August 25, 2010

Meat Lovers Pizza

I normally don't make pizza but when I do, this is what I make. When I first had this was at Tony's Pizza in Willimantic, CT, I was sold. You can also make this if you're a vegetarian and you love the taste of fake meat (because seriously, the REAL reason YOU are a vegetarian is because you want to be COOL).

I get my pizza dough from Whole Foods, which is very convenient coz you don't have to make 'em and they hold up pretty good inside the freezer. You can find these frozen dough on the frozen aisle. I don't really have exact measurements for the meats in this pizza because it's a meat lovers pizza so put as many meat as you want in it!

1 Whole Foods pizza dough (defrosted)
Bacon (cooked)
Italian sausage
Hamburger meat (or frozen patty)
2 cups cheese (mix of mozzarella and yellow cheese. I used mozzarella and cheddar)
3/4 cup of pizza sauce (more if you like them saucy)
1 teaspoon oregano
(Optional) 1 teaspoon pepper flakes (if you like it spicy)
(Optional) 1 tablespoon McCormick's Grill Mates Roasted Garlic & Herb Seasoning
Some oil to grease the pan

Preheat oven at 500 degrees. Grease the pizza pan with some oil. Put the dough on the pan and start kneading it towards the edge.

Once you spread the dough all over the pan, pinch the sides to raise the dough's edge.

Once that is done, pour pizza sauce on top of the pizza dough and spread it evenly. Sprinkle oregano on top of the sauce.

Sprinkle cheese on top of the pizza, reserving 1/2 cup for later.

Now you can start layering your toppings. First, you want to put the pepperoni. Arrange them neatly over the dough.

Then put in sausages and hamburger meat. Ironically, I don't have any Italian sausage at home but instead I'm using vegetarian breakfast links (jokes on me, HAH!).

Then sprinkle in the bacon. After that, sprinkle pepper flakes and Grill Mates seasoning.

Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top of the pizza.

Put the pizza in the oven and cook for about 15 minutes (less if you are only using vegetarian meat). Let your arteries start clogging!!

August 22, 2010

Oma's Pflaumenkuchen

This is a great recipe I found from Becky Shattuck's blog, I'm going to make it (after all). Here's her Oma's recipe so if you really like it, go to her blog and tell her that! For those that are German-challenged, Oma is German for grandma.

This Pflaumenkuchen has a more bready while my previous Pflaumenkuchen recipe is more cakey. I substituted white sugar for turbinado sugar to sprinkle on top of the cake. It gives it a more caramelized color and taste, although white sugar would make the cake more reddish from the plums. As always, use Italian plums (they are great this season). The original poster used regular big plums, so you can use those as well although I think it lacks the tartness associated with Pflaumenkuchen. Use more sugar on top if the plums are sour, less sugar if they are sweet.

1 package dried yeast
2 Tbsp warm water (around 100-110 degrees)
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup (half a stick) butter
3 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg (room temperature)
2 cups flour
2 dozen Italian plums
Cinnamon and sugar

Grease a jelly roll pan.

Combine yeast and water in a bowl. In a saucepan, combine and heat the milk, butter and sugar in low heat. Allow the mixture to cool (it should still be warm but not hot when you pour it over the yeast mixture). Pour it over the yeast mixture.

Beat the egg. Add the salt and beaten egg to the yeast mixture. Stir in the flour.

Turn the dough out onto a floured board and knead until smooth and elastic. (I used about half a cup of flour to knead and prevent the dough from sticking to the board).

Place in a slightly greased bowl, cover with a dishtowel and let rise until doubled in bulk. Make sure you leave the dough in room temperature or slightly warm area.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

While the dough is rising, cut the plums in half (quarter your fruit if you're using large plums) and remove the pits.

Punch the dough down on the greased pan. Press the dough into the pan and top with plums, cut side up, pressing them down a little. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar (amount of sugar varies depending on your preference).

Bake for 45 minutes. The cake is done when a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Serve with whipped cream and coffee!

August 21, 2010

Simple Summer Peach Cake

Peaches are really good this year thanks to a hot summer. They are very sweet and juicy. Peaches are one of my favorite fruit and although I love just eating them as is, I was looking for a way to incorporate them into desserts. I got this recipe from a friend of mine who got it from the Whole Food's website. If you can't find buttermilk in the grocery store, I have included a tip on how to make your own buttermilk (click here).

3 ripe peaches (peeled and chopped into chunks)
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1 cup sugar
6 tablespoons softened unsalted butter
1 large egg
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup almond flour (or finely ground almonds)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
Some turbinado sugar

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter and flour a 9-inch cake pan. Toss the peaches with nutmeg and 2 tablespoons sugar. Set aside.

Cream together the butter and remaining sugar. Add the egg, buttermilk and extracts, and stir to combine. Combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add this flour mixture to the butter mixture, and blend until smooth (some lumps may remain). Pour into the prepared pan.

Press the peaches into the top of the cake. They can be nicely arranged, or you can cram as many peaches as possible into the cake. Sprinkle turbinado sugar over the top.

Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the oven heat to 325°F and bake for an additional 45 to 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

August 20, 2010

How to make Buttermilk

Making buttermilk is easy if you can't find them in your supermarket. Make sure you have all ingredient in room temperature.

1 cup regular milk
1 tablespoon white vinegar or lemon juice

Combine milk and vinegar/lemon juice. Let it sit in room temperature for 15 minutes. Your milk should start to curdle at this point. Stir the mixture and it's ready to use!