Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Pizza with Whole Wheat Crust

I started making this when we couldn't get whole wheat crusts from the local pizzeria's, we now have a couple who do a whole wheat crust that is very good.  However this is so easy to make and I like being able to add to the crust different spices, grains or sometimes grated Parmesan.  I will make homemade sauce if I have time but have found some jarred sauces that are pretty good if I don't ...... if I am making homemade sauce it has to be able to simmer for a long time.


Makes one very large pizza or 2 med.  I did a large and made small rolls out of the extra dough.

 2 c whole wheat flour  http://www.kingarthurflour.com/
1 1/2 c white flour (haven't tried the whole grain white flour yet but am anxious to)
1 tsp salt
1 pkg rapid rise yeast
1 T olive oil
1 1/2 c warm water about 110degrees
corn meal (to prepare pan)

Put dry ingredients in food processor including yeast and pulse a couple times, I put olive oil in water and drizzle through processor tube while running do not use all of the water watch it start to form a ball and you know you are done.  Remove from processor and knead dough to form smooth ball, place in bowl that has light coating of olive oil sit in warm spot for about 10 -15  min.  If it is winter I warm the oven and then turn it off leave the door ajar and set the bowl in there, the rest of the year I feel the house is warm enough.

Sprinkle pan with corn meal.  Stretch dough to fit pan, roll if that helps you.  I usually stretch it to the desired shape and then roll out to get the exact fit.  I sprinkle pan with corn meal, then place dough on top.  Sprinkle dough with a small amount of grated cheese, then spread on sauce and add toppings.

-----my favorite brand never realized it makes a difference
until I tried this brand, it is available in our local stores

cover dough and let rise about 15 min

For a different taste I saute the onions and mushrooms till slightly  browned before putting on the pizza.  

Tonight I served it with salad and a Blue Moon.  As with a lot of homemade meals sometimes it just comes out better than others, or maybe we were just in the mood for it but tonight's was great.


Saturday, January 15, 2011

Chicken Pot Pie with whole wheat crust

This is one of those recipes I switch to as soon as the weather starts to cool and when we are deep into the cold winter as we are now I still haven't tired of it.  It is the time of year where I try to have a soup meal as often as possible.  I have switched whenever possible to using whole wheat or whole grain flours and this is so tasty with the King Arthur Whole Wheat flour, you can definitely taste the difference with their products.  http://www.kingarthurflour.com/  Some day I plan to go there and take one of their education classes, what a treat that would be.

Chicken Pot Pie

Saute in olive oil:  1 large onion chopped
                            3 med-large carrots chopped
                            1 bunch of celery chopped
                            ------till vegies are translucent, I actually like the onions to begin to carmelize.  Add black pepper, thyme, red pepper flakes to taste.  When vegies are ready add about a tablespoon of flour and stir for about 1 minute to slightly cook flour blending with the vegies.  Pour in chicken broth to cover and allow to simmer so flavors will meld together, add more chicken broth if needed keeping vegies covered.

Meanwhile:  you will need cooked chicken any will do but I prefer to sear chicken breasts (I used 3 in this recipe) in olive oil, black pepper, and thyme and then place in oven till cooked.  Cut up chicken into bite size pieces and add to broth vegetable mixture.  Allow this to simmer until you are ready to use.

Crust top:

1 c whole wheat flour
1/2 c white flour
1/2 c cold butter
pinch salt
5-6 T milk
(I like to add a couple Tablespoons of ground flax seed if you like a little crunch, grainier consistancy and it ups the fiber content)

I mix in food processor pulse the flours & salt with the butter till crumble forms then add milk through tube till moist crumble and then form into ball.
Roll out dough to form crust for top.  This is a very delicate crust and will break up easily, but does cook up nicely.
Ladle soup mixture into heat proof ramekins, a large is fine but individual dishes work best.  I place them on a cookie sheet for easy handling and bake till crust is cooked about 15 min at 350. Top of crust is sprinkled with parmesan cheese and a sprinkle of the same spices.  I did not have my dish full with soup mixture so crust sunk into dish.......smaller dishes would have helped the crust stay up higher.  These were from a regular weeknight dinner so I didn't go all out making them pretty.  It is fun to make the crust pretty especially if it is a holiday and you put some cut outs to decorate the top.

on cookie sheet for easy handling

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year

For 18 years we have celebrated New Years Eve with 2 other families and as the years pass we sometimes have some offspring around but not as often as we would like.  When they were little it was a big night for them too, there was a meal for them, a meal for us and sometimes a sleepover.  Now we might have one show up for awhile but we still have a good meal and lots of laughs.  We take turns at each house and this year was our turn.  I've been battling a bad back (which is also why this  blog was not updated regularly and has some post dated entries) so between the back and post Christmas fatigue I went for easy comfort food and did Coq Au Vin, salad, Tiramisu and a Berry crumble for dessert.  Easy can sometimes be just as good as involved menus and this was the case, it was a great evening with good friends and good food.  Once again I didn't get the recipes and photos together so will have to post those recipes the next time I make them.  The crumble recipe has already been blogged.

Berry Crumble on right side
We had appetizers that were made from puff pastry cut into triangles to make a turnover with a bit of boursin cheese and salmon baked till pastry puffed......simple and turned out very good.  Also some cheese, nuts and fruit.

For the ringing in of the New Year we drank Prosecco that was poured over a melon ball size of raspberry sorbet, tasted great and made a nice presentation with a pretty pink color.

Yes, I wrote on those glasses with a sharpie pen.......a Martha Stewart idea....she's the best!http://www.marthastewart.com/    It washes off with dish soap and water but it does take a little rubbing with a soft sponge but not bad clean up.