Sunday, November 16, 2008

California Pizza Kitchen Thai Chicken Pizza

We made this for our cousin dinner last week and it was SO GOOD!!
Makes 2 9-inch pizzas
For Pizza Dough:
1t yeast
1/2 c. plus 1 T warm water
1 1/2 c bread flour or all purpose flour
2t sugar
1t salt
1T extra virgin olive oil plus 1t for coating

1. Dissolve the yeast in the water and set aside for 5-10 minutes.
2. place the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Make a well in the middle and pour in the liquids (reserving the teaspoon of olive oil). Use a wooden spoon to combine the ingredients. Once initial mixing is done, you can lightly oil your hands and begin kneading the dough; knead for 5 minutes. When done, the dough should be slightly tack (that is, it should be barely beyond sticking to your hands).
3. Lightly oil the dough ball and the interior of a 1-quart glass bowl. Place the dough ball in the bowl and seal the bowl with clear food wrap; seal air tight. Set aside at room termperature to rise until double in bulk; about 1 1/2 to 2 hours

Make the peanut sauce from the oriental noodles (see July post under Oriental Sesame Noodles). We liked using this sauce better than the one in the CPK book.

1T olive oil
10 oz. boneless/skinless chicken breast, cut into 3/4-in. cubes
2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese (we used a cheddar/monterey jack cheese)
4 scallions, slivered diagonally oriental style
1/2 c. white bean sprouts
1/4 c. shredded carrot
2 T. chopped roasted peanuts
2 T. chopped fresh cilantro

To make Thai Chicken:
1. Cook the chicken in olive oil over medium-high heat, stirring, until just cooked, 5-6 minutes. Do not overcook. set aside in the refrigerator until chilled through. Once chilled, coat the chicken with 1/4 c. peanut sauce. Set aside in the refrigerator.

To make the pizza:
1.Place the pizza stone in the center of the oven and preheat to 500 F for one hour before cooking the pizzas
2. Use a large spoon to spread half of the remaining peanut sauce eavenly over the surface of the prepared dough within the rim. Cover the sauce with 3/4 c. mozzarella.
3. Distribute half the chicken pieces evenly over the cheese followed by half the green onions, bean sprouts, and carrots, repectively. Sprinkle an additional 1/4 c. mozzarella over the other toppings and top the pizza with 1 T. chopped roasted peanuts.
4. Transfer the pizza to the oven; bake until the crust is crisp and golden and the cheese at the center is bubble, 9-10 min. When cooked through, carefully remove the pizza from the oven. Sprinkle 1T chopped fresh cilantro over the hot, cheesy surface. Slice and serve.
5. Repeat with remaining ingredients for a second pizza.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Nate's Marshmallow Salad

This recipe is Nate's favorite holiday dish. He makes TONS of it, but he never writes down the recipe. This is as close as I've come to getting it (and the heavy cream may be too little--we only make it for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I'll update after Thanksgiving.).

2 bricks of cream cheese
1 large (20 oz) can crushed pineapple
5-6 bananas
2 pounds grapes
5 apples
1-2 pineapple
2 pomegranate
5 pears
as many Maraschino cherries as you can stand
as many pints of raspberries, blueberries and strawberries that you can find that look good (Nate usually gets 1 or 2 of each)
2 C whip cream
1 bag of marshmallows

1. Whip 2 packages of cream cheese with juice from one can of crushed pineapple. Whip until smooth.
2. Cut up any fruit you want in the salad. I like bananas, grapes, apples, pineapple, pomegranate, pears, Maraschino cherries, raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, and walnuts. About the only fruits that do not taste good in this salad are any melons. Add 1 bag of marshmallows before adding cream cheese mixture.
3. 2-3 hours before servings mix in a large bowl marshmallows, cream cheese mixture. The pineapple juice keeps the fruit from turning brown.
4. 1 hour- 30 minutes before serving whip the cream until stiff and mix it into the fruit salad until it is evenly distributed

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Apple-Maple Glazed Chicken Breasts

I thought, "How good could another chicken recipe be?" This one from Cook's Illustrated is REALLY good (with apple cider, corn syrup and maple syrup, it speaks to my sweet tooth). My kids don't even need to dip it in something. I think it'll be an easy recipe once I've got the hang of the multiple steps.

1 1/2 c apple cider (plus an additional 2 T)
1/3 c light corn syrup
2 T maple syrup
1 T Dijon mustard
1 T white vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar)
1/8 t red pepper flakes (I left these out)
salt and pepper
1/2 c flour
4 bone-in, skin-on chicken breast halves (about 12 ounces each, ribs removed and trimmed of excess fat and skin)
2 t oil
1 medium shallot, minced (3 T)

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Whisk 1 1/2 cups apple cider, corn syrup, maple syrup, mustard, vinegar, pepper flakes, 1/8 t salt, and 1/8 t pepper together in medium bowl. Place flour in pie plate, then season chicken with salt and pepper on both sides. Working with one chicken breast at a time, coat chicken with flour, patting off excess.

2. Heat oil (I used 2 T, 2 t didn't seem like enough) in an ovenproof 12-inch skillet (I used my iron skillet) over medium heat until shimmering. Add chicken breasts skin-side down; cook until well browned and most of fat has rendered from skin, 8-14 minutes. (If after 3 minutes you don't hear definite sizzling, increase heat to medium-high. If after 6 minutes chicken is darker than lightly browned, reduce heat slightly.) Turn chicken and lightly brown other side, about 5 minutes longer. Transfer chicken to plate.

3. Pour off all but 1 t fat from pan (I left 2 T fat again). Add shallot and cook until softened, 1-2 min. Increase heat to high and add apple cider mixture. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until syrupy and reduce to 1 c (heatproof spatula should leave a slight trail when dragged through glaze), 6-10 min (mine took more like 15-20 min; I don't think I had the heat on high enough). Remove skillet from heat and tilt to one side so glaze pools in corner of pan. Using tongs, roll each chicken breast in pooled glaze to coat evenly and place skin-side down in skillet (um, I didn't see this part, my breasts were skin side up, which I think made them nice and brown).

4. Transfer skillet to oven and bake chicken until thickest part of breasts registers 160 degrees on instant read thermometer, 25-30 minutes, turning chicken skin-side up halfway through cooking (yep, mine were skin-side up the whole time). Transfer chicken to platter and let rest 5 mintues. Return skillet to high heat (be careful--handle will be very hot) and cook glaze, stirring constantly, until thick and syrupy (heatproof spatula should leave wide trail when dragged through glaze), about 1 minute. Remove pan from heat and whisk in remaining 2 T apple cider. Spoon 1 t glaze over each breast and serve, passing remaining glaze at table.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

My Best Sandwich Creation (to date)

Last night I threw together a delicious sandwich and wanted to share it.

I used toasted Artisan Bread
Grilled chicken tenderloin (or breast)
Grilled yellow bell pepper
Cheddar cheese
and the secret ingredient: Fresh & Easy's Creamy cilantro dressing (just like they have at Costa Vida).

It was yummylicious

And for dessert, we had friends come over with Pumpkin Chocolate Chip cookies (my favorite!) and the recipe was only 3 ingredients.

1 can (15 oz) Pumpkin
1 box Spice cake mix
chocolate chips (to taste)

Bake at 400 for 8-11 min.