Saturday, January 26, 2008

Pizza Sauce

Pizza Sauce

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup onions, chopped
1/4 cup celery, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 small bay leaf
1 teaspoon fennel seeds

In a large skillet, melt butter with the oil. Add the onion, celery and garlic and saute until soft and transparent.
Add tomato sauce and tomato paste and stir until smooth.
Add remaining ingredients and bring to slow simmer.
Simmer for 30-60 minutes (or not at all depending on your taste and time frame).
Remove the bay leaf and spread the sauce on your prepared pizza dough.

Source: Recipe Zaar

Pizza Margherita

Pizza Margherita

1 1/4 tsp instant yeast
1 cup water, room temperature
1 3/4 cups (8 3/4 oz) all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
1 cup (4 oz) cake flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar

Preheat the oven to 500F with your baking stone on the oven rack. This gives the stone about an hour to heat up while the dough rises.

Measure the ingredients. Dissolve the yeast in the water. Combine flours, salt and sugar in the bowl of a food processor.

Pulse flour mixture several times to combine it, then gradually pour in the yeast mixture with the motor running. Keep blended for about 2 minutes, until the dough is supple and elastic, as shown in the two photos below.

If the dough sticks to the sides of the mixer and doesn't come together, add an extra tablespoon or two of flour. If it is too dry to come together, add an extra tablespoon full of water.

Once your dough is smooth and supple, take it out of the food processor and divide it in two. Shape each piece into a tight ball by gathering the edges and pushing them into the center, as pictured above. Pinch the edge to seal.

Place dough balls on a lightly floured surface and cover with lightly oiled plastic wrap or a clean dish towel. Let rise for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.

Take the risen dough and, working with one ball of dough at a time, place on a lightly floured surface. Flatten the dough into an 8-inch disk, then stretch the edges gently until the dough is about 12-inches in diameter (pictured below). You can also gently stretch the dough by placing it on the backs of your hands, but take care that is does not develop weak spots.

Once the dough has been shaped, place it on wooden peel that has been sprinkled with cornmeal. If you do not have a peel, use an edge-less baking sheet that has been sprinkled with cornmeal instead.

Spread dough with a thin layer of pizza/tomato sauce and fresh mozarella that has been cut into 1/4-1/2 inch pieces. Do not overdo the toppings, as pizza margherita is meant to be thin and crisp.

Slide the pizza off of the peel/baking sheet and onto the preheated baking stone in a 500F oven. Bake for 5-10 minutes, until crust is browned and cheese has melted. (I baked mine for 7 min.)

Slide peel under pizza to remove if from the baking stone. Serve immediately and repeat with remaining dough ball for second pizza.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

White Chocolate Macadamia Cookies

White Chocolate Macadamia Cookies

Don't waste money on the expensive commercial version of this cookie. Make your own at home. You can use a food processor to chop the macadamia nuts, but pulse carefully. If you chop them too finely, the cookies will be mealy.

1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter or margarine (1 stick), softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup white chocolate baking chips
1 cup chopped macadamia nuts

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In small bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt.

In large bowl, with mixer at medium speed, beat butter and brown and granulated sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla until well combined. Reduce speed to low; beat in flour mixture just until blended. With wooden spoon, stir in white chocolate baking chips and macadamia nuts.

Drop dough by rounded tablespoons, 2 inches apart, on two ungreased cookie sheets. Bake until golden around edges, 10 to 12 minutes, rotating cookie sheets between upper and lower oven racks halfway through baking. With wide spatula, transfer cookies to wire racks to cool completely.

Repeat with remaining dough. It makes 20 cookies.

My notes: Next time I will decrease the amount of nuts by 1/4 cups and add 1/4 cups more of white chocolate chips.

The All New Good Housekeeping Cookbook

The Simplest Bean Burgers - Mark Bittman

The Simplest Bean Burgers

Makes: 4 to 6 servings
Time: 20 minutes with cooked beans

This is the way to go when you want a burger and have neither the time nor the inclination to fuss. When made with chickpeas, they're golden brown and lovely; with black beans, much darker; with red, somewhere in between. Lentils give you a slightly grainy texture.

There are, of course, an infinite number of ways to jazz these up (see the variations, as well as “13 Ways to Build Delicious Burgers”), but this has good flavor and texture and is excellent served on a bun with the usual fixings.

If you start with beans you've cooked yourself—especially well-seasoned ones—the results will be even better, and you can put the bean-cooking liquid to good use (I usually don't use the liquid from canned beans, which often has a tinnier taste than the beans themselves). Like almost all veggie burger mixtures, these will hold together a little better if you refrigerate them first (ideally you'd refrigerate both before and after shaping, but that's only if you have the time).

2 cups well-cooked white, black, or red beans or chickpeas or lentils, or one 14-ounce can, drained
1 medium onion, quartered
1/2 cup rolled oats (preferably not instant)
1 tablespoon chili powder or spice mix of your choice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 egg
Bean-cooking liquid, stock, or other liquid (wine, cream, milk, water, ketchup, etc.) if necessary
Extra virgin olive oil or neutral oil, like grapeseed or corn, as needed

1. Combine the beans, onion, oats, chili powder, salt, pepper, and egg in a food processor and pulse until chunky but not puréed, adding a little liquid if necessary (this is unlikely but not impossible) to produce a moist but not wet mixture. Let the mixture rest for a few minutes if time allows.

2. With wet hands, shape into whatever size patties you want and again let rest for a few minutes if time allows. (You can make the burger mixture or even shape the burgers up to a day or so in advance. Just cover tightly and refrigerate, then bring everything back to room temperature before cooking.) Film the bottom of a large nonstick or well-seasoned cast-iron skillet with oil and turn the heat to medium. A minute later, add the patties. Cook until nicely browned on one side, about 5 minutes; turn carefully and cook on the other side until firm and browned.

3. Serve on buns with the usual burger fixings. Or cool and refrigerate or freeze for later use.

Simplest Vegan Bean Burger. Many options: Omit the egg, obviously. Add 1/2 cup Mashed Potatoes; or 1/2 cup cooked oatmeal or short-grain rice (white or brown); or 1/4 cup miso or 1/2 cup tofu.

Bean-and-Cheese Burger. As a flavor-adder, cheese can't be beat, plus there are two bonuses: You don't have to mess with melting cheese on top of the burger, and—for the most part—it acts as a binder. Add 1/2 to 1 cup grated Parmesan, cheddar, Swiss, Jack, mozzarella, or other cheese to the mix (you can omit the egg if you like).

Bean-and-Spinach Burger. Of all the veggies you can add to a burger, I like spinach. You can leave it uncooked and just shred it if you prefer (figure about 2 cups), but this gives better results; it's great with a little garlic added: Squeeze dry and chop about 1 cup cooked spinach (you'll need about 8 ounces of raw spinach to start, or you can use frozen spinach); add it to the mix and proceed with the recipe.

Bean-and-Veggie Burger. Many options, but don't overdo it or the burger will fall apart: Add up to 1/2 cup carrots, bell peppers, shallots, leeks, celery, potato, sweet potato, winter squash, zucchini, or a combination. Cut into chunks as you do the onion and grind with the beans or shred or mince and add afterward.

High-Protein Bean Burger. The soy gives it just a little boost: Instead of rolled oats, use rolled soy (soy flakes).

13 Ways to Build Delicious Veggie Burgers

There are more ways to vary the burgers in this section than I can imagine, but here are a few ideas. The basic rules are to make sure the mixture is neither too dry nor too wet (if you find yourself in the first situation, add a liquid ingredient; in the second, add some oats, ground rice powder or flour, cornmeal, flour, bread crumbs, or the like). But as for flavors, the sky's the limit.

1. Fresh herbs. You can almost not go wrong with fresh herbs, as long as you don't use overwhelming amounts. Add up to 1/2 cup parsley, basil, or dill leaves; somewhat less of mint, cilantro, or chervil; a tablespoon of oregano or marjoram; or only a teaspoon or so of fresh thyme, tarragon, or rosemary.

2. Dried herbs. Use by the pinch; to really get the seasoning right, taste and adjust it (you can cook a little bit first if you don't want to taste it raw).

3. Spices. The spice mix—chili or curry powder, for example—is an easy way to go, but you can combine fairly small amounts (usually 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon) of various spices as you like. Try, for example, smoked paprika, cumin, and ground chiles; coriander, cumin, ginger, and cardamom; or anything else that appeals to you.

4. Garlic. Can't go wrong, really. Add 1 teaspoon or more minced garlic to the mix, or a tablespoon or more Roasted Garlic, with a little of its oil.

5. Chiles. For heat, you can simply add cayenne, hot red pepper flakes, or the like. But if you want some texture, you might include 1/4 cup or more roasted (or canned) green or red chiles.

6. Soy sauce or miso. Just a tablespoon or so of soy sauce, but up to 1/4 cup of any miso; you can omit the egg if you like.

7. Ketchup, salsa, or mustard. Up to 1/3 cup of ketchup or salsa (both of which are pretty good); 1 tablespoon or so of Dijon or other mustard.

8. Nuts or seeds. The nice thing about nuts is the crunch. Add 1/4 cup or so of sesame or sunflower seeds and up to 1/2 cup nuts or pumpkin seeds toward the end of the processing so they don't become too powdery.

9. Lemon, lime, or orange zest. The slight acidity brightens the taste.

10. Tomato paste. A tablespoon or two will give the burgers nice color and a more complex flavor.

11. Mushrooms. Add a tablespoon or so of dried mushrooms, soaked and cooked, as you would any other vegetable (see number 12). Or use up to about 1/2 cup raw, trimmed and added along with the oats and beans.

12. Cooked veggies. Milder flavor, softer texture than raw veggies: Add up to a cup of cooked vegetables— onions, greens, broccoli, potatoes, sweet potatoes, winter squash, zucchini—whatever you like. If you use potatoes and add them to the food processor along with the beans, you can omit the egg and oats.

13. Cooked grains. All-grain burgers tend to be mushy and uninteresting, but adding a bit of grains to other burgers results in a terrific light texture. Feel free to add up to a cup of cooked grains, along with the beans. Omit the oats and, if you like, the egg.

Source: How to cook everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman

Friday, January 11, 2008

Quinoa Black Bean Salad - Salade de quinoa et haricots noirs

Quinoa Black Bean Salad

1 cup Quinoa washed & drained.
2 cups water
1/4 cup Olive oil
juice of 2 limes
1 tsp McCormick Cumin :)
1/2 tsp Mccormick red pepper flakes
1 can black beans, rinsed
1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, cut into halves
5 green onions finely chopped
1/4 cup freash cilantro, chopped
salt & pepper to taste

Wash and rinse Quinoa. In a sauce pan bring Quinoa and Water to boil- reduce and simer, covered and cook until all water is absorbed, 10 minutes. let cool.
in a small bowl whisk together olive oil, lime juice,cumin, red pepper flakes.
Combine cooled Quinoa, beans, tomatoes & onions in alarge bowl.
Drizzle dressing over salad and toss in cilantro. season to taste with salt and pepper.

Salade de quinoa et haricots noirs

1 tasse de quinoa, rinsé
2 tasses d'eau
1/4 tasse d'huile d'olive
Jus de 2 limes
1 c. thé de cumin
1/2 c. thé de piments forts
1 bte d'haricots noirs
1 1/2 tasse de tomates cerises, coupées en deux
5 échalottes
1/4 tasse de coriandre fraiche
sel et poivre au goût

Mettre le quinoa et l'eau dans un chaudron. Amener à ébullition. Réduire le feu et cuire pendans 10-15 min. jusqu'à ce que l'eau soit évaporée.

Mélanger l'huile, le jus de lime, le cumin et les piments forts.

Combiner tous les ingrédients dans un bol. Ajouter la vinaigrette. Ajouter la coriandre, le sel et le poivre.