Homemade Pizza

homemade-pizza

 

 

Before moving to the farm, pizza delivery was a weekly affair. However, delivery does not happen in the middle of the country! I had played around with pizza crust in the past. Mostly to get the kids involved by topping and baking their individual pizzas.  I’ve tried many recipes over the past few years. Some have been really good, but I have never tried a recipe that when I knew my search was over until this crust.
This recipe is almost as simple and picking up the phone to order a pizza, but the flavor is much better! (The fruiter the olive oil the better the flavor.)  No kidding, it takes just a matter of minutes to mix up this dough using my heavy-duty Kitchen Aid mixer with a dough hook. Allow the dough to rise for two hours.  Then you are ready to prepare your homemade pizza or refrigerate the dough to use over the next 12 days.  You will get about three 10-inch pizzas from this dough.
Most recipes will recommend a pizza stone. I have used stones and pans, and I prefer a large, heavy-gauge baking sheet with sides. The sides will keep the oil from dripping in the oven, and a heavy-gauge pan holds enough heat to brown and crisp the crust nicely. This crust also doubles as a nice focaccia bread!  (Recipe below, no picture of the focaccia, sorry!)
Thirty minutes before baking time, preheat the oven to 425 °F. Prepare this simple, no-cook sauce and measure and prepare all of your toppings in advance. Remove from the pan immediately and serve.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Olive Oil Dough for Homemade Pizza
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • 2¾ c. lukewarm water
  • 1½ tbsp. granulated yeast (2 packets)
  • 1½ tbsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • ¼ c. extra virgin olive oil
  • 6½ c. unbleached all-purpose flour
Instructions
  1. Mix the yeast, salt, sugar, and olive oil with the water in a 5-quart bowl, or a lidded (not airtight) food container.
  2. Mix in the flour without kneading, using a spoon, a 12-cup capacity food processor (with dough attachment), or heavy-duty stand mixer (with dough hook). If you're not using a machine, you may need to use wet hands to incorporate the last bit of flour.
  3. Cover (not airtight), and allow to rest at room temperature until dough rises and collapses (or flattens on top), approximately 2 hours.
  4. The dough can be used immediately after the initial rise, though it is easier to handle when cold. Refrigerate in a lidded (not airtight) container and use over the next 12 days.
  5. To prepare the pizza: Thirty minutes before baking time, preheat the oven to 425°F (or you could go up to 550°F).
  6. Prepare and measure all of the toppings, set aside.
  7. Dust the surface of the refrigerated dough with flour and cut off a grapefruit-size piece. Dust the piece with flour and quickly shape it not a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball a quarter-turn as you go.
  8. Flatten the dough with your hands and a rolling pin on a flour dusted wooden board to begin flattening. Once you gave flattened it to about 1-inch thick move to your pan and continue to flatter and shape with your fingertips. You may need to allow the rolled dough to relax for a few minutes to allow further shaping.
  9. Top with a small amount of sauce and spread, leaving ½-inch to 1-inch pizza sauce. Top with mozzarella and toppings of your choice.
  10. Bake for 8 to 12 minutes, depending on the temperature used. Remove from oven when the pizza is evenly browned and cheese has melted.
  11. NOTES: You c
Notes
You can mix and store the dough in the same container if you prefer. You need a large food-grade container that holds about five quarts. If you double the recipe you will need a container that holds at least ten quarts. Sam's Club has a few good options. I have punched a hole in the lid of mine and use it specifically for my dough.

 
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Pizza Sauce for Homemade Pizza
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • 1 (28-oz.) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 (6-oz.) cans tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1 tbsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. sugar
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in a large bowl and stir to combine. Store in refrigerator.
Notes
If you prefer a completely smooth consistency you pour the mixture into a blender and pulse several times.

Can be frozen.

 
5.0 from 1 reviews
Focaccia
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • Suggested toppings:
  • Onions and fresh rosemary
  • Cherry tomatoes, halved with chopped fresh basil.
  • Black olives and goat cheese.
Instructions
  1. Grease a baking sheet with a rim with olive oil, set aside. Preheat oven to 425°F, with an empty broiler pan on any shelf that won't interfere with the focaccia.
  2. Dust the surface of the refrigerated dough with flour and cut off a 1-pound (grapefruit-size) piece. Dust the piece with more flour and quickly shape it into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball a quarter-turn as you go.
  3. Flatter it to a ½-inch to ¾-inch thick using your fingertips with a minimal amount of additional flour. Please the dough on the greased baking sheet.
  4. Top dough with your desired toppings. Drizzle lightly with olive oil. You do not want to cover the whole surface with toppings or oil. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  5. Allow the focaccia to rest and rise for 20 minutes.
  6. After the focaccia has rested, place the cookie sheet on a rack near the center of the oven. Pour 1 cup of hot tap water into a broiler tray and quickly close the oven door. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until the crust is medium brown. Be careful not to burn the toppings. The baking time will vary according to the focaccia's thickness.
  7. Cut into wedges and serve warm.

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Savannah’s Buffalo Chicken Wrap

Buffalo Chicken Wrap

Visit the Melton house any day of the week and chances are you will be here when we are serving something with buffalo sauce. Savannah is the buffalo sauce queen. It works out well for me, especially when I tell her that I’m craving one of her specialities and SHE cooks dinner! Because even though I enjoy cooking, I love a night off every once in a while.

These awesome buffalo chicken wraps are one of my favorites! On nights that we are grilling, we like to throw a few boneless skinless breasts on the grill to refrigerate and have later in the week.

When ready to assemble wraps, take the chicken out of the refrigerator and cut into cubes, then reheat in a skillet.  Savannah assembles the wraps and then toasts them on a skillet or a panini press. They are delicious served with Ranch or Blue Cheese dressing.

Make sure your tortilla is large enough for its contents because you don’t want a “blow out” as you are eating dinner. A good rule of thumb is to buy tortillas that are at least twice as big as the contents you plan to put in it.

 

5.0 from 1 reviews
Savannah's Buffalo Chicken Wrap
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • 2 to 3 boneless skinless chicken breast, grilled and cut into cubes
  • Frank's RedHot Wings Sauce
  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • Shredded lettuce
  • 2 to 3 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • Purple onion, diced, optional
  • Ranch or Blue Cheese salad dressing
  • Large flour tortillas
  • Carrot sticks
  • Celery Sticks
Instructions
  1. Toss the cubed chicken in desired amount of buffalo sauce.
  2. To assemble the wrap lay the tortilla on a flat surface. Spoon a small amount of dressing down the center of the tortilla, leaving about 2 inches at edges. Add cooked and cubed chicken on top of the Ranch. Top with shredded Cheddar, shredded lettuce, and diced tomatoes. Add onions, if desired.
  3. Roll the wrap by bringing the left side of the tortilla over the contents. Fold the bottom of the tortilla up and over the contents, then the top down and over the contents. Bring the left side toward you and using the tortilla as a guide, slightly pull the contents toward you and using both hands roll the wrap away from you until completely rolled into a cylindrical shape. Let the wrap rest for a minute or two with the flap underneath the contents.
  4. Grill in a buttered skillet or a Panini press until it is warm, toasted, and lightly browned.
  5. Cut wrap in half. Serve with additional Ranch or Blue Cheese dressing and celery and carrot sticks, if desired.

 

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Southern Cornbread Salad

Southern-Cornbread-Salad

 

Do you remember the cornbread salads from twenty years ago? Cornbread layered with tomatoes, pinto beans, peppers, and onions, salsa, and usually Ranch dressing. My cousin could make one that always had you going back for seconds!

Recipes are like clothing styles. Of course, there are classics that will always be around. However, the most popular recipe today will most likely not be the popular recipe ten or fifteen years from now.

This recipe for Southern Cornbread Salad is amazing!  With family reunions, cookouts, and picnics in season, this is a great salad recipe to go into the summer months with.  This version of a cornbread salad is completely different. This salad is full or light and fresh flavors. Very much like an Italian Panzanella salad, but made with Southern cornbread rather than Italian bread.

If you are taking the salad to another location, take the vegetables in the salad bowl. Take the toasted cornbread in a ziplock bag, and the vinaigrette in a separate container. Combine just before serving.

Southern Cornbread Salad
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • ½ to 1 pan cornbread (any recipe, preferably 1 to 2 days old)
  • DRESSING:
  • 6 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • SALAD INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 or 2 red bell peppers, diced
  • 2 c. cherry tomatoes, quartered (or 2 lg. tomatoes, chopped
  • ½ c. thinly sliced scallions (white and green parts)
  • ¼ c. chopped fresh basil
Instructions
  1. Cube cornbread and place on a baking sheet. Toast in oven, turning to toast all sides of bread. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper, set aside.
  3. Add toasted cornbread to a salad bowl. Add black beans, bell peppers, tomatoes, scallions, and basil to the salad bowl. Toss gently.
  4. Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and toss to combine well. Serve immediately.
Notes
If you are taking the salad to another location, take the vegetables in the salad bowl. Take the toasted cornbread in a ziplock bag, and the vinaigrette in a separate container. Combine just before serving.

 

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Cheeseburger Egg Rolls

 

Cheeseburger-Egg-Rolls

 

Whoop whoop…today is the day I have been looking forward to for weeks now!  I get my cast off today!!  Pure joy!!  I have been out of the house several times now, but always with an escort.  Getting down the stairs has been easiest for me.  I can hold onto the railing and hop down one footed.  Getting up the stairs has been a different ballgame.  For a couple of weeks, I felt that Greg or Wes needed to be here to help me up.  I recently figured out that I could crawl up the steps.  It’s not very comfortable on your knees, but sometimes we just have to do what we have to do.

amye-1

March 11, 2016
This was how my leg looked for about a week after surgery.

When the cast comes off today, I go into a boot.  I’ve never had one of those before so I’m not sure what to expect.  I know I can take it off to shower so no more showers with my leg hanging out of the door!  Oh, the little things we take for granted!  Dr. Spivey originally told me that I would wear the boot for four weeks, so hopefully that is still the case.

amye-2

This is the angle my foot has been in since surgery.

I am hoping that I will be able to walk well. I’ve been a little nervous since they told me at my last visit that walking would be slow and that I “might not even be able to walk out of the office” the day I get my cast off. Hmm…that’s not the news I wanted to hear. In situations like this, I always tend to think, in the back of my mind, that I’ll be the exception? I’ll be able to run out of the office today! I’ll be sure to update you on that! Either way, today I am closer to walking that I was on March 11th!

Today’s recipe for Cheeseburger Egg Rolls is a great little appetizer. They are so simple to make and are much more impressive than your run of the mill dip. Don’t get me wrong; I love a good dip. These turn heads, though. They are different, and you can make them with beef, turkey, or if you have a hunter in the house, venison. I mixed up mayo and stone ground mustard to serve as a dip. You can simply serve with mustard and ketchup if you prefer.

 

Cheeseburger Egg Rolls
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • 1 lb. ground beef, ground turkey, or ground venison
  • ½ medium yellow onion, minced
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 5 sliced American cheese
  • ½ c. diced dill pickles
  • 13 to 14 egg roll wrappers
  • 1 egg white
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • Condiments of your choice, ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise.
Instructions
  1. Preheat a skillet over medium heat. Add a tablespoon of oil and the minced onions. Salute until onion is translucent.
  2. Add the ground meat and cook, stirring got break up as much as possible, until well done. Drain off any juices and spoon meat into a mixing bowl.
  3. Break up the cheese and add to the meat. Mix until all of the cheese has melted. Stir in the pickles, and salt and pepper, to taste.
  4. Heat 1 to 1½-inches of vegetable oil in a skillet.
  5. While the oil heats, gently whisk the egg white in a small bowl and set aside.
  6. To roll the egg rolls, position the egg roll wrapper in front of you in a diamond shape. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the cheeseburger mixture, in a line off slightly off center, nearest corner near you, leaving about 1-inch on each side. Gently and carefully, fold the corner nearest you over the meat filling and tuck it under the filling. Using a pastry brush or your finger, lightly brush some of the egg white onto the wrappers edges. Fold in both sides of the wrapper, then roll the egg roll up.
  7. Fry egg rolls in batches until golden brown, turning as needed to brown on all sides. Remove to a paper-towel lines plate.
  8. Serve with condiments of your choice.

 

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Country Smothered Pork Chops

 

Country-smothered-pork-chops

I seek new food experiences, in restaurants or my own home kitchen. In fact, I fall into the pop-culture category, “foodie”. I am just one of millions. Our culture has long passed the time when a meal at the local steakhouse with the endless salad bar was our idea of a night on the town.

We now pursue new and different flavors. There are upscale restaurants up and down every city street. We can easily find every ingredient under the sun at the large supermarkets in many cities. Including ingredients that our grandmothers never had in their pantries.

And, as much as I enjoy a good meal at a fancy restaurant or trying a new recipe, I often crave old-time home cooking. This Country Smothered Pork Chops recipe, from Chris Chamberlain’s The Southern Foodie, is an uncomplicated, easy to follow recipe. You most likely have all of the ingredients in your pantry, and the flavor is incredible. It is easy enough to prepare on weeknights but special enough for your Sunday table. My serving suggestions would be to serve with rice or mashed potatoes and a green vegetable.

 

Country Smothered Pork Chops
 
Author:
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • ½ cup to 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 6 center-cut pork chops
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 medium onions, cut into rounds
  • 1 qt. hot water
  • 2 tbsp. Kitchen Bouquet
  • 2 tbsp. cornstarch
  • ¼ tsp. garlic powder
  • Cooked long-grain white rice (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Heat the oil in a skillet. Season the pork chops well with salt and pepper. Place the flour in a medium bowl and dredge the chops in the flour, coating both sides. Shake off the excess flour. Add the pork chops to the skillet in batches and fry for 1 minute per side. Drain on paper towels. Place half of the chops in a baking dish or casserole dish. Place half of the onions on top. Repeat the layering with the remaining pork chops and onions.
  3. In a large bowl mix the water, Kitchen Bouquet, cornstarch, ¼ tsp. salt ¼ tsp. pepper, and garlic powder. Pour the mixture over the pork chops and onions. Cover and bake for 1 hour, until tender. You may serve over rice or serve plain.

 

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