Friday, April 27, 2007

Asparagus and Prosciutto Pizza

Since we've started planning our menus for the week and keeping the ingredients on hand Matt and I get a lot less take-out than we use too. That doesn't mean we still don't like a good pizza. Pizza is a super fast thing for us to make after work and usually a good way to use leftovers from other meals. We don't make our own crust (though Matt has before). The pizza crust dough at Trader Joe's is great and often we just use the Pillsbury Pizza Dough in the can (I know this doesn't come out exactly like a pizza dough but for the convenience it can't be beat). Here's a pizza recipe we got from Williams-Sonoma that was probably one of the best we've ever made!

Asparagus and Prosciutto Pizza
(ok the actually recipe is for grilled pizza but we don't have a grill!)
Asparagus & Prosciutto Pizza

2 Tbs olive oil
2 Garlic cloves sliced
(or skip these two ingredients & use 2Tbs garlic flavored olive oil)
One pizza crust
8oz Fresh Mozzarella sliced 1/4 inch thick
5 asparagus spears cut into bite sized pieces and blanched
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
1 oz thinly sliced prosciutto torn into pieces
1 oz Parmigiano

In a small frying pan warm the olive oil over low hear. Add the garlic and remove from the heat. (skip this step if you are using garlic olive oil)

Roll out the dough. We used the Pillsbury dough so we cooked it for 8 minutes before following the next steps. You can also do the next steps right on the raw dough & then cook on a pizza stone.

Lightly brush the dough with the garlic olive oil (I didn't use the whole 2 Tbs). Scatter the mozzarella evenly over the pizza. Arrange the asparagus & ren onion on top then drape the prosciutto over everything.

Cook at 450 until you crust is golden brown & the toppings are bubbly. We find with fresh mozzarella a few minutes under the broiler at this point browns the cheese nicely & gets rid of some of the liquid from the cheese. Grate the Parmigiano on top. Cut and enjoy

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

On the vine

#114 - On the vine
Making penne with roasted tomatoes & white beans for dinner. These beauties are about to get covered in olive oil & spend a little time in the oven with some garlic.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Quick veggie soup

Matt & I are getting much better at planning our weekly menus so that we use the same ingredient in various meals. This week we had lots of vegetables left over from fajitas, braised pork & pita sandwiches which was a good excuse to make homemade vegetable soup. This soup comes together so quickly I had it all made & ready to eat after work even quicker than one load of laundry (take that Rachel Ray) but still had tons of flavor.
veggie soup
Quick Veggie Soup

1 T olive oil
1 leek sliced (white and light green sections only)
1 carrot sliced
1/2 medium onion sliced
2 ribs celery sliced
2 cloved garlic chopped
2 cups chicken stock (I was lucky to have one bag of Matt's homemade stock left but canned is fine)
1 can white beans, rinsed and drained
1 can crushed fire roasted tomatoes
1 t chopped fresh sage
2 t chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 t chopped fresh thyme
salt & pepper


Heat olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add leeks, carrots, onion, celery and garlic and saute until the vegetables are slightly tender and the onion starts to be come translucent. Add chicken stock, beans and tomatoes (including juice).
for soup
Bring to a boil. Turn down heat, add herbs and simmer for 15 minutes.
Salt and pepper to taste.
soup

Sunday, April 22, 2007

A Good Appetite Wiki

I've started an online cookbook over at http://agoodappetite.pbwiki.com. It's a little more organized than this blog and searchable to boot!

Friday, April 13, 2007

A Tasting

Friends of ours are getting married in Sonoma in May. We went with them to a tasting at the Wine Valley Caterers in Napa. They had the most interesting set-up for a tasting. They had renovated an old racquetball club into their offices. The tasting room was in what was a viewing area with the kitchen below in what was a court.
#97 - The Tasting
What a great way to reuse an existing space & have your customers be able to see your chefs at work. Oh yeah & the food was wonderful too...their ahi tuna appetizer was to die for!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Orecchiette with Sausage & Broccoli

I'm currently addicted to this pasta dish. It was inspired by a recipe in Giada De Laurentiis' Everyday Italian. I love the bite that the orecchiette has and the fennel flavor in the sausage. Blanching the broccoli in the pasta water makes for quick cooking. We've made this with regular broccoli, baby broccoli and most recently broccoli rabe, all were equally good. This is also the first time we tried it with the fired roasted tomatoes & it was a great addition though I love it with just the sausage & broccoli too.

The finished goods

Orecchiette with Sausage & Broccoli

(serves 2 can be doubled)

1/4 lb dry orecchiette
1 T olive oil
1/2 lb bulk Italian sausage (we use mild but get spicy if you like things hot)
1 small shallot diced
1/4 bunch broccoli (can be baby broccoli or even broccoli rabe which I used this time) cut into bite size pieces
1 can diced fire roasted tomatoes (optional)
salt
crushed red pepper flakes
parmesan

In a large pot bring 8 cups of salted water to a boil. Add in broccoli (if using broccoli rabe sort out the leaves from the stems & heads. Only blanch the stems & heads, set the leaves aside for later). Boil for until bright green & just slightly tender, about 1 minute. Remove the broccoli from the water and set aside.
blanching the broccoli rabe
Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until al dente, about 11 minutes.

Meanwhile heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add shallot and sausage. Cook until sausage is cooked through breaking it up as it cooks. If using tomatoes drain most of the juice from the can. Add tomatoes to sauce pan. Cook until heated through. Add blanched broccoli (if you used broccoli rabe add the leaves at this time too).
wilting the leaves into the sauce
Add crushed red pepper flakes to taste. Heat through (& until broccoli rabe leaves are wilted)
sauce
Drain pasta well & add into the saute pan with the sauce. Serve into bowls and garnish with grated parmesan.
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T = Tablespoon
t = teaspoon
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