Friday, December 19, 2014

Holiday Spicy Crackers

  • 1 stick melted butter
  • 3 tablespoons or one envelope of Ranch Dressing Mix
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 box of whole wheat Ritz crackers

  1. Put all the ingredients in a big plastic bag.
  2. Shake well so that the crackers are covered.
  3. Place on cookie sheets.
  4. Bake at 300 degrees for 15 minutes.
  5. Cool and remove.
  6. Serve and enjoy.  

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Quiche Lorraine

  • 1 pie shell (I used Pillsbury)
  • 8 ounces Swiss cheese, shredded
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 6 ounces of ham (chopped)
  • 3 eggs
  • 8 oz. Evaporated milk (2/3 of a 12 ounce can)
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  1. Preheat oven at 375 degrees.
  2. Place pie shell in glass pie plate and flute edges.
  3. Stir the 4 tablespoons flour into the shredded cheese.
  4. Place mixture in the bottom of the of shell.
  5. Spread the chopped ham on top of them.
  6. In the blender, mix the eggs, evaporated milk, mustard, and salt.
  7. Pour the blended mixture evenly over the bottom layers.
  8. Bake 45 minutes on the center over rack.
  9. Serve and enjoy.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Nancy's Homemade Pizza Journey – October 2014 Version

My pizza quest has been a challenge to me. To be able to make pizza as good as our local restaurants of Tobin's, Grady's and Beningo's. I do believe that I might have moved away from my town, at least in the winter time, if I could find pizzas as good as these. Almost everyone that I know who have moved away from here say that these are among the things that they miss most. So first I will focus on the crust. I confess, I am using canned pizza sauce for this, but the rest is all not prepared. So please forgive my cheating in this instance. I am a beginner and I have to learn to crawl before I can walk. And believe me, if any of the above places would give me their recipes for such mouth watering masterpieces, I would crawl to them and beg. Of course, that won't happen because they have so closely guarded their recipes. So here goes:

Two days in advance, make the crust and refrigerate it covered.  It will still work a few hours in advance, but will taste a little different.

Crust Ingredients
1 small pizza 2 small or 1 large pizzas 2 large pizzas
½ cup warm (not hot) water 1 cup warm (not hot) water 2 cups warm (not hot) water
1 1/8 teaspoons or 1/8 oz. 1 pkg. of yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons) or 1/4 oz. 2 pkgs. of yeast (4 ½ teaspoons) or ½ oz.
3/4 teaspoon sugar 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar 3 teaspoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt 1 1/2 teaspoons salt 3 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon oil 2 tablespoons oil 4 tablespoons oil
1 ¾ scant cups all purpose flour 3 ¼ cups all purpose flour 6 ½ cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon anise seed ½ teaspoon anise seed 1 teaspoon anise seed

In a tall bowl, dissolve the yeast and sugar in the warm water.  Wait 15 minutes for the yeast to develop.  Then add the salt, oil, and anise seed and stir.  Do not add the salt in the beginning. I've heard that it will prevent the yeast from developing.  Add the flour a little at a time, working it in as you go.  By the time that it is all worked in, you probably won't be able to stir it.  It will have to be kneaded in.  About 5 minutes is sufficient.  If you don't need it, the dough will be difficult to roll because it won't have developed the elastic quality that forms from kneading.  When finished, place the dough in a ball back in the bowl, wet a paper towel and place over the dough, and then cover the bowl with plastic wrap or aluminum foil.  Let it rise on the counter for at least two hours.  At this point, it should have risen.  Punch dough down and let it rise again if in a hurry.  Otherwise return it to the bowl, cover with the wet paper towel and cover the bowl with the aluminum foil or plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator for two days.  

Rest of Ingredients
1 small pizza 2 small or 1 large pizza 2 large pizzas
½ package center cut bacon

1 package center cut bacon 2 packages center cut bacon
½ large vidalia onion, chopped 1 large vidalia onion, chopped 2 large vidalia onions, chopped
1/3 can Chef-Boy-Ar-Dee pizza sauce 2/3 can Chef-Boy-Ar-Dee pizza sauce 1 can Chef-Boy-Ar-Dee pizza sauce
½ of a mozzarella ball 1 ball of mozzarella 2 balls of mozzarella
4 shakes of parmesan cheese 8 shakes of parmesan cheese 16 shakes of parmesan cheese

When ready to make the pizza:

 At this time also start heating the baking stone on the middle rack of the oven at 450 degrees.  Remove the upper rack to make placing the pizza and taking it out easier. It is important to let it heat for at least 30 minutes.

After the two days, or the second rise (if in a hurry), flour your pastry sheet using a shaker full of flour. 

Also, flour the rolling pin to control sticking.

Pat dough into a disk. 

Roll dough lengthwise first.

 Roll the other direction working towards a circle. Keep working it into a shape that is acceptable to you.  Remember that real pizza is a rustic shape.  Perfectly round pizzas, scream "frozen."  If the dough gets a hole in it, just pinch it together and roll the place again.  It is very forgiving, but you don't want holes that the sauce will leak though. 

Shake flour on your paddle.  Use the rolling pin to help you pick the dough up and transfer to the paddle. I did not do this before putting toppings on the first pizza, but next time I will.   

This is my paddle.  I bought mine off amazon (you're welcome, amazon).  .I did not see one in any cooking stores in my town and I have looked for them for a while.  

Dock the dough with a fork to help keep the dough flat.  But if you want the dough to bubble up, don't dock it so much. Some docking will also help to allow moisture to escape and promote even browning

Fry a whole package of center cut bacon for two pizzas. 

In the bacon grease, fry a chopped vidalia onion.

Drain the onions and bacon on paper plates.  Crumble the bacon.  Blot the tops of both with paper towels to absorb grease.

Spread with pizza sauce.  I used Chef-Boy-Ar-Dee for this one.  One can will make two large pizzas.  I only used a third of a can on this medium sized pizza.

Distribute the sauteed onion and bacon on the pizza.

Use mozzarella that comes in a ball.  Use a food processor to crumble it up.  Be careful not to process it too long or it will become a cream cheese texture.

Shake the parmesan cheese on it.

Slide the pizza onto the heated stone, starting at the back of the stone, and pull the paddle forward slowly, allowing it to gently fall on the stone.

Bake 11 minutes at 450 degrees on the stone.  

Check to see if the crust is done by inserting the paddle underneath the pizza.  If it is still floppy, the pizza is not done.  Keep on the stone a little longer, checking each minute.  When the pizza is the done, insert the paddle under the pizza and remove from the oven.  Set the whole pizza and paddle on the counter.  Let sit for 3 minutes.  Then cut with a rolling wheel pizza cutter.

This is what the crust side resembles.  See how nicely browned it is.

Serve and enjoy.  

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Carla's Spicy French Dressing

My friend Carla was generous enough to give me a jar of her French dressing that she makes.   It is delicious and she said I could share the recipe with you.  

  • 1 – 10.75 oz. can of tomato soup
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup salad oil
  • ½ cup vinegar
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon dry mustard

Place all ingredients in a quart canning jar and tighten the lid. Shake. Refrigerate. It will keep quite a while.  

Monday, June 9, 2014

Glazed Ham

  • I large ham
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 6 oz. Pepsi

  1. Bake ham in oven appropriate time at 350 degrees for its size.
  2. Mix ingredients in a bowl.
  3. Brush ham with the glaze in the last 30 minutes of baking.
  4. Slice and enjoy.  

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Sauteed Morels

  • ½ gallon water
  • ¼ cup salt
  • 8 large morels
  • 3 tablespoons salted butter (do not use margarine)
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon white wine
  • salt and pepper to taste

  1. Clean morels by filling a large bowl ½ gallon tap water. Add ¼ cup salt. Stir. Plunge morels into water for 4 minutes only. If you leave them longer, they will absorb too much salt. This should remove any kill any bugs and remove them and any debris.
  2. Rinse each morel in as slow running stream of cold water as possible.
  3. Blot them dry with paper towels on both the bottom and top
  4. Slice the morels in quarters.
  5. Heat butter in a skillet on medium heat (This would be a 6 setting on my induction cooktop.)
  6. When the butter is bubbling, add the minced garlic.
  7. Cook for 30 seconds.
  8. Add the morels.
  9. Add the wine and reduce, flipping them once.
  10. When sauce is reduced, remove and serve.
  11. Taste test and add salt and pepper as desired.  (I didn't have to add any salt because I used salted butter.)
  12. Enjoy.  

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Crunchy Fried Morels

  1. 1/2 gallon of hot tap water
  2. 1/4 cup salt
  3. 8 large morels
  4. 1 egg, beaten
  5. 1/2 cup flour
  6. 1/2 cup Panko crumbs (Italian flavor)
  7. 2 sticks butter (don't try to substitute margarine)
  8. salt and pepper to taste
  9. Fill approximately 1/2 gallon of the hottest tap water that you can make in a large bowl.
  10. Dissolve 1/4 cup salt into it and stir.
  11. Place the morels into the mixture for  only 4 minutes. Soaking longer than 4 minutes will make the morels too salty. This salt water should kill any bugs and remove any debris.  
  12. With a very slow stream of cold water, gently rinse the morels one at a time and place on a paper towel.  
  13. Pat dry with a paper towel.
  14. With a knife, quarter the morels.
  15. Heat the butter in a skillet on medium heat.  (On my induction cooktop, the setting should be six.)  If the temperature is too high, the butter will burn.  
  16. Beat the egg, slightly in a bowl for dipping.
  17. In a paper bag, place the flour and Panko crumbs. Close the bag and shake to mix.
  18. One by one, dip each piece of morel into the egg mixture, then toss in the bag.  When you get 4 pieces in the bag, close the bag and shake to coat well.  
  19. When the butter is bubbling well, place each piece in the frying pan.
  20. Repeat the dipping and coating process for all the remaining pieces of morel are coated. 
  21. Salt and pepper very lightly.  (If you are using salted butter, you probably won't need to salt at all.)
  22. Fry about 5 minutes or until the coating is a golden color.  This is a very gentle fry.
  23. With tongs turn the pieces of morel and fry until golden on the other side of the morels.  
  24. Remove the morels and place them on a paper plate to absorb the excess butter.
  25. Serve and enjoy.