Sunday, August 30, 2009

Trisha's Birthday Cake

Doncha' Love It?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

White Pizza with Arugula

This was my first shot at homemade pizza dough, and it was so good!! Thanks go to Angela of Nummy Kitchen for this weeks Barefoot Bloggers choice. I halved the dough and made four smaller pizza with this half, and put the other half in the freezer for later. I also added prosciutto for some extra protein. These were a big hit for my future sister-in-law Hannah's birthday dinner, and I know that I'll make them again soon.


For the dough:
1 1/4 cups warm (100 to 110) water
2 packages dry yeast
1 tablespoon honey
Good olive oil
4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for kneading
Kosher salt
4 cloves garlic, sliced
5 sprigs fresh thyme
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

For the topping:
3 cups grated Italian fontina cheese (8 ounces)
1 1/2 cups grated fresh mozzarella cheese (7 ounces)
11 ounces creamy goat cheese, such as montrachet, crumbled
For the vinaigrette:nocoupons
1/2 cup good olive oil
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces baby arugula
1 lemon, sliced


Combine the water, yeast, honey and 3 tablespoons of olive oil in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. When the yeast is dissolved, add 3 cups of flour, then 2 teaspoons salt, and mix on medium-low speed. While mixing, add up to 1 more cup of flour, or just enough to make a soft dough. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes until smooth, sprinkling it with the flour as necessary to keep it from sticking to the bowl.

When the dough is ready, turn it out onto a floured board and knead it by hand a dozen times. It should be smooth and elastic.

Place the dough in a well-oiled bowl and turn it to cover it lightly with oil. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and allow the dough to rise at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Place 1/2 cup of olive oil, the garlic, thyme and red pepper flakes in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat. Cook for 10 minutes, making sure the garlic doesn't burn. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. (Be sure your oven is clean!)

Dump the dough onto a board and divide it into 6 equal pieces. Place the doughs on sheet pans lined with parchment paper and cover them with a damp towel. Allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes. Use immediately, or refrigerate for up to 4 hours.

Press and stretch each ball into an 8-inch circle and place 2 circles on each sheet pan lined with parchment paper. (If you've chilled the dough, take it out of the refrigerator approximately 30 minutes ahead to let it come to room temperature.)

Brush the pizzas with the garlic oil, and sprinkle each one liberally with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the pizzas evenly with fontina, mozzarella and goat cheese. Drizzle each pizza with 1 tablespoon more of the garlic oil and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until the crusts are crisp and the cheeses begin to brown.

Meanwhile, whisk together 1/2 cup of olive oil, the lemon juice, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.

When the pizzas are done, place the arugula in a large bowl and toss with just enough lemon vinaigrette to moisten. Place a large bunch of arugula on each pizza and a slice of lemon and serve immediately.

Source: Ina Garten Back to Basics, page 82

Monday, August 17, 2009

Mongolian Beef

The guys at my house are big Asian cuisine fans. Generally Asian recipes are very labor intensive and involve a lot of different ingredients that I don't keep at home. When I saw this recipe last Thursday on elly says opa!, I knew that I had to try it. The only ingredient that I had to buy was the flank steak. I made a few changes, including adding much more brown sugar (we like sweet sauces) and adding some Sriracha chili sauce for more heat.

Mongolian Beef

1 lb. flank steak, sliced across the grain
1/2 cup corn starch
3 T canola oil, divided
1/2 tsp. grated ginger
1 T garlic, minced
1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup water
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 tsp. (heaping) red pepper flakes
2-3 large scallions, sliced
1 T Sriracha chili sauce, or to taste

Pat the steak pieces dry and toss in a bowl with corn starch. Shake off excess, but make sure every piece is coated.

Heat half the oil in a wok at medium-high heat and add the ginger and garlic. Once fragrant, add the soy sauce, water, brown sugar, and red pepper flakes. Cook for about 2 minutes and transfer to a bowl.

Add the remaining oil to the wok and turn on high. Cook the beef until it is brown on all sides. Add the sauce back to the wok and let it thicken, add the green onions and Sriracha in just before plating.

Adapted from Pink Bites

Mango Banana Daiquiris

What a perfect ending to a perfect Saturday! Phillip and I spent the day relaxing around Indy, and we had an amazing dinner at Cafe Patachou. It has been a favorite spot of ours for brunch, but they just started serving dinner, and I have to say that it was one of the best dinners that I have had in Indianapolis for a long time. In a city known for big chain restaurants, it is so nice to find a local establishment that is flourishing.

After we got home, I decided to mix up this Barefoot Bloggers choice. Thanks to Veronica of Supermarket Serenade for choosing this great end-of-summer drink as our recipe. It was so good that Phillip & I finished the whole batch that was supposed to serve four.

Mango Banana Daiquiris

serves 4

2 cups chopped ripe mango (1 to 2 mangos, peeled and seeded)
1 ripe banana, chopped
1/2 cup fresh squeezed lime juice (4 limes)
1/4 cup sugar syrup*
1 1/4 cups dark rum, such as Mount Gay
Mango slices, for serving

Place the mango, banana, lime juice, sugar syrup, and rum in a blender and process until smooth. Add 2 cups of ice and process again until smooth and thick. Serve ice-cold in highball glasses with the mango slices.

*To make simple syrup, heat 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water in a small saucepan until the sugar dissolves. Chill.

Source: Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics pg 47