Monday, April 13, 2009


Normally I just steam or grill asparagus and we eat them without anything on them. Being that we were changing things up for Easter, I thought I'd add a little pizzazz to them. I found a recipe on that every reviewer liked so I thought that's the one to try. They were very good. If you don't want to grill these, they can be put in a 450 oven for about 15-20 minutes, turning to get all sides brown. You can then put it on broil for about 3 minutes to crispen the bacon.

*The ingredient amounts are really up to you. I had some thin asparagus so I wrapped the bacon around 5 spears and some were thick so I used 3 spears. In the recipe, she wraps each spear. (I sense a heart attack!)

Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus
SUBMITTED BY: Patricia Kitts

20 Min
10 Min
30 Min

30 spears fresh asparagus, trimmed
1/4 teaspoon pepper
15 bacon strips, halved lengthwise

Place asparagus on a sheet of waxed paper; coat with nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle with pepper; turn to coat. Wrap a bacon piece around each spear. Grill, uncovered, over medium-low heat for 8-12 minutes or until bacon is crisp, turning occasionally.
OR place in a 450 degree oven for 15-20 minutes


I was watching another episode of Secrets of a Restaurant Chef with Anne Burrell the other day and immediately knew that I had to try these. I'm always looking to try something different and these fit the bill. On Easter, we were supposed to be grilling dinner at the beach but ended up at the park because of the wind.
PJ and Stan's Creations
I didn't make her topping though. Instead, I cut up a bunch of toppings, onions, mushrooms, peppers, mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, parmesian etc and let everyone make their own pizza. I followed the advice of a reviewer and made the crust ahead of time and when cooled, put them in a ziplock bag to take with us. I also didn't use Chili Oil.
This is Alyssa's creation!These are soooo easy to make. The crust is delicious... thin and crispy. I will definately be making these again. We even made a foccachia bread type of thing out of some of the dough, topping it with the toppings. DELICIOUS!

Grilled Pizzettas with Parmigiano, Prosciutto and Arugula and with Taleggio and Puttanesca
Recipe courtesy Anne Burrell
Prep Time:
25 min
Inactive Prep Time:
hr min
Cook Time:
10 min
about 6 pizzas

Chili Oil:
5 to 6 Fresno chile peppers, roughly chopped
1 1/2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
For the dough:
1/2 cup warm tap water
1 1/2 teaspoons dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
For the toppings: (I didn't use these)
1/2 pound Parmigiano-Reggiano, shaved thin
1/2-pound Taleggio cheese, rind removed and chopped
1/4 pound prosciutto, sliced thin
2 cups baby arugula
2 plum tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup pitted gaeta olives, sliced
2 tablespoons capers
Pinch red pepper flakes
Extra-virgin olive oil
Chili-infused oil, for garnish
Chopped chives, for garnish
For the Chile Oil: *(I didn't make this)
Directions :
In a small saucepan, bring chiles and oil to a simmer. Remove from heat and let peppers steep in oil at least 1 hour.
To make the dough:
In a small bowl add the warm (this activates the yeast. If the water is too hot the yeast will die and if the water is too cold the yeast will not activate) tap water add the dry yeast and the sugar and stir to combine. Let sit for 15 minutes. The top of the water will bubble and it will smell very yeasty, this is what you want.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and the salt. Make a well in the center of the flour and add the olive oil and the yeast/water mixture. Using a fork gradually stir the flour into the yeast/water mix. Once most of the flour has combined, turn the dough out to a smooth clean work surface and use your hands to knead the dough to a smooth consistency.
Return the dough to the mixing bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm place for at least 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and preheat grill to medium-high heat. *It was pouring outside so instead of going outside to the grill, I used a pan that I have that has raised grill marks. I'm sure any pan would work fine though.

To make Pizzettas:
Brush and oil grill to remove any crud and clean.
Portion the dough into golf ball size rounds. Using a rolling pin, roll each dough into a rectangle, I like irregular shapes. If not using the dough right away, wrap each one in plastic wrap and reserve until ready to use. If using the dough right away grill each dough on both sides so there are grill marks and the dough is stiff and crisp. (THIS IS WHERE I STOPPED, let cool and put in a ziplock bag)

After everyone puts the toppings of choice on their pizzas, place them in the oven, 425, for 3-4 minutes until cheese melts and toppings are heated.

Below are the toppings that Anne makes:

For the puttanesca topping: (I didn't make this)
In a small bowl, mix together the tomatoes, olives, capers, red pepper flakes and season with salt and a drizzle of olive oil, set aside.

Top some of the dough with shaved Parmigiano and the other with Taleggio.
Top the Taleggio pizzas with the tomato mixture.

Place pizzas in oven until cheese melts, about 3 to 4 minutes. Immediately when the Parmesan pizzas come out of the oven, arrange prosciutto slices on top and then top with the arugula and drizzle with spicy chile oil. Cut pizzas into pieces and serve immediately garnished with chives.

Saturday, April 11, 2009


One of my favorite Food Network shows is called Secret's Of A Restaurant Chef with Anne Burrell. She's an absolute nut! She grunts, waves her arms around etc. She's very entertaining. The best part though is that her recipes are really good. (Her recipe for Pasta Bolognese is on my blog.) Here's the link to her recipes. If you click on the Chicken Milinese video, you can see some of her antics.

Yesterday I made her Roasted Cauliflower, Brussels Sprouts and Jerusalem Artichokes. I couldn't find the Jerusalem Artichokes and already had the Cauliflower and Brussel Sprouts so we went with that. Watching her show, she always stresses to BROWN BROWN BROWN! Brown is GOOD! She says it with a grunting raspy voice that makes you say
"Huh W.T.H. was that"?
I have roasted my veggies before but never allowed then to get so brown. She is right though... Brown is good! She mentions to wait until they smell like popcorn before taking then out of the oven and she's right. They did smell like popcorn! These were really delicious !

Roasted Cauliflower, Brussels Sprouts and Jerusalem Artichokes
Recipe courtesy Anne Burrell
Prep Time:
10 min
Inactive Prep Time:
hr min
Cook Time:
50 min
4 to 6 servings

1 head cauliflower, cut into bite-size florets
1 pint Brussels sprouts, cut in 1/2
1/2 pound Jerusalem artichokes, scrubbed and cut into 1-inch dice
Extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup chopped chives
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
In a large bowl, combine all the vegetables, coat with olive oil and season generously with salt.
Spread the vegetables on a sheet tray in an even layer, don't pile them up. The vegetables don't need to be spread out but they need to be pretty much in a single even layer. If this is not the case, use 2 trays.
Put the vegetables in the preheated oven. 15 minutes into the cooking process, stir the vegetables so they have the chance to brown all over, and rotate the tray to insure even cooking. Repeat this process after another 15 minutes. Roast the vegetables for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are roasty brown and should smell almost like popcorn!. Check for doneness. This means taste some! If they aren't very roasty brown, let them go for another few minutes until they are. Season with salt, if needed. Transfer to a serving dish, garnish with chives and serve immediately.

Friday, April 10, 2009

I made homemade Pierogies for the first time. I used a recipe from who else but Aaron McCargo. You can't go wrong with his recipes! We'll be eating them on Easter though! Stan will be joining us for dinner on the beach for Easter. I wanted to include a food that he probably doesn't get anymore now that he's in the home. They were easy to make and I was actually quite impressed! I used PJ's egg circle thing to cut out the dough. I forgot to take a final picture!

Smoked Ham Stuffed Perogies
Recipe courtesy Aaron McCargo Jr.
Cook Time
15 min
12 perogies

2 cups leftover mashed potatoes
1/2 cup smoked ham, diced
1/4 cup frozen sweet peas, thawed
1/2 cup shredded Gruyere

2 cups bread flour
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup warm water

To cook:

1 gallon salted water

For the onions:

1 small onion, sliced
1/2 stick butter
2 scallions, sliced
Sour cream, to garnish
In a medium bowl, add filling ingredients and combine well. Set aside.
In a large bowl add both flours, baking powder and salt and mix well. In a separate bowl add the remaining dough ingredients and whisk until combined. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredient using a wooden spoon to form a ball. Cut in half. (You can freeze dough for another time, if desired.)
Flour a work surface and roll dough about 1/8-inch thick. Use a 3-inch biscuit cutter to cut out 12 rounds from the dough.
Place a dollop of filling in the center of each dough round. Fold dough over filling to form a half moon. Press edges together with your thumb. Seal the edges using the flat tines of a fork.
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a simmer. Add perogies and cook for about 2 minutes. Drain perogies.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet over high heat, melt half of the butter and add the onion.
Cook onions for 5 to 6 minutes until slightly caramelized. Add perogies and the remaining butter. Allow to saute for a few minutes, then add the scallions.
Remove to a platter and serve with sour cream.