Tag Archives: Entree

Philly Cheesesteak Pizza

This recipe was made last night.  And was supposed to be posted last night.  But this happened:

Just kidding.  I actually had a huge migraine when I got home from my clinical, but managed to throw the pizza together since most of it was already made.  I had promised this pizza to Fritz for two days, so I didn’t want to go yet another day without delivering (get it?  delivering? pizza? yeah…).  But by the time it came to posting, I just couldn’t do it.

So here it is, a day later and, happily, headache free.

Philly Cheesesteak Pizza

  • 1 recipe for pizza crust (this is my favorite recipe and makes enough for three pizzas)
  • 1-2 T steak sauce of choice (A1 would be good, I used Worcestershire)
  • 2 medium onions, sliced thinly
  • 3-4 oz steak, sliced thinly (I used leftover flank steak)
  • 1/2 C shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees, with the pizza stone inside for at least 20 minutes (no pizza stone?  Use the back of a baking sheet!).  Meanwhile, slowly caramelize the onion over medium heat–you can add a teaspoon full of sugar if you want.  I used red onions and I would have liked them to be a bit sweeter! 

On a piece of parchment paper, stretch out the dough to about a 10′ circle.  Spread with the steak sauce, and top with the caramelized onion and steak.  Finish off with a sprinkle of cheese, and a little salt and pepper.  Bake on the pizza stone for about 15 minutes, until the cheese is browned and the crust is golden.

You should probably brush the edges with olive oil, but I forgot and the world didn’t end.

Fritz was a huge fan of this pizza–which is not at all surprising.  Total man pizza.

I sprinkled mine with a bit more Worcestershire sauce.  As a side note, I would like to know how something spelled “Worcestershire” is pronounced with only three syllables. 

Something is totally wrong there.

I am in the process of slow cooking some apple butter right now, and it should be all done and ready for eatin’ by tomorrow morning.  Have a nice night (wine or not!).

Oh, and check out some of these beauties from our garden:

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South African Sosaties

Spending over a week with a handful of South Africans means that you must be ready to eat a lot of meat.  A lot of meat, prepared on the grill.  A lot of grilled meat, accompanied with salads and fruits and grilled corn on the cob.

I am so okay with this.

So here’s an awesome recipe for yet another South African grilled classic, sosaties (in Afrikaans meaning “skewered meat with spicy sauce”, thanks to Wikipedia).

South African Sosaties Printable Recipe Card

for the sauce (sous):

  • 1 large onion, sliced into half-rounds
  • 4 C water
  • 2 T mild curry powder
  • 1/2 T ground turmeric
  • 4 T sugar
  • 1 T cornstarch
  • 1 C malt vinegar
  • 2 C apricot jam
  • 1/2 T lemon juice (optional)
  • salt and white pepper to taste

for the skewers

  • 3-4 lbs beef or lamb roast, cubed into 1″ cubes
  • 1 small package dried apricots
  • 1/2 package of bacon (1 strip for each skewer)
  • about a dozen skewers, if wood, soak in water before using

The meat must be prepared ahead of time and marinated for at least 24 hours in the sosatie sauce, so make sure you have time and room in the fridge!

To prepare the sauce, first slice the onion and bring it to a boil in the four cups of water.  Set aside.  Combine the dry ingredients (curry, turmeric, sugar, cornstarch, and some salt and pepper), then add in the wet ingredients (jam, vinegar, and lemon juice).  Pour this mixture into the pan with the onions, and bring to a boil for 3-4 minutes, until it starts to thicken.  Set aside and allow it to cool.

Once the sauce is cooled, you can prepare the meat for the marinade.  Layer apricots, bacon, and the cubed meat in a plastic or glass container.  Cover with the cooled sosatie sauce.  This container was really convenient because it can be flipped to allow for the easiest mixing ever–but otherwise, you may have to get your hands dirty. 

Keep in the fridge for at least 24 hours before grilling.

To make the kabobs, skewer the beef, apricots, and the bacon (we’d suggest not having apricot on the ends, because they’ll tend to fall off during grilling). 

Grill the sosaties over medium heat for about 20 minutes, until they are cooked through.  Baste periodically with leftover sosatie sauce.

Enjoy!  These are tender and juicy, and the perfect combination of sweet and spicy.

And if you have never had a grilled apricot, then you haven’t lived.  Trust me when I say you might want to go out and find a South African to marry, if you haven’t already, because they make really great food:

The men are also quite handsome:

The sosaties were even better the second day, warmed up for leftovers with a giant salad–but I can promise you that the leftovers won’t last long.

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Very Veggie Burgers

Vacation feels so weird–it’s really hard to allow myself to sleep in (until 8:30!) and read whole books and go to the gym whenever I want.  I feel like I’m letting a whole weekend go to waste without getting tons of stuff accomplished–I guess I’ve gotten used to cramming a lot of work into short weekends.

But I’m getting there.  Tomorrow I might even wake up late, make Fritz a glorious Sunday breakfast, and then sneak in a midday nap, just ’cause I can.

I’ve been wanting to try my hand at making veggie burgers (since they are so gosh-darn expensive to buy! Why is that?!), and with all my time off and beautiful weather outside, I knew today would be a good day for it.  Using inspiration from my mom, I remembered reading a blog post from Angela Liddon from Oh She Glows about the perfect veggie burger, and I decided to stick with the recipe from a self-proclaimed veggie burger perfectionist.

I just don’t have enough vegetarian experience to experiment on my own at this yet.

Very Veggie Burgers Printable Recipe Card

  • 1 C oats, ground to flour
  • 1 1/2 C bread crumbs (mine were Italian flavor)
  • 1 C grated carrot (I used the small hole on the grater)
  • 1 C cooked black beans, roughly mashed
  • 1/2 C sunflower seeds (roasted, unsalted)
  • 1/3 C chopped almonds (raw)
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 T soy sauce
  • 1 T olive oil
  • flax eggs: 2 1/2 T ground flaxseed in 1/2 C warm water
  • 1 1/2 t chili powder
  • 1 t ground cumin
  • 1 t oregano
  • 1/2 t salt

This recipe does take a lot of prep work to get all the ingredients ready, but once you’re there, it goes fast.

Combine all the ingredients and mix well–I started using a spoon but rapidly gave up and dove right in with my hands.  I was shocked and impressed by how delicious the dough was–yum.

Shape into eight large patties, packed really tightly.  To cook on the grill, pre-cook them a little bit in the oven first, so they maintain their shape.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and bake them on a greased baking sheet for fifteen minutes, flipping them once halfway through. 

Moving to the grill–cook them over medium heat, for just a few minutes on each side.  They’ll get gorgeous grill marks, and you can melt cheese over them once you flip ’em.  These patties are pretty stable, so you don’t have to worry about being too careful with them.

I was surprised by how much I loved these burgers.  As a meat-eater, I can attest that they don’t replace a juicy, freshly grilled beef burger, but they can hold their own in a separate category.  I can actually see myself eating these instead of burgers, since I really liked the taste, but I would never expect Fritz to do the same.

With ketchup, mustard, and cheese, these really hit the spot.  They are also really dense, and since I was starving I managed to eat two, but kinda regretted the second one later.  I was preeeetty full.

As for the texture, I give it a hearty thumbs up!  I wasn’t sure why the sunflower seeds and almonds were necessary, since meat burgers definitely aren’t crunchy, but as I started eating this one it made sense.  Without the nice textural crunch and chew, I think the burgers could rapidly head in the “too mushy” direction.  Ugh.  Reminds me of the first veggie burger I ever had–not the best.

In summary–worth the work and quite delicious! I can’t wait to have round two tomorrow.

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Filed under Entrees, Vegetarian

Rainy Day Split Pea Soup (and a Swanson Review)

Today was a gloomy, chilly (for summer, at least), rainy, tea-drinking, book reading, soup making kind of day.  It started off with a run (I’m up to 1.7 miles now!) and a workout, and leveled off with a nap, the reading of an entire book (A Handful of Dust) and a little craftiness you’ll see either tomorrow or the next day.  Meanwhile, split pea soup happened.

Have you met my mom?

Isn’t she pretty?  She’s also the master, the reigning queen, the commander-in-chief, and emperor over all things soup.  She has that mystical mom-ability to create something out of nothing–from “there’s no food in the entire house!” to all the children squabbling over the leftover bowls.  Especially when it comes to pea soup.

This recipe was made in the spirit of my mom’s soup making–I just used whatever I had that I thought would work.  The CSA box from this week went along perfectly with the soup theme, supplying leeks, onions, and potatoes.  Combined with thyme from the garden, dried peas in the cupboard, and a ham bone from the freezer–magic happened.  Mom magic.

Rainy Day Split Pea Soup Printable Recipe Card

  • 2 small onions (or 1 medium)
  • 2 baby leeks (or 1 regular-sized leek)
  • 4 medium red potatoes
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • few sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 ham bone (from a previously made ham)
  • 1 C yellow dried split peas
  • 1 C green dried split peas
  • 3 C chicken broth
  • 4 C water
  • Salt and pepper to taste

I made this in the Crock Pot, because I didn’t want to have to babysit dried split peas all day.  This was an excellent plan, an excellent plan indeed.

Start by dicing all the veggies and adding them to a lightly oiled Crock Pot, set on high (for 4 or 6 hours).  When you use leeks, make sure to clean them extra well–they are known to be gritty in between the leaves.  If they’re extra bad, you can submerge them in a bowl of water and let the dirt fall to the bottom.

Add the spices, then the ham bone.  Sorry about the grisly image–kind of difficult to make it look attractive.  Top off with split peas, broth, and lastly with water.  I used four cups to make sure everything was covered with water, and it ended up making the soup the perfect consistency.  You can start with less and add more if you need it later, of course.

Allow the soup to cook until the peas fall apart.  Remove the ham bone and bay leaves, and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve immediately.

I’ve made pea soup several times before, but this is by far the best one.  You just can’t replace that deep and amazing flavor from the ham bone by using bacon–you just can’t.  Often I will add chunks of ham to the soup as well, but I didn’t have any and I must say I didn’t really miss them at all.

Fritz, who is often not a fan of split pea soup, approved heartily. 

On another exciting note, I received a box full of goodies from Swanson Health Products today!  They sent me a $25 coupon to use on anything from their website to review–and hey, I’m a poor college student and I love treating myself to some free food–especially if it’s not my standard fare.

So here’s what I picked:

  1. Pure Raw Buckwheat Honey from Y. S. Organic Bee Farm,
  2. Mayan Cocoa Spice Tea from Yogi Tea,
  3. Almond Flour from NOW Foods,
  4. Organic Whole-Wheat Pastry Flour from Bob’s Red Mill,
  5. Organic Popcorn from Arrowhead Mill, and
  6. Organic Kamut Spirals from Eden Foods

Quite a bit of stuff, which including shipping totaled $25.48.  Not bad, if I do say so myself (especially since you can search for coupon codes to help get the shipping costs down).

Now, I have to say that Swanson sells a lot of vitamins and supplements, and I don’t personally believe in taking those unless it’s medically necessary.  I have iron pills that I take when I know I’m probably anemic, and Fritz takes a multi-vitamin most days, but I generally think you should strive to get all of your nutrients, vitamins, and minerals from your diet as much as possible.  Most of those “miracle pills” and “superfood supplements” just aren’t my thing.

But back to the box.  First we tried the raw buckwheat honey, which was amazing. I’ve never had raw honey before (which, by the way, is antibacterial on superficial burns and such), but this jar tastes so smooth and rich.  Fritz wanted some on toast right away, and I obviously had to do a little quality control test first.

Then I headed straight for the cocoa spice tea.  What with all the rain and blankets and book reading, it was a perfect day to try a new tea–and it was really good.  I didn’t taste that much cocoa, but the cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves was perfect–and made me crave fall sooo badly.  I brewed it a little on the weak side, so I’ll try it a bit stronger tomorrow and see if I get a little more cocoa this time.

And the smell?

Heavenly.

The tea gave me a nice little message to leave you with:

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Filed under Review, Soups/Stews

Zucchini and Tomato Tart

Only one more test to go (my last practical for my entire educational career!), then I’m a free woman!  My test isn’t until 8:30 tomorrow night, which gives me quite a bit of time to study (and agonize) until it’s all over.

I was searching for recipes using zucchini (since it appears I will be receiving yet more of it in my CSA box tomorrow), and I found this very yummy-looking tart from The Flour SackSince I haven’t made real food in a while, I thought it’d be a nice change from having Fritz grill everything while I cram for exams.

Zucchini and Tomato Tart Printable Recipe Cards

for the crust:

  • 2 C whole-wheat flour (you should probably use pastry flour, but I used straight whole-wheat)
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/4 C olive oil
  • scant 1/2 C ice water

for the filling:

  • 1 C fat-free ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 C feta cheese
  • 1/4 C mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 C thinly sliced fresh basil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced

top:

  • 1 medium to large zucchini, sliced thinly
  • handful of grape tomatoes, sliced in half
  • drizzle of olive oil (about a T)

This is a bit of a complex recipe, just in terms of how many bits and pieces there are to prepare, so make sure you have a little counter space and time available to you before starting.

Start with the crust.  Oil a 10-inch tart pan.  Combine the flour and salt in the mixer bowl, then drizzle the olive oil over the top while the mixer is running.  It should form small little balls throughout the flour (some flour will remain dry).  Slowly add the ice water until all the flour is moistened, and stop the mixer.  Move the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead once or twice to form a ball before rolling out to a large circle.  Lightly place onto the tart pan, press into place, and cut off the excess edges.

I didn’t have a tart pan, so I used a slightly smaller pie pan.  It worked fine, but I think the larger size would work better in making a thinner tart that cooks more quickly and evenly.  I used the extra edges to make four small mini-tarts–so cute!

Refrigerate the crusts for at least half an hour, then place them in the oven (preheated at 375 degrees) for 15 minutes, weighted down with pie weights or dried beans over a piece of parchment paper.  After 15 minutes, remove the weights and paper and let it toast for another 5 minutes.

While the crust is chilling and cooking, set up the zucchini.  Because they have such a high water content, toss the thin slices with a pinch of salt and lay them out on paper towels.  This will let them release some water before they drown your tart while cooking.

Mix the filling ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.  When the crusts are ready, spoon the filling into an even layer.  Dab the zucchini slices with a paper towel to dry them, then layer in a circular pattern over the top.  Drop the grape tomatoes, halved, on top, and drizzle with olive oil.

Don’t expect yours to look exactly like mine, since I doubled the zucchini–I’ve got a lot to use up!  I absolutely love zucchini, so I was happy with more, but the proportions would probably be better with the original amount.

Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for about half an hour, when the tart is cooked through–the zucchini is tender and the tomatoes are bursting with flavor.

A work of art to look at!

My only complaint with this tart was that the crust was a bit dense–that may be my fault, since I didn’t use pastry flour.  I also would have preferred to put it in a larger pan than what I had lying around, but I didn’t have anything that would be a better fit.

I must say, however, that the bite-sized tarts were absolutely amazing.  Two-bite-sized, really, but super cute and the perfect ratio of crust, cheese, and vegetable.

We ate half of the tart, and were completely stuffed.  Very filling.

Anyhoo, I have to go write a take-home final for my ethics class (best kind of test there is), so have a lovely evening!  To keep up with the late nights, I’ve been drinking vast quantities of English breakfast tea to keep me feeling sane–what’s your comforting drink of choice?  I’ve never really been a coffee kind of person.

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Filed under Entrees, Vegetarian

Ants Climbing on Branches (Chinese Green Beans over Noodles)

I actually made this recipe a few months ago, kind of assuming it’d be a nondescript and certainly not blog-worthy dinner.  I was quite definitely wrong, so I bookmarked it and set it aside for that future moment when all the pieces fell into place for it to happen again.

Well, my friends, fate has arrived. 

Ants Climbing on Branches (adapted from First Look, Then CookPrintable Recipe Card

  • 1/2 lb ground turkey
  • 1 lb green beans, trimmed and washed
  • 1 T canola oil
  • 2 t ground ginger
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 t crushed red pepper
  • 1/3 C chicken broth
  • 2 T soy sauce
  • 1 T apple cider vinegar
  • 1 t cornstarch

Start by making brown rice or whole-wheat noodles (I used whole-wheat lo mein noodles) to serve alongside the beans.

Heat up the canola oil in a large pan or wok over medium heat.  Toss in the onions and garlic and saute until translucent.  Add the ground ginger and red pepper and stir for about 30 seconds to a minute.

Next, add the ground turkey and cook thoroughly, about five minutes.  Add the soy sauce, vinegar, broth, and cornstarch, and mix to combine.

Toss the green beans on top and cover, simmer for 5-6 minutes until the green beans are cooked (I prefer mine al dente, but it’s up to you).  Remove the lid and allow the liquid to cook down until it’s the desired thickness for another minute or two.

Serve immediately over rice or noodles (serves four).

I absolutely love the combination of ginger (you can and should use fresh if you have it–about an inch long piece), green beans, salty soy sauce, and of course the savory turkey.  Add that to the smooth texture of the lo mein noodles and it is a serious winner.

Fritz also approves.  Whole-heartedly.

He also managed to eat an entire plateful (well, he did move it to a bowl) using plastic children’s chopsticks with a rooster on top.

He has mad skills.

And in other very exciting news, it’s the weekend!  Though it is sadly going to involve massive amounts of studying for my finals next week, it’s important to note that I am soon going to be on vacation! Woo!

The only sad news is that I found out that there’s no internet where we are going (the gorgeous Kootenay Lake in BC, Canada), so I’m not sure what to do about blogging.  I know I’ll miss it a lot, but I’m thinking about just straight up going without for the two weeks we will be gone.

What I don’t want to do is be trying to blog from internet cafes and restaurants on slow speed connections and gettin’ all frustrated while everyone else is frolicking away in the lakes and mountains.

What do you think I should do?

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Grilled Radicchio & Pear Salad

We did a pretty good job cleanin’ out the CSA box from last week, but there was that dreaded lingering head of radicchio.

Though I actually really liked the chicken and radicchio pasta salad from last week, I hate to repeat recipes so soon, and this definitely raised concerns that I wouldn’t be able to top that salad.  Fritz is especially not a big fan of anything bitter, and radicchio is, um…quite bitter.  Downright disgusting raw, I must say.

Several people suggested that I try grilling it, and I just wasn’t convinced that this would alter the bitterness enough to enjoy it.  But when I came home from a long day of class and the house was 90 degrees inside, I knew that the grilling was on.

Hold on to your seats, friends, because it works.  It really, really worked.

Grilled Radicchio & Pear Salad Printable Recipe Card

  • 1 small head radicchio, cut into quarters
  • 1 ripe pear, large dice
  • 2 T balsamic vinegar
  • 2 t mustard (I used hot and sweet)
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 2 T Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

Cut the radicchio into quarters, leaving the core largely intact, and brush with a bit of olive oil.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and grill over indirect medium-high heat until wilted, with some crisp on the outer leaves.  This should only take a few minutes on each flat side of the quarter.

Meanwhile, mix the balsamic vinegar, mustard, olive oil, and Parmesan cheese together with a fork until well blended.

When the radicchio is done, slice and divide onto plates.  Sprinkle with the pear and drizzle with dressing.

This recipe made three nicely sized entrée salads for Fritz, Eber, and I, but it could make 4-6 little side salads, too.

I couldn’t believe how good the radicchio was once it was grilled!  Fritz still found some of the inner pieces to be a little too bitter for his taste, but for the most part he enjoyed it.

He also couldn’t tell that there was mustard in the dressing, which is good because he claims to hate mustard.  I, however, have yet to see the definitive evidence of this hatred–every time I make something with mustard in it and don’t tell him, he finds it to be quite delicious.  Veeeery suspect.

Fritz and I also had an intense play session with Henry today, involving his arch nemesis–a paper towel roll.  However, the tables turned on Fritz when Henry spotted a much more fun (and interactive) target:

No, that’s not my foot.  That hairy leg belongs to Fritz.  I continued to egg Henry on and reinforce his bad habits by not stepping in to rescue Fritz until things went from bad to worse:

Henry was without a doubt a serious warrior in his previous life.

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Filed under Salads