Homemade Dough and Pizza Sauce with the KitchenAid Attachment – Strainer

My mother in law came for a visit and in tow she had a plastic bag full of KitchenAid stand mixer attachments! She said she was doing some cleaning in the basement and found these from about 15 years ago which were never used. She took a chance bringing them as she did not know for sure which mixer I had. But as you know, if you are a regular reader of my blog that my mother bought me a KitchenAid stand mixer just a short time ago (I love this thing if you could not tell and sorry that I have not posted all the things I have made with it. Sometimes I get so involved in cooking that I forget to get the camera out.). Here is the contents of the bag:

  • Fruit/Vegetable Strainer Set (used in the recipe below)
  • Slicer/Shredder Attachment
  • Food Grinder Attachment
What's in the bag

What’s in the bag

I came up this pizza sauce recipe while at the farmers market looking at all the fresh produce. I just LOVE fresh produce!

Ingredients for pizza sauce

  • About 5 large red ripe tomatoes – strained through the KitchenAid Fruit/Vegetable Strainer
  • 2 table spoons of extra virgin olive oil  – I used Oliveto Mediterranean Blend – first cold pressed – Yum!
  • 1 medium sized yellow onion – diced
  • A couple dashes of kosher salt
  • A couple of grinds of black pepper
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups of fresh Basal, no stems – chopped – THIS IS A MUST!
  • 2 cloves garlic – diced

Sauce is boss

  1. Using the KitchenAid Fruit/Vegetable Strainer strain the tomatoes. I am sure you can strain these by hand but it would take longer.
  2. In a medium sized sauce pan add olive oil and heat over medium high heat, add onion and salt and lightly brown the onions  – around 10 minutes
  3. Add strained Tomato sauce and boil covered for 10 minutes
  4. Remove cover reducing heat to low for about 35 minutes.
  5. Add basal, garlic, pepper and continue over low heat until sauce has reduced to the thickness you would like. I added about another 30 minutes or so.
Dough and Sauce

Dough and Sauce

Ingredients for Pizza Dough

  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water (105° F to 115°F)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal plus a dash extra for the pizza pan
  • 2 1/4 to 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • Your toppings

Build the pizza from the dough up

  1. Dissolve yeast in warm water in warmed mixer bowl
  2. Add salt, olive oil, 1/4 cup cornmeal and 2 1/4 cups flour
  3. Attach bowl and dough hook to mixer
  4. Turn to Speed 2 and mix about 1 minute
  5. Add remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, and mix about 3 minutes. The dough should clean sides of bowl during this time and then start to ride up the hook. Please note humidity and temperature can have a huge impact on how the dough will perform. Your dough may be too sticky or too dry so add a table spoon of water or flour at a time to get the proper behavior as described.
  6. Place dough in greased bowl, turning to grease all sides of dough ball.
  7. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in warm place, free from draft, about 1 to 1 1/2 hour. I put mine in a cold oven.
  8. Preheat oven to 450 F – Don’t forget to remove the dough! he he.
  9. Punch dough down, yes with your fist!
  10. Brush 14″ pizza pan with oil. Sprinkle with cornmeal. I use a cast iron pizza pan and this recipe reflects that.
  11. Roll dough out to a disc on a floured surface about and inch or two larger then the size of the pizza pan. I make two pizzas with this recipe. One small personal pizza and the larger one. Just cut of a bit of dough for the smaller pizza.
  12. Place on pizza pan and form a ridge around edge of the dough
  13. Add toppings
  14. Heat pan on stove until you see a bit of steam being release from below the dough
  15. Bake at 450°F for 10-15 minutes or until cheese is just golden brown
  16. Let rest for one minute then slice and enjoy!

The test taste results: Bowing down on the floor, I am not worthy. This is so good! Yum! wait I need to test it again. Yum! Wait one more time just in case. Yum!!!

Top me!

Top me!

Avocado with Fried Egg

IMG_1115

Avocado with fried egg is a great combination on a sandwich and this is the first time I have ever tried this.  This is a simple meal and a very satisfying! I will be making this again.

Ingredients

  • Fresh buns – sliced – I used large homemade buns
  • Provolone cheese
  • Deli Ham – sliced thin
  • 1 tablespoon of Butter
  • Egg
  • Avocado – sliced
  • Tomato – sliced if desired
  • Hot Sauce – if desired
  • Fresh ground pepper

Build it

  1. Warm the ham in a pan for about 10 seconds each side
  2. Add butter to pan wait for it to melt then add the egg. While the egg is cooking spoon the melted butter from the pan on top of the egg until done
  3. Add buns to same pan to toast and warm slightly
  4. To build the sandwich put bottom half of bun on plate followed by the cheese, ham, egg, sliced avocado, pepper. Optionally you can add the tomato and or hot sauce.
  5. Slice if to big then eat!

IMG_1117

Coffee Cake Muffins

Oh so good!

Oh so good!

I was in the mood for coffee cake but did not want the regular kind. I was looking for something more like a muffin. The advantage of a muffin is you get more crispy goodness due to more contact with the pan.

Ingrediants for the Streusel topping

  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour- spoon and level int the measuring cup
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup chilled butter, cut into small pieces

Ingrediants for the Muffins

  • 1/2 cup butter – room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour – spoon and level int the measuring cups
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup sour cream – I used the light version
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs

Directions for the Streusel topping:

  1. In a medium bowl, stir together: brown sugar, ground cinnamon, flour, and salt.
  2. With two knives cut crosswise until mixture resembles large coarse crumbs. This can take a few minutes but will work
  3. Refrigerate until ready to use!

Directions for the Muffins:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Grease 12-cup muffin tin
  3. In a small bowl whisk together: flour, baking powder, and baking soda then set aside
  4. Using a stand mixer on medium speed, beat together butter, sour cream, granulated sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy
  5. Beat in eggs one at a time until well combined
  6. With mixer on low speed, beat flour mixture into liquid mixture. Add the flour mixture slowly
  7. Add half the batter to the prepared muffin cups
  8. Top with half the Streusel topping mixture
  9. Add the second half of the batter to the muffin cups on top of the Streusel
  10. Add the remaining batter
  11. Use the rest of the Streusel to top off the muffin cups
  12. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center of a muffin comes out clean
  13. Cool in pan for 5 minutes
  14. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. In order to get the muffins out of the muffin tins I had to do the double flip method. That’s where you place a cookie sheet covering the muffins, flip everything over so the muffins  are face down on the cookie sheet (released from the tin), put the wire rack on top of the muffins then flip again.
  15. EAT!
After using two knives to cut crosswise until mixture resembles large coarse crumbs

After using two knives to cut crosswise until mixture resembles large coarse crumbs

 

All topped off and ready to bake!

All topped off and ready to bake!

Cooling in the pan for 5 minutes. Hurry up!

Cooling in the pan for 5 minutes. Hurry up!

After the double flip method.

After the double flip method.

Eat!

Eat!

Inspired by Martha, who isn’t!

Basic White Bread – from the KitchenAid recipe book

We got bread white bread that is

We got bread white bread that is

Here are my results from making Basic White Bread from the KitchenAid recipe book. It’s so easy and it tastes so good. Who knew…well not me until a bit ago that’s for sure. One mistake I made was putting plastic wrap, with no grease, on the dough when it was in the loaf pans rising. This caused the loaf to flatten and deflate a bit. I can’t wait to toast a slice and put butter on it! YUM!

The recipe

The recipe

Sliced and ready to eat!

Sliced and ready to eat!

Breakfast Pizza with my new KitchenAid stand mixer!

My mom gave me a new toy! It’s a KitchenAid stand mixer! I was so excited I could hardly maintain control! After I settled down a bit I was thinking what could I make first? Could it be pizza dough, cup cakes with homemade frosting, cookies, breads, rolls, on and on the list could go. Something had to be first and I wanted it to be easy so I can learn how to properly use the machine. So pizza dough won out plus I have been wanting to try out my idea of a breakfast style pizza. Hmm two new things at once, so many variables. Lets do it!

My new toy!

My new toy!

Breakfast Pizza!

Breakfast Pizza!

As for the pizza dough I made the one found in the recipe book that came in the box called “Crusty Pizza Dough” which you can find by doing a search for “KitchenAid Crusty Pizza Dough” on the internet.

Ingredients 

  • Pizza dough
  • 1 stick of melted butter
  • A few tables spoons of oil
  • A few tables spoons of of corn meal
  • 8 eggs – cooked scrambled
  • deli ham – chopped  – enough to cover the pizza
  • Cheeses – I used a new cheese blend call Mac and Cheese blend
  • Cooked chopped bacon – enough to your liking

Steps to building a fine breakfast pizza

  1. Make the Pizza dough and roll it out to fit the cast iron pizza pan
  2. Preheat oven to 450 F
  3. Brush oil onto a cast iron pizza pan then sprinkle with corn meal
  4. Place the dough onto the a cast iron pizza pan
  5. Brush the dough with melted butter
  6. Top with an even layer of cooked scrambled eggs
  7. Add the ham
  8. Sprinkle with cheese
  9. Add the bacon
  10. Heat the cast iron on the stove top for a few minutes to get things started. This will help the pizza cook faster in the oven and help crisp up the bottom of the pizza.
  11. Cook pizza for about 15 minutes or until the cheese just starts to turn brown
  12. Let rest for 5 minutes, cut, serve and enjoy. We sure did at my home!
I am hungry!

I am hungry!

BBQ Chicken Onion Bacon Pizza

IMG_1024

This pizza is so good you will have to make it again and will not be able to stop at eating two pieces. I mean this is REALLY GOOD! I would not change a thing.

If you try this let me know what you think. This was a huge hit in my house. Plus it was a great use of leftovers.

Ingredients – for a 12 inch pizza

  • Pizza dough – homemade or store bought. I went with homemade using my bread machine to kick things off
  • 5 small BBQ Chicken thighs – cooked and chopped. I used my leftovers that I cooked on the gill. I grilled them four minutes per side, brushed with BBQ sauce on each side cooking an additional 30 seconds each side
  • 1/4 cup – Sweet Baby Rays BBQ sauce – enough to just coat the pizza
  • 1 Onion sliced into rings then sliced in half
  • 3 slices of cooked bacon – chopped
  • 1 cup of grated white cheeses blend – just enough to coat the top of the pizza
  • Dash of Oregano to garnish
Your onions should look like this.

Your onions should look like this.

Everything but the cheese.

Everything but the cheese.

Build it and they will eat it!

  1. Prepare pizza dough
  2. Preheat oven to 450 F
  3. Caramelize the onion
  4. Top the pizza dough with BBQ sauce (see picture below)
  5. Top the pizza with the onion, chicken, bacon and cheeses
  6. Bake for 10 minutes or until the cheese in golden brown
  7. Let cool for 5 minutes before slicing
  8. See if you can only eat two pieces!
Top with BBQ sauce

Top with BBQ sauce

I have BBQ sauce, I have chicken, I have onion, I have bacon.

I have BBQ sauce, I have chicken, I have onion, I have bacon.

I am cheesy and ready to be baked!

I am cheesy and ready to be baked!

Waiting to be sliced

Waiting to be sliced

still waiting to be sliced

still waiting to be sliced

Blackened Cajun Chicken Sandwich

Blackened Cajun Chicken Sandwich on fresh bread

Blackened Cajun Chicken Sandwich on fresh bread

A Blackened Cajun Chicken Sandwich is so tasty and when you place it on fresh bread it’s just that much better! To round out this meal add a side of home cooked potatoes and a side of veggies from the freezer and you will be set to stimulate those taste buds.

I had leftover homemade french bread from the day before but only had enough for one sandwich. So not to be selfish I made a new loaf but this time I went with a Honey Oatmeal Bread from my bread machine book cooking it completely in the bread machine. I just LOVE the smell of bread baking! It’s just so easy to make with a bread machine I am surprised more people don’t make it.

I just love the smell of bread!

I just love the smell of bread!

When I first started thinking about Blackened Cajun Chicken I had no idea what spice combination I should use. I knew the basics which is most of the ingredients below with the exception of the Thyme Leaves which I found while researching Cajun spices. The blend below is what I came up with for the 20 oz of chicken thighs. The amount and taste was spot on! All you do is put all the spices into a small dish and blend well.

The spice of life

The spice of life

DSC00754

Blend me now!

Ingredients for the chicken:

  • 20 oz of Chicken Tighs
  • 1/4 tsp. Fresh ground Black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. Paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. Cayenne
  • 1/4 tsp. Garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. Onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp. White pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. Oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. Thyme Leaves
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt
  • Topped with Olive Oil Mayo

Once the spices are blended well sprinkle both sides of the chicken well. In a cast iron skillet heated to a medium high heat cook the chicken for about 10 minutes flipping halfway through. Make sure there is no pink inside!

Spice me up!

Spice me up!

Cook me til I am a little blacken.

Cook me til I am a little blacken.

All done now put me on some bread with mayo!

All done now put me on some bread with mayo!

Once done put it on a piece of fresh bread with a bit of olive oil mayo.

On bread with oh so good olive oil mayo.

On bread with oh so good olive oil mayo.

Saturday, March 9, 2013 was National Meatball Day – I hear. Here is a meatball sandwich I created to do my part.

Yum a homemade Meatball sandwich!

Yum a homemade Meatball sandwich!

I have not had a meatball sandwich for a while and was in the mood for a homemade version. Little did I know before reading the news that it was National Meatball day. Who comes up with this stuff anyway?

What I wanted to put in the meatball was not known yet so I started thinking and looking around the kitchen to inspire me. In the picture below is what I came up with. I had no real idea what the outcome was going to be but that’s the exciting part of cooking.

I going to make a meatball with all this stuff plus some ground beef.

I going to make a meatball with all this stuff plus some ground beef.

Ingredients for the meatballs:

  • 1 pound of 80/20 ground beef
  • 1/2 cup of shredded Parmesan cheese
  • Yellow onion – about 1/2 and chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves diced
  • 1 cup of Italian breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon of fresh ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried Basal
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried Oregano
  • 1 pinch of Kosher salt
  • 1 large egg

You will also need bread to put the meatball on, cheese to dress it up and of course some Classico spaghetti sauce. As for the Classico spaghetti sauce I used about a cup then added about a 1/4 cup of water to thin it a bit for the 3 meatballs I wanted to use for the sandwiches.

Before I get started with the meatballs I went the extra mile and made homemade french bread. I did use the bread machine to prepare the dough with the rest by my hands and the oven. First things first is dump the prepared dough on to a floured surface, shape into a loaf then place on a baking sheet that has been greased and dusted with cornmeal.

Right out the of bread machine ready to be handled.

Right out the of bread machine ready to be handled.

It's in great shape!

It’s in great shape!

Now it’s time to rise to the occasion. Let the dough rise until double in size in a warm draft free place. I always put my in the oven after I warmed it at the lowest setting then turned it off. The dough took about 50 minutes to rise. Next up remove the dough from the oven, heat your oven to 375 F, slice the top of the dough with a very sharp knife about 3 or 4 times and brush on egg white. Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes.

I have risen, been sliced and have egg whites all over the top of me.

I have risen, been sliced and have egg whites all over the top of me.

I have been baked now just let me cool before you slice into sandwich size. No sneaking!

I have been baked now just let me cool before you slice into sandwich size. No sneaking!

Okay now it’s time to continue making the meatballs. Put all the ingredients into a large bowl and blend well.

Put everything in one bowel I  am getting hungry over here.

Put everything in one bowel I am getting hungry over here.

Blended well now lets make some balls!

Blended well now lets make some balls!

Form the meatballs into even sizes and the size you want. Put the meatballs in the Frig for about 15 minutes to cool back down so they will stay together during cooking.

Those are nice looking meatballs!

Those are nice looking meatballs!

Preheat a large skillet to medium high heat and place meatballs in skillet but make sure they are not touching. You will need to rotate the meatballs often so they cook evenly. I rotated mine with a fork and spatula but be careful you don’t want these to fall apart. Cook for about 10 minutes or until brown with a crunchy outside. Remove from the skillet when done with a large spoon and place into simmering spaghetti sauce. Let the meatballs simmer for about 30 minutes.

Toasty bread is so much better! So for this recipe I sliced the bread and placed this in a heated skillet with olive oil to toast the insides. Now the last step is to plate it. Just put the bread on a plate, add meatball then top with the cheese of your choice. I did make large meatballs so I had to smash it just a bit to eat it. This was amazing tasting! I can’t wait to try the leftovers!

Cooking!

Cooking!

First flip!

First flip!

Done! Ready for the sauce!

Done! Ready for the sauce!

Simmer time!

Simmer time!

Chicken Parmesan Panini

Chicken Parmesan Panini oh so good.

Chicken Parmesan Panini oh so good.

I wanted a sandwich but not just any sandwich it had to be extra tasty. I had some leftovers from my Skillet Chicken Parmesan meal so what better to do then chop of the chicken and compress it into a sandwich. The problem is I did not have a Panini maker. So what to do, make something that creates the same results! With two hot pans and an oven I created my own. I wanted the lines on the sandwich so I pulled out my gill pan.

Check out those ridges!

Check out those ridges!

I did not have another pan with ridges so I had to settle for my heavy cast iron skillet.

Heavy iron skillet to be heated.

Heavy iron skillet to be heated.

In order to make the crispy compressed sandwich I heated the oven to 450 F and put the iron skillet in there to heat up as well. Next up build the sandwich. I started with homemade french bread buttering the outside to help it brown.

Butter me!

Butter me!

Of course you need more the just butter so I added the chopped chicken and provolone cheese.

Give me some chicken and cheese please.

Give me some chicken and cheese please.

It can’t be a Chicken Parmesan  Panini if it does not have spaghetti sauce.

Give me some sauce.

Give me some sauce.

In order to help speed things up I put the sandwiches on the ridged pan then heated it for a few minutes.

Pre-heat me

Pre-heat me

Next up put the foil on top of the sandwiches to help keep the iron skillet clean then put this setup into the oven then top it all off with the heavy very hot iron skillet and bake for about 10 minutes until a crispy golden brown.

My tin foil hat

My tin foil hat

You can't see this well but this in the ridged skillet, the sandwiches, foil then iron skillet.

You can’t see this well but this in the ridged skillet, the sandwiches, foil then iron skillet.

 

It’s done!

All done!

All done!

Pasta with Chick Peas and Spinach – leftovers utilized

Oh yes! Leftovers can be good!

Oh yes! Leftovers can be good!

I had leftovers from the “Chicken with Chick Peas and Spinach” dinner and wanted to come up with something different then the original meal. I thought (after input from a friend) that this would go great on pasta. I had some World Market® Strozzapreti Pasta in the cabinet just waiting to be used.  So in the boiling water the pasta went per the directions on the package. Once the pasta was done and drained I re-heated the Chick Peas and Spinach then combined theses, could be separate  meals, into a fabulous tasting dish.

More then just the main dish was needed! What better then homemade French bread! This was cooked by my 12 year old son all by himself. It came out perfect! Of course dipping the French bread into a plate of olive oil with garlic, Parmesan cheese, basal, fresh ground pepper and a splash of red wine vinegar is a must.