When most people think of October, they think of football, apples, cooler temperatures, fall foliage (New England), Halloween, comfort food, shorter days and more football. When I think of October, I immediately think of “National Pizza Month”.
“Anyone in the business of serving pizza probably does not need to be reminded that October is National Pizza Month here in the United States. While the contribution of the first pizzerias in this country cannot be ignored, it was really the returning American soldiers who fought in Italy during World War II that brought a hunger for pizza home with them and pushed its popularity over the top. America’s love of pizza continued to grow and now October is the official National Pizza Month across most of North America.
First observed in the United States during 1984 (although many people incorrectly claim it was 1987), October was designated as National Pizza Month by Gerry Durnell, the founder of Pizza Today magazine, who chose that month because the first issue of his magazine debuted in October of that year. Durnell was a pizzeria owner in the small town of Santa Claus, Indiana when he realized there were no periodicals or tradeshow publications to support his growing pizza business or the industry in general. Creation of a national pizza-oriented magazine along with the introduction of a national pizza month served his purposes perfectly and solved the problem.
Today, National Pizza Month is observed each October across the USA and in much of Canada too. The designation might be a bit redundant in this country though, as nearly every month could be considered Pizza Month in the United States these days. People don’t really need a special month for pizza in a country where there are an estimated 63,000 pizzerias and 94% of Americans eat pizza at least once a month. The figures equal the consumption of about 45 slices of pizza per person in the U.S. each year and show that Americans definitely love their pizza as evidenced by devouring 100 acres of pizza per day, or 350 slices per second.”
– See more at: pizza.com
One of my favorite kind of pizza to create is Barbecue Pizza. You can use either chicken or pork, and it is always great cooked outside on a grill, or on a preheated pizza stone in the oven, click on the link below for the recipe and grilling technique.
I also thought I would share some of my favorite pizza photos with you. I hope these photos encourage you to create your own pizza at home, once you do, it might be a while before you ever purchase pizza out again.
I love being a mom-in-law! Today my beautiful daughter (in-law) sent me a text asking for a recipe for her office (she’s a wonderful dentist) “Cinco de Mayo” party next week. I guess you can say she knows where to turn when looking for a recipe. I immediately thought of one that I wrote for a cookbook several years ago, however that recipe never made the final cut. Here’s the recipe…
|1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained|
|1 cup tomato salsa|
|2 tablespoons Weber Gourmet Burger Seasoning|
|2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce|
|1 to 2 tablespoons canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, or to taste1 to 2 tablespoons adobo sauce from canned chipotle in adobo|
|1 teaspoon Spice Islands Ground Cumin|
|2 tablespoons Mazola Extra Virgin Olive Oil|
|½ to 1 cup shredded Monterrey Jack or Queso Fresco cheese|
|Tortilla chips for dipping
Place bean mixture in a two-quart casserole dish. Top mixture with shredded cheese. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until slightly golden and bubbly. Serve with chips for dipping.
Note: Tonight when I made this dip I was out of canned chipotle peppers, so I substituted 1 tablespoon Chipotle Pepper Seasoning and 1 teaspoon of liquid smoke! It rocked!!!
Kinta’s Famous House Margarita
1.5 ounces Tequila (Reposado)
1.5 ounces Triple Sec
1.5 ounces freshly squeezed lime juice (about 3 limes)
1 cup Ice
Rub the outside of 1 glass with cut lime. Dip into a plate of Kosher salt.
Combine the Tequila, Triple Sec and lime juice and ice into a cocktail shaker, shake well
and pour into prepared glass…..
Recipe courtesy of Kristopher Wallenta
If you have never had these wonderful potatoes, you really MUST try them! I was always a lover of AuGratin Potatoes, until I found these!!!!
What does Dauphinoise really mean? Definition: In the culinary arts, the word Dauphinoise refers to a French recipe for potatoes in which the potatoes are sliced, layered in a baking dish and then baked au gratin with garlic, butter and cream. Variations on the Potatoes Dauphinoise recipe can include eggs and cheese.
The name Dauphinoise comes from the Dauphiné region of France, where the Potatoes Dauphinoise recipe is said to originate.
Although the names are similar, Potatoes Dauphinoise is not the same recipe as dauphine potatoes, which are balls of puréed potatoes mixed with choux pastry which are then deep-fried until light and crispy.
The secret to the success of these potatoes is to slice them very very thin, and rinse your sliced potatoes until the water is clear (this removes most of the potato starch). If you have a Mandolin Kitchen Slicer, you are all set. You will need 3-4 potatoes (I used russet), heavy cream, fresh thyme, white pepper, shallot, garlic (if desired), gruyere cheese, (I also like a little provolone), and pankos for a real crispy topping. You will need to finely chop a ½ large shallot or 1 small shallot. Heat a small sauce pan with 1 tablespoon of butter, and when melted, add the chopped shallot, minced garlic (if desired) and a couple of stems of fresh thyme. Cook until soft (about 5 minutes). Add 1/2 cup heavy cream and heat until warm (do not boil).
Place a handful of shredded gruyere cheese over potatoes (and any other cheese you like). Continue layering potatoes and cheese, ending with the potatoes. Top with a couple of tablespoons of pankos. Pour the cream mixture over the potatoes. Cover with foil and bake at 325 degrees 60 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking until top is bubbling and slightly golden.
Prep time: 25 minutes
Bake time: 1 hour 15 minutes
4 large russet potatoes, peeled, thinly sliced, and rinsed in cold water
2 tablespoon butter, divided
1 small shallot, finely diced
3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
½ teaspoon white pepper
8 ounces gruyere cheese, shredded
4-6 sliced provolone, torn in pieces
½ cup heavy cream
2-3 tablespoons Pankos
Preheat oven to 325°.
Heat a small sauté pan over medium low heat, add butter. When butter is melted and bubbling, add chopped shallots, fresh thyme, and white pepper. Sauté until shallots are soft, about 5-8 minutes. Add the heavy cream to the pan and heat until warm, do not boil.
While shallots are cooking, rub the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter in a gratin dish or round baking pan, and rub with garlic, if desired. Line the bottom of the dish with a single layer of potatoes, overlapping each other. Sprinkle ⅓ of the shredded cheese over potatoes and ⅓ of the provolone cheese. Continue layering potatoes and cheese; this should make 3 layers. Pour the warm cream mixture over top of potatoes, do not worry about the stems of the thyme, you can remove them after baking. Top mixture with Pankos and cover with aluminum foil.
Place potatoes in preheated oven and bake 1 hour, or until potatoes are soft. Remove foil and continue baking until potatoes are golden and bubbly, about 10-15 minutes.
What a wonderful Thanksgiving, Rob & Cecile drove home from Texas with 4 dogs and 2 cats. Yes, we had a houseful, but it wasn’t a houseful of peeps….we totaled 6 dogs and 4 cats. A very entertaining weekend! Amazing that they mostly all get along.
If you have never had a fried turkey you really need to try it! The meat is delicious, not greasy at all, and very moist, not to mention that the skin is amazingly crunchy. If it wasn’t for having to have stuffing, I would not roast a bird as well. However, since we had both you can imagine how much turkey is leftover. Here are a few of my favorite recipes to use up all that turkey:
Turkey Pot Pie
2 frozen deep dish pie shells, thawed
1 tablespoon Argo® Corn Starch
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon Spice Islands® Poultry Seasoning
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon white pepper
1 (15 ounce) can mixed vegetables, drained
1 (14.5 ounce) can whole potatoes, drained and cut into one-inch pieces
1 cup cooked turkey, chopped
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Combine corn starch and milk in a small saucepan; stir until smooth. Add butter, poultry seasoning, salt, and white pepper. Stirring constantly, bring to a boil and cook for one minute. Remove sauce from heat. In a large mixing bowl, combine mixed vegetables, potatoes and turkey. Stir in sauce until well combined.
In a small bowl whisk 1 egg with 1 teaspoon water. Brush bottom of pie shell with egg wash. Pour turkey filling over egg wash. Invert the second pie crust over the top of the filling and seal edges together, pinching the crust. Brush top crust with egg wash and poke 3-4 holes in the crust to allow steam to escape. Bake 45 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.
2 tablespoons Mazola® Corn Oil
½ onion, finely chopped
½ (30-ounce) bag frozen hash brown potatoes, thawed
1 teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon white pepper
6 large eggs
⅓ cup heavy cream or half & half
¼ teaspoon Spice Islands® Poultry Seasoning
1-½ cups cooked turkey, chopped
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray an 8×8-inch pan with cooking spray.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in potatoes, salt and pepper, cook until slightly golden brown. Remove from heat.
In a mixing bowl beat together the eggs, cream and poultry seasoning.
Place potato mixture in prepared baking dish. Top mixture with chopped turkey, pour egg mixture over turkey. Sprinkle shredded cheese on top. Bake 25-30 minutes or until top is golden brown.
Mom’s Turkey Soup
For the stock:
1 turkey carcass, leftover from carving a whole turkey, including any leftover drippings
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 to 2 carrots, roughly chopped
1 to 2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
For the soup:
Leftover vegetables, i.e. string beans, corn, etc.
Or 1 (15 ounce) can mixed vegetables, drained
1 (14.5 ounce) can whole potatoes, drained and cut into one-inch pieces
1 (16 ounce) can cannellini beans
¼ cup shredded carrots
½ cup frozen or canned peas
½ cup frozen or canned corn
1 teaspoon Spice Islands® Poultry Seasoning
1 teaspoon Spice Islands® Sea Salt
½ teaspoon Spice Islands® Ground Pepper
½ cup rice
2 cups or more leftover chopped or shredded cooked turkey meat
Optional: leftover gravy
Break up the leftover bones of the carcass so they fit into a large stock pot. Cover bones with cold water by an inch and add any pan drippings that weren’t used to make the gravy. Add onions, carrots and celery. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook stock, uncovered, for one hour.
Remove the bones and veggies and strain the stock, ideally through a very fine mesh strainer. Once the bones have cooled, remove all the usable turkey meat and set aside until needed. Discard cooked vegetables and bones after meat has been removed.
Makes 3 to 4 quarts of stock, depending on the size of the turkey carcass, and how much water was added to cover it.
Making the soup:
In a large stock pot add cooked turkey stock, vegetables, cannellini beans, carrots, peas, corn, poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper. Bring soup to boil, add rice and continue cooking over medium low heat until rice is soft, about 20 minutes. Add reserved turkey (and optional gravy). Simmer an additional 5 minutes. Taste soup and add more salt if needed.
Ladle soup into bowls, top with grated parmesan cheese (if desired).
Stuffed breads are such a BIG hit in the east coast! After moving to the mid south, I started baking my own. My son Rob’s favorite is broccoli and pepperoni stuffed bread. So easy to make, below is the “quick” version made with Simply Homemade® County White Bread Mix (found in the baking aisle of your favorite grocery store).
Follow the direction on the back of the box for making this yummy bread, cover bread with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot until doubled (if you have time), about 1 hour.
Now comes the really fun part, creating your bread…one of my favorite sayings is “you are only limited by your creativity”….this is especially true when stuffing a bread, because you can stuff it with just about anything. But, today I am making “Rob’s favorite”, so I am stuffing my bread with broccoli, pepperoni, shredded mozzarella, grated parmesan cheese and a little sun-dried tomato pesto sauce, just to “kick it up a notch”….oh yeah, and of course, red pepper flakes.
For the broccoli, chopped two bunches of broccoli crowns, place in a micro-wave bowl, add 2 tablespoons water, salt & pepper, I LOVE Tones® Roasted Garlic Sea Salt…
Micro-wave for 5 minutes. Drain and put aside until needed.
On a clean work surface or a silicon roll pad, lightly dusted with flour, place bread dough and pat down or roll dough out to a 14″x8″rectangle. Top dough with pesto sauce (if desired) leaving a 1-inch edge. Top pesto sauce with 1 ½ cups shredded mozzarella, cooked broccoli and ¼ cup chopped pepperoni. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese over pepperoni.
Brush egg wash along outer edge (this helps prevent ingredients from bursting out). Starting with the side closest to you, roll up jelly-roll style; about ½ way, fold in edges and continue rolling to end.
Place bread on a sheet pan or pizza peel dusted with polenta (or corn meal), this will add a wonderful crunch to the bottom of the bread. If time permits, cover and let rise an additional 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400°F. For optimal flavor use a pizza stone, preheated for 45 minutes. Brush bread with egg wash and top with toasted sesame seeds, if desired. Make several ¼-inch slices diagonally on top. Slide bread onto pizza stone, or place baking sheet in preheated oven. Bake 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.
This is a GREAT appetizer to bring to any party….Buon Appetito!
1 Package Simply Homemade® Country White Bread Mix
Prepare bread mix according to package directions. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot until doubled, about 1 hour.
On a clean work surface or a silicon roll pad, lightly floured with flour, place bread and pat down or roll out to a 14 x 8 inch rectangle.
Add bread stuffing (see below). Egg wash edges of bread and roll tightly, tucking in the ends before you finish rolling up. Egg wash outside of bread and sprinkle with sesame seeds if desired.
Bake in a preheated 400°F oven on a pizza stone for 20-25 minutes. Remove bread and place on a wire rack to cool before slicing.
2 crowns chopped broccoli (microwave for 5 minutes or until soft) drained
1/4 lb. wafer sliced pepperoni)
1 ½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese
2-3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
Red pepper flakes to taste
Optional: ¼ cup tomato pesto sauce
Ham & Tomato Filling
1/2 lb. sliced ham
1/4 to 1/2 lb. Provolone or Italian Cheese Blend
Red pepper flakes to taste
Sun-Dried tomatoes or fresh tomatoes
Spinach, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, grape tomatoes, leeks, butternut squash…oh my…vegetables can be the center of your meal. Check out my latest “WREG Live at 9” demonstration to see how easy these vegetables are to make and just how yummy they are to eat!
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound baby spinach, roughly chopped
Salt & pepper, to taste
2 eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese
Over medium high heat, melt butter and oil until melted. Add red pepper flakes and garlic. Cook 30 seconds (do not let garlic burn). Add chopped spinach and sauté until wilted. Add beaten eggs and toss until egg is cooked. Stir in parmesan cheese. Serve warm.
Oven Roasted Vegetables with Weber® Just Add Juice Herb & Garlic Marinade
1 package Weber® Just Add Juice Herb & Garlic Marinade Mix
¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 leeks, cleaned and sliced into ½-inch pieces
½ cup grape tomatoes, sliced in half
½ pound Brussels sprouts, cut in half
Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray with pan spray. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and toss until completely combined. Place vegetables on prepared baking sheet. Bake 15-20 minutes, or until vegetables are soft.
Crispy Cauliflower Galette
1 head cauliflower
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 large egg
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
¾ cup Pankos (Japanese-style bread crumbs)
1 tablespoon chives
¼ teaspoon white pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or less to taste)
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons butter, divided
2 tablespoons corn oil, divided
Sour cream, if desired
Cut cauliflower into florets and cook in salted boiling water, until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and mash cauliflower with vegetable masher. Stir in cheese, pankos, chives, egg, white and cayenne pepper, and parmesan cheese.
Heat 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon oil in a 10-inch, nonstick sauté pan over medium heat. When butter and oil have heated, press cauliflower mixture into skillet and cover. Cook over medium heat until crisp on the bottom, pressing occasionally with a spatula, about 5-10 minutes.
Place a rimless flat dish on top, large enough to cover pan, and invert the galette onto the dish. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon butter and oil to the same pan, then slide the galette, browned-side up, back into the pan.
Cook until crisp and golden on the second side, about 5 minutes longer. Slide galette into serving dish, cut into wedges, and top with sour cream, if desired.
Years ago we had the opportunity to visit several cities in Italy. I’m sad to say, however, that we didn’t make it to Bologna, which is the city Bolognese Sauce originated in. Here is an explanation of the sauce (just incase you aren’t familiar with it) as written by Wikipedia:
Bolognese sauce, known in Italian as ragù alla bolognese, is a meat-based sauce originating from Bologna, Italy. InItalian cuisine, it is customarily used to dress “tagliatelle al ragù” and to prepare “lasagne alla bolognese”. In the absence of tagliatelle, it can also be used with other broad, flat pasta shapes, such as pappardelle or fettuccine, or with short tube shapes, such as rigatoni or penne. Genuine ragù alla bolognese is a complex sauce which involves slow cooking using a variety of techniques, including sweating, sautéing and braising. Ingredients include a characteristic soffritto of onion, celery and carrot, different types of minced or finely chopped meat (generally bovine, including beef, and possibly pork, such as pancetta), wine, and a small amount of tomato concentrate.
The earliest documented recipe of an Italian meat-based sauce (ragù) served with pasta comes from late 18th centuryImola, near Bologna. In 1891 Pellegrino Artusi first published a recipe for a meat sauce characterized as being “bolognese”. While many traditional variations do exist, in 1982 the Italian Academy of Cuisine registered a recipe for authentic ragù alla bolognese with the Bologna Chamber of Commerce. In Italy, ragù alla bolognese is often referred to simply as ragù.
Outside Italy, Bolognese sauce often refers to a tomato-based sauce to which mince (beef or pork) has been added; such sauces typically bear little resemblance to ragù alla bolognese. Whereas in Italy ragù is not used with spaghetti, so-called spaghetti bolognese has become a popular dish in many other parts of the world.
I have to say, this is one of the easiest sauces I’ve ever made, just takes a little patience to complete the simmering process, but all good things take time.
Several weeks ago I had the opportunity to do a little business traveling in New York City and made several shops in grocery stores, my favorite was one in Little Italy. What always amazes me about shopping in these stores is the variety of fresh meats, salami, hanging from the ceiling, as well as many types of sausage. I always feel like a kid in a candy store when I’m there. The other food items that I am always intrigued with are all the different types of pastas, the good stuff, not store name brands, but the really good Italian pastas. I purchased several varieties to bring back home, one of which was the Pappardelle.There is only one sauce to serve with this pasta, and of course, that would be the Bolognese.
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
1 large carrot, finely chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound ground chuck
1/2 pound ground pork
2/3 cup white wine (dry)
1 cup milk
16 ounces good quality (Pomi brand) chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup beef stock
2 bay leaves
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon salt
In a large stock pot over medium heat, add butter and oil. Cook until frothy, add chopped vegetables and garlic. Cook over medium low heat until vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes. Add meat and in batches, stirring after each addition and breaking up the meat clumps.
Deglaze pan with wine, simmer until reduced by half. Add milk and once again simmer until reduced by half. Add remaining ingredients, cook over medium low heat for 2-3 hours or until sauce becomes thick. Serve with good quality pasta. Top with Parmigiano Reggiano or, my personal favorite, Pecorino Romano.
Brush both sides of the bread with extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle with salt & pepper. Place on hot grill, cook until slightly golden, turn over and continuing cooking until brown.
Place shredded mozzarella over bread slices, top with sliced plum tomatoes, salt & pepper. Place under broiler until cheese is golden brown. Top with freshly diced basil.
I don’t know if it’s the “Italian blood” in me, but in my home every other Sunday night is “PIZZA NIGHT”…..Definitely my families favorite meal…think if I had one last meal it would be pizza. After winning Food Network’s Ultimate Recipe Showdown , I have been trying to come up with a new winner….I think this is it, “Grilled BBQ Chicken Pizza”. Who doesn’t like grilling on a on a warm summer evening night. The trick to success in this technique: make sure your grill doesn’t get much hotter than 350 degrees. I also recommend making your dough at least two to three days ahead, the longer it sits, the more flavorful it will be. I have also made this with shredded pork shoulder, also very yummie. Hope you enjoy, please feel free to leave your comments or if you have any questions. Crust:
Add yeast and sugar to stand mixer. Add warm water and wait 2-3 minutes until yeast blossoms. Add remaining ingredients. Using a dough hook, knead for 8 minutes. (Can also be made in a large mixing bowl, then knead by hand, or use a food processor and process until all ingredients are combined). Place dough in a large bowl (oil bowl first), and cover with plastic wrap. Place in refrigerator for up to 5 days. Remove dough at least an hour before rolling out pizza. Recipe makes enough for 4 pizza’s. This dough also freezes well for up to 2-3 months. Sauce:
Combine all ingredients, simmer 30 to 60 minutes until slightly thick. Serves 3-4 pizza’s. Pizza:
Roll dough thinly and place on a flour dusted pizza peel. Using a silicon pastry brush, brush the entire surface of the pizza. Place pizza oiled side down on hot grill (make sure you either oil or pan spray your grates). Close grill cover and cook for about five to 10 minutes, checking periodically to make sure dough is not burning (if so, reduce your heat). Oil top side of dough, when bottom is slightly browned, flip dough over. Cover dough with sauce, cheeses, shredded chicken and top with jalapeños (I grill these while preheating the grill). Cover grill and let cook 5-10 minutes until slightly golden and cheese are melted. Enjoy…..