Saturday, December 4, 2010

Design your own pizza with whole wheat pizza crust and cherry tomato pizza sauce

Tonight for the big game, we made design your own pizzas. My husband and I have drastically different taste in pizza toppings, so I made personal size pizzas and we each put what we wanted on two pizzas.

First, I  made the crusts. Now, these crusts are a little bit of trouble. So, every time I make them, I go ahead and make a bunch and freeze them. I made 3 batches today for a total of 24 personal pizza crusts.

Here are the necessary ingredients:

1 1/2 cups warm water
2 packets of active dry yeast
2 tsp course salt
2 tbsp sugar
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups whole wheat flour

First, in a large bowl, combine yeast and water. Let it sit for about 5 minutes until it starts to bubble:

Use a whisk to stir the yeast and water, then whisk in the salt, sugar, and olive oil. Then, with a wooden spoon, stir in the flours. You may have to use your hands to get the last of the flour folded into the dough. Then, take a seperate bowl, and brush the bottom and the sides with olive oil. Put the dough in the olive oil lined bowl. Brush the top of the dough with olive oil. Cover the bowl with saran wrap:

Place the bowl in a warm dry place for about an hour (I turn the oven on and put the bowl on top of the oven), or until the dough doubles in size:

Take the dough out of the bowl, and place on a well floured surface (I just flour the heck out of my counter-top). With floured hands, knead the dough about 15 times. Then divide the dough into two balls. Out of each of those two balls, divide the dough into 4 smaller balls (you will have a total of 8 balls of dough). Using your floured hands, kneed, squeeze, and manipulate the dough into 8 inch disks. Place the disks on a cookie sheet or other hard surface with parchment or wax paper between each disk. Then put the entire thing in the freezer for at least an hour before baking. Or, freeze for up to 3 months (6 months with a deep freezer):

Next I made the pizza sauce. I took 2 weeks worth of beautiful cherry and hierloom tomatoes from the CSA, I washed and took the stems off each one, and I cut them in half:

 Then I drizzled a little olive oil over them, added 1 tsp minced garlic, and plenty of salt and pepper. Then I used my immersion blender to get the mixture going. I did not keep going until it was a puree, I wanted to keep some of the chunkiness of the tomatoes. I had plenty of this left over, so I froze several portions of it as well:

I pulled out the pizza stone, and put 4 of the whole wheat pizza crusts on it. Then I spread about 4 tbsp of the tomato sauce on top. Then we each added our own toppings:

Each of these has 4 cheese mexican mix shredded cheese on top. The pizza in the upper left hand corner has spinach, black olives, mushrooms, and goat cheese. The pizza in the upper right hand corner has sausage and black olives. the pizza in the lower left hand corner has mushrooms, spinach, and goat cheese, and the pizza in the lower right hand corner is just cheese.

I put them in the oven on the pizza stone for 20 minutes at 450:

The pizzas were delicious, and the pizza making went much better than the football game. Here is my sad little Gamecock:

Whipped Sweet Potatoes

In the last few weeks, Sweet Potatoes have been so cheap in the grocery store, I literally can not stop myself from buying them. Today, I decided to make some whipped sweet potatoes to put in the freezer for a quick side dish when I don't feel much like cooking.

First, I bought a bunch of sweet potatoes, put them on a cookie sheet, and stabbed each one a few times. Then I baked them at 350 for an hour and a half:

I let them cool for a good while, and cut a slit in them lenth-wise. Then I pinched the skins off each one and dumped the innards in a bowl:

Finally, I added about 1/2 cup apple juice, salt, pepper, and 4 tbsp melted butter. Then I used an immersion blender to whip them up. Then I put them in dinner size portions in individual containers, labeled and dated them, and put them in the freezer:

Friday, December 3, 2010

Roasted Acorn Rosemary Squash

Tonight, I simply roasted some acorn squash with butter, brown sugar and rosemary.

I started with three acorn squash, olive oil, salt and pepper, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 stick softened butter, and a few shakes of rosemary:

Then I split these acorn squash into quarters. These suckers were tough to crack into (maybe thats why they are called acorn squash), but I managed to keep all my fingers. Just remember to use a big sharp knife if you try this one at home.

Then, with a spoon, I scooped out the seeds and stringy insides. I put the pieces in a baking dish, drizzled olive oil on them, and put salt and pepper on them.

Then I roasted them for 20 minutes at 350. In the mean time, in a small bowl, I mixed together the brown sugar, butter, and rosemary:

When the timer went off, I pulled the squash out of the oven, and spread the butter mixture over each piece. The butter mixture melted over the squash before I could put them back in the oven. I used a brush to make sure that each piece of squash was thoroughly covered:

Then, I put them back in the oven for another 30 minutes at 350. Every 10 minutes or so I used the brush to coat the squash with the melty buttery goodness that was in the bottom of the baking dishes. After 30 minutes, I had this beautiful dish:

I paired them with a cut of grilled fillet for a delicious winter meal:

Thursday, December 2, 2010

CSA Week 9

This week, we ended up with a bigger share from the CSA (long story how that happened, but yeay! more fresh veggies!). Here is what came in the box:

Big bag of cherry tomatoes
small bunch of collards
2 medium acorn squash
2 green bell peppers
red hot peppers and jalepenos
3 large kohlrabi

Last night I made the collards to go with some BBQ I pulled out of the freezer and slapped on a bun. I also added a serving of whipped sweet potatoes that I had in the freezer. Super easy quick dinner. I did not do anything fancy with the collards, just blanched them for 10 minutes in salted boiling water and seasoned them with salt, pepper, and grapeseed oil.

I never did get to post the Turkey Soup recipe. I ended up making the soup in a rush on a weeknight, and forgot to document what I was doing. However, I will share this: I hand shredded all of the left over turkey from Thanksgiving and put it in a stock pot. Then I added 3 large cans of diced tomatoes with the juice, 2 cans of corn (not drained), 2 cans of black eyed peas (not drained), 2 cans of lima beans (not drained), 1 can of chopped carrots (drained), and 3 bunches of joi choi from the CSA. I also added 3 chicken bullion cubes, salt and pepper for seasoning. I brought the soup to a boil and let it boil for about 20 minutes, then I simmered it for 2 or 3 hours. We had dinner two nights, and I froze 8 more dinners out of this pot. I would have preferred to use more fresh and less canned veggies, but I was in a hurry and had limited energy levels for cutting, washing, and peeling. I still ended up with a very nutritious quick dinner option in the freezer, which was the whole point.

Tonight I am roasting 3 acorn squash (2 from this week, 1 from last week). That recipe will be up soon.

Tomorrow night  I will make a roasted root vegetable medley with the carrots, beets, turnips, and kohlrabi.

Saturday night, while watching the big game, we are going to have make your own pizza night. So, Saturday during the day I will make whole wheat pizza crusts, and I will use the cherry tomatoes from last week and this week to make pizza sauce. I am sure I will have sauce leftover, so I will freeze some. I will document this process and let you all know how it goes.

I gave away all of the hot peppers again (I know, I am a chicken, maybe I will be more adventurous next time).

Also at some point this weekend I will make a large batch of butternut squash soup. I only have one very very small butternut squash from the CSA, but Publix has had huge butternut squash on sale, so it is time for me to make and freeze some soup!

I also have some ambitions of baking this weekend, but we will see where the energy level is by Sunday.