Make-ahead

Cheesy Jalapeño Pull Bread

Rustic loaf bread, cross hatched and stuffed with Monterey Jack cheese, pickled jalapeños and green onions, baked until all melty. Yum!

Ready in:

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 8

Meandering along the Internet highway one day I happened upon several recipes for what looked like a hedgehog made of bread, stuffed with melted cheese and bacon.

Brilliant! A lot like cheesy bread but more fun. I thought I would do my own version with jack and jalapeños.

Yum! It’s like a bread version of nachos. In the shape of a hedgehog. That you have to get your fingers messy with melted cheese to eat.

Just the thing for a bunch of rowdies gathered to watch football, don’t you think?

Speaking of which, we have several fine Superbowl recipes on the site if you are looking for ideas. And go Niners. (Yes, I know they’re not playing. There’s always next season.)

Ingredients

  • 1 rustic loaf of bread, unsliced, either Italian or French
  • 12 ounces shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1/4 cup (less or more to taste) chopped pickled jalapeños
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions, including greens
  • 1/4 cup (4 Tbsp) butter, melted

Ingredients

  • 1 rustic loaf of bread, unsliced, either Italian or French
  • 12 ounces shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1/4 cup (less or more to taste) chopped pickled jalapeños
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions, including greens
  • 1/4 cup (4 Tbsp) butter, melted

Method

1 Slice bread in cross hatch pattern: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Slice the bread almost all the way through (not all the way) in a cross hatch pattern, spacing an inch between the slices.

2 Make cheese mixture: Place the shredded cheese in a large bowl. Toss with the green onions and jalapeños. Pour over with melted butter and use your clean hands to toss, to distribute the butter evenly through the cheese.

3 Stuff bread with cheese mixture: Place the bread on a large sheet of aluminum foil (large enough to wrap the bread) on a baking sheet. Stuff every crevasse with the cheese mixture.

Wrap with the aluminum foil. At this point you can make ahead and refrigerate until ready to bake.

4 Bake: Bake in a 350°F oven for 15 minutes. Then uncover the foil from the bread and cook for 10 minutes more, until all of the cheese has melted.

Place on a serving board or plate to serve.

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Mignonette Sauce for Oysters

A classic accompaniment to raw oysters, mignonette sauce made with shallots, vinegar, and white pepper.

Ready in:

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Marinating time: 4 hours
  • Yield: Makes about a cup and a half, easily enough for several dozens of oysters.

Do you like raw oysters? My brother Matt lives in Point Reyes and has access to wonderful oysters from Tomales Bay.

Lately he’s been bringing a few dozen with him when he comes to visit. The oyster eaters among us gather and have quite the feast when he arrives.

My favorite accompaniment to fresh, raw oysters is this mignonette—a piquant sauce made with vinegar and shallots that you sprinkle on top of the oyster, much like a squeeze of lemon juice.

It’s a lovely balance to the briny, somewhat creamy oysters.

The recipe comes by way of my French sweetheart, who grew up on oysters in the South of France. This is his cherished mignonette recipe which he makes every time we have a gathering to enjoy oysters.

By the way, according to him, “mignonette” translates roughly into “cute, small, and tasty”, and that’s exactly what this is.

Make the mignonette at least 4 hours ahead of time, preferably a day or two, which allows for the flavors to blend, and the shallots to mellow.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup minced shallots (about 2 1/2 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup clear, unseasoned rice vinegar*
  • 1/8 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon of finely crushed white peppercorns (do not use pre-ground or powdered white pepper)

*If using seasoned rice vinegar, omit the sugar and salt

Method

1 Finely mince the shallots: Peel and coarsely chop the shallots. Put them into a food processor and pulse a few times, until the shallots are finely minced, but not mush, with pieces no smaller than the tip of a match.

You can also finely mince by hand if you wish. The advantage of using a food processor is that the food processor bowl captures all of the liquid released by the shallots as they are minced, which will enhance the flavor of the mignonette.

2 Stir in white vinegar, rice vinegar, sugar, salt: Place the minced shallots and any liquid released from them in a non-reactive (glass or pyrex) bowl. Add the white vinegar, rice vinegar, and sugar and salt. Stir with a fork.

Add the freshly crushed white pepper. Stir with a fork.

3 Chill: Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for a minimum of four hours. For best results, store for at least 2 days before using.

The mignonette flavor will be better blended the longer it sits. You may notice that the crushed white peppercorns may sink to the bottom of the bowl as the mignonette rests. If you see this, just give it a little stir.

The mignonette will last up to a month in the refrigerator.

To serve, shuck the oysters. (Here is an excellent video by Serious Eats on How to Shuck an Oyster.) Make sure that the oyster is loose in the shell before serving.

Usually the mignonette sauce is served in a small bowl with a small spoon, alongside the oysters on a platter (or as the French say, “plateau de coquillages”). People can scoop a small amount of the mignonette (1/8 of a teaspoon or so) onto their oyster before eating.

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Mexican Quinoa Salad with Black Beans, Corn, and Tomatoes

Quinoa salad with black beans, corn, fresh tomatoes, jalapeños, farmers cheese, lime juice, and cilantro. Make this southwest quinoa salad for any occasion.

Ready in:

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4-6

Quinoa is one of my favorite foods, how about you?

Grain-like, but not really a grain, quinoa has a wonderfully nutty flavor. It’s also happily very good for you, being high in protein, fiber, magnesium, calcium, and iron.

While quinoa is indigenous to the Andes, not Mexico, it works beautifully with Mexican and Southwestern flavors, and especially well with cheese, in particular farmers cheese, a soft, mild cheese like queso fresco or fresh mozzarella.

Mexican Quinoa Salad

This quinoa salad is a quick toss together with canned black beans, fresh garden tomatoes, corn, farmers cheese, jalapeños, red onions, cilantro, and lime. (Want to use homemade beans? Make them ahead on the stovetop or in a pressure cooker.)

It will last for several days chilled which makes it a great make-ahead salad for picnics and gatherings. Enjoy!

If you are working with frozen corn, you can add more flavor by taking the frozen corn kernels and searing them directly on a hot pan, without defrosting first. Save time by prepping most of the ingredients while the quinoa is cooking.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, well rinsed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/3 cup diced red onion
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup frozen corn, defrosted, OR 1 cup of fresh corn, parboiled, drained and cooled (approximately the amount of kernels from one ear of corn)
  • 3 medium tomatoes, seeded and cut into chunks
  • 5 ounces Queso fresco, Queso Panela, fresh Mozzarella or other mild farmer’s cheese, cut into 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, including tender stems, packed
  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Method

1 Cook the quinoa: Put the rinsed quinoa, salt and water into a pot and bring it to a boil. Cover and simmer gently until the quinoa absorbs all the water, about 10-15 minutes.

Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Place into a large bowl and fluff up with a fork to help it cool more quickly.

2 Soak onions in lime juice: While the quinoa is cooking, prepare the rest of the salad. Soak the red onions in the lime juice and set aside. Soaking the onions in lime juice (or lemon juice or water) helps take the edge off of them.

3 Mix the prepped black beans, corn kernels, tomatoes, cheese, jalapeños, cilantro, and oil into a large bowl.

4 Add quinoa and onions to bean mixture: When the quinoa has cooled, mix it into the bean mixture. Add the red onion and the lime juice and add salt, more oil or lime juice to taste.

Serve at room temperature.

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Mediterranean Chicken Salad

Easy, healthy Mediterranean style chicken salad! With olive oil, vinegar, olives, capers, onions and fresh herbs.

Ready in:

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4

Do you have a favorite chicken salad?

I love making chicken salad because it’s so versatile. You can easily make it ahead, it holds up well for a picnic or potluck, and you can eat it straight, in bread or toast as a sandwich, or toss it with lettuce or pasta.

Here’s a tangy twist on the classic we know and love, a Mediterranean-style chicken salad with chopped poached chicken, lots of olives, capers, red onions soaked in red wine vinegar, and olive oil.

Serve it straight, or toss it with some pasta! Or serve it in lettuce cups.

If you want to be extra fancy, make little boats with a spoonful of this chicken salad in endive leaves. Endive tastes especially good with the salad’s olives, oil, and vinegar.

There are lots of uses for this basic salad. Try mixing some cooked pasta in with it.

Or placing a spoonful into boats of endive lettuce. Endive tastes particularly good with this salad, so it would also work just to chop some up and add it to the chicken salad.

You could also stuff an avocado half with it, or stuff fresh tomatoes.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup minced red onion
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 3/4 cup mixed pitted deli olives, sliced
  • 1 pinch of red chile flakes
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano or basil (or both!)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • Black pepper to taste

Optional:

  • Endive lettuce for appetizer boats, or chopped to add to the salad
  • Butter lettuce for lettuce cups
  • Fusilli pasta, about 1/4 pound dry for one batch of the salad (use gluten-free pasta for gluten-free option)

Method

1 Marinate the onion in vinegar: Mix the minced onion with the vinegar in a bowl and set aside. This quick pickling will take the edge off of the onions.

2 Poach the chicken: Bring 1 1/2 quarts of water to a boil and add about 2 tablespoons of salt. Cut the chicken breasts in half crosswise and place them in the water. Reduce the heat to low and let the chicken cook very gently, at barely a simmer, for 10-15 minutes, until just cooked through.

3 Combine the other salad ingredients: While the chicken is cooking, mix the olive oil, capers, olives, chile flakes, and oregano in a large bowl.

4 Dice or shred the chicken: When the chicken is done, place it on a cutting board to cool. Add the onions to the bowl with the olives. Once the chicken has cooled enough to handle, cut it into dice or shred it.

5 Combine chicken, parsley, with other salad ingredients: Gently mix the chicken and parsley in with the olives. Add salt and black pepper to taste. Serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled.

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Turkey Chili (with Leftover Turkey)

Easy Turkey Chili, great for turkey leftovers! With shredded turkey meat, kidney beans, onion, garlic, tomatoes and chili.

Ready in:

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 8

Make the Best Turkey Chili with Leftover Turkey

Is there anything better than a hot bowl of chili on a cold day?

Here’s one of our favorite recipes for using Thanksgiving turkey leftovers. With kidney beans (canned or homemade), tomato, bell pepper, garlic and loads of spices, this chili is terrific, and easy to make with leftover shredded turkey meat – especially the dark meat!

You could also easily make this chili with cooked shredded chicken if no turkey leftovers are available.

Turkey Chili for All

Note that this turkey chili recipe makes a large pot of chili! Perfect for a gathering. Use the chili leftovers as an easy sauce with pasta or filling for enchiladas.

Serve the chili loaded high with shredded cheese and diced onions, and better still, cornbread.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped fine
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder (or up to 4 Tbsp if you like it spicier)
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 3 15-ounce cans crushed tomatoes (fire roasted if you can get it)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 cup of turkey stock or chicken stock
  • Two 15 oz cans kidney beans, drained
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt, plus more if desired to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 to 4 cups of shredded, cooked turkey meat
  • 1 to 3 teaspoons sugar (optional)
  • Shredded cheddar cheese, chopped green or red onion, sour cream for optional garnish.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped fine
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder (or up to 4 Tbsp if you like it spicier)
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 3 15-ounce cans crushed tomatoes (fire roasted if you can get it)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 cup of turkey stock or chicken stock
  • Two 15 oz cans kidney beans, drained
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt, plus more if desired to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 to 4 cups of shredded, cooked turkey meat
  • 1 to 3 teaspoons sugar (optional)
  • Shredded cheddar cheese, chopped green or red onion, sour cream for optional garnish.

Method

1 Sauté the onions, peppers, garlic, and spices: In a large, 8-quart, thick-bottom pot, heat the olive oil on medium high heat. Add the onions and green peppers and cook, stirring, until golden, about 5 minutes.

Add the garlic, chili powder, and cumin, and cook, stirring, for a minute or two more. Add a bit more olive oil if needed.

2 Add tomatoes, beans, stock, cooked turkey: Add tomatoes, tomato paste, stock, kidney beans, oregano, salt, pepper, and cooked turkey meat. Bring mixture to a simmer and reduce heat to low. Simmer, partially covered, for an hour.

3 Add salt: Salt to taste. Add sugar to taste if needed to balance the acidity of the tomatoes.

The chili may be made in advance and chilled for 2 days, or frozen for 2 months.

4 Serve with toppings: Serve with shredded cheddar cheese, chopped red onion, and or sour cream. Serve alone, over rice, or with cornbread.

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Sesame Noodle Salad

Sesame Noodle Salad, so quick and easy! Thin noodles infused with a sesame, honey, soy sauce dressing.

Ready in:

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 to 6

Is it hot where you are? We’ve had an unseasonably cool several days, but the weather reports assure us that that’s about to change.

This sesame noodle salad is a perfect cold noodle salad for a hot day. Make the noodles and the dressing ahead of time and let the noodles soak in all the flavor from the dressing (sesame oil, honey, soy sauce).

Then toss it with green onions, cilantro, bell pepper and peanuts right before serving. Yum!

You can also add cubed cooked chicken to the salad to make it a more substantial meal, or some tahini for a creamier sesame flavor. If you take it to a potluck picnic, double the recipe! This one is a crowd pleaser.

Recipe and photos updated, first published 2006

Ingredients

Honey Soy Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 3 Tbsp dark sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed dried red pepper or chili powder (optional)
  • 3 Tbsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce (less if using tamari which is more concentrated than soy sauce)

Salad:

  • 12 ounces of vermicelli, thin spaghetti, or angel hair pasta
  • Salt
  • 2/3 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
  • 1/3 cup chopped roasted salted peanuts
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds

Ingredients

Honey Soy Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 3 Tbsp dark sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed dried red pepper or chili powder (optional)
  • 3 Tbsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce (less if using tamari which is more concentrated than soy sauce)

Salad:

  • 12 ounces of vermicelli, thin spaghetti, or angel hair pasta
  • Salt
  • 2/3 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
  • 1/3 cup chopped roasted salted peanuts
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds

Method

1 Prepare the dressing: Put the dressing ingredients into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat.

2 Cook the pasta: Put the pasta in a large pot in salted boiling water (1 Tbsp salt for every 2 quarts of water). Cook al dente, according to the directions on the pasta package. Drain.

3 Toss with dressing, chill: Stir together the cooked pasta and the dressing in a large bowl until the pasta is well coated. Cover and chill for several hours.

4 Stir in cilantro, peanuts, green onions, bell pepper: When ready to serve, mix in the cilantro, peanuts, green onions and bell pepper. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds.

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Slow-Roasted Salmon with Sweet Chili Glaze and Scallions

Ever slow-roast salmon? So good! Tender and silky. We do this one with a glaze of sweet chili sauce and scallions. Easy dinner party recipe.

Ready in:

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Slow-roasting is a technique that can be applied to almost any fish, but it’s especially good with salmon. Just turn down the oven heat and cook for slightly longer than usual.

The total time is still minimal, but the result is a true revelation: tender, silky wedges of salmon, easily cut with a spoon. Serve the salmon on top of lightly seasoned greens, and you have a meal that appeals to the eyes and to the palate.

When buying your fish, look for center-cut piece salmon. This part of the fillet has the same thickness throughout, which ensures that the whole piece will cook evenly. If you’re buying your fish at a fish counter, just ask the person helping you for a center-cut piece.

While you are at it, ask them to remove the skin and any pin bones. Removing the skin means that side can absorb some of the glaze during cooking, and pin bones can be annoying to pull out yourself at home. (It’s also fine to cook the salmon with the skin on; it just won’t get quite as flavorful throughout.)

If you end up needing remove the pin bones yourself, try this trick: Lay the salmon on top of an upside-down bowl so the fish is convex. Run your fingers along the length of the fish to find the bones – you’ll feel them poking up out of the salmon, nearly perpendicular to the surface and spaced an inch or so apart. Use tweezers or needle nose pliers to firmly grasp the tip of each pin bone and smoothly pull them out.

This is a fantastic and fancy-looking meal for company, but it’s also a great weeknight dinner option. You can coat the fish with the glaze several hours in advance, refrigerate it, and roast it later. It can also be served at warm, room temperature, or even cold.

The ease of preparation can be your own little secret!

How to Remove Pin Bones

Place a bowl upside down on a cutting board and cover with a paper towel to keep the fish from sliding. Lay the fish on top of the bowl. Run your fingers down the length of the fish to find the pin bones. With tweezers or needle nose pliers, firmly grasp the bone ends and pull them out. Dip the tweezers in a cup of water as you work to rinse away bits of bone and make it easier to grasp the next one.

A Note About Buying Salmon

According to Prevention Magazine, wild caught salmon has half the fat of farm raised salmon and is not plagued by contaminants that might be found in farm raised salmon. Wild salmon also is much higher in nutrients such as calcium, iron and zinc, and has less salt. That said, both wild and farm raised salmon are good for you. My personal preference is for wild salmon when I can buy it.

Center-cut salmon fillets are best for this recipe since they are of even thickness. If you end up with a piece that is thinner on one side, you can cut it off, cook it separately, and remove it from the oven when done. Alternatively, if your salmon is skinned, you can fold the thin part over on itself so that it’s the same thickness as the rest of the salmon.

If you can, ask someone at the fish counter to remove the skin and pin bones from your salmon for you. If not, be sure to remove the pin bones yourself, but it’s fine to cook and serve the salmon with the skin left on; just pour all of the glaze over top of the salmon. (Removing it helps to flavor the salmon on all sides instead of just on top.

Ingredients

For the glaze:

  • 1/2 cup sweet Thai chili sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced

For the salmon

  • 1 1/2 pounds center-cut salmon fillet, skin and pin bones removed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

To serve:

  • 2 to 3 handfuls baby greens (arugula, spinach, kale or a combination)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • Leaves from 2 to 3 sprigs cilantro
  • Leaves from 2 to 3 sprigs mint
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges, for serving

Method

1 Make the glaze: In a bowl, stir together the Thai chili sauce, sriracha, lime juice, soy sauce, ginger and half of the chopped scallions. Reserve the remaining scallions for the garnish.

2 Prepare the salmon: Check the salmon for pin bones by running your fingers gently over the surface; remove any pin bones you find (see Recipe Note). Sprinkle the salmon with salt and pepper on both sides.

Spread about 1/3 cup of the glaze in the center of a 9×13-inch baking dish. Set the salmon fillet on top and move it around a little so that the bottom is coated with glaze. Spread the top with the remaining glaze. If you like, you can do this ahead, cover it, and refrigerate for up to 2 hours.

3 Slow-roast the salmon: Preheat the oven to 275º F.  Roast for 18 to 23 minutes, or until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the fish registers 130 degrees. (The temperature will rise a few degrees once the salmon is out of the oven.)

4 Toss the salad: In a bowl, toss the greens with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Sprinkle with the lime juice and toss again. Arrange the greens on a platter.

5 Serve the salmon: With a serving spoon, break the salmon into a few large pieces and set them on the platter on top of the greens. Scatter the cilantro, mint, and remaining scallions on top. Place the lime wedges around the fish and serve.

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No-Knead Whole Wheat Pizza Dough

This no-knead pizza dough is so easy and can be made days in advance! Add some whole wheat flour for extra nutrition and nutty flavor.

Ready in:

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Rising time: 12 hours
  • Yield: About 1 1/2 pounds dough, enough for 1 sheet pan pizza (or two 10- to 12-inch pizzas)

This no-knead pizza dough is laughably easy. Just whisk flour, yeast and salt in a bowl, add water and stir. Let rise, covered, overnight, and make your pizza. That’s it.

My recipe is based on the no-knead bread recipe originally developed by Jim Lahey at the Sullivan Street Bakery in New York City. Here, I’ve added whole wheat flour to up the nutritional value and modified the amounts to make a dough that’s perfectly proportioned for making sheet pan pizza.

Since whole wheat flour absorbs more water than white flour, it is best to stick to about 30 percent whole wheat to white flour. This is just enough to add some nutty, wheaty flavor to the dough, but more than that makes the crust a bit stodgy.

Once you’ve tried this no-knead dough, there’s no going back.

Tips for Success

  • “Instant” yeast (not fast rising yeast) is actually a separate strain of yeast designed to be mixed with dry ingredients. If you can’t find it, simply substitute the equivalent amount of traditional dry yeast softened in 2 tablespoons of warm water.
  • If your plans change, the dough will keep for up to 3 days, covered well, in the refrigerator. When ready to make your pizza, pat out the dough in the pan and let it warm at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes while you prep the toppings and heat the oven.
  • Looking for another recipe to try? Make this Easy No-Knead Pizza Dough!

Pizza Recipes to Try

  • Homemade Pizza
  • Spinach and Artichoke Sheet Pan Pizza
  • Shaved Asparagus and Potato Pizza

Ingredients

  • 2 2/3 cups (320g) white flour (all-purpose or bread flour)
  • 1 1/3 cups (150g) whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (354g) water
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil

Ingredients

  • 2 2/3 cups (320g) white flour (all-purpose or bread flour)
  • 1 1/3 cups (150g) whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (354g) water
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil

Method

1 Mix the dough by hand: Into a large bowl, measure the flour, yeast and salt. Whisk until combined. Add the water all at once and stir with a sturdy spatula until the dough cleans the sides of the bowl; it will be sticky. Wet your hands and pat the dough to shape it roughly into a ball.

Alternatively, you can mix the dough in a stand mixer — In a mixer bowl fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour yeast and salt and mix on low speed for a few seconds. Add the water all at once and mix on low speed until the dough cleans the sides of the bowl; it will be sticky. Wet your hands and pat the dough to shape it roughly into a ball.

2 Let the dough rise: Drizzle the top of the dough with olive oil and with your hands, pat it to spread the oil over the dough.

Place a piece of plastic wrap directly against the surface of the dough so it doesn’t dry out. Let rise for 12 hours, or overnight. If not using right away, deflate the dough and transfer it to the fridge, still with plastic wrap pressed against the surface; it will keep for about 3 days.

3 Use the dough: Once risen, the dough is ready to be shaped into pizzas and baked. Use this dough for any pizza recipe you want to make and follow recipe instructions for shaping and baking times.

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Zucchini Lasagna Roll-Ups

Think of these zucchini roll-ups as like lasagna, but without the pasta! Precooking the zucchini softens it enough to roll it up with some cheese and herbs. Top with a quick fresh stovetop tomato sauce, bake, and serve!

Ready in:

  • Prep time: 25 minutes
  • Cook time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings

It’s high summer and a glut of fat zucchini is piled high on my cutting board. No, I do not have a garden, but my neighbor does, and I often ask myself, why, oh, why do we do this every summer?

But it is a summer rite, so let’s go with the flow. We WILL conquer that crush of zucchini!

Easy Vegetarian Zucchini Roll-Ups

A bit like cannelloni but using thin slices of zucchini instead of pasta, these roll-ups warrant center stage for a vegetarian supper, especially when you need a break from “everything grilled.” You can also make these ahead!

I first made similar roll-ups to these with small eggplants back when I did have a garden, so I set about giving zucchini that role (roll? ha ha) in my summer repertoire this year.

What’s the best zucchini for the job?

Look for large, fat zucchini that weigh just under a pound.

Once sliced, the zucchini will need a little time in a hot oven so they soften just enough to become pliable. Zucchini is a bit delicate, so be careful not to overcook the slices in the oven or they will become too soft and fall apart while rolling

When rolling the slices, use a light touch. Don’t stress too much about making perfect rolls. They tend to fall into line when you tuck them into the baking dish.

Make Your Own Quick Tomato Sauce

While the zucchini is softening in the oven, make a quick tomato sauce on the stovetop using canned tomatoes to pour over the zucchini rolls in the baking dish. When I make this sauce, I start warming the oil and the garlic in the pan at the same time. This keeps the garlic from burning and softens it just enough to infuse the oil with garlic before you add the tomatoes.

You could also make the sauce with a few fresh summer tomatoes. Remove the skins (place them in a colander in the sink and pour boiling water over them to loosen them) and chop them in a food processor to the desired consistency. Cook in olive oil in a skillet with a little chopped garlic for about 10 minutes, to reduce excess liquid.

How to make zucchini roll-ups

After the sauce is ready, it’s just an assembly job. Roll the zucchini with a ricotta filling, then arrange them in a baking dish with the tomato sauce poured over top. Bake immediately, or cover and refrigerate for a day or two.

If you make these ahead, just allow a few minutes longer in the oven than directed in the recipe so the roll-ups and sauce have time to heat all the way through. If you like, you could also serve these rolls over pasta or polenta.

More Ways to Enjoy Lasagna!

  • Vegetarian Spinach and Mushroom Lasagna
  • Three-Cheese Pesto Lasagna
  • Buffalo Chicken Lasagna
  • Lasagna Bolognese
  • Four-Cheese Lasagna with Fresh Pasta

Ingredients

For the zucchini:

  • 3 large (fat) zucchini (2 1/2 to 3 pounds total)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, or olive oil spray
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper

For the sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole, peeled tomatoes, crushed in a bowl with your hands
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 large basil leaves, torn into pieces

For the filling:

  • 1 cup fresh ricotta
  • 3/4 cup grated freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for the topping
  • 1 large egg
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 20 to 30 basil leaves

Special equipment:

  • 2 baking sheets
  • Parchment or non-stick foil
  • A large, shallow baking dish (approximately 8×10 inches)

Ingredients

For the zucchini:

  • 3 large (fat) zucchini (2 1/2 to 3 pounds total)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, or olive oil spray
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper

For the sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole, peeled tomatoes, crushed in a bowl with your hands
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 large basil leaves, torn into pieces

For the filling:

  • 1 cup fresh ricotta
  • 3/4 cup grated freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for the topping
  • 1 large egg
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 20 to 30 basil leaves

Special equipment:

  • 2 baking sheets
  • Parchment or non-stick foil
  • A large, shallow baking dish (approximately 8×10 inches)

Method

1 Pre-cook the zucchini: Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper and coat lightly with cooking spray or oil.

Cut a half-inch or so off of each end of the zucchini. Then cut a long, thin vertical slice from one side — the goal is to have a flat surface so the zucchini will be stable as you slice. Lay the zucchini cut-side down.

Next, trim the peel from both sides, which will make the slices easier to roll up later on. Leave the top peel intact to provide a little color to your dish.

Finally, cut each zucchini lengthwise into 1/4-inch thick slices (a ruler helps — the slices are thicker than you might expect!) You ultimately want 12 slices total for this dish.

Lay the slices on the sheet pans. Brush or spray the top of the slices with olive oil, and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Bake for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the slices have softened just enough to be pliable and are slightly transparent — check the zucchini slices frequently as they bake.

Remove from the oven and set aside until cooled. Lower the oven temperature to 400°F.

2 Make the sauce: In a wide saucepan, combine the olive oil and garlic and set the pan over medium heat.

Let the garlic sizzle for about 20 seconds, and then add the tomatoes, salt, sugar, and pepper. Bring to a boil and adjust the heat to a simmer.

Cook for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the sauce thickens slightly (precise time will vary depending on the brand of tomatoes you use). Taste and add more salt and sugar, if you like. Stir in the basil leaves.

3 Make the ricotta filling: In a medium bowl, stir the ricotta, Parmesan, egg, salt, pepper, nutmeg, pepper and parsley together.

4 Assemble the roll-ups: In a medium (8×10) baking dish, spread about 1 cup of the tomato sauce over the bottom.

With the zucchini still on the baking sheet, spread about 1 tablespoon of the ricotta filling over each slice. Place a couple of basil leaves on top of the filling. Roll the slices into cylinders and set them in the baking dish with the seam sides down.

Spoon more tomato sauce on top. Sprinkle with more Parmesan. If you want to make these ahead of time, you can refrigerate them, covered, for up to a day.

5 Bake the roll-ups: Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the sauce bubbles. Let the zucchini rolls rest for a few minutes. Use a large spoon to scoop the rolls into shallow bowls for serving. Serve with crusty bread and a salad if you like.

Posted by gen_gen -  at 

Categories: Make-ahead   Tags: , ,

Gazpacho with Avocado and Corn

Gazpacho is meant for hot summer nights when turing on the stove is a chore. Add avocado and corn for a more complete meal! Gazpacho needs to be made ahead and chilled, but that also means you have lunch or dinner right in the fridge, ready whenever you are.

Ready in:

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Chill time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 8 to 10 servings

Soup? Or salad? You can have both in this easy gazpacho made with tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and tomato juice, spiced with sherry vinegar and hot sauce.

When it’s corn and tomato season, you really can’t beat this cold soup for a refreshing pick-me-up, day or night. Add creamy diced avocados to make this a filling meal.

What is Gazpacho?

Traditional Spanish gazpacho was probably originally made on the spot in the field by farm workers using bread, olive oil, vinegar, garlic and water. And, of course, tomatoes.

It has evolved and spawned numerous versions. However you make it, you will want to make it and eat it until the last tomato of summer drops from the vine.

What are the ingredients for this gazpacho?

 I originally learned this version of gazpacho from my chef-mentor Eugene Bernard, and have tweaked it over the years. But the base remains the same: chopped tomatoes, cucumbers and poblano peppers with a perky, vinegary kick from some sherry vinegar. Tomato juice thins it out for happy slurping — use your favorite store-brought tomato juice or make your own.

Make-Ahead Gazpacho!

You can also make and keep this gazpacho in the refrigerator for up to a week. (The acid in the soup keeps the avocado from browning—just in case you were wondering.)

I make a lot, whether it is just for my husband and myself, or for a crowd. I love having plenty of it in the fridge on hot days when nothing much else appeals to me.

To Quickly Chill Gazpacho, Add Ice

To hasten the chilling process if necessary, you can stir a few ice cubes into the soup just before serving and remove them before you ladle it into bowls.

To take the gazpacho on a picnic (brilliant!), put a few ice cubes into jam jars and pour the soup into the jars. Pop them in the cooler with your sandwiches and sip it while you watch the ocean waves roll in.

More Chilled Summer Soups!

  • Gazpacho
  • White Gazpacho
  • Chilled Cucumber Soup
  • Watermelon Gazpacho
  • Cold Tomato Summer Vegetable Soup

Poblano peppers can be hot(ish) or mild, so taste first before adding them to the soup. You can substitute sweet red, yellow or green peppers if you can’t find or don’t want to use poblanos.

Ingredients

  • 4 ripe summer tomatoes, about 2 pounds, cored and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 2 medium poblano peppers, seeded and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1/3 cup sliced scallions
  • 3 cups tomato juice, store-bought or homemade
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons Tabasco or hot sauce (or more), to taste
  • 2 cups cooked corn kernels
  • 2 ripe avocadoes, peeled and cut into small dice
  • 1/2 cup packed cilantro leaves
  • 8 radishes, thinly sliced (for garnish)
  • 2 limes, quartered (for garnish)

Special equipment:

  • 11-cup food processor

Method

1 Pulse the tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers: Combine the tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and scallions in the bowl of a food processor.

In batches, pulse in a series of short bursts, or until the vegetables are coarsely but evenly chopped, but not finely pureed. Transfer to a large bowl.

2  Add the remaining ingredients: Stir in the tomato juice, vinegar, salt, pepper, Tabasco, and several grindings of black pepper. Stir in the corn and diced avocado.

Taste and adjust the salt, vinegar and Tabasco sauce to your liking. Refrigerate about two hours, or until cold. (See our tip about quickly cooling gazpacho in the headnotes.)

3 Serve the soup: Ladle the soup into bowls and top with cilantro leaves and radishes. Serve with lime wedges. If the soup has thickened in the refrigerator or is not cold enough to your liking, stir in a few ice cubes.

Posted by gen_gen -  at 

Categories: Make-ahead   Tags: , , ,

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