Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Late Night Pizza

By Zachary Penrod

The pizza pictured here is not my "best" pie, but rather my "fastest" pie.

It stemmed from a unanimous, but unforeseen need for pizza. This need arose after a fabulous night of celebrating Sara's birthday with friends, but unfortunately late night pizza is far less available in the suburbs. When the birthday girl wants pizza the birthday girl gets pizza...and so I sprang into action whipping up a quick pie in under 30 minutes.

This recipe for the dough is super quick because there is no yeast, and therefore no need to proof or rise the dough.  

The one in the picture was topped with a spicy pizza sauce, shredded mozzarella, pepperoni, and then some fresh mozzarella.  It wasn't my prettiest or most circular pie, but it definitely the fastest from start to finish.

1 cup flour
1 t baking powder
1/3 cup milk
2 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 cup corn meal
1 egg
Herbes de Provence
(Toppings of choice)

1. Heat oven to 425 degrees. If you are using a pizza stone (experienced pizza makers only), it should be in your oven to heat at the same time;
2. Mix all ingredients, except the corn meal and egg, in a bowl and stir vigorously until the dough pulls from the sides;
3. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes;
4.  Sprinkle the cornmeal liberally on your working surface and work the dough into a 13-inch  circle. You can use a roller or your knuckles, but this dough turns out better if it’s worked instead of stretched;
5. If you are an experienced pizza maker, place the pizza on your pizza paddle, cutting board, or the back of a cookie tray (you’ll need to slide from here to your pizza stone!).  If you’re a pizza novice you can make and cook the pizza on the flat side of a cookie tray to avoid the expert pizza sliding maneuver;
6. Beat the egg and brush it onto the outer inch of the pizza crust;
7. Sprinkle your herbes de provence on the egg covered crust.  You can also sprinkle some sea salt and cracked black pepper on the crust if you like.
8. Finish the pizza with your favorite combination of sauce, cheese and toppings;
9.  Experienced pizza makers can then transfer the pie onto the pizza stone with one swift sliding motion.  The novice crowd can simply place the pizza in the oven on the upside down cookie tray;
10. Cook for 20-25 minutes or until the pizza looks and smells done.

Click here for recipe card.
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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas cookies

By Paul Briand

In the spirit of the season, I wanted to offer up two

archived links to Christmas cookies recipes that have been in our family for a long, long time.

I don't bake, so I leave it to my Mom, my sister Margaret, and my sister Ella to meet the Christmas cookie need each year.

Here's a Bird's Nest Cookie recipe from Margaret.

And here's a Chocolate Crinkles recipe from Ella.

Both originated with my mother Marge.

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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Lemon Shrimp On Rice

By Paul Briand

One way or the other, I planned to do a shrimp recipe for this week.

And I had two in mind: This Lemon Shrimp On Rice, which came as part of a coupon book from the supermarket where I food shop; and a Puff Pastry-Wrapped Jumbo Shrimp recipe that I found cruising the web.

My wife Jane preferred the pastry-wrapped shrimp -- with its garlic and herb spread and bacon and buttery puff pastry.

I decided on the lemon shrimp for the simple reason of getting on on the scale Monday morning and not liking what I saw.

This is pretty simple and low fat, and I adapted it here from the original.

I’m sure I’ll get to the puff pastry shrimp recipe soon.

1 cup of your favorite rice (enough to make for four servings)
1 cup of low-sodium chicken broth
1 ¼ cup water
1 tablespoon butter (or olive oil)
2 cloves minced garlic
Red pepper flakes to taste (1/8 to ¼ teaspoon)
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 pound prepared cooked shrimp (the larger the better)
1 lemon, sliced
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro

1. Make sure the prepared shrimp is fully thawed, at room temperature and dry;
2. Cook the rice according to normal instructions, but bringing the cup of broth and the cup and a quarter of water to a boil;
3. Add the butter, garlic, red pepper and lemon zest, stir;
4. Add the rice, stir, cover and turn the heat to low;
5. Simmer rice the normal cooking time until done;
6. Stir in the shrimp and lemon slices;
7. Cover, remove from heat and let sit for three minutes;
8. Top mixture with cilantro and serve.

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