Saturday, September 5, 2009

Asian BBQ Pizza

This recipe is one I made up one day as a way to get rid of extra dough and extra chicken I had laying around. I didn't have a lot of other ingredients, so the original version was much simpler than the one picture below, and I think it was actually quite a bit better (I only had a little dough that time, so I had a thinner, crisper crust).

One technique I learned from an earlier pizza attempt was to use a slotted spoon to get the sauce onto the pizza. Since the sauce is very thin and watery, if you are not careful, you can end up with a pool of liquid in the middle of the pizza. So, by using a slotted spoon, I was able to get all the meat and enough of the sauce to impart flavor, but not so much as to have a watery mess.

Asian BBQ Pizza

1/2 small roasting chicken (legs and thighs), diced
1/4 cup hoisin sauce (Chinese BBQ sauce)
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tbsp honey
2-cloves garlic
1-tsp ginger
dash of cayenne pepper
pizza dough
mozzarella cheese
toppings of choice (green onions or thinly sliced red onions, peppers, zucchini, baby corn, etc.)

  • mix all ingredients above dough in a bowl and marinate for 2-hours
  • Preheat oven to hottest setting with baking stone if available
  • Using a slotted spoon, ladle the sauce / chicken mixture onto pizza
  • add toppings and cheese
  • bake until cheese is melted and starting to brown (5-10 minutes depending on heat of over and thickness of crust)

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Lemon Dijon Pasta Salad

Last month, a friend graduated with his PhD in economics. For the celebration picnic, I brought pasta salad. Now, to be honest, for most of my previous pasta salad attempts I've simply used Italian dressing and store-bought pasta salad seasoning. However, because this was a special occasion, and because I had plenty of lead time, I decided to put in a bit more effort (although not as much as I'd expected!), and made a pasta salad completely from scratch. I found a great resource to do this at, with their 5 steps to perfect pasta salad.

They offer general guidelines that you can follow to create a nearly infinite range of pasta salads. In order to prevent duplicating their method, I simply refer you to their page above, and list the ingredients I used for my creation below. It was, by far, the best pasta salad I've ever made, and was extremely easy as well.

Lemon Dijon Pasta Salad (for instruction, go here)

  • 1-lb box, rotini
  • 1-lb cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/3-cup pine nuts, roasted
  • 3/4-red, yellow, and/or orange bell pepper, diced
  • 2-green onions, cleaned and sliced
  • 8-12 basil leaves, sliced
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, plus more to garnish
For the dressing, I followed this recipe, using lemon juice and Dijon mustard. Instead of using a wisk, I used our blender to mix it all up.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Panko breaded tilapia with orange salsa

A few weeks ago, we tried a recipe for roasted tilapia with and orange parsley salsa (recipe here). The basic idea was good, we thought, but the fish was too bland. So, to make it a little more interesting, I breaded the fish, and tried to incorporate some of the flavors from the salsa into the fish. The end result, as you can see, looks delicious, and tasted much better than the original, without much added fat.

For the fish:

2 tilapia filets
1/2 cup milk
~3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1/2 - 1 tsp orange zest
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tsp light oil

  • Preheat oven to 400°
  • Mix dry ingredients in a shallow bowl
  • Heat oven-safe frying pan over medium high heat
  • Dip fish filets in milk and then coat in breading
  • Fry fish on one side until golden brown, approximately two-minutes
  • Flip fish and transfer pan to oven - bake for 8-10 minutes longer, until fish is flakey
  • Serve with rice and salsa (link above)

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Peach Upside Down Cake

Since we apparenlty love cornbread-related desserts, Z and I this week made a Cornmeal and Peach Upside Down Cake from Martha Steward (recipe here). We thought it was very delicious, although with a stick and a half of butter, it was certainly not healthy! I followed the recipe exactly (baking is not normally my strength, so I don't like to take too many chances!), but I will make some minor changes next time. Specifically, the recipe calls for too much butter to be melted in the cast iron skillet to form the top-crust/cook the peaches, at least for the size skillet we have. If you make it yourself, I'd suggest starting with about half the butter, and melting it, and, based on how thickly it coats the bottom of the pan, you can add more until it seems like an appropriate amount for your skillet.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Grilled asparagus and onion pizza / chicken marsala pizza

I have to start by apologizing to my loyal reader for not posting in quite some time. Before Z was here (permanently), I was very busy, and now that she is, I've just been lazy about blogging (or have been using previously-blogged recipes).

My most recent new recipe was taken from the May issue of Cooking Light, and is a grilled pizza. Because I followed the recipe pretty much exactly as published, I'll simply direct you here for the recipe from Cooking Light. Instead of using store bought dough, I made my own (recipe here) using my wonderful stand mixer. When making dough, I have to say that the stand mixer makes a huge difference - it is willing to knead it a lot longer than I am, and as such, I get the gluten to set up much better than when I knead by hand.

With the leftover dough, I made a chicken marsala pizza, inspired by a similar one my friend Mike made. The pizza-making was similar to this one, except that the topping/sauce was different. I thinly sliced one chicken breast and tossed it with flour and spices (oregano, salt, pepper) and then browned it in olive oil. I added in half an onion and several mushrooms (both sliced) and 1 clove of minced garlic and sauted for a while, before adding in 1/2 cup (plus) of marsala wine along with more spices (oregano, basil, pepper). I simmered until it reduced a bit, and added 1 tbsp of butter. I added a little beef broth if it boiled down too much, as I was waiting for Z to get home before I put the pizza together.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Portabella Parmesan

Here is a recipe for Portabella Parmesan we've enjoyed a few times. I don't exactly remember where we found it (food network, probably, so perhaps Giada?), but it has consistently been an easy and tasty dish.

before the oven (with good lighting) ...

Ready to serve

The top view

Portabella Parmesan Ingredients:
Portabella caps (1 per person)
Olive oil (1 tsp / mushroom)
Salt & Pepper
Pasta sauce
Mozzarella cheese
Butter (1 tsp / mushroom)
Parmesan cheese

  • Clean mushrooms with a damp paper towel
  • Brush mushrooms on both sides with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste
  • Grill mushrooms, 3-5 minutes per side
  • In a shallow baking dish, coat with pasta sauce
  • Place mushrooms, vent side up (i.e., upside-down) in baking dish
  • Add sauce to mushroom caps (enough to coat with a thin layer)
  • Sprinkle mozzarella cheese to cover mushrooms, add butter, and sprinkle Parmesan cheese
  • Bake at 400° for ~15-minutes (until cheese is browned)
  • Serve with pasta

Monday, February 2, 2009

Honey-Jalapeno Chicken

Yes, yes, I've been a bad blogger lately. Only one post in all of January and, I'll be honest, February isn't looking much better. However, I do have some cooking to report at least.

My latest cooking attempts was a recipe that Sam suggested (which can be found here). This is an Asian-inspired chicken and pasta dish that came out wonderfully. It had a good balance of sweet and spicy and was very simple to make.

Honey-Jalapeno Chicken

12 ounces soba noodles (could not find them, and forgot to go to Asian grocery store, so I used whole wheat spaghetti)
1 jalapeno, seeds removed
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 to 3 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 rotisserie chicken, shredded or sliced
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1/4 cup chopped scallions, green part only
2 tablespoons pickled ginger, minced

  • Cook soba noodles according to package directions and drain
  • Blend jalapenos, honey, cilantro, salt and pepper and puree. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of water to the mixture until desired consistency is achieved
  • Heat olive oil in a skillet
  • Add the shredded chicken and sauce and cook until heated through
  • In a medium bowl, toss cooked soba noodles, soy sauce, sesame oil, scallions, and pickled ginger, then transfer to serving bowl
  • Pour heated chicken and sauce over noodles