Category Archives: Recipes

Recipe – Pizza Margherita

As promised, here is the recipe for my pizza.

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The Crust

The dough is probably the most important part of the pizza (followed closely by the cheese. I like to use my family’s focaccia recipe. I am not entirely sure where it came from originally, either from a relative somewhere, or a recipe that we looked up and modified. I get it out of our family cookbook (good idea, by the way. Every family that cooks should make a family cookbook). Either way, here it is.

Ingredients:

Flour – 2 1/3 cups (Bread flower or some other high gluten is best. The more gluten, the more stretch.)

Water – 1 1/4 cup, tap hot

Salt – 1tsp

Yeast – 1tbsp

Prep

Put the ingredients in a bread machine on manual and click go. Okay, I know that sounds like cheating, but it works great. If you want to make it by hand, do so, although I won’t be able to tell you how to do it.

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The “sauce”

This isn’t really a sauce, just some tomatoes with a little added zing

The Ingredients

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3 or so nice tomatoes

Garlic

Hot pepper

Olive oil

The Prep

Fry your garlic and pepper, add tomatoes.

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Let that cook for a little while, and then turn off the heat.

The Pie

The great thing about pizza is that to be great, it is really simple to make an amazing pizza.

Ingredients

The Crust

The “Sauce”

Some fresh mozzarella

Fresh Basil leaves

Pecorino, parmesan, or some other hard cheese for grating.

Olive oil (of course)

The Prep

Preheat your oven as hot as it will go. For me that is 550. Make sure you have a rack at the lowest possible setting.

Generously douse your pizza pan in oil, and put your dough ball on it. Slowly work it until it is roughly the shape and size of a pizza. If you have a smaller pan, you might want to divide your pizza up into more than one.

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Add your tomatoes.

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Add your mozzarella. Don’t worry about making it too even, mozzarella melts amazingly and gets everywhere.

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And the basil of course.Image Legend has it that the traditional ingredients of tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil were chosen by a chef in Naples to commemorate Princess Margherita’s visit by emulating the new flag of Italy.

That said, I think they are better with a bit of parmesan or pecorino on the top.

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Put your pizza in the oven, at the bottom and cook.

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*Make sure you close the oven though, it won’t work very well otherwise.

Mine takes 15 minutes or so, but I have heard of pizzas getting cooked much faster. Just wait for it to be crispy and delicious.

Serve.

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And, since this is still the Random Rovings, here is the Gratuitous Close-up.

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Ha! I fooled you. You thought this was just going to be another picture of the finished pizza.

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Recipe — Pickles

This is my dad’s recipe for pickles. It was originally adapted from The Victory Garden Cookbook although now it is very different (with help from the internets).

Ingredients
Fresh:
Pickling cucumbers
fresh dill
1-2 grape leaves, if you happen to grow grapes.
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Spices:
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Black peppercorns
mustard seeds
coriander seeds
red pepper flakes
allspice
ground ginger
cinnamon sticks
ground mace
bay leaves

Brine:
3 parts water
1 part white vinegar
1/2 tablespoon salt per cup of brine.

Prep:
Bring brine to a boil.
add spices (a good pinch of each, less ginger and mace than the others)
let it boil a bit to get the flavor out of the spices
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put the fresh ingredients in a crock of some sort. Glass or ceramic is best, but stainless steel will do. Anything that does not etch.
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Add the hot brine, and put something, like a plate, inside to keep the cucumbers submerged.
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Put another plate, or the lid if you have one, on top and let it sit for two days or so.
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Tada! Pickles.

Surprisingly difficult to find a gratuitous close-up in this recipe.
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Recipe – Easy tacos

It is recipe time again!

Salsa
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Corn, black beans, cilantro, lime juice, jalepenos, and some tomatoes. That is really it. This part is easy.

For the filling, we need onions, garlic, beef and some seasoning.
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Fry the onions and garlic, then add the beef and seasoning.
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I used Cajun seasoning from Zatarain’s because that is what we had around.

Once the beef is cooked, remove it, put a tortilla in the skillet with some cheese and filling on it, and cook until the cheese is melted.
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Voila, serve with salsa: it is time for a gratuitous close up.
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Flash Back — Farmers’ Market I

So, when I finally cracked open the blog after my hiatus, I saw this draft called “Farmers’ Market I” which was sitting here completely empty. Luckily, I had another draft, called, “Farmers’ Market II” to let me know what farmers’ market trip and meals I was talking about. So, without further ado, the flashback. Well, just a recipe based on it. I don’t remember enough for an anecdote.

Turnips with their own greens, and chorizo.

Ingredients
Olive oil
Turnips, with the greens
Garlic
Onions
Chorizo
Stock
Fresh Bread to serve.

Preparation

Start by chopping the turnips and onions and fry with the chorizo.
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Add a little stock for a sauce. Actually, I might have just added water. This step is unnecessary, in hindsight, the greens give off enough liquid when you cook them.
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Add the greens.
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Slice your bread and serve.
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Don’t forget the gratuitous close up.
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See you next Sunday for the second meal.

Return to blogging — and some beef stew.

Well, theoretically I am back, although I still won’t be on a regular schedule for a while. However, I just had one of my most successful cooking experiments, and I had to share it.

Beef stew.
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It was very simple, I took a potato, chopped it, and put it in the bottom of my slow cooker, then added a diced onion, and some stewing beef, which I spiced at this point with marjoram, paprika, salt, and a little hot sauce, because, well, I like hot sauce, as well as some spices which I had ground up into a kinda curry powder. I think it had fennel, coriander, carroway, and a little cinnamon and ginger, but I didn’t add much of this.
Now comes the interesting part, instead of just water to make the broth, I put a cup of strong, black coffee, as well as water, to make the broth richer. I learned this trick from a recipe my mother gave me for Idaho Beef Stew. I will make a recipe for that when I have all the ingredients to try it.

So, I just left this all in the crock pot for around eight hours, and it came out with a rich, flavorful broth, which the potatoes absorbed, becoming delicious, and beef so tender it was falling apart.

Good food can be pretty easy.

And naturally, the gratuitous close up.
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Rice and Lentils, right and wrong

So, on account of not having that much time or energy to put into food, I have been doing rice and lentils a lot recently. Good protein and it can taste pretty good.

So, first, the wrong way to make your rice and lentils.
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I through everything into a pot (rice, lentils, sausage, chicken bouillon, and spices) and cooked it.

Unfortunately, rice take a lot longer time to cook than lentils do. So it kinda turned into glue. Nutritious and tasty glue, but not very nice texture.
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The right way.

Ingredients
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Rice
Lentils
Pepperoni (y’all win, I will call it pepperoni when speaking English).
Onion
Spices
Chicken stock

I made the rice with half water, half stock, to make it flavorful.

Then, I cooked my lentils in chicken stock with all my spices and some pepperoni and the onion (quartered).
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Serve with some olive oil and pepperoncini.
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And now for a gratuitous close up.
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Omelette

I made my first successful omelette, and it was delicious.
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It was very simple, just two eggs, some salt, pepper and hot pepper, and a little pecorino romano cheese once it went in the pan (which naturally had butter in it.

I was inspired to make this omelette by watching this video of Julia Child.

Guess what? She knows what she is talking about.

Here is a gratuitous close up.
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