Shortcuts to Homemade Pot Pie – Recipe

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The calendar says it’s fall, which makes my stomach prep for hibernation food. Chicken Pot Pie is a comfort staple that has several variation possibilities. A few ideas: broccoli and cheese, mushrooms, swap turkey for chicken. It’s also a dish that was available in the microwave variety. Bachelor Basics ideas usually come from the frozen food aisle of the grocery. Here’s my Chicken Pot Pie recipe. It’ll take more than 10 minutes until you hear the ding for supper time, but it’s worth the time investment. Plus, it’s a great dish to cook for friends (or a date).

Homemade Pot Pie Recipe Continue reading Shortcuts to Homemade Pot Pie – Recipe

Secrets to Homemade Pizza and Calzones

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I have been obsessed with pizza of late. Seemingly every day for the past week I have been making homemade pizza. The mission has been to perfect thin crust. Bon Appetit’s recipe for “grandmother dough” is my go-to for thicker, chewy crust. But sometimes you just want a quick, crispy crust.

With some free time, I have been experimenting and cooking a lot more. The result is a growing mid section. Each time I made homemade pizza, I ate it pretty quickly. Then, I’d make it again the next day. You know what they say, “Practice makes obesity.” Continue reading Secrets to Homemade Pizza and Calzones

Homemade Arrabbiata Recipe – Video

We made this video for a homemade arrabbiata recipe nearly four years ago. Dennis Joseph, director, camera man and eater, still asserts this is one of the best dishes he’s ever had. A contributing factor could have been that we didn’t eat until 11 at night. At that late hour, he might have said the same if I warmed my shoe in the microwave and served it.

Enjoy!

Have a dish you’d like me to demo? Add it to the comments and I’ll fire up the stove and camera.

Homemade Pizza Recipe that Will Change Your Life

Second

Name one of your friends that doesn’t love pizza.

Exactly.

If there is pizza, it will be eaten. Full disclosure: years ago I was told I’m sensitive to lactose. Not full-on intolerant, but I should proceed with caution before taking down the entire cheese wheel. That hasn’t stopped me from ingesting the Italian precursor to tostadas.

There was a dearth of holiday plans for NYE this year. So, my girlfriend and I invited friends to her casa for some drinks and dinner before going out. Grappling over what to make to feed our friends, we landed on homemade pizzas since we thought it would be the easiest and least time consuming.

The below pizzas–I don’t like calling them pies–were made off the dough recipe in Bon Appetit’s October issue. Their homemade pizza recipe and sauce is also a winner with anchovies as the secret flavor punch.

Life-Changing Pizza Dough from Bon Appetit

  • 1 envelope active dry yeast (about 2¼ tsp.)
  • 2 tablespoons plus ½ cup olive oil, plus more for bowl
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour, divided, plus more for surface

I have long avoided making legit, homemade dough mostly because when I want pizza I can’t wait 4 hours or definitely not 24 hours for dough to rise. Having made this dough twice in the past 5 days, I can vouch that it is doable to make your own pizza and stop relying on delivery or a frozen pizza.

This dough does take a full day to develop its flavors, BUT it only takes about 15 minutes to make. The rest of the time it sits in the fridge. In that time, you could clear your freezer of frozen pizzas bought in moments of weakness. You can also make a double batch of dough and freeze one for a later date.

Tips

  • Use a Kitchen Aid if you have one. It makes this insanely easy.
  • Make a double batch.
  • Be sure to oil the bowl and coat the entire ball of dough before refrigeration (flip it over once the bottom is coated).
  • Get creative.
  • My pizzas only took about 15 minutes instead of the recommended 20-30. So, watch them closely.

Once the dough is done with its day spa in the cooler, you need to get it back to room temperature before trying to stretch it onto a pan. This took at least 30-45 minutes for my double batch of dough. From then on it’s up to you to twirl your mustache and top it with your favorite veggies and meats. I learned one thing when asking for input before topping: a lot of people hate mushrooms.

We made three homemade pizzas on NYE with variations on the below toppings:

  • Onions
  • Red bell pepper
  • Italian Sausage
  • Pepperoni
  • Hot Capicola
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Fresh basil

Endless possibilities await.

What are your favorite toppings?

Best Breakfast Pizza | Recipe

breakfast, pizza, brunch, homemade, recipe

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We’ve all done it. No shame. We’ve eaten leftover pizza for breakfast. While this dish takes a bit more work than foraging in your fridge, you’ll be rewarded with a sensational and fresh breakfast.

Turn on your oven to 350 degrees.

To start, I made my own hash browns after frying up some bacon. You could also use frozen hash browns to cut down the prep time. To make your own, shred 3 potatoes. I recently purchased a KitchenAid Mandoline. That helps speed up the job. I found it tough to use the mandoline with the potatoes. It worked great on softer veggies, but struggled against firm potatoes.

Once the hash browns were cooked–about 15 minutes–I removed them from the pan and added onions and green pepper. Saute those for a few minutes and remove to a bowl. Then I whipped 4 eggs with a touch of water.

Return the taters to the skillet and add the eggs.

Return the veggies and bacon. Add tomatoes. Sprinkle in your favorite cheese. I had sliced american that I put on top.

Put the skillet in the oven for 8-10 minutes. Slice it up and enjoy.

breakfast, pizza, bacon, brunch, recipe

Chicken Salad from Scratch | Tortilla Challenge

chicken salad, tortilla challenge, lunch, wrap

chicken salad, tortilla challenge, lunch, wrap

The more I look at what I eat, the more I notice how they are slight variations. This lunchtime gem was an easy and tasty recipe. It’s a jazzed up chicken salad. The key difference being homemade mayonnaise (recipe buried here). I had grilled chicken from another night, so this was a slice and mix job.

Diced red onions and celery got added to the cubed chicken and 2-3 tablespoon dollops of homemade mayo. Warm up some tortillas and your lunch is ready to be inhaled.

Mayo:

1 large egg yolk, preferably organic or farm-raised
1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon water
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, to taste
1 cup vegetable oil

Chicken Salad

1/2 red onion, diced

1 stalk celery, diced

1-2 chicken breasts, cubed

Lettuce/spinach/leafy things

Tomatoes

Salt/Pepper

Lebron: The Chef

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This summer has become an insipid rumor mill surrounding where NBA players will take their talents. Will they or won’t they? A reporter had a reliable source who ended up being as dependable as an inflatable pool.

My relationship with sports has become like a faltering marriage. With athletes saying they don’t make enough and taking their talents to different beaches, I became less interested in sports. Instead I shifted the time I used to spend reading the Sports page and watching ESPN to reading recipes and ogling a chef’s technique.

I had a few issues after reading Lebron’s letter. These stem from a short stint as Sports editor for my high school paper and a raging insecurity complex where spotting grammar errors elevates my sense of worth.

Were the repeated words and phrases like “no question” used as dangling clauses necessary? I’m sure four years in Miami were just like college. College without a composition class.

But Lebron said he has grown. After four years he is now a sage. He knows how to build a premier team. He can get more out of players. He knows all these things at the age of 29. For perspective, Lebron has five months on me. And two championship rings. And millions and millions of dollars. He probably also has a much easier time trying to find a home.

As I sat wondering what to have for lunch today, I wondered what would Lebron do? He’s decisive. Then it occurred to me. He’d make homemade mayonnaise.

The beauty of mayonnaise, like Lebron, is that if you screw up, all is not lost. Like the prodigal son, the emulsion can be saved. Hallelujah!

Mayo is incredibly simple to make. It’s a simple emulsion. You combine acid, seasoning and an egg yolk, then furiously whisk and slowly drizzle in oil. If I watched ESPN more I’m sure I could make references to which ingredient corresponds to players on the Cavs.

I used this ratio from Michael Ruhlman’s Ratio for my first attempt.

Ingredients

1 large egg yolk, preferably organic or farm-raised
1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon water
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, to taste
1 cup vegetable oil

Possibly unlike Lebron, I nailed it on my first attempt. A swish. I slathered it on toasted French bread and made myself a sandwich with arugula.

In the end, Lebron is just trying to patiently make some mayonnaise in Cleveland.

“We’re not ready right now. No way. Of course, I want to win next year, but I’m realistic. It will be a long process.”

Lebron, if you need a demo on how to make mayo, I can take the Megabus to Cleveland.

No question.
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