Saturday, January 7, 2017

Short-rib Pizzadilla

Short-Rib Pizzadilla
                                                         prep time: varies but about 3 minutes per pizzadilla
                                      bake time: about 3 minutes per pizzadilla
                                     total time: about 6 minutes per pizzadilla


large burrito size tortilla shells, 1 for each person
your favourite pizza sauce, about 6 tablespoons per person
grated or shredded parmesan cheese, about 2 or 3 heaping tablespoons per pizzadilla
shredded mozzarella cheese, sufficient for the number of pizzadillas you are making
shredded left-over cooked short-rib meat, about ½ cup per person
extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling


Place a pizza stone (or an inverted sheet pan) in your oven.

Preheat your oven to 425° F.

build the pizzadilla:

While the oven is heating up, lay each large burrito tortilla you will be baking in front of you.

Spread the desired amount (I usually put about ¼ cup) of pizza sauce over the surface of each tortilla,
leave a very narrow margin around the edge of each tortilla clean of sauce.

Spread some of the grated parmesan cheese over the surface of each tortilla again observing the clean margin.

Spread the desired amount of mozzarella over the surface of each tortilla again observing the clean margin.

Distribute the desired amount of the shredded short-rib meat over the surface of each tortilla again observing the clean margin.

change the oven from bake to broil:

Change the setting of your oven from bake to broil, since the pizza stone is at 425° F and since the tortilla shells are so thin and already baked you are only melting and slightly browning the cheese and heating the shredded short-ribs, the broiler function does this wonderfully.

bake the pizzadilla:
For each pizzadilla:

Carefully slide the prepared pizzadilla onto your pizza peel.

Carefully transfer the pizzadilla on your peel onto the pizza stone by a quick sliding motion.

Bake the pizzadilla until the cheese is melted and slightly browned, in my oven that is about 3 minutes.  Watch them until you know how long it takes in your oven.

Repeat this process for each pizzadilla you are making, I only bake 1 pizzadilla at a time.


Slice each pizzadilla in half vertically and horizontally creating 4 triangular shaped slices per pizzadilla.

Place each pizzadilla on it’s own serving plate and serve accompanied by your favourite beverage.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Sweet and Sour Spaghetti Squash

Asian Sweet and Sour Spaghetti Squash
serves 4 to 6
                                                                                  prep time: 15 minutes
                                                                                  cook time: 60 minutes
                                                                                  total time: 1 hour 15 minutes


1 medium to large spaghetti squash, halved and seeded


1 1/2 cups chicken broth
3 generous tablespoons of peanut butter
1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon chile-garlic sauce, to taste*
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
2 inches fresh ginger, grated
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 tablespoons cold water
1 tablespoon cornstarch

*think about your audience, you can always add more at the table but you can’t remove it then


2 tablespoons vegetable oil
½ cup shitake mushrooms, stems removed and thinly sliced
2 large carrots, shredded
1 red or green bell pepper, diced
3 or 4 scallions, thinly sliced crosswise
2 limes, divided (the zest and juice of 1, the second cut into slices)
½ cup crushed peanuts
cilantro or Thai basil, chopped for garnish

prepare the spaghetti squash:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Place spaghetti squash, cut-side up, on a baking sheet.

Bake in the preheated oven until squash is tender, 30 to 45 minutes. Shred squash meat using a fork and discard the peel.

create the sauce:

Combine chicken broth, peanut butter, chile-garlic sauce, soy sauce, rice vinegar, oyster sauce, ginger, sesame oil, honey, chopped cilantro, and black pepper together in a saucepan; bring to a boil.

Whisk water and cornstarch together in a bowl until smooth; add to broth mixture and continue boiling until sauce thickens, 5 to 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low and simmer sauce.

prepare the vegetables:

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; sauté the carrots, red or green pepper, scallions, cilantro, and shredded spaghetti squash until tender, about 10 minutes.

bring it all together:

Add sauce to squash mixture; cook and stir until heated through, 3 to 5 minutes.


Arrange the sauced spaghetti squash on a serving dish, sprinkle the crushed peanuts over the noodles and garnish with the chopped cilantro and basil.

Serve immediately accompanied by the quartered limes.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Pizza Romana

Pizza Romana
makes 1 12 or 15-inch Roman style pizza

Pizza Romana is an ultra-thin pizza as it is made in Rome and while it is ultra-thin it is not crispy but pleasantly chewy.  Since it is ultra-thin do not overdress this pizza, in Italy pizzas are sparsely dressed.  The baker’s formula provided will allow upscaling the recipe.

                                                                            prep time:   1 hour
                                                                            bake time:  5 minutes
                                                                            total time:  1 hour 5 minutes


12-inch pizza
1 cup 00 flour (8 ounces)
1/8 teaspoon yeast (.077 ounce)
1 ½ teaspoon Kosher salt (.924 ounce)
3 ½ ounces water, about 105° F
¼ teaspoon honey (.154 ounce)
¼ teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil (.154 ounce), plus additional for the bowl

15-inch pizza
1 1/2 cups 00 flour (12 ounces)
1/8 teaspoon yeast (.115 ounces)
1 ½ teaspoon Kosher salt (1.39 ounces)
5 1/4 ounces water, about 105° F
1/3 teaspoon honey (.234 ounce)
1/3 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil (.234 ounce), plus additional for the bowl

baker’s formula (flour =100%, water = 43.75%, salt = 11.5%, olive oil = 1.925%, yeast = .963%, honey = 1.925%)


prepare the dough:

In a small bowl, stir in the honey and sprinkle the yeast over the water plus honey.  Set aside for a few minutes, until the yeast has dissolved.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook add the yeast mixture. Mix on the lowest speed until the dough comes together, about 3 minutes. Then rest the dough, still in the mixer, for 5 minutes. Add the salt and mix on medium speed for 4 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and has developed good elasticity. With the mixer running on medium speed, slowly add the oil and mix until incorporated.

proof the dough:

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rest for at least 30 minutes at room temperature.
form the pizza:

Preheat the oven to the highest setting, mine is 550° F and set an inverted baking sheet or, preferably, a pizza stone on the second highest rack in the oven to preheat the sheet or stone.  Preheat for 1 hour.

Place the dough ball on a well-floured surface and then sprinkle more flour on top. Work the dough into a small disk by pushing your fingertips near the center of the dough and radiating outward toward the edges, leaving the center just slightly higher. Continue until you have a round disk about 6 inches in diameter and 1/4-inch thick. 

Flip the disk over and move it to a portion of the work surface that is just lightly floured. Place both hands on top, palms down, side by side. 

Use one hand to anchor the dough and, working slowly and carefully, use the other to gently push and stretch the dough away from the center. Turn a quarter turn and repeat, repositioning your hands each time. Continue until the disk is 12 to15-inches in diameter and as thin as possible without tearing. 

 Alternatively, use a rolling pin to achieve desired dimensions and shape.  Don’t worry if it is not perfectly round that would just mark your pizza as being homemade.

Sprinkle your pizza peel with corn meal.  Transfer the shaped dough to your pizza peel, shake it slightly to ensure the shaped dough moves freely as one unit, if it doesn’t gently lift the edge that is sticking and sprinkle a little more cornmeal under that edge.

Add your toppings (pizza sauce, mozzarella, etc.).

bake the pizza:

Transfer the pizza to the preheated pizza stone by placing the peel at the far end of the stone and rapidly pulling it back sliding the pizza off the peel.  This may take a little practice but if you’ve properly coated the peel with corn meal they will act as ball bearings.

Turn off the oven and immediately and turn it back on setting it to broil.

Bake your pizza until the crust is crisp and the toppings are cooked, 4-5 minutes, until the crust is browned and the cheese is bubbly and slightly charred.


Remove the baked pizza from the oven and slice into 8 triangular, if the pizza is round, slices.  Serve accompanied by extra grated cheese. 

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Pollo Alfredo con Farfalle

Pollo Alfredo con Farfalle
(Chicken in cream sauce with Farfalle)
Makes 4 servings


1 boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into bite sized pieces
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1-pint heavy cream
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
Kosher salt, to taste
freshly ground nutmeg, to taste
½ cup frozen peas (optional)

1/2 pound Fettuccine noodle


prepare the chicken breast:

Sauté the chicken breast pieces in the olive oil until it begins to caramelize.
Remove from the caramelized chicken from the oil and drain on a paper towel-lined dish.

prepare the Farfalle:

In a large stockpot, cook the Farfalle in plenty of boiling salted water according to package directions.

prepare the sauce:

While the Farfalle is cooking, in a deep sauté pan over medium-low heat, heat the cream.
Add the butter and stir gently to melt.
Sprinkle in cheese and stir to incorporate.
Add the chicken pieces and peas.
Season with freshly cracked black pepper, salt, and nutmeg to taste.
bring it all together:
Drain the noodles and add them to the sauté pan, gently toss the noodles to coat in the Alfredo sauce. Transfer the noodles to a warm serving bowl.


Top with more grated, serve immediately.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Sweet Tomato Jam
makes 3 cups

                                                                   Prepartation time: 30 minutes
                                                                   Cook time:           45 minutes
                                                                   Process time:       10 minutes, 
                                                                                            adjusting for altitude 
                                                                   Total time:            1 hour 25 minutes


                                                 2 pound plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped
                                                 1 ½ cups light brown sugar
                                                 1 tablespoons honey
                                                 1 lemon, zested and juiced
                                                 1 teaspoon salt
                                                 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes


prepare the tomatoes:

Cut a cross in the end of each of the tomatoes.

Place the tomatoes in boiling water to blanch, about 1 minute; you'll know the tomatoes are ready to be removed when the edges of the inscribed crosses curl up.

Remove with a slotted spoon and immediately immerse the blanched tomatoes in a pre-prepared ice bath.  One by one, peel the tomatoes and place the peeled tomatoes in a bowl.

mill the tomatoes:

Several at a time, place the peeled tomatoes in a food mill positioned over a large bowl and process the tomatoes through it.  Continue to process until all the tomatoes have been processed.

Processing through a food mill will remove all the seeds.

cook the jam:

Combine the milled tomatoes, the sugar, the honey, the lemon juice and zest and the crushed red pepper flakes in large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat and bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring often.  

Continue simmering, uncovered, until the mixture reaches about 220° F. on a candy thermometer or becomes thick and syrupy, about 45 minutes.

jar the jam:

Remove from the heat and place jam into sterilized jam jars, cover and process as you would any canned vegetables or use immediately.


Jam can be used as a spread for crackers, as a sandwich spread, or as an accompaniment for ham, turkey, or pork.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Crockpot Mexican Chicken Soup for Two

Crockpot Mexican Chicken Soup for Two 
serves 2 to 4
                                                                                         prep time:  0
                                                                                         cook time: 5 hours
                                                                                         total time: 5 hours

1 boneless, skinless whole chicken breast
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
One 10-ounce can whole or diced tomatoes, with juice
1 cup chicken broth
1 10-ounce can corn, drained
5-ounces diced tomatoes with green chilies
4 teaspoons tomato paste
1 medium onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 canned chipotle pepper in adobo (you may add 2 to 3 if you like)
juice of 1/2 lime

toppings: avocado, sour cream, grated cheese, crushed tortilla chips, fresh cilantro leaves and 2 lime cut in quarters


Place the chicken breast in your crockpot.

Sprinkle the chili powder, cumin and some salt and pepper unto the breast.

Add the diced tomatoes and juices, chicken broth, corn, the diced tomatoes with chilies, tomato paste,
chopped onion, the chopped red and yellow peppers, and the chipotle pepper; stir to distribute.

Place the lid on the crock-pot and cook for 5 hours on high.

shred the chicken:

After 5 hours remove the chicken breasts to a plate and use 2 forks to shred it finely. Return the shredded chicken to the pot, stir in the juice of ½ lime, taste and correct seasoning if necessary.


Serve piping hot in individual bowls with avocado, sour cream, grated cheese, crushed tortilla chips and cilantro leaves on the side as a topping!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Crockpot Mongolian Beef

Mongolian Beef
Serves 4-6
                                                                             Prep Time: 10 minutes
                                                                             Cook Time:  4 Hours
                                                                             Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes

1- 2½ pound flatiron or flank steak
¼ Cup cornstarch
2 tablespoons  olive oil
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 tablespoon ginger, grated
¼ teaspoon chili flake
¾ cup soy sauce
¾ cup water
¾ cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup carrot, grated
3 or 4 green onions sliced diagonally into 1-inch lengths for garnish

sesame seeds for garnish

cut the steak:

Place the steak in front of you and, with a sharp knife held at a 45-degree angle, slice the meat against the grain into thin (about 1/4-inch) strips.

create cooking sauce:

Combine the olive oil, garlic, ginger, chili flake, soy sauce, water, and brown sugar in your slow cooker.

prepare the steak:

Cut flank steak into thin strips, cutting across the grain. Put steak into a Ziploc bag with the cornstarch and shake to coat.

bring it all together:

Add the coated beef to the crockpot, stir to combine and ensure the all the beef with sauce.

cook the beef:

Cover the crock-pot with its lid and cook on high for 2-3 hours or on low 4-5 hours, or until meat is cooked through and tender.

About 30 minutes before done stir in the grated carrots.


Serve over rice, garnished with sesame seeds and green onions.

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