Food & Fun {1}

Bridget, Gary, and I had our very first Food & Fun day! It was trial by fire with all new recipes but overall, it was quite successful. You simply cannot beat a houseful of new flavors, smoke (oops!) and one cuddly dog.

Here are the recipes we tried out:

Appetizer by Vanessa

Chef Guy Fieri's Pepperoni Parmesan Bites "Deconstructed Lasagna"

I added my own flair to this by using a few different ingredients than Guy.

1/4 lb. pepperoni, cut into 1/4-inch cubes (about 1 cup)
1/4 cup diced onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp. fennel seeds
1 cup crushed tomatoes
(I used 1 cup of mom's canned tomatoes and 1/4 cup of tomato sauce)
1 bay leaf
48 RITZ Crackers
Italian parsley, for garnish

I'm not a huge fan of ricotta so I used that amazing Garlic Feta Cheese Dip for the cheese mixture instead :)

HEAT oven to 350ºF.

SET a large saute pan over medium heat, and add pepperoni cubes and onion. Cook for 3-4 min. until pepperoni begins to render oil, then add garlic, pepper flakes and fennel seeds. Cook until fragrant, about 2 min.; drain oil and add tomatoes and bay leaf. Simmer for 10-12 min. until thickened and all the flavors have come together in the sauce. Set aside and keep warm. Discard bay leaf.

IN a large mixing bowl, combine ricotta and Parmesan; smear a teaspoon of Parmesan-ricotta mixture on each RITZ Cracker and top with a teaspoon of pepperoni sauce. Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 5-6 min. or until heated through. Garnish with parsley.

To be perfectly honest, I wasn't a fan, but Bridget & Gary seemed to like them. Let's give them 2.5 stars

Main Course by Bridget

Perfect Pizza Crust and Roasted Garlic Chicken Pesto Pizza

1/2 cup warm water (about 110 degrees)
1 envelope (2 1/4 tsp.) instant yeast
1 1/4 cups water, at room temp
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 cups (22 oz.) bread flour, plug more for dusting
1 1/2 tsp salt
olive oil or non-stick cooking spray for greasing bowl

Measure the warm water into a 2-cup liquid measuring cup. Sprinkle in the yeast and let stand until the yeast dissolves and swells, about 5 minutes. Add the room temperature water and oil and stir to combine.

Place the flour and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Briefly combine the dry ingredients at low speed. Slowly add the liquid ingredients and continue to mix at low speed until a cohesive mass forms. Stop the mixer and replace the paddle with the dough hook. Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Form the dough into a ball, put it in a deep oiled bowl, and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled in size, about 1 ½ to 2 hours. Press the dough to deflate it.

To bake, place a pizza stone in the lower third of the oven. Heat the oven to 500° for at least 30 minutes. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide the dough into two equal pieces. Form both pieces of dough into smooth, round balls and cover with a damp cloth. Let the dough relax for at least 10 minutes but no more than 30 minutes.

Working with one piece of dough and keeping the other covered, shape the dough and transfer to a pizza peel or round of parchment dusted with semolina or cornmeal. Top as desired. Slide the dough onto the pizza stone. Bake until the crust edges brown and cheese is golden brown in spots, about 8 to 12 minutes. Repeat with remaining ball of dough or freeze for later use.

Recipe: Roasted Garlic Chicken Pesto Pizza Adapted from Annies Eats

1 perfect pizza crust (recipe above)
1/2 cup prepared pesto (store bough or homemade)
1 bulb of garlic
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, cooked
Mozzarella cheese
Parmesan cheese

To roast the garlic: Peel away the outer layers of the garlic bulb skin, leaving the skins of the individual cloves intact. Using a knife, cut off 1/4 to a 1/2 inch of the top of cloves, exposing the individual cloves of garlic. Place the garlic heads in a baking pan; muffin pans work well for this purpose. Drizzle a couple teaspoons of olive oil over each head, using your fingers to make sure the garlic head is well coated. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake at 400°F for 30-35 minutes, or until the cloves feel soft when pressed. Remove garlic gloves and smash with a fork.

Spread roasted garlic over pizza dough. Do this to taste. I used almost the whole (small) bulb, but I LOVE roasted garlic.

Spread the pesto on the pizza.

Add the sliced, cooked chicken.

Sprinkle with mozzarella.

Top with fresh grated parmesan.

Bake on preheated pizza stone for 8 - 12 minutes.

We (maybe just me) had so much excitement for this recipe but it just didn't measure up. The pizza crust was a little thick and the flavors didn't burst out as much as we'd hoped. 2 stars :( Add overwhelmingly more garlic and I'd bump it up to 3 stars...

Dessert by Vanessa

Molten Chocolate Cake

4 tablespoon(s) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for muffin tins
1/3 cup(s) granulated sugar, plus more for muffin tins
3 large eggs
1/3 cup(s) all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon(s) salt
8 ounce(s) bittersweet chocolate, melted
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
Whipped cream, for serving

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Generously butter 6 cups of a standard muffin tin. Dust with granulated sugar, and tap out excess. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and granulated sugar until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. With the mixer on low speed, beat in flour and salt until just combined. Beat in chocolate until just combined. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups.

Place muffin tin on a baking sheet; bake just until tops of the cakes no longer jiggle when the pan is lightly shaken, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven; let stand 10 minutes.

To serve, turn out cakes, and place on serving plates, bottom sides up. Dust with confectioners' sugar, and serve with whipped cream, if desired.

I was soooo nervous to make these because I didn't trust how easy the recipe seemed. Luckily for us, they turned out perfectly! 4 stars!

To top it all off, Daisy was being SO cute and cuddly. The pizza pan made the house a little smokey so she snuck off to my mom's room. When the house cleared up, she came back out and slept :)

1 comment:

Linda Oelrich said...

Cute, Daisy sure looks comfy!!!