Man am I happy I had this idea! A cheesy cornmeal pizza crust topped with spicy white wine-garlic-lemon infused tomato sauce, parmesan and cheddar cheese, and spicy marinated shrimp = amazingness! In case you missed my other posts, I've also made some awesome whole wheat caeser salad pizza and greek pizza recently. But, I have to say, this pizza might just top them both! In fact, I love making pizzas so much I'm thinking about dropping out of nursing school and becoming a pizza maker! Well, not really, but I'm at least thinking about making a lot more pizza.
Seriously, if you've never had shrimp and grits before, go make them soon. If you're like I was and you think you don't like grits, try this recipe and I swear you will be converted forever...they're sort of like super cheesy cornmeal mashed potatoes.
I think this pizza comes pretty darn close to the original. It's got all of the components plus a spicy tomato sauce (sorta like the broth) that is to-die-for, and it's all on a super-simple to prepare pizza. I always make my own crust, but because this recipe is already semi-involved for a pizza I bought a package of already mixed dried pizza dough that requires only water (and...no rising). It is super tasty as is but just to drive home the shrimp and grits theme I added parmesan cheese and cornmeal to the batter. Make it deep dish and you have a fantastic and easy pizza - no annoying pizza stones or pulling of dough, just stretch it into a pie plate and it's done. :)
Deep Dish "Shrimp and Grits" Pizza
For the spicy white-wine-garlic-lemon infused tomato sauce:
2 tbl olive oil
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup white wine
zest of 1/2 lemon
In a medium saucepan over medium heat combine the olive oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Cook until the garlic is soft and golden brown, about 1-2 minutes. Add in the entire can of crushed tomatoes with the salt and cook for another 5 minutes. Add in the white wine, bring to a boil, and turn the heat off. Stir in the lemon zest.
For the spicy marinated shrimp:
1/2 pound raw peeled shrimp, cut into 1/2" pieces
1/2 tsp paprika
pinch cayenne pepper
2 tbl white wine
juice from 1/2 lemon
Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl to coat the shrimp. Let marinade for at least 15 minutes.
For the pizza dough:
1 pckg Betty Crocker pizza dough mix
1/3 cup white corn meal
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
2/3 cup warm water
Remove 1/4 cup of the pizza dough mix and discard. In a bowl whisk together the remaining pizza dough mix and cornmeal. Stir in the parmesan cheese and add the warm water. Mix to combine and spread out over the bottom and sides of a greased 9"x1 1/2" pie plate.
1 cup spicy white-wine-garlic-lemon infused tomato sauce
2/3 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/3 cup grated mozzerella cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
spicy marinated shrimp
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Meanwhile assemble the pizza. Spread the tomato sauce over the bottom and up the sides of the pizza. Top with all of the cheeses. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and arrange the shrimp pieces on the pizza. Bake for another 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the shrimp are pink.
I once heard that the most bought food item before a hurricane are pop-tarts. So, in honor of Hurricane Irene, I'm sharing this toaster pastry recipe. It hasn't hit here in Western Mass yet, but we're starting to get rain and the storm clouds are approaching. Tomorrow she should be here in all her glory. I hope everyone stays safe and warm this weekend!
You could use just about any filling you want here, let your creativity run wild. I chose nutella and thinly sliced banana which, if you were wondering, was amazing. The recipe here is a very simple pastry dough that came with the toaster pastry cutters (from William Sonoma). It gets almost elasticy when rolled out which is a good thing when you're rolling the dough only 1/8 inch thick. Overall, these were really easy to make and fun to decorate. I can't wait to try other variations like chocolate dough and flavored frosting. :)
Toaster Pastry Dough
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tbl sugar
2 sticks (16 tbl) salted butter, ice cold and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
6 tbl - 8 tbl ice cold water
In a food processor, pulse together the flour and sugar. Add the butter and pulse until coarse and crumbly, about 10 times. Add in 6 tbl of water and pulse until combined. Add more water, as needed, until the dough comes together and is slightly sticky. Divide into two disks, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 2 hours. Roll out, cut, fill, cover with another cut out, seal, and bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes.
Recipe adapted from William Sonoma
So, do you watch True Blood? I do. I watch it every Sunday. In honor of True Blood this Sunday I made these bloody maries. Just because. Now that I think about it (beause I rarely think) I suppose it's fitting because they're red and have the word "bloody" in them. Although, at the time, I thought they would be perfect because they sort of reminded me of New Orleans. And everyone knows that vampires and New Orleans go together like peanut butter and jelly. You see, I can say this for sure because I am a true vampire-ist (made up word). I was a vampire crazed teen long before it was cool to be a vampire crazed teen.
But now that I'm older and not a teen I like to drink bloody marries while watching True Blood. I still love Anne Rice and the Vampire Chronicles, but I'm all set with Twilight. I hope you make these bloody maries, whether you like True Blood or Twilight or vampires at all. If you enjoy a good bloody mary, you'll enjoy these. The tomato juice is actually marinated with onion, garlic, and jalepeno.
Triple-Spice Bloody Mary
1 46-oz container vegetable juice
1 large onion, peeled and cut in half
1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
10-12 ounces pepper vodka
2 tbl wocestershire sauce
1 tsp hot sauce
1 1/2 tbl horseradish
juice of 1 lemon
2 tbl apple cider vinegar
2 tbl juice from cocktail olives
salt and black pepper to taste
cocktail olives, celery, and pickled olives to garnish (optional)
Pour the vegetable juice into a 2-liter pitcher. Carefully add in the onion and garlic. Make shallow lengthwise slices down the jalepeno to release some of the flavors and add to the pitcher. Let marinate overnight or for as long as you have.
Remove the jalepeno, onion, and garlic (I used my leftovers to make this jicama salsa). Add in the rest of the ingredients and stir. Pour into glasses and garnish with cocktail olives, celery, and pickled vegetables if desired.
Inspired by this recipe from Lucinda Scala Quinn
So, I know this soup picture is totally ugly. So what if it looks like I took the pic with a disposable camera? This is the best tomato soup I've ever had. I detest canned tomato soup with a passion yet I've always loved ketchup, tomato sauce, fresh tomatoes, etc. It just recently occurred to me that I probably don't actually hate tomato soup, I just don't care for the canned variety. I was totally right. This soup tastes nothing like the canned version. It has so much more flavor, texture, and real tomato taste.
Since, as I've been
[Whole Wheat] Bread and Tomato Soup
1/2 cup olive oil
3 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
6 cups whole wheat bread without crusts, cut into 1" cubes
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
4 cups vegetable stock (or water)
1 tsp dried basil
2 tsp kosher salt plus more to taste
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over low heat. Sauté the garlic until cooked just fragrant, then add the bread cubes. Stir until all the oil is absorbed into the bread and the bread is toasted. Add the tomatoes, stock (or water), basil, and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat. Simmer until the bread breaks down, about 20 minutes. Remove the garlic. Alternatively, pulse with a handheld blender to make the soup extra smooth.
Recipe adapted from Epicurious
I bought a pair of jeggings yesterday. Surprisingly, I'm still here. God did not strike me dead. The earth didn't end - although we did feel an earthquake out in western MA, but that's a different story entirely. Back to the jeggings...the faux-pocket-zipper jeggings. What is the world coming to? Oh well, life's short. Now I can say I wore jeggings in my misguided 20-something years. It's all good.
But here's something that's much better...or worse...depending on your outlook. I made this huge dense root beer float bundt cake for absolutely no reason last night (nerves). I'm getting two wisdom teeth pulled tomorrow. At least I will not be eating this bundt cake. Nope, no sir. I'm busy making strawberry-pistachio and nutella-salted caramel pudding cups for the next few days. I don't have the tooth power to gnaw on bundt cakes, I have to save my energy for tomato soup and Bobby Lee on Saturday. Hopefully I can down enough scorpion bowls to make me forget my wisdom teeth woes and gnaw on some sushi for a little while. Oh, small pleasures.
If you're unfamiliar with Baked: New Frontiers in Baking, this is probably the most important (did I use that right?) recipe of the book. It's all over the "blogosphere", probably because it's just so different. In the end, it's a really really good chocolate root beer flavored cake with a really yummy root beer fudge frosting. I'm rethinking my stance against bundt cakes as you're reading this. :)
Root Beer Float Bundt Cake
For the root beer bundt:
2 cups root beer (don't use diet root beer, also - try to find a root beer that has sugar instead of corn syrup - I used Jones's)
1 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder
8 tbl (1 stick) salted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and spray a 10-inch bundt pan generously with non-stick spray.
In a small saucepan melt together the root beer, cocoa powder, and butter over medium heat. Whisk in the sugars until dissolved and remove from the heat to let cool. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
In a small bowl whisk the eggs together. Slowly whisk them into the cooled root beer mixture until incorporated. Gently fold the flour mixture into the cocoa mixture until just combined, it will be lumpy and that's fine - be sure not to overmix.
Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan and bake for 35-40 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking. The bundt is done when a knife inserted into the cake comes out clean, with just a few crumbs. Cool completely and turn out onto a wire rack.
For the root beer fudge frosting:
2 ounces dark (60%) chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
8 tbl (1 stick) salted butter, at room temp
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup root beer
2/3 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
vanilla ice cream for serving (optional)
Dump all ingredients into a food processor and pulse away until combined. Spread on the bundt cake with knife or offset spatula and let set before serving with vanilla ice cream.
Recipe from Baked Explorations
I made this salsa into a meal the other day. I had some amazing chocolate peanut butter pretzel brownies for dessert and I wanted to be able to eat one without feeling guilty. The addition of the jicama made it a little more hearty. I love the fresh crunch of it along with the tomatoes, cilantro, and lemon. It is so refreshing and light. It would be perfect with a piece of white fish as a light dinner. Seeing as how this makes so much, it would be pretty good in canning jars as a gift...too bad I don't have my stash of canning jars with me today. Darn.
Jicama looks like a pretty intimidating ingredient at first. It's big, heavy, and has a tough skin. Don't be scared away! The flavor inside is so mild, light, crisp, and refreshing. It goes so well in so many dishes as an added element of fresh crispness. The skin easily peels of with a normal vegetable peeler. After that just slice it up and add it to your dish. :)
Fresh Jicama Salsa
1/2 large onion, finely diced
1 jalepeno, seeded and minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 large jicama, finely diced
4 large tomatoes, diced juice and all
1/3 cup cilantro, finely chopped
juice of 1 lemon (or lime)
2 tbs apple cider vinegar
1 tsp salt
Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Eat right away or let sit overnight.
I put my daughter to bed tonight without a diaper. She's not potty trained yet. She's sleeping in her cousin's bed who we are house-sitting for. Is this wrong? It's not that I wanted to put her to bed with no diaper on, it's more that she ripped the diaper off and insisted that she go to bed "just plain". Kids. Anyways, she's just too cute to say no to all the time. Plus, what am I supposed to do when she repeatedly rips the diaper off? Say, "Now you can't go to bed unless you have on a diaper?" That would mean she could run around naked like a crazy person all night, which is just what she wants. So, no diaper it is. It's kind of experimental I suppose. At the worst I'll have to give an extra bath and do an extra load of laundry. Ahh well, anyways, now I'm making these chocolate peanut butter pretzel brownies.
I stole this recipe flat out from Joy the Baker. I love her (who doesn't?) and I visit her site on a daily basis. She has awesome ideas :). Anyways, hers might be prettier than mine, but mine are giant! That did not sound like as much of a redeeming quality in writing as it did in my head...yes, mine are giant due to giant pretzels and overbaked...but...they are still AMAZING. And I think next time, which will be soon, I will listen to my gut instead of my boyfriend's pretty mouth and make nutella brownies with or without pretzels. These brownies are wicked cool.
On a totally seperate but related note, Joy the Baker inspired me to do pretty things with my nails this week, and here are the results:
Yay! I feel girly. :)
Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Brownies
*Makes 9 large or 6 super-large brownies
For the brownies:
8 tbl (1 stick) salted butter
7 ounces (2 3.5 oz bars) good quality dark chocolate - 60% or more
3/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
For the peanut butter topping:
4 tbl salted butter, melted
1/2 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
pretzels and coarse sea salt for topping
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Prepare an 8x8 baking pan by buttering the entire thing, fitting it with parchment or wax paper to hang over on two sides, and buttering the parchment/wax paper. Set aside.
To make the brownies: In a medium saucepan over low heat (or if your inclined, a double boiler) heat the stick of butter and chocolate until just melted. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract and sugar. Meanwhile, whisk together the flour and baking powder in a seperate bowl. When the chocolate mixture has cooled enough, whisk in the eggs one at a time. Fold in the flour mixture and pour into the baking pan.
To make the peanut butter topping: Mix together all ingredients until smooth. Pour over the brownie batter and swirl around with a knife. Top with pretzels and coarse sea salt.
Bake for 35-40 minutes or until just set and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with a few crumbs. Cool for an hour before removing from pan and slicing.
Recipe slightly adapted from Joy the Baker
Notes to myself (Sarah) on today (Wednesday) 8/16/11:
1. Stop eating over the kitchen sink!
2. Stop nibbling on anything and everything after dinner.
3. Stop making more food than can humanly be consumed in one sitting, it calls you later, silly.
4. Drink only one can of diet coke per day, not 3 and 1/2
5. Drink more yerba mate chai mate tea, because it is amazing.
6. You are having your wisdom teeth removed in less than one week, start getting pudding recipes.
7. You are having your wisdom teeth removed in less than one week, stop eating so much crap or you will totally get major sick-o like last time and be in pain and super duper nauseated and such.
8. More veggies.
That is all.
I love pie. :)
I am so proud that I finally completed this recipe. I was storing a recipe for old-fashioned cherry vanilla pie in my archives forever, and when I went to make it this week I realized that it used tapioca as a thickener...a little strange for me so I trashed the original and came up with my own to ensure proper cherry to juice ratio. Very important mathematical equations have been used to determine this ratio. Actually, I just threw away the first batch and adjusted some ingredients to make it p-e-r-f-e-c-t. I love a good cherry pie. And I love minis. Because they're cute and because who doesn't want their own pie all for themselves? Anyways, cherry pie is my favorite so I definitly want my own.
I was totally burnt out from making this baked lemon meringue pie the other day. I usually never buy anything store-bought, but I broke down after seeing this recipe from Gingerbread Bagels. On a related but seperate note, I am really sick of my pie crusts sticking like glue to the bottom of my pie plates. No matter how much I butter and grease and try not to push down it ALWAYS sticks. Is the only answer just to use non-stick pie plates? Help please, and thank you. :)
Here's way too many pictures (11 actually) of me making pie.
Cherry Vanilla Mini Pies
*Makes three mini pies, 4"x1".
For the crust:
1 pckg Pillsbury pre-made sugar cookie dough, in the refrigerated section
-After making this with the above cookie dough, I reccomend that you make your own sugar cookie dough, unless you like the taste of store-bought...I discovered (sadly) it's not for me.
1/2 cup flour
In a large bowl, mix together the cookie dough and flour. Divide the dough into 4 equal portions. Refrigerate one portion in plastic wrap. Butter 3 mini pie plates (4"x1"). Gently press one piece of dough into each pie plate and use your fingers to spread the dough out. Chill the pie plates while you make the filling.
For the cherry vanilla filling:
3 cups fresh or frozen pitted cherries
2 tbl water
3 tbl sugar
1 tbl cornstarch
3 tbl tart cherry preserves
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
*I recently had a run in with a really alcohol-y pure vanilla extract. It ruined my first pie and tasted like medicine. I swear by this vanilla extract by Nielsen-Massey.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat cook the cherries with 2 tbl water until slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl whisk together the sugar and cornstarch until no lumps remain. Add the sugar mixture to the cherries and cook until dissolved, about 30 seconds. Add in the cherry preserves and vanilla extract and continue cooking until the mixture thickens considerably, another minute. Divide the filling equally among the 3 mini pie plates and top with reserved dough: divide the dough into 12 small balls, roll each ball into a 4" log, flatten the log into a strip, crisscross strips over pies to form lattice-work, and seal edges. Alternatively you can simply fold in the sides of the pie dough to form a sort of tart. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes or until the crust is golden and the filling is bubbly.
This week I'm house-sitting for my brother and sister-in-law. While they're away on vacation I get to hang out in their house and bake in their kitchen which, might I add, is much nicer than what I'm used to. Tonight for dinner we're having New Orleans style "barbecue" shrimp, spicy garlic shrimp, sticky rice, spicy garlic string beans, bloody maries (to be posted later), and...lemon meringue pie. It's not very often that I go all out like this for dinner. To make up for this ridiculous meal I skipped breakfast and lunch and just ate pop-tarts and coffee. I know, real healthy Sarah...
Lemon meringue pie happens to be the only dessert I can always get my boyfriend to eat, along with raspberry thumbprint cookies. Even though he's not health conscious (unlike me, obvi) he is uber-picky. In a strange way he's obsessed with lemon meringue pie, yet he is totally non-discriminating when it comes to where the pie came from...frozen, store-bought, or homemade doesn't really matter to him. But with this version I actually got him to say he liked it BETTER than the Stop and Shop kind he usually buys. I guess that's a score for me. This is the fourth or fifth version I've tried. I finally got smart and started using a sweet tart dough in place of the bland pastry dough crust he never cared for. The lemon curd filling isn't too tart or sweet but contains an inordinate amount of butter which is what sets the consistency (along with egg whites which, in my opinion, lend a less desireable texture...maybe I'll go back to a cornstarch thickened filling next time). I'd never actually made a lemon curd that required me to bake it in the oven, what a strange concept. I think I'll need to make this exact recipe a few more times to get it right. The jury is still out, for me, on which I prefer. When it comes to meringue I'm not a big fan, but I have to say that my idea to add some lemon zest much improved it for me. I hope you all have a great Tuesday, make it special, and bake!!
Lemon Meringue Pie
For the sweet tart/pastry dough:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick plus 1 tbl (9 tbl) very cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2" pieces
1 large egg
Pulse the flour, sugar, and salt together in the bowl of a food processor. Scatter the pieces of butter over the dry ingredients and pulse until the butter is coarsely cut in. You should see a coarse and grainy texture with pea-sized chunks scattered throughout. In a seperate bowl whisk the egg together with a fork and add it to the food processor. Process in long pulses, about 10 seconds each, until the dough forms clumps and comes together. Chill the dough, wrapped in plastic, for about 2 hours before rolling.
Butter a 9-inch pie plate. Roll out the chilled dough on floured sheet of parchment paper to a 12-inch round, lifting and turning dough occasionally to free from paper. Alternatively, you can roll this out between two pieces of plastic. Turn the dough into the prepared pie plate, using the paper as an aid. Seal any cracks in the dough, trim the overhang to about 1/2", fold the overhang in, and seal with thumb and index finger. Pierce the dough allover with a fork. Freeze the crust for at least 30 minutes while you preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Butter one side of a sheet of aluminum foil and fit it, buttered side down, tightly against the pie crust. Put the pie plate on a baking sheet and bake the crust for 20 minutes. Carefully remove the foil. If the crust has puffed, press it down gently with the back of a spoon. Let cool while you prepare the lemon curd.
*Recipe adapted from The Smitten Kitchen
For the lemon curd filling:
3 large eggs
5 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
3 tbl milk
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
8 tbl salted butter
Add all ingredients, except butter, into a non-reactive pot over medium-low heat. Whisk together and cook until sugar is dissolved. Add in the butter, 1 tbl at a time, melting in each pice before adding the next. Cook, stirring constantly, until a spoon leaves its mark in the curd, about 8-10 minutes. Let cool to room temperature and add to the pie crust. Bake at 375 for another 15-20 minutes, or until the curd is set and the crust is browned.
*Recipe adapted from William Sonoma
For the meringue topping:
5 egg whites
1 tsp vanilla extract
zest of 1 lemon
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/3 cup sugar
Add all ingredients, except sugar, into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat until frothy. Slowly add in the sugar, 1 tbl at a time, until it is all incorporated. Beat until stiff peaks form being careful not to overbeat and cause the meringue to seperate. Spread the meringue over the hot pie. Bake for an additional 10-15 minutes at 375 degrees or until the merinuge is browned. Let cool at room temperature for at least one hour before chilling in the fridge for 4-5 hours.