Garlic Baby Broccoli

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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This is so simple & so delicious but you gotta LOVE garlic.  I do.

I also love to point out that I recently published my first novel & the reviews om Amazon are great!  I hope you will buy a copy!  They are cheap!

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And now – on to this quick & easy side dish!

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Garlic Baby Broccoli

Serves one

INGREDIENTS

1 small bunch of baby broccoli – ends trimmed

2 TBS olive oil

10 (more or less) cloves of garlic – minced

S&P

Lemon as garnish

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the broccoli.  Saute for 10 minutes or so being careful not to burn it.  Once the broccoli is nearly done, stir in the garlic & cook for maybe a minute.  Cooking longer will lessen the pungency of the garlic – and you might prefer it that way – just be careful you do not burn the garlic.  A little golden is OK but more than that & garlic tends to get bitter.

Serve with S&P & maybe a squeeze of lemon.  Eat it all up & know that the vampires won’t be coming for you tonight!

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Summer Garden Vegetable Pizza

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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Sometimes pizza is really just a bread plate.  That is the case here.  This pizza is really just a few warmed vegetables on a plate of bread with a little cheese.  I have never been one for extra cheesy pizza.  I prefer other flavors & this pizza offers a lot of them!  It was inspired by a box of locally grown vegetables that got mistakenly delivered to my door.  Relax!  I called the company that delivered them & was informed that food safety laws prohibited them from redelivering the box.  So I got to keep it!

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Say – have you heard?  I wrote a fucking NOVEL!!!  It is hilarious!  Read the reviews on Amazon – HERE.  They are VERY positive!  Why not buy a copy & check it out?

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OK – so – at the risk of sounding like a broken record – pizza toppings are very much a matter of personal preference.  Not just as to which ones to use but also how much of each.  I don’t like heavy or thick pizzas.  Others do.  So – I will just list the ingredients I used for this beauty & let you make your own choices.

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So – again – here is the pizza dough I use – and all I do is throw everything in my bread machine & let it run on the dough cycle.  SO EASY!  Then I let it sit & rise or a hour & either use it immediately – or use a bit & store the rest in plastic wrap in the fridge.

PIZZA DOUGH

MAKES FOUR 12-OZ. BALLS

INGREDIENTS

2 tbsp. sugar (⅞ oz.)
1 tbsp. olive oil, plus more (½ oz.)
½ tsp. active dry yeast
5½ cups flour
2 tbsp. kosher salt (¾ oz.)

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Combine sugar, oil, yeast, and 2 cups cold water in bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook; let sit until foamy, 8-10 minutes. Mix flour and salt in a bowl. With motor running, slowly add flour mixture; mix until a smooth dough forms, 8-10 minutes. Transfer dough to a greased baking sheet; cover with plastic wrap. Let sit at room temperature 1 hour.

2. Divide dough into 4 balls; transfer to a greased 9″ x 13″ dish; brush tops with oil. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate 48 hours (or get impatient like me & use it immediately).

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Summer Garden Vegetable Pizza

INGREDIENTS

Dough

Fresh mozzarella (or other pizza cheese)

Parmesan – grated

Tomatoes – sliced

A few mixed baby squashes – sliced

Basil

Jalapeno – seeded & sliced

Onion – sliced thin

Avocado

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 450-500.

Treat a pizza pan with cooking spray or use parchment paper.

Roll the dough out & put it on the pan.  Score it a bit with a knife or fork tines.

Divide the avocado portion you are using in half – and reserve half the avocado & all of the basil for AFTER the pizza is cooked.

Layer toppings starting with the cheese & layering veggies on top of the cheese.  This make the pizza bright & vibrant with the colors of the vegetables – rather than the white cheese.

Bake that fucker for 10-15 minutes or until the crust & toppings look done to you.  Top with more avocado & the basil.

Kid yourself that this is just a warm salad & that there is no harm in eating the entire thing yourself!  And then DO IT!

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Vegan Pasta with Celery, Chickpeas, Lemon & Parsley

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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If you read my blog with any regularity, you know two things.  One – that I wrote a novel that is getting great reviews on Amazon!  www.BathingBook.com

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And two – that I think both celery & parsley get short shrift.  I think they are both bursting with fresh flavor & add a great deal to dishes in which they are used – but they are typically written off as garnish.  So – this dish is my homage to the two.  Easy & clean & fresh-tasting.  An easy dish that can be whipped together very quickly.

I added the dried lemon zest seen here –

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because I had some left over from my Brussels Sprouts & Burrata Pizza with Pecorino & Dried Meyer Lemon Zest.

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It is completely unnecessary.  Regular lemon zest is terrific, quicker & more flavorful.

I used a lot of crushed red pepper because, well, that’s just what I do.  I add lots of it to nearly everything.  I have found, however, that different brands (and ages) of the stuff can have wildly different levels of heat.  So – always start slow & add it incrementally.

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Pasta with Celery, Lemon & Parsley

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

1/2 lb pasta of your choice

1 cup cooked chick peas – drained

1/4 cup or more Parsley – chopped – plus more for garnish

4 stalks celery – sliced diagonally (if the celery has leafy parts – you can chop these as garnish)

3 garlic cloves – chopped

1-3 tsp crushed red pepper – or to taste

1-2 TBS lemon zest

1 shallot – diced

Olive oil

S&P to taste

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DIRECTIONS

Cook your pasta according to directions & drain.

Meanwhile, boil another pot of water deep enough to hold the sliced stalks of celery.  Add a bit of salt & blanch the celery for a minute or two then drain, rinse under cold water & set aside.

Heat 1-2 TBS olive oil in a large saute pan over med-high heat.  Add the shallots & cook until tender – a few minutes.  Add the chick peas & celery & maybe a pinch of chopped parsley & heat through.  Add the garlic & crushed red pepper & 1/4 cup or more of chopped parsley & saute another minute.

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Add the pasta & stir to combine.  Add the lemon zest & season to taste with S&P.  Serve with additional parsley and, if you have them, the chopped leafy parts of the celery.  Season with a squeeze of lemon, if you like, or maybe some additional crushed red pepper.  And don’t be shy with the SALT (another villainized (sp?) ingredient) and pepper!  Eat it up & admit that parsley & celery are unsung heroes and promise to be nicer to them forevermore!

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Spicy & Easy Vegan (or Not!) Firecracker Chicken

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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OK, people!  This dish is INSANELY easy & outrageously good!  Better than take-out!  Wow your friends!  Make your neighbors jealous.  Oh – and buy my book!

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OK- that said – back to this outrageous revelation!  You can use real chicken or shrimp, if you want, but I hope you will try it with this stuff (or another brand of vegan meat).  Here is a coupon to get some for free!  Go to their site to find out which retailers near you might carry it.  The coupon can be printed an infinite number of times & you could get a free package every time you went to the store.

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Also – this could be made using any pre-made buffalo sauce bought from the supermarket.  That would make it even easier.  But I had extra buffalo sauce from my Vegan Buffalo Falafel Sliders with Smashed Avocado so I used that.

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Homemade Buffalo Sauce

(This makes more than the 1/3 cup required for the Firecracker Chicken)

INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons flour

1 cup cayenne based hot sauce

¼ cup water

1 tablespoon vinegar

DIRECTIONS

In a small saucepan, heat the oil over a medium-low heat. Add the flour and stir constantly until the flour starts to look golden and smell sorta toasted. It can bubble but do not boil it.  This should take about 4 minutes.  Add half the hot sauce and stir until it is all mixed. The flour should thicken it a bit. Add the rest of the hot sauce, water, and vinegar and stir until it is all mixed up. Set aside.

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Can I repeat how easy & insanely yummy this is!  And do not expect it to taste like buffalo sauce.  It doesn’t.  At all.  Which is bizarre.  So – if buffalo sauce ain’t your thing – still try this.  And know – the more sugar you add – the less you taste any buffalo sauce element.

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Spicy & Easy Vegan (or Not!) Firecracker Chicken

Feeds one well

INGREDIENTS

9 oz vegan chicken (or real chicken) – cut into cubes

Cornstarch

2 TBS olive oil

1/3 cup Buffalo sauce (store bought or homemade – recipe above)

1/2-3/4 cup light brown sugar

1 TBS apple cider vinegar

1/4 tsp salt

1 TBS water

1/4 tsp crushed red pepper (or to taste)

Scallions – chopped for garnish

Cooked rice

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DIRECTIONS

For the Firecracker sauce, heat the Buffalo sauce, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, salt, crushed red pepper & water until the sugar dissolves.  Set aside.

Heat the oven to 325 degrees.

Make some rice.

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While the rice cooks, toss your vegan (or real) chicken in enough cornstarch to lightly coat it.  Heat the olive oil in a frying pan.  Cook the chicken until it is nice & browned on the outside.

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Put the cooked chicken into an oven-proof pan.  I used a pie dish.  Toss with the firecracker sauce.  Heat in the oven for about 30-45 minutes or until the sauce thickens up (and your REAL chicken (if you are a carnivorous wimp) is cooked through).  This could probably be done just as simply stove-top…and maybe more quickly.  I will try that next time.  And there WILL be a next time!

Serve that shit over your rice with some scallions.  Resist the urge to pour it all over your naked body & roll around in ecstasy.   That shit is hot and WILL burn you – and it really is too delicious to waste on your sordid sex life.

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Cauliflower & Southern Greens Pesto Pizza with Burrata

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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So – yeah!  THAT is happening!  In June!  In Pasadena!

And, yeah, I feel lame posting another pizza but that is exactly what I am going to do.

But first – look what showed up at my door today!

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I used to use this service & get weekly delivery of produce but I could never seem to get through it before it went bad – so I canceled the deliveries.  This box wasn’t meant for me.  It had a completely different address on it – wrong house number & the wrong street.  So – I called & told them & asked if they wanted to come get the box.  I was informed that, due to food safety laws, the vegetables could not now be delivered to the proper person.  So – I got to keep it!   Yay!  Maybe I will make something other than pizza, now.

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So – again – here is the pizza dough I use – and all I do is throw everything in my bread machine & let it run on the dough cycle.  SO EASY!  Then I let it sit & rise or a hour & either use it immediately – or use a bit & store the rest in plastic wrap in the fridge.

PIZZA DOUGH

MAKES FOUR 12-OZ. BALLS

INGREDIENTS

2 tbsp. sugar (⅞ oz.)
1 tbsp. olive oil, plus more (½ oz.)
½ tsp. active dry yeast
5½ cups flour
2 tbsp. kosher salt (¾ oz.)

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Combine sugar, oil, yeast, and 2 cups cold water in bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook; let sit until foamy, 8-10 minutes. Mix flour and salt in a bowl. With motor running, slowly add flour mixture; mix until a smooth dough forms, 8-10 minutes. Transfer dough to a greased baking sheet; cover with plastic wrap. Let sit at room temperature 1 hour.

2. Divide dough into 4 balls; transfer to a greased 9″ x 13″ dish; brush tops with oil. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate 48 hours (or get impatient like me & use it immediately).

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Cauliflower & Southern Greens Pesto Pizza with Burrata

INGREDIENTS

Dough

Burrata or other mozzarella

1/2 head cauliflower – cut into tiny florets

Olive oil

1- 3 tsp crushed red pepper – depending on your tolerance for heat

6 cloves garlic – chopped

8 oz southern greens (I used a collard, turnip, mustard greens & spinach blend)

1/4 cup pecans

1/4 Parmesan

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

2 sun-dried tomatoes (optional)

1/4 cup fresh basil

S&P

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 450-500 degrees.

Make the pesto by boiling water & blanching the chopped greens for about 3 minutes.  Drain & set aside.

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Toast the pecans in a dry pan for a few minutes or until they begin to toast a bit.  Be careful not to burn them.

In a food processor, blend the pecans & FOUR of the cloves of garlic & the sun-dried tomatoes.  Once they are chopped well, add the greens, Parmesan, apple cider vinegar, basil & a tsp of crushed red pepper (optional).  Pulse until well blended & then, while the machine is running, drizzle in about 4 TBS olive oil.  Taste & adjust S&P.  Set aside.

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In a saute pan with a lid, heat 2-3 TBS olive oil over medium heat.  Add your crushed red pepper (I used a lot) and the cauliflower florets.  Stir to combine & cook about 5 minutes.  Add 3 TBS water & raise the heat to high.  Cover the pan & steam the cauliflower for 3 minutes or until it is tender.  Lower the heat to medium again & add the remaining to cloves of garlic.  Stir for about a minute, adding olive oil if it needs it & add S&P & set aside.

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Now – simply assemble the pizza.  I love parchment paper but a greased pan is just as good.  Roll out the dough & put it on the cooking pan.  Pierce it all over with the tip of a knife or a fork.  This keeps the dough from bubbling up & displacing the toppings.

Smear some pesto on there, add some cauliflower & top with the cheese.  Cook that sucker up for about 10-15 minutes or until it looks ready to you.  Devour!

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Vegan Buffalo Falafel Sliders with Smashed Avocado

3 Comments

 

All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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OK.  In the interest of full disclosure – I got the recipe for the buffalo falafel from one of my all-time favorite blogs – the almighty Thug Kitchen!

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(Photo by Thug Kitchen)

This site is just amazing and HERE is their falafel recipe.  I am going to include their actual recipe below – because – if you are unfamiliar with these guys – you need to get familiar.  Read the recipe!  Hilarious!

BUFFALO FALAFEL

FALAFEL:

1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas or 1- 15 ounce can, rinsed

1/3 pound of cauliflower

¼ cup diced onion (yellow, white, red, whatever)

1-2 cloves of garlic

1 teaspoon olive oil

½ teaspoon all-purpose seasoning blend (The no-salt blends are best because you can add that salt shit later in small amounts)

2 tablespoons breadcrumbs

BUFFALO SAUCE:

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons flour (Whole-wheat flour works here so does brown rice flour. Use whatever)

1 cup cayenne based hot sauce

¼ cup water

1 tablespoon vinegar (Apple cider vinegar is my favorite here but white vinegar would work too. Use what you got)

For the falafel: Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly spray some oil on a baking sheet. Chopped the cauliflower up into small pieces. Throw it in a food processor and run that shit until the pieces of cauliflower kind of look like rice. If you don’t have a food processor then just chop that shit up as small as you can. Mash the fuck out of the chickpeas in a medium bowl until they form a paste. Chop the garlic up into small pieces. Add the cauliflower, onion, garlic, oil, seasoning blend, and breadcrumbs to the chickpeas and mix that shit up. If your seasoning blend didn’t have salt in it, now you can add a pinch of salt to that motherfucker. The mixture should easily form into balls. If it is too fucking dry, add a little water. No stress. Form the mixture into balls a little bigger than a ping pong ball. Throw the balls on the baking sheet and bake them for 20-25 minutes, flipping them sons of bitches half way through. Remember to set a timer so that you don’t burn the shit out of them. Both sides should be nice and golden. While the falafel bake, make the buffalo sauce.

For the buffalo sauce: In a small saucepan, heat the oil over a medium-low heat. Add the flour and stir constantly until the flour starts to look golden and smell kinda toasted. A few bubbles are cool but this shouldn’t look like it’s boiling. This shit takes about 4 minutes if you got your heat right. Add half the hot sauce and stir until it is all mixed. The flour should make that shit thicken up a bit. Add the rest of the hot sauce, water, and vinegar and stir until it is all mixed up. Turn off the heat.

When the falafel are done cooking, push them gently to the center of the baking sheet and put ¾ of the buffalo sauce on them. Bake that shit for like 5 extra minutes so that the falafel absorbs that sauce. Pour the extra sauce over them when they get out of the oven or whenever you eat them.

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Instead of pita – I used little brioche slider buns – that were not vegan.  Here is proof I made the buffalo sauce.

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This made a boat load of buffalo sauce so I stored the extra in a jar in my fridge.

I made the falafel – but I got all lazy & just mashed the bejesus out of the ingredients in my food processor.

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A word about chick peas.  And lentils.  And rice.  Did you know you can make these kinds of things in large batches – like chick peas from the dried version rather than canned – and then measure out a cup or two of them & put them in Ziplock baggies & freeze them?  I made a whole bag of chick peas & froze them up & now – I can just grab what I need from the freezer in small increments.  SO MUCH CHEAPER!  And easy!  Do it!  I used some of those chick peas here & I will in my post tomorrow, too.

Anyway – I recommend prepping the falafel as Thug Kitchen suggested.  The processed version were very soft & fragile.  I lost a lot just trying to flip them.  So – touche, Thug Kitchen!

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Now – smashed avocado is really just guacamole.  Shhhhhh!  I just smashed up some avocado with a few pinches of salt & a squeeze of lime.

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So – yeah.  Make the falafel “dough” and create little patties.  Bake them maybe 15 minutes longer than the recipe suggests as these are a bit bigger.  Or – at least – mine we so soft that they required a bit more time.

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Then just assemble those bad boys as you like.  Eat them.  Drink up.  Belch.  FTW!

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Endive, Mushroom & Shaved Parmesan Salad with Lemon & Olive Oil

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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Sometimes salads full of little bits of a thousand things are fun & satisfying.  Things like candied nuts & pomegranate seeds & bits of cheese & croutons or fruity things.  But sometimes minimalist salads are fun, too.  My two favorite salads of all time are of the latter variety.   The first is one I put on top of pizzas all the time – a simple arugula & shaved Parmesan salad.

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The other is this salad I present today.  They served it at what used to be my favorite Italian place in Los Angeles – Chianti.  It was a dark room with booths & opera playing & the food was simple & lovely.  I always got this salad.

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There are really just three ingredients & they are all equally important.  If you do not like mushrooms – this salad ain’t gonna work.  If the light bitterness of the endive bugs you – ditto.  And if a salad made of about 1/3 shaved Parmesan is not on your diet – skip this guy.  But if you like those three things – this will be pure joy for you.  Light & clean & simple & so good with a crisp glass of white wine!

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Endive, Mushroom & Shaved Parmesan Salad with Lemon & Olive Oil

(salad for one)

INGREDIENTS

5 large mushrooms – sliced

2 heads endive – sliced

Parmesan – shaved (or vegan alternative)

Olive oil

Lemon juice

S&P

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DIRECTIONS

Toss the mushrooms in a little olive oil & lemon juice & some salt.  Go light but just add enough to get some on all the mushroom slices.  These can sit for a while or be used immediately.  Letting them sit a bit is good, though, because the mushrooms absorb the flavors, soften a bit & take on a richer color.

Make a dressing with about 1/4 cup olive oil & the juice of 1/2 a lemon & some S&P.  Taste & adjust the flavors to your palate.

Then simply toss the endive with the a boat load of shaved Parmesan & the mushrooms.  Drizzle with the dressing & eat this fucker up!

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Brussels Sprouts & Burrata Pizza with Pecorino & Dried Meyer Lemon Zest

5 Comments

 

All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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Hey – LOS ANGELES (and everyone else)!  You no longer need to look online only to buy my book!  You can buy my hilarious debut novel at three local LA bookstores now, too!  Book Soup in West Hollywood, Skylight in Hollywood & Vromans (signed ones there!) in Pasadena.  It is available in a few other regional stores or most online retailers.  Find out all the info HERE.

BathingandthesinglegirlOrangeV52

 

vromans front vromans back

Moving on!

Mmmmm- pizza!  Infinitely customizable.  All you need is a great crust & some inspiration.  It is pretty hard to make a bad homemade pizza.  That said – this pizza is really special.  Soft, subtle flavors, creamy & crusty.  So delicious that I made it for dinner Saturday night & it was my one meal on Sunday.  Easter Sunday.  This yumminess.

Meyer lemon is not necessary.  Any lemon will do.  And if you cannot find or do not like burrata (use it if you possibly can) – use regular but FRESH mozzarella (the kind they sell in water) because the creaminess is one of the most delightful factors of this pizza.

I saw a pizza like this on the internet as I trolled for inspiration but none of the links would show me the recipe without my joining up to some recipe club – so I winged it.  It is so simple & so crazy good – try it at least once!

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Here is the pizza dough I use – and all I do is throw everything in my bread machine & let it run on the dough cycle.  SO EASY!  Then I let it sit & rise or a hour & either use it immediately – or use a bit & store the rest in plastic wrap in the fridge.

PIZZA DOUGH

MAKES FOUR 12-OZ. BALLS

INGREDIENTS

2 tbsp. sugar (⅞ oz.)
1 tbsp. olive oil, plus more (½ oz.)
½ tsp. active dry yeast
5½ cups flour
2 tbsp. kosher salt (¾ oz.)

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Combine sugar, oil, yeast, and 2 cups cold water in bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook; let sit until foamy, 8-10 minutes. Mix flour and salt in a bowl. With motor running, slowly add flour mixture; mix until a smooth dough forms, 8-10 minutes. Transfer dough to a greased baking sheet; cover with plastic wrap. Let sit at room temperature 1 hour.

2. Divide dough into 4 balls; transfer to a greased 9″ x 13″ dish; brush tops with oil. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate 48 hours (or get impatient like me & use it immediately).

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Dried Meyer Lemon Zest

INGREDIENTS

Lemons

DIRECTIONS

Zest the lemon peel.  Bake at about 200 degrees for about an hour.  Do this while the dough rises.  It is ready when you can powder it between your fingers.  Do so – and set aside.

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Brussels Sprouts & Burrata Pizza with Pecorino & Dried Meyer Lemon Zest

INGREDIENTS

(quantity of each is your personal preference)

Pizza dough

Burrata (or fresh mozzarella)

Pecorino (or other hard & salty cheese like Parmesan) – grated

Brussels sprouts (6 or so large ones for one 12″ pizza)

Dried lemon zest (see recipe above)

Lemon juice

Olive oil

S&P

Crushed red pepper (optional)

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to a solid 450-500 degrees.

Make the dried lemon zest (recipe above)

Shred or chop the Brussels sprouts & toss with about 1 TBS olive oil, some lemon juice and S&P.

Line your pizza pan with parchment paper or treat it with cooking spray or some olive oil.

Roll the dough out & put it on the pan.  Pierce the dough all over with the tip of a knife so that it doesn’t bubble & puff in the oven.

Top with Brussels sprouts, Pecorino, burrata & dried lemon zest.

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Bake this sucker 10-15 minutes or until your crust is as you like it & the cheese is melted & just beginning to brown.  This is a pizza that I bet you will want to eat all by yourself so – go for it!  I sure did!  I added a lot of crushed red pepper, too.  You can squeeze more lemon juice on it or add more cheese!  Enjoy!

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Avocado & Jalapeno Quesadilla with Vegan Sriracha Mayo Dipping Sauce

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To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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Is a quesadilla REALLY a recipe?  Of course not.  But I made one yesterday & I photographed it & now I am going to share the details.

The only news here for me are these uncooked tortillas.

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They really DO heat (in a dry pan) in sixty seconds and, for some reason, I feel way classier using them.  If you want go get crazy & make homemade tortillas – like the spinach ones I made in the photo below – the recipe is HERE.  They are really easy but they do take longer than sixty seconds.

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Vegan Sriracha Mayo Dipping Sauce

Blend 1/3 cup vegan (or regular) mayo with 1-2 TBS sriracha.

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Avocado & Jalapeno Quesadilla

INGREDIENTS

Tortillas – I used the uncooked ones but any kind will do

Cheese (vegan or otherwise) – I used a pizza blend of cheddar & mozzarella

Avocado – sliced

Jalapeno – seeded & diced

Tomato – diced

Cilantro

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DIRECTIONS

If using the uncooked tortillas, cook them up until they JUST begin to brown – like you see above.  When those are ready – assemble the quesadilla in a grill or frying pan over med-high heat.  I stacked cheese & tomato & jalapeno & then avocado (I forgot to add the cilantro!), topped it with another tortilla & pressed it with the lid from another pan.  After a few minutes – maybe 2 – I flipped it.  When it was nicely browned on both sides – I sliced it up & drizzled it with the sriracha mayo & shoved it in my face like it was my first meal in weeks.  I then sat in a food coma for several hours.  It happens.  Don’t judge.

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Decadent Goat Cheese & Creamy Burrata Pizza with Arugula

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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Sometimes I feel guilty when I post a string of similar recipes, like two or three pizzas or a bunch of cauliflower or rice dishes but, the fact is, I am posting my actual meals.  And, when I make pizza dough, I usually make enough for three or four pizzas.   Because I am not a professional blogger, in that, this blog doesn’t generate income, I am not in the position some bloggers are to make things specifically for the blog, whether they intend to eat it or not.  Furthermore though unrelated, all my photos are taken with my i-phone which has developed a penchant for powering off randomly.  Like – at 54% – it thinks it is out of juice & shuts down until I find a charger – at which point – it is instantly back at 54%.  It is infuriating!  Especially when I am trying to photograph a piping hot pizza so that I can eat it while it is still warm.

Anyway – I talk myself out of feeling lazy when I post these similar recipes by telling myself that my readers are likely to have the same leftover ingredients that I do and that they might actually appreciate a new idea about how to reinvent them.  That said, yesterday I found myself with fresh pizza dough, a few leftover caramelized onions, arugula & some leftover spicy red sauce.  From these humble ingredients was born my Decadent Goat Cheese & Creamy Burrata Pizza with Arugula!

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I never really think that pizza is a recipe, per se, in that the amount of toppings is a personal preference.  I do not typically go for a lot of cheese but I was really in the mod for gooey goat cheese & I had the burrata – so – I went for it & I am happy I did.  If you do not have burrata – just use any fresh mozzarella and put it on the pizza with the goat cheese rather than closer to the end as you do with the creamy burrata.

Again – here is the pizza dough recipe I use & I make it in my bread machine.

PIZZA DOUGH

MAKES FOUR 12-OZ. BALLS

INGREDIENTS

2 tbsp. sugar (⅞ oz.)
1 tbsp. olive oil, plus more (½ oz.)
½ tsp. active dry yeast
5½ cups “00″ flour, preferably Caputo Pizzeria Flour (1 lb. 12 oz.) (or just use regular, organic flour – like me.)
2 tbsp. kosher salt (¾ oz.)

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Combine sugar, oil, yeast, and 2 cups cold water in bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook; let sit until foamy, 8-10 minutes. Mix flour and salt in a bowl. With motor running, slowly add flour mixture; mix until a smooth dough forms, 8-10 minutes. Transfer dough to a greased baking sheet; cover with plastic wrap. Let sit at room temperature 1 hour.

2. Divide dough into 4 balls; transfer to a greased 9″ x 13″ dish; brush tops with oil. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate 48 hours (or get impatient like me & use it immediately).

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I also used leftover caramelized onions from my Caramelized Red Onion & Gruyere Pizza with Egg & Arugula.

Caramelized Red Onion

INGREDIENTS

Pizza dough at room temperature

1/2 large red onion – sliced

1 TBS olive oil

1 TBS butter (or vegan alternative)

1/2 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp salt

DIRECTIONS

Caramelize the onion by heating the olive oil & butter over med-low (NOT HIGH) heat.  Add the onion and salt & sugar and saute – stirring frequently – for about 20-30 minutes or until they are soft & brown & before they burn.  Mine crisped a bit on the edges & I liked that!  Set aside.

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I also used leftover spicy basil marinara.

For the spicy basil marinara

1 6 oz can tomato paste

2 28 oz crushed tomatoes

30 grape or cherry tomatoes – quartered

1 TBS olive oil

6 garlic cloves – chopped

1/2 cup chopped basil

1-3 tsp crushed red pepper – optional

S&P to taste

DIRECTIONS

Heat the olive oil over medium heat & saute the garlic for about 30 seconds.  Add the tomato paste & fry another minute or so.  Add the crushed tomatoes, chopped tomatoes & basil & about 1 cup of water.  Add the crushed red pepper – if using.

Simmer covered on low for 30 minutes or more.

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Decadent Goat Cheese & Creamy Burrata Pizza with Arugula

INGREDIENTS

Pizza Dough – recipe above or your favorite dough

Pizza sauce – recipe above or your favorite version

Tomatoes – sliced thin (optional)

Caramelized onions (optional) – recipe above

Goat cheese

Burrata (or fresh mozzarella)

Arugula

S&P to taste

Crushed red pepper (optional)

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to a full 450-500 degrees.

Prep the ingredients.

Assemble the pizza!  Roll out the dough & put it on a greased cooking sheet.  Top with sauce, tomato, caramelized onion & goat cheese.  Add fresh mozzarella now – if you aren’t using burrata.  If using burrata – bake about 7-10 minutes & then add the burrata.  Bake another 3-5 minutes or until the crust is done to your liking & the goat cheese is just starting to color.  If you used burrata – you are really just trying to warm it through but do not cook it until it dries out.  The whole point of burrata is its excessive creaminess!

Top with S&P & some fresh arugula & crushed red pepper (if you like extra kick).

Slice this fucker up & eat it alone.  I won’t tell.

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Caramelized Red Onion & Gruyere Pizza with Egg & Arugula

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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Well – I got some very cool news today!  Book Soup – one of the most important independent book stores in the US – read my book & agreed to stock it!!!  Yay!  They are a very discriminating bunch so I am going to let myself feel flattered.  Check it out HERE.

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Now on to pizza!  Some people think the idea of egg on pizza is nasty and I must confess I used to think that way.  Until I tried it.  It is kind of spectacular.  Despite knowing it tastes yummy, I am still psyching myself out about using eggs at all – because of how the hens are treated.  And, when you think about it, eating an egg is really fucking gross.  But – I still do it now & then.  I try to only buy pastured eggs – which means the hens really ARE living cage-free – like this:

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Not this legal version of cage free:

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Which is only 1% better than this:

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So – please try to support the PASTURED (and grass-fed) meats & eggs etc to show that industry that you are willing to pay a little more for some humane treatment.  Here are the eggs I bought.  The word pastured is between “vegetarian” and “fertile” – hard to read – but there.  PS – they list vegetarian because factory farms feed their chickens ground up chickens.  How fucked is that?  You don’t want to eat that pain & fear & disease.  Do you?

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OK – now I feel like a nutjob posting a non-vegan pizza – but I am going to plod ahead.  If I have totally ruined eggs for you forever – blow them off.  The pizza is yummy without them.  You can also use vegan cheese if I have completely converted you.

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I use this Naples-style pizza dough recipe from Saveur.  I do not store it 48 hours.  I use it as needed from immediately to several days later.  I notice little difference.  Also, I make it in my bread machine on the dough cycle.  Easy peasy!

PIZZA DOUGH

MAKES FOUR 12-OZ. BALLS

INGREDIENTS

2 tbsp. sugar (⅞ oz.)
1 tbsp. olive oil, plus more (½ oz.)
½ tsp. active dry yeast
5½ cups “00” flour, preferably Caputo Pizzeria Flour (1 lb. 12 oz.) (or just use regular, organic flour – like me.)
2 tbsp. kosher salt (¾ oz.)

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Combine sugar, oil, yeast, and 2 cups cold water in bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook; let sit until foamy, 8-10 minutes. Mix flour and salt in a bowl. With motor running, slowly add flour mixture; mix until a smooth dough forms, 8-10 minutes. Transfer dough to a greased baking sheet; cover with plastic wrap. Let sit at room temperature 1 hour.

2. Divide dough into 4 balls; transfer to a greased 9″ x 13″ dish; brush tops with oil. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate 48 hours (or get impatient like me & use it immediately).

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Caramelized Red Onion & Gruyere Pizza with Egg & Arugula

INGREDIENTS

Pizza dough at room temperature

1/2 large red onion – sliced

1 TBS olive oil

1 TBS butter (or vegan alternative)

1/2 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp salt

Gruyere cheese – grated (quantity to taste)

Fresh Thyme – leaves pulled from stems (quantity to taste)

Grated mozzarella or other cheese (quantity to taste)

Eggs (optional)

Fresh arugula

Tomato – chopped (optional)

Lemon (to squeeze on the arugula) optional

S&P

Olive oil to drizzle (optional)

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 450.  Make sure it reaches full temperature before cooking your pizza.

Make your dough or let your store-bought dough reach room temperature (so it is easier to roll out).

Caramelize the onion by heating the olive oil & butter over med-low (NOT HIGH) heat.  Add the onion and salt & sugar and saute – stirring frequently – for about 20-30 minutes or until they are soft & brown & before they burn.  Mine crisped a bit on the edges & I liked that!  Set aside.

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Now simply assemble the pizza.  Roll out the dough & place it on a cooking sheet treated with olive oil or cooking spray.  Drizzle some olive oil on it & brush it around & add the thyme & the cheeses & some caramelized onion.

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Cook this for about 7-10 minutes or until you think it is a few minutes from being done.  I overcooked mine just a bit – so – pull it out before the crust looks like this – all crispy & golden:

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because you are gonna break a few eggs on there & cook it another 3-5 minutes or until the eggs are cooked to your liking.  I broke one of the yolks.  Oh well!  Err on the early side here, too, if you want a runny yolk.  The eggs will keep cooking once you remove the pizza from the oven as the pizza heat will still be acting as a hot pan beneath them.  So – if you want ooey-gooey yolks – pull this guy out JUST BEFORE you feel the whites are cooked all the way through.  In fact, even if you pull it out a tad early, just spreading the egg a bit over the pizza will cook it quickly.

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Now add S&P to taste & top with arugula & chopped tomato – if you are using tomato.  You might even want to drizzle a teeny amount of olive oil on the arugula & squeeze a bit of lemon – or toss the arugula LIGHTLY with olive oil & lemon before putting it on the pizza.  And there you go!  Crack open that Trader Joe’s box of wine & kid yourself that you are having less wine than you really are because who the fuck can figure out what they have consumed out of an opaque cardboard box that holds like – what – three bottles?  Then blame the hangover on the cheapness of wine – not the quantity you consumed!

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Vegan Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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Hey, everyone!  I wrote a hilarious novel and, if you haven’t read it yet, I hope you will.  Read the reviews on Amazon – HERE!  They are very encouraging!

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That said, I have been stocking up on this free vegan chicken!  Get the coupon HERE.  The coupon is good until the end of May so be sure to print a boat load out & have them in the car.  Use one every time you shop!  Here is what the packaging looks like & it is found in the freezer section.

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This dish is very easy & genuinely spicy.  If spice ain’t your thang – cut back on the hot peppers.  If fresh lemongrass is unavailable to you, just squeeze in fresh lemon to taste.

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Vegan Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken

serves two with rice

INGREDIENTS

1 9 oz package of vegan chicken (or real chicken)

2 TBS fish sauce (or use soy sauce for a vegan version)

4 garlic cloves – minced

1 TBS curry powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp sugar

3 TBS olive oil

2 lemongrass stalks

1-2 fresh lemons

1 large shallot (or small onion) – diced

3 red chilies (or serrano or jalapeno) – or to taste – seeded & chopped

1 scallion – chopped – for garnish

4 additional TBS sugar

water

Steamed rice

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DIRECTIONS

Mix the fish (or soy) sauce in a glass container with the garlic, curry powder, salt and 1 1/2 tsp sugar.  Blend well.  Add the chicken & marinate for at least an hour.

Make rice according to directions.

In a deep stock pan, heat 2 TBS water & 4 TBS sugar over high heat.  Stir until the sugar dissolves & then boil undisturbed until a caramel colored glaze begins to form.  The first time I tried this – the glaze literally spontaneously combusted & burst into flames – so be really careful when doing this.  As soon as it is browned – remove it from the fire.  CAREFULLY add 4 TBS water, combine & set aside AWAY FROM FLAMES.

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Peel the course outer parts of the lemongrass away & dice only the tenderest inner part.  If you have no lemongrass – use 1/8 cup fresh lemon juice instead.  Prepare the peppers & shallot.

When ready to eat, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a wok or large frying pan.  Add the lemongrass, shallot & chilies.  Saute until tender.  Add the chicken & the sugar glaze & saute until the fake chicken is heated through (or the real chicken is cooked) and the sauce thickens a bit.  Serve over steamed rice with scallions & lemon wedges as garnish.

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Baked Egg & Sausage & Cheese & Buttermilk Biscuit Breakfast Cupcakes

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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OK – I have tried these several times in different ways with different levels of success.  These are still imperfect but I am going to post them because, if I don’t, I am gonna keep trying to perfect them & I just don’t want to be eating so many eggs & biscuits.

These could be made with any variety of these bready roll things.  You can scramble the eggs before putting them into the cupcake pan or just carefully break an egg in there in tact.  I used vegetarian sausage patties which look so tasty here all hard & freezer burned, don’t they?

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I also used this Tillamook cheese but any cheese you like will do.

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I also used these eggs here –

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and while it is hard to make out – they are not just free range – they are PASTURED – which means they really are free range and not just in a huge hanger with a million other desperate chickens.    Watch this video of some rescued free range chickens & see if you do not agree that – if you are gonna use eggs – it is worth finding & paying for pastured ones.

 

That said – these are really just omelettes in a cupcake pan with a little biscuit underneath.   I would suggest – however – that if you have a cupcake pan that makes 12 or 18 cupcakes – use one like that and space these bad boys out in the pan so they do not bleed together like this:

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Baked Egg & Sausage & Cheese & Buttermilk Biscuit Cupcakes

INGREDIENTS

Buttermilk biscuit dough (or other variety)

Pastured eggs

Cheese

Sausage (I used veggie ones) – cooked

S&P

Parsley – as garnish

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 350.

Cook the sausage & chop it up.

Grease a cupcake pan.   Press some biscuit dough into each – spacing them apart from each other, if you can.   Press the dough in so it reached up the sides of the cupcake pan.  I haven’t tried this with cupcake liners but I cannot imagine they would be a bad idea.

Add crumbled sausage & grated or chopped cheese & then either carefully crack an egg in each or scramble some eggs & pour a bit in each.  Cook for about 25 minutes (which should cook the scrambled egg & cook a whole egg while still leaving the yolk runny) – or cook it until the eggs are done to your satisfaction.

Let rest a few minutes & then carefully run a knife around each cupcake & remove them.  Add S&P & some chopped parsley & eat’m up!

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Broccoli & Parmesan Stuffed Mushrooms

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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These guys are really easy to throw together & even easier to pop in your mouth.  The only suggestion I have is that maybe you buy loose mushrooms rather than a package so you can pick out exclusively large ones.   They will shrink when you cook them so smaller mushrooms become really to small to stuff.  Other than that – the ingredients are forgiving.  And chopped veggies & any cheese – even vegan cheese – would work.  Use your imagination.  Here are two other variations – Mushrooms Stuffed Two Ways – with Garlic & Parmesan or Spinach & Gorgonzola.

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Broccoli & Parmesan Stuffed Mushrooms

INGREDIENTS

20 large mushrooms

1 cup broccoli – chopped fine

5 scallions – diced

2 garlic cloves – minced

1/4 cup breadcrumbs or panko plus extra for sprinkling

1/4 cup grated Parmesan (or vegan alternative)

1/4 cup parsley – chopped – plus extra for garnish

Olive oil

S&P

Parchment paper

Cooking spray

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 40 degrees.

Line a cooking sheet with parchment paper.

Remove the stems from the mushrooms & place the caps stem-side DOWN on the parchment.  Cook at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.  This will make them release excess moisture.

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Chop the stems up.  Heat 1-2 TBS olive oil over medium heat & add the chopped mushroom stems, broccoli, scallions, garlic & parsley.  Saute 5 minutes or so until the vegetables are tender.  Add S&P to taste.  Put this in a bowl & mix in the cheese.  I added about 1/4 – 1/2 cup water to make the moisture stick to itself better.

When the mushrooms are done, use a clean sheet of parchment paper & put as much stuffing into each cap as you can manage & put them on the cooking sheet.  Spray with cooking spray & sprinkle with extra breadcrumbs.  Let’m cool a bit & commence to shoving them in your pie hole.

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