Tag Archives: recipe

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.

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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Spaghetti- a vague recipe

Well, I am not going to give you the details of the recipe here (family secret) but I will give the basics. I am always happy to improve the culinary standards of the world, even if I am only helping my possibly non-existent readers.

Ingredients
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-Crushed tomatoes and sauce in a 2:1 ratio (Contadina is best). You can just use crushed tomatoes, but it takes longer. You can also add tomato paste, but I just cook the sauce down to thicken it.
-Garlic
-Herbs
-Hot pepper. Flakes are best.
-Salt and pepper
-Meat. Pork is good, especially neck or ribs. You can also put in Italian sausage, and meatballs.
-Olive oil.

Start by heating up some oil in a large pot and frying your herbs, garlic, and hot pepper.
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Then add your sauce and crushed tomatoes. Add salt at some point.
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Bring to a boil(ish) and then turn down to simmer.

Pork and sausage can go in now, if you are making meatballs, put them in later, or they will fall apart.

Cook down until desired consistency. You can also add more herbs and spices for a fresher flavor towards the end. The flavors from the beginning mellow out, and sometimes it is nice to have a brighter bite to it.
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The proper texture is debatable. My mother makes the sauce a bit thicker, but my grandmother has always made it a little thinner. Mine varies.

Serve over pasta with cheese.
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And naturally, here is a gratuitous close up.
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Complimentary

Proteins that is.

Rice and Lentils

Cook rice in the usual manner.
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Put dry lentils in a pot with some herbs, spices, stock, and such (whatever you want it to taste like) and cover with water.
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Cook.
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Tada!
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