Southern Style Eggs Benedict

It's Sunday morning, and nothing beats a home cooked brunch with the family. This Southern style Eggs Benedict brings a creamy, decadent, and savory twist to the traditional. Bake a loaf of corn bread, top it with a poached egg, some peppers, onions, and avocados, and then homemade Hollandaise Sauce- it's heavenly and it's an accomplishment. 

SouthernEggsBenedict.jpg

Southern Eggs Benedict

..a Southern canvas

Some challenges to Eggs Benedict: poaching the eggs and making the Hollandaise Sauce. I'll reveal some tips that will make you swoon for some more. Trust me when you get this right, you'll waltz right into a twirl and two-step. 

Servings: 6

Ingredients:
For the Hollandaise Sauce:

  • 6 egg yolks (keep the whites for an omelette for the next morning!) 
  • 3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) butter, melted 
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

1 loaf corn bread, cut into 6 slices (My favorite: Trader Joes Cornbread mix
12 eggs, poached
4 tbsp vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil
1.5 large red onion, sliced
1 green bell pepper, sliced
2 avocados, sliced
salt and pepper

Method:

I used the Trader Joe's Cornbread Mix and prepared it according to the package instructions. 

In the meantime, bring a wide pot of water and the vinegar to a boil.

While the water is boiling, heat a separate skillet with the olive oil. Place the onions and sauté till softened. Add the sliced green bell pepper and cook for another 5 minutes. Season with salt and crushed black pepper. 

The blender hollandaise sauce is SO easy- no double boiler and no chance of eggs curdling. In the container of a blender, combine the six egg yolks, lemon juice, cayenne pepper, and salt and pepper. Cover and blend for about 10 seconds. Set the blender on high speed, and slowly add the melted and hot butter to the egg yolk mixture in a thin stream. The blender should remain on the whole time, and you should be careful to pour in the butter very slowly. It will thicken almost immediately. Keep blending for about 30 seconds, and then keep aside, warm. 

Now it's time to begin poaching the eggs. Crack the fresh eggs individually in a small bowl- it makes the process easier. With a large spoon, stir the boiling water in a large, circular motion. When there is a tornado (aka whirpool in the water), slowly tip the bowl into the water to release the egg, one by one. The swirling allows the egg to wrap around itself as it cooks, keeping it together. Cook the eggs for about 2 1/2 to 3 minutes. Once cooked, transfer out using a slotted spoon on a paper-towel lined plate. You can trim the wispy edges using the edge of a spoon or small knife. 

Place a slice of the corn bread on the plate. Place two eggs per serving on top of the bread. Top with a generous spoonful of the onions and pepper mixture. Add a few slices of avocado, and then top with a heaping of the Hollandaise sauce. Sprinkle with some salt and pepper, if desired. 

Note: Ensure the eggs are hot and the Hollandaise sauce is warm before serving. If the eggs have cooled too much, before you're ready to serve, you can plunge the already poached eggs back into the hot water for a few seconds. Make sure to drain the excess water on a paper towel just before serving. In addition, keep the Hollandaise sauce warm by placing the blender container in a pan of hot water. You can store the leftover sauce in an airtight container in the fridge for next time! 

Enjoy! 

Honey, Soy & Mustard Glazed Salmon in Foil

For those of you looking for healthy and flavorful recipes, I've got a holiday present for you. Here's my take on cooking the easiest salmon- honey, mustard, and soy glazed in foil filled with so much flavor in every bite. And it get's even better..... guaranteed from the fish market to your table in less than 30 minutes. Happy holidays!

Press play to view video

Servings: 2

Ingredients:

1/2 pound Atlantic Salmon

For the marinade:
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons red chilli oil (can substitute with olive oil and red pepper flakes)
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons yellow mustard
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ginger, minced
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
salt and crushed black pepper to taste

Method:

I bought 1 pound of cleaned Atlantic salmon, with skin on. For this dish, I cut the filet in two, saving the rest for another meal. 

Preheat the oven to 375F. Lightly clean the salmon with water, patting it dry. 

In a small bowl, whisk the honey, soy sauce, chilli oil, mustard, ginger, garlic, vinegar, salt, and black pepper. 

Line a baking sheet with foil and place the clean salmon, folding up the 4 sides of the foil to avoid spillage. Pour the marinade over the salmon. Fold the sides of the foil over the salmon, sealing the top and sides, completely covering the fish. Make sure that the salmon filet is flat and that the fish is immersed in the mustard and soy mixture. 

Bake in the oven at 375F for 20 minutes. After, open the foil, exposing the filet top. Broil for 3-5 minutes until caramelized and sauce has browned. 

Serve immediately and enjoy! 

Note: Serve with a side of sautéed spring beans in olive oil, soy sauce, and chopped garlic.  



 

 

Skinny Orange Margaritas

Lovely Lauryn Evarts gifted me her amazing The Skinny Confidential Fitness and Lifestyle Guide and I couldn't wait to try out her skinny cocktails. Warm days in February definitely call for an orange skinny margarita- I mean it can't get any better than this. This margarita tasted so good, mainly because I used fresh ingredients- it really does make a difference. The flavors were bold and it was absolutely refreshing. Go on and grab your cocktail shaker, and trust me this recipe will surely become your next go-to margie-poo. 

Click to View Video

Ingredients:

2 1/2 oz/70 ml 100% agave tequila
3 lemons
Juice of 3 oranges (original recipe calls for juice of 1 blood orange)
1 tablespoon raw organic honey (or 1/2 packet Stevia)
2 handfuls of ice
2 sprigs of rosemary, for garnish

Directions:
Pour all of the ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Shake and shake! Rim your glass with a lemon wedge and put salt on the rim. Add ice to your glass, and pour the margarita over the ice in the glass. Garnish with the rosemary sprigs. Enjoy! 

 
 

You can purchase her guide here




Fudgy Mascarpone Brownies

The lovely Joanne Chang of Flour Bakery + Cafe sent me her cookbook "Baking With Less Sugar" filled with recipe for desserts using natural sweeteners and little-to-no white sugar. I decided to bake the Fudgy Mascarpone Brownies, but decided to add a little twist with espresso. The finished brownies were so indulgent and chocolate-y. Try it for yourself- you won't regret it!

Click to View Video

Ingredients:

  • 175 g/ 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 390 g/14 oz bittersweet chocolate, or at least 68 percent cacao content or higher
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into 3-4 pieces
  • 4 large eggs
  • 115 g/ 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
  • 140 g/ 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup favorite brewed coffee/espresso 

Directions:

  1. Place a rack in the center of the over and preheat to 325F (165 C). Butter or spray a 9-by-13-in [23-by-33-cm] baking pan. 
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside. 
  3. Bring a sauce filled partway with water to a very gentle simmer over medium heat. Place the chocolate and butter in a metal or glass bowl. Place the bowl over (not touching) the barely simmering water in the saucepan and heat, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and smooth. Alternatively, microwave the chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe bowl in 30-second intervals, stirring after each internal until melted and smooth. 
  4. Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or with an electric hand mixer; if using a hand mixer, use a large bowl to accommodate all ingredients), beat the eggs and mascarpone on medium speed until smooth. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the sugar and beat for about 1 minute, or until the sugar is mixed in. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the chocolate mixture. 
  5. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the flour mixture into the egg-chocolate mixture until thoroughly combined. Add the coffee/espresso to the mixture and mix well. 
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes (but check every few minutes after 15 minutes to make sure the brownies don't over-bake), or until a knife slipped into the center of the pan comes out with a few wet crumbs on it. If the knife comes out with liquid batter on it, the brownies need more time in the oven; if the knife comes out with nothing on it, the brownies are probably a bit over-baked and no longer fudgy, but they will still be delicious. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes, or until completely cool. (Because they are so moist, they need time to cool and firm up enough to cut). Cut into 12 pieces. 
  7. The brownies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Or store in the freezer, tightly wrapped in plastic wrap, for up to 2 weeks; thaw at room temperature for 3 to 4 hours. 

Get the book here

Apple Pie

Apple picking is easily the best part of fall. This past weekend, my friend Haewon and I headed off to a local Ithacan orchard, and literally frolicked through the fields. The act of picking apples was just as fun as eating the pounds of it that we brought home. Apple picking was concluded with some hot apple cider doughnuts (YUMM), and then it was time to get creative in the kitchen. After our successful day of apple picking, Haewon and I gathered our bright red apples, cinnamon and spice, and set off to bake a mouth-watering pie of heaven. 

 
 
 When it came to the orchards, you'd always find me near the apple trees. 

When it came to the orchards, you'd always find me near the apple trees. 

 
 
 And here's the final product! Photo Creds to  Haewon  

And here's the final product! Photo Creds to Haewon 

 The wonderful  Haewon Hwang

The wonderful Haewon Hwang

 And well.. that's me. You wouldn't believe how wonderful the house smelled while the pie was baking. Out. Of. This. World. 

And well.. that's me. You wouldn't believe how wonderful the house smelled while the pie was baking. Out. Of. This. World. 

Click to View Video

Yield: 1 pie

Ingredients:

1 sheet refrigerated pie crust (I used Pillsbury)
1 sheet frozen puff pastry
4-5 apples of your choice (I used Cameo and Fuji) 
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/3 cup packed brown sugar, plus 1 tablespoon for dusting

2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon cinnamon powder
1/2 tablespoon ground nutmeg

1 egg, beaten

Directions:

  1. Dice the apples. 
  2. In a small bowl, combine the apples, lemon juice, and brown sugar. Toss to coat and set aside.
  3. Butter/Oil a 9-in. pie plate and line the bottom with the pie crust
  4. Preheat the oven to 375F
  5. Melt butter in a large saute pan set over medium-high heat. 
  6. Add the apple mixture to the pan and stir to coat fruit with butter and cook, stirring occasionally. 
  7. Once the apples begin to soften, after 3-5 minutes, sprinkle the cinnamon and nutmeg, and cook another 5 minutes. 
  8. Fill with pie crust rimmed pan with the apple mixture and the juices that were released during cooking. 
  9. Roll out the puff pastry and cut into 7 even strips about 1/2-in to 3/4-in. wide 
  10. For a lattice design, lay out 5 parallel strips of the puff pastry dough on top of the filling, with 1/2-in to 3/4-inch space between them. Fold back every other strip. 
  11. Place one long strip of dough perpendicular to the parallel strips. Unfold the folded strips over the perpendicular strip. 
  12. Now take the parallel strips that are underneath the perpendicular strip and fold them back over the perpendicular strip. Lay a second perpendicular strip of dough next to the first strip. Unfold the folded parallel strips over the second strip. Continue this process until the weave is complete. (for a video tutorial, click here)
  13. Press the edges together, trim the excess. 
  14. Lightly brush the top of the pie with egg wash and sprinkle with remaining tablespoon of sugar.
  15. Place pie in oven and bake for 45-55 minutes. Continue to cook until the interior is bubbling and the crust is golden brown. Remove and allow to cool. 
  16. Slice and serve warm (and with ice cream). Enjoy!

 

Haewon Hwang is a student at Cornell University, and freelance works in photography, web design, and brand identity. Her portfolio can be viewed here: http://www.haewonhwang.me

 

Chili Hot Chocolate

You can never fail with hot chocolate, a nice read, and a cozy fireplace. Fall's approaching, and I decided on a new take for my original version of hot chocolate. Stivii was wonderful to gift me their made in Switzerland Chili Dark Chocolate with no added sugar. Because of this, my two favorite tastes- spicy and sweet- found their love in my creamy, chili hot chocolate. 

Click to View Video

Yield: 2 cups

Ingredients:

2 cups milk
1- 3.5 oz bar Stivii Chili Dark Chocolate bar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon powder
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cinnamon sticks, for garnish

Directions:

  1. Roughly chop the chocolate bar, and leave some to shave for garnish. 
  2. In a saucepan, heat 1/4 cup of the milk on medium-high until warm. 
  3. Add the chocolate and whisk to melt the chocolate chunks. 
  4. Add the rest of the milk, cinnamon powder, and nutmeg. 
  5. Heat until simmering, whisking occasionally.
  6. Remove from heat. 
  7. In a small bowl, whisk together the chilled heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla extract until stiff peaks form. 
  8. Ladle hot chocolate into two mugs, and top with fresh whipped cream. 
  9. Garnish with leftover chocolate bar shavings, and a cinnamon stick. 
  10. Enjoy!

Tequila Cream Sauce Linguine

During the summer, my aunt taught me this recipe while we were grilling lobster with herbed butter.  Let me tell you, I fell in love. While it's quite easy to prepare, this pasta has a ton of flavor. Cajun seasoning adds a kick, but the true burst of flavor comes from the tequila. Tequila is an imported liquor with a strong 80- to 100-proof punch. It adds subtle fire power to sweet and savory dishes. The alcohol cooks off, but it's flavor remains to make this pasta a unique one. 

Click to View Video

Ingredients:

1 package cooked linguine pasta

½ cup tequila-white or gold (approx.  a little over 3 shots)

1 stick butter

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon garlic powder

½ tablespoon Cajun seasoning

2 teaspoons red chill flakes

2 teaspoons dried basil

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon rosemary leaves

1/3 cup heavy cream

½ tablespoon sugar, for taste

Cilantro sprigs, for garnish

Grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish

Grilled meat, optional

Directions:

1.   Cook linguine pasta according to package directions.
2.   Melt the butter in a sauté pan over medium-high heat.
3.  Combine the seasonings and tequila and bring to a boil. Reduce by one-third.
4.    Stir in the heavy cream and simmer for 5 minutes.
5.  Add in sugar to adjust for taste.
6.  Remove from heat, and continue whisking sauce until everything is incorporated.
7.    Add in cooked pasta and coat evenly with the tequila cream sauce. Garnish with cilantro and serve immediately.

*Note: I added some grilled shrimp that was marinated with Cajun seasoning and limejuice. You can serve the pasta itself or even add some marinated grilled vegetables or chicken. 

Grilled Portobello Mushrooms with Tomato Sauce and Goat Cheese

Nothing better than taking hearty mushrooms and topping them with homemade tomato sauce, spinach and onions, and creamy goat cheese. Grill and bake these portobello babies, and you're definitely on your way to a crowd pleaser... or even for date night.. or even for a simple, flavorful, satisfying meal. 

Click to Play Video

Ingredients:

Tomato Sauce:
1-2 tomatoes (optional)
1/2 cup chopped/pureed tomatoes
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1 tablespoon dried basil

Sautéed Spinach:
1 onion, finely sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup baby spinach
1 teaspoon dried oregano

4 large portobello mushrooms
olive oil
salt and fresh black pepper
2 ounces soft goat cheese  

Directions:

  1. For the tomato sauce, puree the fresh or canned tomatoes until smooth. 
  2. In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. 
  3. Add the minced garlic, stirring continuously for 30 seconds, and make sure garlic does not brown. 
  4. Add the pureed tomatoes, and bring to a low simmer. Cover and simmer sauce for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. 
  5. For the spinach, heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the sliced onions and cook until translucent. 
  6. Add the spinach and sauté until spinach is wilted. Season with salt and pepper, and keep aside.
  7. Preheat the grill. 
  8. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  9. Trim the stem from all of the portobello mushrooms. 
  10. Drizzle both side with olive oil, and season with salt and fresh black pepper
  11. Cook mushrooms over a hot fire for about 3 minutes on each side. Mushrooms will give off a lot of liquid, and that is okay. 
  12. Top the mushrooms with large spoonfuls of the tomato sauce, and then the spinach and onion mixture. Distribute evenly among the mushrooms. 
  13. Slice goat cheese into 1/2 inch thick slices. Place slices on cheese atop the spinach mixture. 
  14. Bake for 10 minutes, or until heated through and goat cheese is beginning to soften. 
  15. Serve immediately and enjoy! 

Avocado Ice Pops

Blend only five ingredients, and you've got yourself a healthy and refreshing treat!

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Yield: 4 Ice Pops

Ingredients: 
1/2 ripe avocado
1 tablespoon pure honey
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 1/2 tablespoon lime juice
a pinch of salt

Garnish:
1/2 cup chocolate chips (or melting chips)
1/8 cup shredded coconut

Directions:

  1. Blend avocado, honey, milk, lime juice, and salt until creamy and smooth.
  2. Pour into popsicle stick molds and insert popsicle sticks. (I used my Zoku Duo Quick Pop Maker
  3. Melt chocolate over a double boiler until smooth. Dip frozen ice pops and coat with chocolate. Top with shredded coconut.

Note* If you do not have popsicle stick molds, you can pour avocado mixture into an ice cube tray. Cover tray with wax paper, Press N' Seal, or plastic wrap. Insert popsicle sticks in each ice cube slot. The wrap should hold the stick in place. Freeze until firm. 

 

Beet and Feta Salad

This recipe was inspired from a meal at Wonderland on Royal Caribbean's Quantum of the Seas cruise ship. This salad is super easy to prepare and is full of flavor. Candied walnuts complement the salad and a mustard balsamic vinaigrette adds freshness. 

Ingredients:

3 medium beets, scrubbed and trimmed
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 package of spinach salad greens (or use any greens of your choice)
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 avocado, cubed

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons dijon mustard
salt and crushed black pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Place beets in a saucepan, and fill with enough water to cover them. Bring to a boil and cook for 20 minutes, until tender. Drain and then cool. Cut into cubes and set aside. 
  2. In a small skillet, place walnuts and cook on medium-low heat. Heat until walnuts are slightly toasted and then add the brown sugar. Warm until the sugar beings to melt. Remove from heat and coat walnuts with sugar.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar and mustard. Add salt and pepper to taste. 
  4. In a large bowl, mix spinach greens, cubed beets and cubed avocado. Sprinkle the candied walnuts, feta cheese, and drizzle the dressing on top. Serve and enjoy!

Goat Cheese Stuffed Turkey Burgers

Goat cheese is key to keeping the burgers moist and juicy. Stuff the usual turkey burgers with herbed goat cheese for a wonderful surprise!

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Yield: 5 burgers
Ingredients:
1 1/2 pounds lean ground turkey
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon crushed black pepper
1 teaspoon dried red chilli flakes
5 tablespoons soft fresh goat cheese
5 hamburger buns, or whole wheat toast
handful of greens of your choice (iceberg lettuce, arugula, spinach)

For lemon mustard sauce:
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
1 teaspoon lemon flavored olive oil (can use olive oil with 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice)
1 tablespoon orange juice
crushed black pepper to taste

Directions:

For burgers:

  1. Combine ground turkey, lemon juice and zest, egg, dried herbs, and salt and pepper in a large bowl. Mix well with your hands or a fork. 
  2. Divide turkey mixture into 10 equal portions. Form the portions into 3 inch diameter patties.
  3. Place 1 tablespoon soft goat cheese atop 1 turkey patty and place the second patty on top of the cheese. 
  4. Seal the patties at the edges. Repeat with the rest of the turkey portions. 
  5. If making ahead of time, cover and refrigerate. 
  6. Prepare grill with medium-high heat. Spray with cooking spray to avoid burgers sticking on grill. 
  7. Grill burgers until cooked, about 5 minutes per side. Cheese will ooze from the side, and that's perfectly normal. 
  8. To prepare the sauce, mix the mustard, orange juice, lemon olive oil, and black pepper in a small bowl. 
  9. Grill buns, or bread slices, until lightly toasted. 
  10. Spread mustard sauce on bottom slice. Top with turkey burger and greens, and serve. Enjoy!


 

Summer Lemonade

Click to View Video

Serves: 4-6

Ingredients:

Lemons- 2, juice squeezed
Sugar- 5 tbsp, adjust to taste
Black salt- 2 tsp
Club Soda- 1- 33.8 fl oz bottle
Mint leaves- about 6-7 chopped
Ice Cubes

Directions:

1.In a large pitcher or jug, squeeze the lemon juice, and add the sugar, black salt, and club soda till the sugar dissolves completely. 
2.Roughly chop the fresh mint leaves, and mix well with prepared lemonade. 
3.Add ice cubes, garnish with whole mint leaves, and serve!

Grilled Spiced Lamb Chops

You really can't beat the taste of hot-off-the-grill lamb chops, bursting with flavors from mint, spice, and everything nice. ;) With beautiful notes from Indian and Middle Eastern pantries, these lamb chops will have you drooling for more. Marinate the rack ahead of time, and you're well on your way to a guaranteed crowd pleaser. 

Click to view video. 

Yeild: 15-18 chops 

 

Ingredients:

Marinade:

1/2 cup plain yogurt

2 medium red onions, quartered

1 cup fresh parsley leaves

1 cup fresh mint leaves

1 cup fresh cilantro leaves (can substitute with 4 tablespoons coriander chutney)

1 tablespoon paprika (or red chili powder)

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

2 teaspoons garam masala

salt and crushed black pepper

3 pounds lamb rib chops (about 15-18 chops)

vegetable oil or spray for grilling

Directions:

Pulse the onions, parsely, mint, cumin, paprika, red pepper flakes, garam masala and cilantro (if using fresh leaves) in a food processor.

Process until the onions are finely chopped and season with salt and black pepper.

If using chutney, add the chutney and yogurt to the onion mixture, and mix with a spoon to blend everything. 

Place the lamb in a large dish or bowl, and rub with the marinade mixture, covering all sides of the meat.

Cover and chill for at least 3 hours or overnight so that all of the flavors marry well and flavor the lamb.

Prepare the grill in medium heat and oil the grate. Grill the lamb to desired doneness, about 5-7 minutes per side (for well done).

Remove from heat, and serve with some chopped cilantro, chutney, or chilled yogurt.

Enjoy!

White Cheese and Garlic Pizza

We all love homemade pizza, but it’s time to switch things (aka ingredients) up. This time, we’re heading the cheesy and garlicky route- no more of the same old tomato based sauce. Go on, take a slice of this rich and delicious three-cheese pizza. I promise you’ll come back for more. 

Click to view video

Yield: 2 (10 inch) pizzas

Ingredients:

Pizza Dough- about 20 oz fresh store bought OR *recipe here from my Tomato Margherita Pizza*
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
All purpose flour for dusting

For the sauce:

Fresh Mozzarella Cheese- 8 oz, grated
Ricotta Cheese- 8-10 oz tub
Goat Cheese- 6 oz, crumbled 

Toppings:

Dried Oregano – 2 teaspoons
Salt and Crushed Black Pepper
1 Tomato- Sliced (rounds)
Fresh Basil Leaves- 4 tablespoons 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 425 F. Mix the 2 tablespoons olive oil and garlic in a small bowl, and keep aside.

Roll out the pizza dough, divided into two portions, on a lightly floured surface into 8-10 inch rounds. With a fork, poke the dough round a few times to allow for even baking. Brush lightly with some of the garlic oil.

Top the dough rounds with the grated mozzarella cheese and goat cheese, leaving ½ inch around the border. Dollop spoonfuls of the ricotta cheese on the pizza. Top with the tomato slices and fresh basil leaves, and sprinkle the dried oregano, salt, and pepper. Drizzle remaining olive oil and minced garlic on both pizzas. 

Transfer to the rack in the center of oven. I used a pizza stone to bake my pizza- a metal baking pan brushed with olive oil works amazingly well too! Bake pizza until crust is golden brown and cheese melts, about 15-18 minutes. Transfer the pizza to a cutting board, and let stand for 5 minutes before slicing. 

Serve and Enjoy!

*Note: If you decide to use the pizza dough from my recipe, then double the recipe to make two pizzas!

**Note: If you want to make two pizzas, start preparing the second pizza with toppings, cheese, etc no more than 10 minutes before it gets transferred into the oven. Leaving the pizza standing with the oil and toppings will cause the pizza to bake unevenly and come out a little soggy. If you want to prepare all of the pizzas beforehand, place the pizzas in the freezer before baking.

 

 

 

Margherita Pizza

We all know there's nothing better than fresh homemade pizza. My friend Sam Miller and I finally concocted an Italian masterpiece and Voila! Thus was born the impeccably crisp, yet chewy, canvas for a beautiful and flavorful tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, and lush basil.

With the aromatic notes from the basil, and light flavor from the creamy mozzarella, we found the Chianti as the perfect Margherita pizza wine pairing. It was subtle and absolutely refreshing!

image.jpg

Yield: 1 (10 inch) pizza 

Ingredients:

For the dough:

  • 1 (1/4 ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour, divided
  • 1 cup warm water, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil

For the tomato sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 (14 ounce) can crushed red tomatoes
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small white onion, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder or paprika 
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Toppings:

  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
  • 6-8 fresh basil leaves

Directions:

  1. Stir together yeast, 1 tablespoon flour, and 1/4 cup warm water in a large bowl, and set aside for 5 minutes until surface appears creamy. 
  2. Add 1 1/2 cups flour, the remaining 3/4 cup water, salt, and oil. Add the remaining flour slowly until the dough begins to pull away from the side of the bowl. 
  3. Knead on a flat floured surface, until the dough is smooth and elastic. Form into a ball, and put in a bowl covered with a damp towel. Let the dough rise for about 45 minutes- 1 hour. 
  4. Make the tomato sauce while the dough rises. Mash the canned tomatoes to make a chunky puree. 
  5. Over low-medium heat, in a small heavy saucepan, cook the onions in the olive oil until translucent. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, and light golden brown. Add the tomato puree, sugar, red chilli, oregano, thyme, and salt and simmer, uncovered, until the sauce thickens. Stir occasionally. 
  6. Preheat the oven to 450F. 
  7. Dust the dough with a little bit of flour, and transfer to a pizza pan, or large baking sheet. Pat out dough evenly, and stretch into a 10-12 inch round, reflouring if necessary. 
  8. Spread the sauce over the dough, leaving a 1/2 inch border. Arrange the mozzarella slices on top. 
  9. Slide the pizza pan/sheet into the oven (or pizza stone) and bake until the dough is crisp and browned, and the mozzarella is golden and bubbling, about 12-15 minutes. 
  10. Top the pizza with the basil leaves, and place it back again to broil for 1 minute (Note* Don't broil for too long, otherwise pizza will be burnt on the top). 
  11. Transfer the pizza to a cutting board, and let cool for 5 minutes. 
  12. Slice and serve!
  13. Enjoy!