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Sunday
Feb172019

Announcing March 3rd Pizza Making Class

 

 

Sunday, March 3rd, 2019
1:00 - 4:00 p.m. 

Come join the fun and learn how to make homemade pizza!

You will learn how to make easy homemade pizza dough,
the best flour to use and the secrets to making terrific
Neapolitan style pizza.   We will also make six different kinds
of pizzas, which we will enjoy that afternoon.  
You will also make your own homemade dough
and get to take it home.  

Space is limited!  Classes fill up fast.  $75

(This class is now sold out)

Okemos, Michigan

3 day cancellation policy

E-mail me for details or click on the "Cooking Classes" tab at the top of this page. 

Thursday
Sep202018

Grilled Zucchini with Burrata, Cherry Tomato and Toasted Pine Nuts

 


There's still a lot of zucchini being picked right now and here's another way to use them.  This dish is super simple and you can whip it together in no time.  Grilling the zucchini is the only real cooking you have to do in this dish and the rest is just assembling the ingredients.  The grilled zucchini is topped with creamy, luscious burrata - mozzarella balls stuffed with cream and shreds of mozzarella.  The dish is topped with marinated cherry tomatoes, toasted pine nuts and fresh basil.  It's a beautiful and delicious dish and you can serve it as a side for dinner or as a meal on its own for lunch. 

 

 

The zucchini slices are scored lightly with the tip of a very sharp knife.
The scoring allows the seasoning and oil to penetrate the zucchini.  

 

  

Grilled Zucchini with Burrata, Tomato & Toasted Pine Nuts

for a printable recipe, click here

serves 4 - 6

4 medium zucchini
4 ounces burrata
about 12 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
3 Tablespoons pine nuts 
a few leaves of fresh basil, julienned or torn into pieces
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
extra virgin olive oil

 

Trim the zucchini ends.  Stand the zucchini upright. Using a sharp knife, remove a thin slice of the skin on one side, then you can start making the slices you will use.  Slice the zucchini into 1/4" - 3/8" slices.    You will get 3 slices from each zucchini. Lightly score the zucchini slices in a diagonal pattern on both sides. Brush each side of zucchini with a little olive oil.  Season generously both sides with salt and pepper. 

 

 

Place the cherry tomatoes in a small bowl, drizzle with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. 

In a small dry skillet over medium heat, toast the pine nuts. Shake the pan as you toast them and keep checking until they are golden, about 5 minutes or so.  Be careful - they can go from golden to burnt very quickly.  Set aside in a small bowl to cool. 

 


toast the pine nuts until golden

 

 

Drain the burrata and place in a bowl.  Season with some salt and pepper.  The burrata will be at its best when you add a little salt, so don't skimp on this. 

Heat a stovetop grill or you can cook these outdoors on a grill.  Cook the zucchini slices until there are nice grill marks on each side, about 3 minutes a side over medium high heat. Place the zucchini on a large serving platter, in one layer. 

 

 

Assemble the dish by breaking up the burrata over the zucchini and  scattering the tomatoes and pine nuts. If you wanted to add another layer of richness, you can drizzle a little olive oil over the whole thing. Sprinkle the basil pieces over the whole dish.   Taste the burrata and, if needed, add a little more salt. Serve at room temperature. 

 

 

Tuesday
May082018

My New Favorite Pizza - 'Nduja, Sun-Dried Tomato Spread & Goat Cheese

 

This is my new favorite pizza.  And it's amazing.  If you like pepperoni pizza, this is a modern twist on that. Instead of pepperoni slices, I'm using 'nduja, that incredible spicy prosciutto spread that I wrote about in this post. Instead of mozzarella cheese, I'm using tangy goat cheese.  Instead of tomato sauce, I'm using this intense sun-dried tomato spread that is my new favorite thing.  I'm going to talk about the ingredients specifically below, because the ingredients really matter in this one. 

 

 

I've been using sun-dried tomatoes from a company called California Sun-Dry for years. It's my favorite brand of sun dried tomatoes.  I buy the julienned kind and make this no-cook pasta sauce with it.  My local Kroger store actually carries these tomatoes in their produce department so I'm able to buy them easily. They recently started carrying this tomato spread from the same company. I started using it on crackers and crostini and I loved it so much that I thought it might be great on pizza.  If you can buy this particular brand, do it. 

The other important brand is the La Quercia 'nduja.  This spicy spread is absolutely delicious and I stir it into pasta sauces. I've tried other brands of 'nduja and this is by far my favorite.  Whole Foods carries this in their cheese department, so most of you should be able to find it.  If you can't, you can buy it from Amazon or Zingerman's

 

 

I made this pizza a little differently than I usually do - I prebaked the crust for a few minutes before adding the toppings.  I spread the dough with a little olive oil and baked it in the oven for 4 minutes and then added the toppings and finished it off for another few minutes.  I really like the texture of the pizza this way. 

Use baking parchment to slide the pizza into the oven.  It's far less messy than using cornmeal or flour and you can actually reuse the baking parchment.  

 

Pizza with 'Nduja, Sun-Dried Tomato Spread & Goat Cheese 

for  a printable recipe, click here

you will need a baking stone and baking parchment paper for this recipe

makes 1 large pizza 

7 ounces pizza dough
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3 ounces goat cheese, softened
1/3 cup California Sun-Dried Tomato Spread
2 tablespoons La Quercia 'Nduja
freshly cracked black pepper

 

Pizza dough gets a light layer of olive oil and then is baked

 

The goat cheese is spread on the crust

 and then the sun-dried tomato spread is layered on 
and then dollops of 'nduja are placed.  Then back in the oven. 

 The finished pizza:

 

 

Preheat oven to the highest setting your oven will go and place the baking stone in the lower third of the oven.

Roll out pizza dough very thinly.  Brush with the olive oil.  Place a piece of baking parchment on a pizza peel or just on the back of a baking sheet (anything that will allow the pizza to slide off easily).  Place the pizza dough on the parchment and slide it off onto the baking stone, along with the parchment paper.  Bake for about 4 minutes, until the dough is set and it is starting to turn golden brown a little.

Remove the pizza dough from the oven.  Spread the goat cheese on it, followed by the sun-dried tomato spread. Place dollops of the 'nduja all over the pizza.  Grind black pepper all over the top.  Return to the oven and continue to cook for about 3 - 4 more minutes, or until the bottom of the crust is crispy.  Remove the pizza with a wide spatula (I use this fish spatula for pizzas) and slice and serve.