy to say that I did get the mixer!  After VERY thoroughly disinfecting it and MYSELF (I think the cigarette stench is still lingering on my skin-ugh) I started my crust experimentation.

Andy and I prefer cracker-thin, super crispy crust which isn’t as easy as it sounds.  Especially since I was determined to make it as healthful as possible.  I found a whole-wheat crust recipe on-line and after much research and many modifications I think this is about as good as it will get!

So here it goes…

Whole Wheat Pizza Crust

Servings 3-4 pizzas

1 pkg yeast or 2 1/4 t

1 1/2 c warm water

3 1/2 c whole wheat bread flour (I bought mine at a local organic grocery here in Springfield–whole foods probably has it as well)

2 t salt

2 t sugar

evoo as needed

In a bowl, add the yeast and sugar to the water and let sit while preparing the dry ingredients.

Put all of the dry ingredients in the mixer and give it a spin.  Once the yeast has sprung to life (top will get a little bubbly and you will smell the yeast), slowly add it to the dry ingredients with the mixer on low.  Once all ingredients are mixed together, replace your mixing attachment on the mixer with the dough hook.  Use the dough hook on low for a couple of minutes.  Move the mixing bowl to a warm location.  Put a thin coat of evoo on the dough, cover and let it rise for an hour or two.  Once it has risen to your liking, punch it down and divide into 4 equal parts (if you like thicker crust, divide in a 1/3 or 1/2).  You can either let this rise again or start rolling it out (which is what I do).  I roll it super thin and brush it with garlic infused evoo (see my recipe for roasted garlic and/or garlic infused evoo).  It is now ready to bake.  I strongly suggest investing in a pizza stone if you don’t have one.  Make sure that you let the stone warm up with the oven — DO NOT put a cold stone in a hot oven IT WILL CRACK!

Pre-bake the pizza crust at 500 for 3-5 minutes.  Remove from the oven and add your toppings.  Bake again for 7-10 minutes or until you are happy with how the pimma looks!

Bon Appetit!

Pizza Sauce

My husband is building a pizza oven for us, so I have taken on the task of making the perfect pie!  I should begin by saying that I LOVE pizza with a lot of sauce (or at least I used to) and think it is probably the most critical ingredient on the pizza!  What I have realized through my experimentation is that you really don’t need a lot of sauce if the sauce is packed full of flavor.  So here is my version of a super simple, yet flavorful sauce!  I hope you love it as much as we do!!

Pizza Sauce

3-4 servings (small pizzas)

1 14 oz can stewed tomatoes

3-4 cloves garlic

2 t dried oregano

2 t dried basil

dash of sea salt

1-2 t freshly ground black pepper

splash of agave nectar

1 t (or more) chipotle pepper flakes

Thow it all in the blender and let it rip!  I wasn’t lying, right?  Super Simple and very tasty!!

Chicken and Citrus Clay Pot

I made this for dinner last night and HAD to have a big bowl for breakfast this morning! It is soooo tasty! I think the addition of snow peas, sweet potato/yam cubes, and/or baby carrots would be very nice!

Chicken and Citrus Clay Pot

In a large clay pot add the following ingredients:

1 1/2 # chicken thighs

1 14 oz can reduced fat coconut milk

1 14 oz can stewed tomatoes

1 14 oz can garbanzo beans (with juice)

2 T cumin seeds

1/4 C lemon juice

1 T freshly ground black pepper

2 T soy sauce

2 T agave nectar (honey or just brown sugar would work fine)

1-2 T crushed chipotle pepper flakes

1 C frozen or fresh pineapple and mango

1 1/2  yellow onion chopped

1 1/2 red, yellow, or orange bell pepper julienned

2 T garlic

1 t cayenne pepper

Add salt to balance the heat and sweetness once the pot is fully cooked.  This will keep it from being to salty  Also, this dish may need more black pepper or hot pepper once it is cooked–adjust accordingly!!

Stir the ingredients well.  I like to put the fruit on the top so the juices run into the pot as they thaw and cook.  Place in a cold oven.  Start oven on 250 degrees F.  Cook for at least 2 hours.  Stir the pot well.    Raise temp to 350 degrees F and cook for another 1-2 hours.   I think the flavors are best if cooked for 5 hours or more.

Serve this over basmati rice cooked to your liking!

Jumbo Shrimp and Couscous

This is a super fast and EASY recipe! We buy the shrimp frozen from costco or sams. I often mix together the marinade and thaw the shrimp in the marinade so the shrimp adds flavor to the marinade/sauce while it thaws. I serve it with a side salad and a nice white wine.

Shrimp and Couscous

3-4 servings

1 1/2 # Jumbo Shrimp (not cooked, peeled and  deveined)

Marinade:

1 1/2 t kosher salt

2 t freshly ground black pepper

1-2 T evoo

1/2 c lemon juice

2 T minced garlic

1 T cumin seeds

1 t chipotle pepper flakes

1 T roughly chopped fresh rosemary or dry.  If using ground rosemary drop to 1 t

1 T roughly chopped marjoram or 1 t dry (I ground)

1 T fresh thyme or 1 T dry.  If using ground drop to 1 t

Mix together marinade ingredients.  Add shrimp and marinade for 1 hour.

Grill shrimp on george forman or whatever you like to grill on.  Do not overcook or they will be rubbery.  I usually do 2-3 minutes/side…when the color is pink/white through then they are done.

While the shrimp is cooking reduce the marinade in a sauce pan over low/med until it thickens a bit.  Probably 5-7 min is good.

In a small pot add evoo, black pepper, cumin seeds, and chipotle pepper and cook on low/med until warm.  Add onion and cook for 2-3 minutes.  Add remainder of ingredients (including the couscous) and stir well.  Add water and bring to boil.  Cover and let sit for 4-5 minutes.

Couscous (3-4 servings)

1/2 c finely chopped red onion

1 T fresh parsley

1/8 c toasted pine nuts

1/8 c currants, raisins or dried cranberries

1 T freshly ground black pepper

1 t sea salt or kosher

1 T brown sugar

1 T chili powder

1 T EVOO

Before you start grilling the shrimp get the couscous going.

In a small pot add evoo, black pepper, cumin seeds, and chipotle pepper and cook on low/med until warm.  Add onion and cook for 2-3 minutes.  Add remainder of ingredients (including the couscous).  Add water and bring to boil.  Cover and let sit for 4-5 minutes.

Serve the shrimp over the cousous and drizzle the sauce over the top of the dish.  Finish with some chopped cilantro or green onions.

Orange Tilapia Sriracha

So I saw this dish on the menu at a restaurant in KC.  I immediately knew I needed to give this one a try.  I didn’t measure the ingredients when I whipped it up the other night, but the estimates listed below are pretty close.

Orange Tilapia Sriracha

Servings 2-3 (depends on your appetite)

1.5 # Tilapia

Marinade:

1/2 cup Orange Juice

1/4 cup Soy Sauce

splash of sesame oil

1-2 T grated ginger

1/2-1 T sriracha (how hot do you like it??)

1 T crushed garlic

2 T lime juice

Mix together all ingredients for the marinade and let stand at room temperature for at least an hour for the flavors to marry (seems quick for such a commitment, huh?).  Add fish to the marinade and let sit for 15-30 minutes (depends on how much flavor you want to incorporate into the fish).

Preheat a frying pan (non-stick if possible) to med-med/high.  Add just a dash of oil.  Brown the fish on both sides (about 2 min/side).  Add the marinade to the pan.  Turn heat to low-med/low.  Reduce the sauce in the pan for about 5 minutes or until you feel it has thickened enough to really enjoy.  Take the fish out if you plan on cooking the sauce for more than 5 minutes.  Serve the fish over a bed of rice.  Drizzle the sauce over the top.

Serve with a side salad, or a side of edamame and a nice dry white or pinot noir.  Enjoy!

Additions to recipe.  You can add some steamed veggies (like broccoli, sweet peas, carmelized onions, etc) to the dish for an even healthier and more delicious dish!