Garlic herb pizza dough

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Like that shape? Trademarked.

Adapted from Simply Recipes

Ingredients:
pizza dough
1/3 cup tomato puree
2-3 mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/3 red onion, thinly sliced
3 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1/4 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
basil to garnish
spinach
1/3 cup parmigiano-reggiano, grated

Directions:
Let the refrigerated dough sit for 25 minutes at room temperature, longer if possible. Meanwhile, place the pizza stone on a rack in the lower third of your oven. Preheat the oven to 425-450°F for 30-60 minutes (depending on topping prep time.) Slice or grate your vegetable and cheese toppings. Do not load up each pizza with too many toppings as the crust will end up not crisp that way! About a third a cup each of tomato sauce and cheese would be sufficient for one pizza. One to two mushrooms thinly sliced will cover a pizza.

Take the ball of dough and flatten it with your hands on a slightly floured work surface. Starting at the center and working outwards, use your fingertips to press the dough to 1/2-inch thick. Let the dough relax 5 minutes. Stretch dough into a thin 12-inch round — I did this classical way, tossing the round on my knuckles in the air. Be careful! Brush the top of the dough with olive oil (to prevent soggy dough from the toppings). Use your fingertips to press down and make dents along the surface of the dough to prevent bubbling? Let rest another 5 minutes.

Here I removed the pizza stone from the warming oven. It’s very hot. If you have it, sprinkle the pizza stone with cornmeal (I didn’t), and place the dough on top. Spoon on the tomato sauce (I added some dried oregano, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper here), sprinkle the cheese, and place your desired toppings on the pizza. Slide the baking stone into the oven. Bake until the crust is browned and the cheese is golden, about 10-15 minutes. Then drizzle with olive oil.

Ok, so this post title is a lie. I used garlic herb pizza dough from Trader Joe’s, which only recommended a (too short) baking time of 6-8 minutes. But I followed all the other steps. Wish I had had 250 g diced fresh mozzarella, and torn basil! Made a baby spinach side salad rather than wilt it in the oven as a topping.

~Jessica

P.S. Pizza attempt #1Pizza attempt #2Pizza attempt #3

Chicken cacciatore

IMG_2684Adapted from Simply Recipes

4 thin cut chicken breasts, organic
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 glugs of extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced root to tip
1 red or green bell pepper, seeded, sliced thin
140 g (5 oz) white cremini mushrooms, thickly sliced
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
80 mL (1/3 cup) white or red wine
800 g (28 ounce) can of plum tomatoes in their juice
1 teaspoon dry thyme
2 teaspoons fresh oregano, chopped

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Rinse the chicken, let dry. Season each side with salt. Add some oil to the pan (big enough to fit everything), brown both sides of the chicken. Set aside. Make sure there’s enough oil/fat in the pan, then add the onions, saute until fragrant. Add the garlic, saute until fragrant. Add the rest of the sliced vegetables. Cook until they’re all a little bit softened, then deglaze with the dry white wine. Cook until half the wine has evaporated, then add the tomatoes and all seasonings. Taste the sauce and season accordingly. Add the chicken on top, turn down the heat to low and cook 20-40 minutes. Check the chicken is cooked through, and serve with  rice.

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Amber was feeling like chicken cacciatore, so voila. Rike from Hamburg helped me prep and cook! Food for three plus leftovers for one. Cacciatore (“hunter”) suggests a working man’s meal, better with country bread or pasta, in my opinion. Next time I might try the recipe with bay leaf and rosemary sprigs. Also our “dry white wine” was some questionable cognac-looking Georgian wine, as in the country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Don’t try their wine. Someone brought it to the apartment for a house party, probably. Friends.

~Jessica

Yakisoba

IMG-20170312-WA0005Adapted from My Korean Kitchen and Just One Cookbook and No Recipes

2 8-oz packages (400 g) fresh udon noodles
vegetable oil
1/2 onion, chopped
1 carrot, sliced into thin sticks
4-5 shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced (I forgot to buy!)
5-6 leaves of bok choy, shredded
1/2 green bell pepper (I used up some spinach instead)
dark soy sauce, sugar, rice wine (mirin), sesame oil, salt and pepper
yakisoba sauce
2-3 scallions, chopped

Heat a wok on high, then add the oil, then the seasonings with some water and swirl (to prevent burning). Cook the onion, then carrots, then bell pepper, then bok choy, and any other vegetables. Boil udon noodles according to package (about 1 minute for pre-cooked ones). Add the udon to the wok and stir fry and mix. Cook for about 4 minutes more, until noodles are still soft but with a slight crunchy exterior (some noodles will be a light brown color). Add yakisoba sauce, turn off the heat and coat well. Transfer to a plate, top with scallions. Serve.

~Jessica

Risotto ai funghi

Adapted from Memorie di Angelina

250 g Arborio, Vialone Nano or Carnaroli risotto rice
25 g salted butter
1 small (150 g) white onion, finely chopped
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/2 litre of vegetable/chicken stock
200 g of porcini mushrooms, fresh or about 50 g dried
a small bunch of flat-leaved parsley (I had dry thyme)
1 cupful of white, dry wine
100g freshly grated Parmesan Reggiano cheese

Soak dried mushroom in hot water for 20 minutes or, if fresh, chop up. Heat half the butter and olive oil in the saute pan over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and cook until fragrant. Heat the stock in a separate pot. Now toast the rice in the pan for a couple of minutes, stirring until coated in the oil. Add the wine and stir to evaporate. Now begin ladling the stock into the rice one ladle at a time. Continue stirring the rice and adding stock each time the liquid begins to dry up. Add the mushrooms. If you run out of stock, and need to cook the rice more, substitute the broth with hot water to avoid over-saltiness. When the rice grains are still al dente, add the rest of the butter, the parsley, and  freshly grated cheese. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.

~Jessica

Stir fry noodles with bok choy

img-20170116-wa0034Adapted from mao mao mom

500 g Chinese noodles (I used fresh wheat)
3 splashes of soy sauce, 1 glug of vegetable oil
olive oil
1 bunch green scallions
garlic, ginger, chili (all chopped fine)
90 g shiitake mushrooms, sliced thinly
2 small carrots, julienned
400 g baby bok choy, separated into leaves
salt, white pepper, broth
2 glugs of sesame oil

Cook the fresh noodles in boiling water for 1 minute. Drain noodles and return to pot. Mix with the soy sauce and oil and “brown” the noodles on medium heat.

Heat oil in wok, and saute the scallions, chili, ginger, and garlic on high heat for 30 seconds. Add carrots and stir fry. Add mushrooms and stir fry. Add bok choy and stir fry. Season to taste with salt, pepper, broth.

Remove from heat, add the noodles, season with sesame oil, and toss. Serve hot.

~Jessica

Pizza dough

Adapted from smitten kitchen

Dough
6 tablespoons warm water (may need up to 1 or 2 tablespoons more water)
2 tablespoons white wine
3/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups flour

Cornmeal for sprinkling
Flour for dusting workspace
1/2 pound torn-up buffalo mozzarella
Few leaves of torn-up basil (not in season here)

Poach the tomatoes in boiling water for one minute only, and then drain. Peel them once cooled. Drain and dry the pot. Put it back on the burner over medium heat. Pour in olive oil and let it heat completely before adding the garlic, stirring for a minute with a wooden spoon. Add the red pepper flakes and stir for another minute. Do not let the garlic to brown. Put the peeled tomatoes in the pot, along with the wine, sugar and salt. Break the tomatoes up with your spoon. Let the sauce simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes break down. Carefully taste without burning your tongue. Adjust seasonings, if necessary.

~Jessica

No-yeast pizza dough pizza

Adapted from the BBC Good Food

350 g flour
2 pinches of baking powder
pinch of salt and sugar
2 spoonfuls of olive oil
170-225 mL warm water

Mix the dry ingredients separately, then add in the water and olive oil. Combine until you form a ball. Let this sit in the fridge (preferably 4-5 hours), covered by a damp cloth, while you prepare the toppings.

Pre-cook your toppings (e.g. ham, mushrooms, artichokes, San Marzano tomatoes, onions, etc.) in some olive oil/butter, sliced onions, and minced garlic. Don’t overcook, as they will bake in the oven as well. Grate your cheese (mozzarella di bufala Campana, pecorino romano, scamorza, etc.).

Punch down the chilled dough, and roll flat (a wine bottle works here). Top with chopped tomatoes, then the vegetables. Brush olive oil on the crust. Bake at 200 deg C for 10 min, add the mozzarella (or other cheeses), then put back in for another 15-25 minutes. Garnish with fresh basil and serve.

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~Jessica

P.S. Different Italian pizza types:

  • pizza napoletana
  • pizza alla marinara
  • pizza capricciosa
  • pizza pugliese
  • sfincione.

Taiwanese sticky rice

aka “Oily Rice” (油飯). Adapted from an Intercollegiate Taiwanese American Students Association (ITASA) cooking workshop recipe hosted by the National Alliance of Taiwan Women’s Associations (NATWA)

2 cups long-grain sweet rice (I used 3 rice-cooker-cups glutinous rice)
5 dried black mushrooms (if you haven’t, shiitake)
10 slices ginger (I only used 5)
100-200 g boneless pork (I used 4 Chinese sausages)
75 mL sesame oil
300 mL hot water
60 mL soy sauce

Pre-cooking preparation:
a. Place the rice in a large bowl and rinse thoroughly. Cover with water and soak for at least 4 hours, or even overnight. Drain.
b. Soak dried mushrooms in hot water for 10 minutes or until soft. Wash mushrooms thoroughly and slice thin.
c. Crush ginger slices with a rolling pin to release the flavor.
d. Slice pork thin.

IMAG5663Heat sesame oil in wok. Brown the crushed ginger. Remove ginger from wok. Brown pork and mushrooms in the remaining sesame oil. Add the rice and soy sauce to wok, mix thoroughly. Here you can either cook it in a rice cooker (less water than covers the rice) or: Add 1/2 cup of hot water to the wok. Cover and cook on high for 2 minutes. Stir and add the remaining hot water. Keep stirring until the rice becomes translucent. Cover wok and cook on low heat for 10 more minutes. Serve.

~Jessica

P.S. I added some extras suggested by It’s My Dish and The Grub Files: cane sugar, 2 star anise (~16 points), 1-2 fried shallots, 3 cloves garlic (lightly smashed), dried shrimp (soaked 30 minutes in warm water), Shaoxing rice wine, oyster sauce, boiled peanuts, five spice powder.

Mushroom lasagna

Adapted from smitten kitchen, who adapted from Ina Garten and Simply Recipes.

Salt + pepper
Olive oil
400 g dried lasagna noodles (250 g would have been plenty for me!)
3 cloves garlic, minced
960 mL whole milk
170 g unsalted butter, divided
60 g all-purpose flour
freshly ground black pepper + nutmeg
750 g cremini or portobello mushrooms (really used 250 g! + eggplant + walnuts)
freshly grated parmesan, to top

I added:
1 red onion
500 g canned chopped tomatoes
fresh thyme + basil + oregano
pinch of red pepper flakes
pinch of sugar
300 g frozen spinach
250 g ricotta
125 g mozzarella

Boil lasagna pasta for 10 min in salted water with olive oil. Simmer milk and garlic in a saucepan until fragrant. Remove. Melt butter. Whisk flour into the butter. Add milk mixture, little by little. Add salt, pepper, nutmeg. Thicken for 3-5 minutes, stirring. Set aside.

Trim mushroom ends, saute them with the onions in olive oil and butter. Add the spinach and canned tomatoes to this. Season with salt, red pepper flakes, sugar, and the fresh herbs. Preheat oven to 190 deg C. Spread béchamel sauce in the bottom of the baking dish. Layer pasta, béchamel, mushrooms, parmesan three times, then top off with pasta, béchamel, and grated parmesan. Bake for 45 minutes, covered by aluminum foil. Remove at the end to crisp the top!

~Jessica

P.S. Cover with foil for the first half of bake time to avoid burning!

Chicken, bok choy, and shiitake chow mein

Adapted from Ming Tsai

cornstarch
shaoxing wine
oyster sauce
grated ginger
4 scallion whites, save the greens for garnish
black pepper
sambal oelek, or some red chili paste
250 g skinless chicken meat — I prefer the leg/thigh meat
sesame oil
Canola oil to cook
6 cloves garlic, sliced thin
6 (shiitake) mushrooms, quartered
chicken stock
4 heads baby bok choy, core out, sliced
200 g blanched and refreshed egg lo mein noodles

FYI, Sambal ulek/oelek is a bright red, thin, and sharp tasting raw chili paste. Didn’t have shiitake so used regular brown button mushrooms, and egg ramen instead of the proper chow mein.

~Jessica