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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Braised Oxtails over Polenta

This was definitely a labor of love. Believe the instructions when is says cooking oxtail is a two day process, but oh my goodness, what a treat!

Oxtail is a bit of a misnomer. It is actually a tail of a cow, and requires quite a bit of cooking to make it tender, and to remove some of the fat. There really is no shortcut for this, I tried just leaving it in the refrigerator for a few hours, but the fat did not become solid enough to remove. This particular recipe I created really intensified the flavors from the long cooking process, and serving it over polenta was the perfect complement.

Braised Oxtails over Polenta

2 pounds oxtails, cut up
Salt and Pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup onions, diced
1/2 cup celery, diced
1/2 cup carrots, diced
1 bottle good quality red wine
2 cups beef, veal or pork stock
1 teaspoon dried thyme

In a large dutch oven, heat olive oil over high heat. Generously salt and pepper both sides of the oxtails, and brown in the olive oil. Remove from pan. Lower heat, and saute onions, celery and carrots until tender, and remove from pan. Add red wine to the dutch oven, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer and reduce down until one cup remains. Return oxtails to the dutch oven, add stock, thyme and add additional water just until meat is covered. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 3 hours, adding the vegetables back in for the last half hour. You can also do this in a 350* oven for three hours if it is easier.

Remove the oxtail from the oven, let it cool, then refrigerate overnight. A layer of fat will rise to the top, you will want to remove this before you continue to the next step.

The next day, remove the fat layer from the top of the oxtail braise, and place the mixture in a crockpot. Heat on low for 4-6 hours. Remove the oxtails from the braising mixture, and remove the meat from the bones. Stir the meat back into the crockpot. Serve over polenta, potatoes, noodles or rice.

Now, the polenta ! I asked my fellow food bloggers for a different polenta recipes, and this one comes from Stephanie Meyer, and appeared in the Minnesota Monthly magazine. I changed it a bit, substituting chicken stock instead of water, but it was the perfect accompaniment to this rich oxtail dish.


5 cups chicken stock (if you use water, add 2 teaspoons salt)
1 cup coarsely ground corn meal
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup parmesano reggiano cheese (plus more for topping)

In a large pan, combine chicken stock and corn meal. Bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer. Simmer gently for 40-50 minutes, stirring every 5-10 minutes to avoid lumps. If the mixture becomes too thick, add additional water. Once cooking is complete, add butter and cheese. Top with additional cheese.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Pomegranate Molasses and Pine Nut Cookies

I bought a bottle of pomegranate molasses on clearance at the grocery store, and I have to admit, I had NO idea what to do with it. I opened it, tasted it, and loved the citrus taste it had. I looked on line, and I mostly found barbeque recipes. I wanted to find a way to make it into a cookie. So I decided to substitute it into a regular molasses cookie, but it didn't quite work.

After some experimentation, I came up with this version, and I really like how unusual it tastes. I made this batch as a thank you to a friend for a car repair, I think it will suffice!

Pomegranate Molasses and Pine Nut Cookies
1 /2 cup plus 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup pomegranate molasses
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts

Preheat oven to 375. Cream together butter and sugar. Add pomegranate molasses and vanilla and mix well. Sift together dry ingredients, and add gradually, mixing just until combined. Stir in pine nuts. Form into small, 1 teaspoon size balls and place on parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, then let cool for 2 minutes on cookie sheet. Let completely cool on baking rack.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Wasabi Snack Mix

I love snack foods. There, I said it. Salty ones in particular. If I could, I would eat chips all day long. But I know they aren't good for me. So I am always looking for a snack that is better than chips, but still tasty.

I saw a recipe similar to this in Food and Wine magazine, but I couldn't find all of the ingredients it called for, and I wanted to add my own textures and flavors to it, as well. I am so ecstatic with the results ! Especially because I made it for a meeting of my Bitches Brew Crew, and it will pair nicely with a hoppy IPA.

This reminded me of making Chex mix with my Grandma. In fact, I used her technique of putting the ingredients in an ice cream bucket to make sure they were all coated with the yummy sauce. And, I have enough left over ingredients to make another batch, which I am certain I will need to do again tomorrow. Quick, easy and delicious, three of my favorite words !

Wasabi Snack Mix

2 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 tablespoons wasabi powder
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon ponzu
1/4 cup canola oil
3 cups wheat Chex cereal
3 cups multi grain Cheerios
1/2 cup roasted soy nuts
1/2 cup roasted pepitos
5 sheets roasted nori, crumbled
1 cup wasabi peas

Preheat oven to 350. Using a small food processor or immersion blender, mix together the honey, wasabi powder, soy sauce, ponzu and canola oil. Place remaining ingredients, except wasabi peas, in a large bowl or ice cream bucket (I like the ice cream bucket because it makes for easier mixing). Pour half of the liquid mixture over it, and toss to coat. If using the ice cream bucket, I just put the lid on it and give it a gentle toss for a few minutes. Pour the remaining liquid over the dry ingredients, and toss to coat well. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet, and bake for 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Stir in wasabi peas after cool.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Slow Cooked Pork Chops with Apple and Rosemary

I saw a recipe on line for crockpot pork chops, it sounded like it tasted good. As I recall, it had lots of black pepper and I remember apples, always a good combination. When I went to search for it, you had to brine the chops a day ahead of time, then pan sear them, saute all the veggies...that's WAY too much prep for a crock pot recipe.

So, I simplified it. I kind of hate wasting these beautiful pork chops we got from butchering our first hog this year, but I was really hungry for pork. I did end up pan searing these first before putting them in the crock pot, but I improvised the rest. This was only a portion for two people, but you could expand as needed.
Slow Cooked Pork Chops with Apple and Rosemary
2 pork chops, thick cut (about one inch)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 carrots, thinly sliced
1 onion, diced
1 large apple, diced
4 springs rosemary
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
Montreal Steak Seasoning

Season both sides of the pork chops with steak seasoning. Place olive oil in a medium saute pan, and sear the pork chops on high until golden on both sides (about 3 minutes each side). While pork chops are cooking, put carrots, onion, apples and rosemary in crockpot, in that order. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the top. Place the seared pork chops on top, and pour the white wine over all. Cook on low 4-6 hours, until pork chops are tender. Serve with mashed potatoes or noodles.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Pickled Grapes

This recipe came to be from 2 sources. I tasted them when my friend Jen brought them to a party. They are one of the most unusual treats I have experienced in a long time. They are just lightly pickled, and the grapes retain enough of their texture that they gently burst in your mouth when you bite down.

Of course, I had to ask for the recipe ! She sent me a link to an NPR site, but the orignator of the recipe was Mollie Wizenberg, and her blog is And they are fairly simple to make, except for the trimming of the grapes. Even with that, it only took about a half hour to prepare. This might be a weekly treat for us....well, for awhile anyway!

Pickled Grapes
1 pound seedless red grapes (works best with smaller grapes)

1 cup white wine vinegar (I also used regular white vinegar and they were fine)

1 cup sugar

1 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds

1 teaspoon whole peppercorns

1 cinnamon stick

1/4 teaspoon salt

Rinse and dry the grapes, remove them from the stems. Cut just a small part of the top part off (where the stem was) to expose some of the "flesh". Place grapes into a glass bowl and set aside.

Combine the remaining ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then immediately pour the mixture over the grapes. Stir the grapes well and let them come to room temperature.
Cover the bowl, or put the grapes in a jar with a tight fitting lid, and let them marinate at least 8 hours or overnight. Serve cold.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Asian Pepper Pot Bloody Mary Mix

This is the prizewinning recipe from the Minnesota Food Bloggers get together, held this afternoon at Toast Wine Bar in Minneapolis. I am giddy with delight, because this is the recipe I made up on the fly. My idea started with using wasabi instead of the traditional horseradish, and I just added ingredients from there. This is a truly unique bloody mary, and definitely not for the faint of stomach!

Asian Pepper Pot Bloody Mary Mix
3 14.5 ounce cans diced fire roasted tomatoes
2 Thai hot chiles
2 6 ounce cans tomato juice
1/3 cup ponzu
1/4 cup sriracha
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons wasabi powder
2 tablespoons Chinese mustard
1 tablespoon honey

Process tomatoes in a blender until smooth. Add chiles and blend until there are no pieces of chiles remaining. Stir in remaining ingredients. Serve over ice with your favorite vodka. Garnish with soy glazed water chestnut, pickled ginger and pickled baby corn.

Surf and Turf Bloody Mary Mix

The Minnesota Food Bloggers held a get together today at Toast Wine Bar, including a Bloody Mary battle. I created this recipe for the competition, and I have to say,I really like this mix. I combined two recipes I have used in the past, one that traditionally used Clamato juice (I know, it sounds strange), and one we used at a bar where I worked, which included steak sauce.

For your imbibing pleasure...

Surf and Turf Bloody Mary Mix
3 14.5 ounce cans diced fire roasted tomatoes
2 6 ounce cans tomato juice
1 8 ounce bottle clam juice
3 tablespoons horseradish
1/2 cup Tabasco brand steak sauce
1/3 cup green Tabasco sauce
1 tablespoon smoked salt
1 tablespoon cracked black pepper

Process tomatoes in blender until smooth. Mix together remaining ingredients and refrigerate overnight. Serve with a garnish of shrimp, a small piece of grilled steak and a marinated mushroom.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Pizza Crust with Spent Grain

So hello all you beer brewers! What the heck do you do with all that left over grain when you have finished brewing beer?

I was sent a recipe for this pizza crust, and we LOVE pizza. It is bready, and we added honey so it is a bit sweet. I am already thinking of all the amazing combinations I can come up with for this crust, and some amazing toppings(from

Pizza Crust with Spent Grain

1 package active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1 1/2 cup flour
3/4 cup spent grain
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons honey
Olive oil

In a mixer bowl, combine yeast and water, and stir together gently. Let it rest for 5 minutes, until the yeast starts to bubble. Add the remaining ingredients, and use dough hook to knead for 8-1 minutes, or you can also knead by hand.Remove from bowl, and add a few drops of olive oil to the bowl. Place dough back into the bowl, and turn it in the oil to coat. Cover with a towel and let it rest for two hours. Punch the dough down, and let it rise again for 30 minutes. Preheat your oven to 475, remove dough from bowl and place it on a half sheet pan. Press dough into pan. Top with your favorite toppings, and bake for 20 minutes, until crust is golden.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Chilean Sea Bass with Polenta, Olives and Blood Orange

This is, admittedly, a bit fancier than I normally do. But heck, it was Valentine's Day, right ? I had been to the fish market this weekend and picked up some Chilean sea bass, it was so beautiful looking (and expensive), that I wanted to do something really special with it.I saw this recipe posted on another blog,, using halibut. I knew I could make it work with this sea bass.

The next challenge was what to serve on the side, and for some reason, polenta made sense to me. The original recipe recommended potatoes, but I wanted to make it my own. It was a really beautiful plate. And surprisingly easy! Pictures don't lie, it was impressive.

Chilean Sea Bass with Polenta, Olives and Blood Orange

2-3 tablespoons olive oil

1 fennel bulb thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

3/4 cup sauvignon blanc (or any dry white wine)

1/2 cup orange juice

6 pieces orange peel, about 1-inch square

2-6 ounce Chilean sea bass filets

1 blood orange

1/2 cup large, mild green olives, pitted

4-5 bay leaves

Polenta (see recipe below)

In a large, oven proof saute pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Saute the fennel until it begins to soften. Add the garlic and saute 1-2 more minutes, making sure not to brown the garlic. Add the wine and boil for 1 minute, then add the orange juice and peel, simmer 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and remove from the heat.

Season the fish with salt and pepper and place on top of the fennel mixture. Drizzle the fish with a little of the olive oil. Remove skin and pith from the blood orange, then slice cross-wise in 1/3-inch slices. Add the orange slices, olives and bay leaves to the pan, on top of and around the fish.
Roast, uncovered, in the oven until the fish is opaque, 15-25 minutes depending on thickness of the fish. To plate, put a large spoonful of polenta in the center of the plate. Place sea bass filet on top of the polenta, then surround with fennel, olives, blood orange and sauce, being careful not to scoop up any of the bay leaves or orange peel. Garnish with fennel fronds.

Creamy Oven Baked Polenta

I wanted to make polenta for our Valentine's Day dinner, but I needed it to be something I could set aside while I prepped the main dish. I have never made polenta before, but being an avid food TV watcher, I have seen it done many times, and it always seemed to require a lot of stirring. Short of asking Ray to cook his own dinner (which kind of takes away from the "gift" part of the evening), I had to find another way.

So, off to the internet I went, and found an oven-based recipe, courtesy of Alton Brown. I doubted the wisdom of this preparation, as the mixture seemed a bit sticky as I placed it in the oven, but it all came together in the end, with the addition of the butter and cheese (I added extra cheese, because, well, I like cheese). You will see the picture of the finished product in the recipe above. But here is the polenta:

Creamy Oven Baked Polenta
1 small onion, diced
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 quart chicken stock
1 cup coarsely ground corn meal
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Preheat oven to 350. In a dutch oven, saute onion in olive oil until just translucent, then add garlic, and saute for 1-2 minutes longer, being careful not to brown. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil. Slowly whisk in the corn meal, being careful not to cause any lumps. When corn meal is completely combined, cover the dutch oven and place in the oven. Stir every 10 minutes for 30-40 minutes until the mixture is creamy. Remove from oven, and add butter, cheese, salt and pepper.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Goat Curry in the Crockpot

I wanted to plan something I could leave in the crockpot all day while I attended a brew date with the Bitches Brew Crew. I had to make a stop to South Minneapolis, which of course means a stop to the Global Market ! Ray wanted to try goat, so I picked some up at the Holy Land deli, and set about crafting a recipe to use it.

The meat was supposed to be "tenderloin", but quite honestly it was all kinds of cuts, and a lot of silver skin and ligaments, and I was worried about how tender it would be. I decided a long, slow stew would be best. Goat curry sounded smart to me, and we love the flavors of Indian cuisine. I was, however, a little disappointed when looking for a recipe, as most of them called for curry powder, and I know from previous recipes that very little actual "curry powder" is used when making curries. So, I made up my own combination, combining recipes for tikka masala and vindaloo.

Goat Curry in the Crock Pot

Make a paste of:

4 tablespoons chopped garlic
4 tablespoons chopped ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon canola oil

For the curry:
1 1/2 pounds goat (you could also use lamb or venison)
1 cup greek yogurt
4 cups chopped tomatoes
1 large red onion, diced
2 large red chiles, diced
2 tablespoons chile powder
4 tablespoons coriander
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon Hungarian paprika
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

The night before, start to marinate the goat in 1/2 of the garlic ginger paste and 1/2 cup of the yogurt. In the morning, combine all of the other ingredients except the yogurt in the crockpot, and set on low. Cook for 6-8 hours, until meat is tender. Just before serving, stir in the remaining yogurt. Serve over basmati rice.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Smoked Pork Bread Pudding with Leeks

I originally created this recipe because we had a lot of left over pork after our wedding. And we still do, in the freezer. We had been eating left over pork on small sandwich buns for days and days, and I wanted a way to use the leftovers, but not eat any more sandwiches.We enjoyed it so much, I wanted to make it again. And since we are coming up on our six month anniversary, it was time to get the pork out of the freezer.

I realized the pork had lost some of its smoky flavor in the freezer, but we are lucky enough to have a handy gadget called a smoking gun. This is a hand held device that can infuse smoke flavor in a short period of time. So, Ray loaded it up with some applewood, hickory and a little bit of rosemary, and we put some pork in a bowl and covered the bowl with plastic wrap. We did get a little smoke in the kitchen (something like a campfire!), but the pork now tasted nice and smoky, so I could begin the cooking !
Smoked Pork Bread Pudding with Leeks
4 cups diced bread
1 1/2 cups chopped cooked pork (or ham)
2 medium leeks, sliced thin and rinsed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup chopped roasted red pepper
1/4 cup spicy mustard
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
6 large eggs
1 cup milk
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup shredded swiss cheese

Saute leeks in butter and olive oil.
Combine together with bread, pork, and red peppers. Put mixture in a greased 9x13 pan.In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, mustard, tarragon, salt and pepper. Pour over bread mixture.
Press down,cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Remove foil, sprinkle with cheese, and bake 10 more minutes until golden and cheese is melted. Remove from oven, let rest, and serve.

Stout Brownies

I saw this recipe on another food bloggers site (, and being a home brewer, I love any recipes than incorporate beer. We also had some oatmeal stout left from our recent tript to Fitger's Brewery in Duluth, so the timing was perfect.

This was not the easiest recipe to execute. And although Ray is raving about the results, I had to make a couple of modifications to the original to make it work, and I still think I might do some fixing the next time I make these. The "frosting" should be a bit more creamy, or maybe more like a glaze, and maybe a little less fleur de sel on top. But yes, there will be a next time, because they are lush, decadent, and a nice mix of sweet, bitter and salty. Below is the recipe as I made it this time.

Stout Brownies
1 cup stout beer
16 ounces bittersweet chocolate, divided
2 1/4 sticks unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
Fleur de Sel, for topping

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9 inch square pan with nonstick. Bring the stout to a boil in a small pan, and reduce to 1/2 cup, then let cool to room temperature. Reserve 1/4 cup of the stout.

Place 12 ounces of the bittersweet chocolate in a bowl with 2 sticks of butter, cut into pieces. Place the bowl over a small pan of simmering water and stir until melted and smooth. In the meantime, whisk together eggs, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl (I just used my stand mixer). Gradually add the chocolate mixture, then add 1/4 cup of the reduced stout. Stir in flour and 1 1/4 teaspoons of salt. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake brownies until the surface begins to crack, and a tester comes out with just a few crumbs attached. Let cool for at least 20 minutes before adding topping.

Put a medium bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, and combine the remaining chocolate, butter and stout. Stir just until melted, and then quickly spread across the top of the brownies. Top with a light sprinkling of Fleur de Sel. Let cool completely, then cut into squares with a warm, wet knife.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Shepherds Pie with Stout and Horseradish Mashed Potatoes

Here is a perk of having a food blog: when you don't feel well, your husband can look up recipes and make you dinner! So, thank you Ray, for making this for dinner last night.

We discussed making my shepherd's pie, because we had some stout that went flat in the refrigerator, and topping it with the horseradish mashed potatoes (decadent, I know). The results were out of this world ! So, here is the new, hybrid recipe, and thanks Ray for putting it together !

Shepherds Pie with Stout and Horseradish Mashed Potatoes
For the potatoes:
4 cups Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and diced into 1 inch chunks
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup whole milk
4 ounces cream cheese
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
4 tablespoons butter
Salt and pepper to taste

Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with water. Add 2 teaspoons of salt and bring to a boil. Boil until potatoes are fork tender. Drain water from potatoes, Add milk, cream cheese, horseradish and butter and mash to desired consistency. Salt and pepper to taste.

For the filling:
Saute in a large pan:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced fine

When onion becomes translucent, add:
1 pound ground beef or venison
1 cup sliced mushrooms
2 teaspoons Montreal steak seasoning

Cook until meat browns. Add 3/4 cup stout beer and 1/2 cup beef stock. Cook down until liquid is almost evaporated. Put mixture in a large, deep dish pie pan. Top with 1/2 cup of frozen peas or mixed vegetables.

Spread potatoes on top of the pie, sprinkle with paprika and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Greek Lemon Chicken Soup

It was almost a year ago exactly that I first tasted this soup at a Greek restaurant in Chicago. I had never heard of it before. As it turns out, it is a very classic Greek soup, and it is very easy to make. I love the fresh flavors, and most of the ingredients we always have on hand.

It's a good way to use up left over chicken, and quick to prepare on a weeknight. I sent this recipe to my dad after he had heart surgery also, because he is trying to cut back on salt. Other than the salt in the stock, there is really no need for additional salt, unless you feel the need to add some at the end. We never do, it is delicious and perfect just the way it is.

Greek Lemon Chicken Soup-Avgolemono

8 cups chicken stock
1 cup arborio rice
2 cups cooked chicken, shredded or cut into chunks
2 eggs separated
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
Chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
Salt and pepper to taste, if needed

Bring chicken stock to a boil, and stir in rice. Reduce heat to a simmer, and cook 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add chicken and cook 5 more minutes. In the meantime, whisk egg whites until frothy, then add egg yolks and lemon juice and whisk until smooth. When chicken and rice is finished cooking, remove 1 cup of the stock and gradually whisk into the egg mixture, being careful not to "scramble" your eggs. Add a second cup of the stock in the same manner. Remove the soup from the heat and slowly stir the egg mixture back into the soup. Serve garnished with cilantro.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Sweet Basil Cheesecake with Honey

I saw this recipe awhile back, and was intrigued with the idea of a savory cheesecake. Served as an appetizer, this was a fun addition to our little Super Bowl appetizer buffet.

What is nice about this recipe is the combination of the different kinds of cheese, and the honey really sets off the sweetness of the basil. I found some cornbread crackers to serve with this, and it was perfect. I am thinking we could increase the amount of goat cheese (because we love it) and possible change the kind of herbs, this is really a versatile recipe.

Sweet Basil Cheesecake with Honey
1/2 cup ricotta cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup cream cheese, at room temperature
1/3 cup goat cheese, at room temperature
2 eggs
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350.Using a food processor, mix cheeses and eggs together until smooth. Add remaining ingredients, and blend until incorporated, but basil is still in pieces.

Line a small ceramic or springform pan with parchment paper, and butter sides of pan. Pour cheese mixture into pan and place in a larger pan, surrounded by boiling water. Bake for 50 minutes, until cheese is no longer "jiggly". Turn off the oven and leave cheesecake in the oven for 1 hour. Remove and refrigerate overnight. Serve with crackers.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Pizza with Whole Eggs and Sopressata

There has been a trend on food television lately to put eggs in things, so that when you cut or bite into them, you get the soft yolk spilling out over your food. I love eggs with the soft yolk so I can dip my toast in it, so I thought maybe I could do the same thing on pizza.

I remembered seeing something similar once before, but I wasn't sure how to do it, or how long to bake it. So, I winged it ! I made a sort of "well" with the sopressata so the egg would stay contained, and I had to take some of the white off the egg as it was too much liquid. When I do this next time (and yes, there will be a next time), I will just get smaller eggs !

And I did break one of the yolks getting the egg on the pizza, but my story is, that piece is for someone that doesn't like soft yolks (not anyone in our house, unfortunately). And the picture doesn't really do this pizza justice, it was delicious, the sopressata was crispy, the egg yolks were soft, and you could dip the crust. Yummy !

Pizza with Whole Eggs and Sopressata
1 pizza crust
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 cup shredded mozzerella
6 ounces sopressata
2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
4 eggs, some of the whites separated
Fresh cracked pepper and salt

Preheat oven to 500. Spread pizza crust on parchment paper. Mix together tomato paste, olive oil, garlic and basil and spread mixture on crust. Spread mozzerella cheese on top of sauce. Dice the sopressata into small chunks and make 4 "wells" on the pizza to hold the eggs. Add the goat cheese along the borders you have created with the sopressata. Place pizza on a cookie sheet or baking stone and bake for 5 minutes, then remove from oven, and gently place an egg in each of the wells you have created. Place pizza back in the oven and bake another 5-6 minutes just until the egg whites are set. Remove from oven and top with salt and pepper.

You may cook the pizza longer if you like your eggs more solid.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Smoked Salmon and Goat Cheese Pizza

Yes, we still have smoked fish to use up. And I am alway envious of the creative combinations of "flatbread pizzas" we see on menus at restaurants. Since we had this great smoked salmon, I decided pizza was the way to go.

Ray wanted to try making crust from scratch, which I must admit I haven't done since the box kind when I was a kid. So I searched the internet for a thin crust pizza recipe, and made pizza. It was thin, but not like a cracker, which was good. And we tossed on some ingredients we had on hand, and made our first gourmet pizza.

Thanks to Ray for crafting this one, as I was a little under the weather.

Smoked Salmon and Goat Cheese Pizza

Crust for thin crust pizza:
(makes crust for 2 pizzas)
3/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Preheat your pizza pan or stone in the oven. Heat the water in an oven-proof cup until it barely feels warm, then add the yeast. Whisk it well, then set it aside to let the yeast dissolve. In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt together. Make a large well in the middle of the flour mixture, and pour in the yeast mixture. Use your fingers to combine the two until the come together. When it comes together into a loose ball, turn it onto the counter along with any loose flour from the bowl, and continue to knead it until all the flour is incorporated and the dough is smooth and elastic to the touch. You may need to add more flour, one tablespoon at a time, until it is smooth and silky.

Split the dough into two parts, and use your hands to work one into a large disk. Place on a 12 inch piece of parchment paper. Then, use the heel of you hand or a rolling pin and press or roll the dough until it is about 1/2 inch thick. Leave on parchment paper to bake.

For the toppings:
Mix together:
1/2 cup Olive Oil
2 cloves crushed garlic
1/4 cup grated parmesan
2 tablespoons dried basil

Brush on crust, and save some for dipping !Then top with:
1/2 cup shredded smoked salmon
1/2 cup goat cheese, crombled
3 tablespoons sundried tomatoes, chopped
2 tablespoons basil, cut chiffonade
1/2 cup shredded mozzerella

Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden brown and cheese is melted.