Sunday, November 18, 2012

Tomato Basil Pizza (Pizza Margarita)

 I used to continuously buy pizza stones that cost $20, only to have them break on me. Then I realized I could buy tiles at the home repair store for only $1.00 that work just as well. You want to buy the tiles that are unglazed.  The glaze could have lead that could transfer to your pizza.  If you don't have a pizza stone you could still make this recipe on a sheet pan.

You could also use those pre-baked store bought pizza crusts.

Here is my tip for storing individual size portions of dough. Single Foodie Tip Storing Pizza Dough

Pizza Dough 
Flour, (for rolling out the dough)
Corn Meal (for sliding the dough on the pizza stone)
1/4 c. Marinara Sauce 
2-3 slices of Fresh Mozzarella, torn into pieces
2 Roma Tomatoes, sliced
salt & pepper
2-3 Basil fresh leaves, chopped

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. 

Dust your dough and cutting board with flour. Roll out the dough. 

To easily slide my pizza on to the pizza stone, I use a cookie sheet that does not have an edge on it. I liberly spread corn meal onto the cookie sheet so the dough doesn't stick then place dough on the corn meal. Shake the cookie sheet back and forth to make sure your dough is not sticking. 

On the dough, top it with dollups of tomato sauce and fresh mozzarella. Top the cheese with the tomatoes and sprinkle with salt and pepper. It may look like too many tomatoes, but they will shrink.

Slide your pizza on to the pizza stone or place your pizza in the oven  to bake if using an sheet pan.  Bake for 15-17 minutes. 

Top your pizza with the fresh basil right when it comes out of the oven.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Mozzarella Marinara Chicken

This is a super fast easy recipe. I enjoyed it with a big mixed greens salad dressed with just extra virgin olive oil and vinegar.

Plastic Wrap
1 Chicken Breast
2 Tbsp Flour
1 Tbsp Olive Oil

1/4 c. Marinara Sauce
1 oz. Mozzarella 
(optional - 2 slices of salami, pepperoni, capocollo, sopressata or any Italian deli meat you may like)

Heat a pan on medium high heat. 

Place the chicken breast between 2 pieces of plastic wrap. Pound it to 3/4 inch thin. I use a rolling pin but you can also use a meat pounder or another pan. (Don't use the one you are heating!)

On a plate, add about 2 tablespoons of flour mixed with salt and pepper. Coat the chicken you have pounded out with the flour mixture and shake off any extra flour.
In the hot pan, add the olive oil.  Once the oil is hot, cook the chicken in the pan for about 10-12 minutes, flipping it over half way through. Cook until the chicken is done and nicely browned. 

Spray a small dish with non-stick spray. Add the cooked chicken. Top the chicken with the marinara. If you are using a few slices of Italian deli meat, add it next. Lastly, top the chicken with mozzarella cheese. 

Place the chicken under your broiler for about 5 minutes. DON'T WALK AWAY. Your broiler may only take 2 minutes. I use my toaster oven's broiler so it takes longer than a conventional oven.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Lemon Pepper Chicken with Spinach & Goat Cheese Orzo Pasta

When I got home this evening, I looked in my lonely fridge and came up with this for dinner.  This recipe is super simple and quick with only a few ingredients. It only takes 30 minutes (if you have unfrozen chicken.) I often buy those frozen bags of chicken breasts, pull one out before work and throw it in the fridge in a covered dish to thaw during the day.

1 Chicken piece, breast, thigh, whatever you may have
Non-stick spray
1 Tbsp Lemon Pepper
1/4 c. Orzo Pasta
1 c. fresh Spinach, chopped (I don't measure this, I just grab a handful.) 
1 Tbsp Goat Cheese crumbles
1/2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. I use my toaster oven for this recipe which works great too. 

Spray a foil lined tray with non-stick spray. Place the chicken on the foil and coat it with lemon pepper. I really like the McCormick Lemon & Pepper Grinder. Bake the chicken for 25-30 minutes, or until it is done.

After the chicken has baked for about 10 minutes. Start heating a small pot of water, with 1/2 tsp of salt, on high till it comes to a boil. 

When it comes to a boil, add the orzo pasta. Cook for 8-10 minutes or the time your pasta box says.  

When the pasta is done, drain the orzo in a colander and set aside.

Return the pot you just used to boil the pasta to the burner and TURN DOWN the heat to medium. 

Add the extra virgin olive oil to the pot. It will heat up very fast. Add the spinach, cooked orzo, and goat cheese to the pot and stir. The spinach will cook and the goat cheese with melt in 1-2 minutes. Your pasta is ready!

By the time you are done making the pasta the chicken should also be ready!