Broccoli Pizza

From one of my favorite blogs, Smitten Kitchen. I love the garlic white sauce with the broccoli! I used different cheeses as that is what I had and it was delicious! I often buy Whole Foods pizza dough which is delicious!

Garlic White Sauce
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 cup whole milk
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 large or 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
Freshly ground black pepper

Olive oil for pan and fingertips
1 recipe pizza dough
3/4 pound broccoli or baby broccoli
Zest and juice from 1/2 a lemon
2 ounces coarsely grated provolone
4 ounces mozzarella, torn into small clumps
1/2 cup finely grated pecorino romano (or parmesan)
Salt and red pepper flakes, to taste
Heat your oven to 500°F with a rack in the center.
Make sauce: Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat and stir in flour, whisking until smooth. Add milk a splash at a time, mixing each addition until it is completely smooth before adding more milk. Add garlic, salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper. Cook, stirring, while mixture comes to a simmer and becomes thick enough to coat a spoon, about 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside.

Prepare broccoli: Peel the stems of your broccoli with a vegetable peeler first so that they cook evenly, and cut the rest into large chunks. Pour about 1-inch puddle of salted water into a large sauté pan and bring to a boil. Add broccoli and cover with a lid and boil/steam for 2 minutes. Rinse under cold water to stop cooking, drain well and pat dry on a towel, wringing out as much extra liquid as possible. Chop into small (roughly 1/2- to 1-inch) bits and toss broccoli with lemon zest, lemon juice and pecorino, then salt and red pepper flakes to taste.

Assemble pizza: Brush either 1 13×18-inch rimmed half-sheet pan or 2 9×13-inch quarter-sheet pans  with olive oil. Divide your dough as needed (I made 3 oblong pizzas in my 13×18-inch) and use oiled fingertips to pull, stretch, nudge and press the dough across the bottom of the pan. The dough will be thin and imperfect; just try to get it even and if holes form, just pinch them together. No matter how bad it looks, it’s going to bake up just fine, thin and crisp.

Give the white sauce a little stir and spread it evenly over the pizzas, almost completely to the edge. Sprinkle pizzas with provolone and mozzarella. Scatter broccoli mixture on top.

Bake for 13 to 16 minutes, until the pizzas are brown at the edges. For better browning on top, you can run the finished pizzas under the broiler for 1 minute. Cut into wedges, squares or strips and dig in.

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Eleven Madison Park Granola

From the famous restaurant in NYC-they give diners small jars of this after their meal. I love the combination of the pistachios, coconut and pumpkin seeds!

2 3⁄4 cups rolled oats
1 cup shelled pistachios
1 cup unsweetened coconut chips
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
1 tablespoon salt (adjust according to your taste and type of salt)
1⁄2 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
3⁄4 cup dried sour cherries.

1. Preheat oven to 300. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, pistachios, coconut, pumpkin seeds and salt.
2. In a small saucepan set over low heat, warm the sugar, syrup and olive oil until the sugar has just dissolved, then remove from heat. Fold liquids into the mixture of oats, making sure to coat the dry ingredients well.

3. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat, and spread granola over it. Bake until dry and lightly golden, 35 to 40 minutes, stirring granola a few times along the way.

4. Remove granola from oven, and mix into it the dried sour cherries. Allow to cool to room temperature before transferring to a storage container. Makes about 6 cups.

Adapted from Daniel Humm, Eleven Madison Park, New York.

Ina’s Beef Bourguignon

I think this is as good as Eric Ripert’s Beef Bourguignon that I have posted previously and less work. It is best to make it a day or two ahead as it really benefits from resting. I don’t add the onions, mushrooms or flour until I reheat it to serve. It is time consuming to brown all of the meat and vegetables but worth the effort.

1 tablespoon good olive oil
8 ounces dry cured center cut applewood smoked bacon, diced
2 1/2 pounds chuck beef cut into 1-inch cubes
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 pound carrots, sliced diagonally into 1-inch chunks
2 yellow onions, sliced
2 teaspoons chopped garlic (2 cloves)
1/2 cup Cognac
1 (750 ml.) bottle good dry red wine such as Cote du Rhone or Pinot Noir
1 can (2 cups) beef broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (1/2 teaspoon dried)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature, divided
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 pound frozen whole onions
1 pound fresh mushrooms stems discarded, caps thickly sliced

For serving: I like either tiny potatoes or egg noodles or mashed potatoes but Ina likes Country bread or Sour Dough, toasted or grilled and rubbed with garlic clove
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley, optional

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.
Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven. Add the bacon and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is lightly browned. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to a large plate.
Dry the beef cubes with paper towels and then sprinkle them with salt and pepper. In batches in single layers, sear the beef in the hot oil for 3 to 5 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove the seared cubes to the plate with the bacon and continue searing until all the beef is browned. Set aside.
Toss the carrots, and onions, 1 tablespoon of salt and 2 teaspoons of pepper in the fat in the pan and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the Cognac, stand back, and ignite with a match to burn off the alcohol. Put the meat and bacon back into the pot with the juices. Add the bottle of wine plus enough beef broth to almost cover the meat. Add the tomato paste and thyme. Bring to a simmer, cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and place it in the oven for about 1 1/4 hours or until the meat and vegetables are very tender when pierced with a fork.
Combine 2 tablespoons of butter and the flour with a fork and stir into the stew. Add the frozen onions. Saute the mushrooms in 2 tablespoons of butter for 10 minutes until lightly browned and then add to the stew. Bring the stew to a boil on top of the stove, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Season to taste.
To serve, toast the bread in the toaster or oven. Rub each slice on 1 side with a cut clove of garlic. For each serving, spoon the stew over a slice of bread and sprinkle with parsley.

Perfectly Poached Eggs

The key to perfectly poached eggs is to strain each egg before you poach it. In this picture, I left my egg in the strainer too long, a few seconds is long enough and then put the egg into a small bowl to add to the simmering water.

Keep the water at a low simmer and cook for three minutes. Use a spider or slotted spoon to remove from water and drain on a paper towel!