Monday, August 22, 2011

Weirdy Toppings = Pedantic Pizzas

This is uppity pizza, y'all.

Hello, again. We have recovered from our bout of exhaustion.

We promised you, in our last post, that we would tell you about the fantastic toppings that P-Dub recommends. We are here to oblige. The first set of toppings is part of a Potato Leek Pizza (p. 110). The second variation is for a Tomato Basil Pizza (p. 112).

First, we must confess, or at least Lou must confess. She did not know what a leek was.

Jo did. So she bought the leeks. Although, Jo must confess she has never cooked with leeks.

That there is a leek.

For the potato leek pizza, we started by dicing and frying up some bacon.

Jo chopped the leeks.

These were sauteed in the same pan we used for the bacon.

Next our favorite potatoes: the Yukon Golds, were sliced very thinly. This helped them cook on the pizza and soften to just the right texture without becoming mushy.

We layered these on the pizza.

This was followed by hunks of fresh mozzarella cheese. We added the sauteed leeks, which smelled quite wonderfully, by the way.

The leeks were topped by the crispy bacon bits.

Goat cheese crumbles and Parmesan created the last layers of this weirdy pizza.

For the tomato basil pizza, Mr. Fabuful made fresh pesto using basil from our herb garden. We'll have Mr. Fabuful tell you more about his venture in a future post. Suffice it to say, it was fan-tab-u-lous.

We took the basil pesto and spread it generously on the pizza crust. Once Jo had spread the pesto generously, someone handsome (Mr. Fabuful) told her she had spread way too much pesto. Well.

Forging ahead, we placed mozzarella cheese on top of the pesto.

This was followed by a layer of roma tomatoes on half of the pizza. Some in our foodie group have tomato-texture issues (*cough*Lou*cough*).

A plentiful handful of grated Parmesan was layered on top.

We placed them both in the oven to bake.

Separately, it would have taken 10 minutes to bake per pizza. With both, it took about 20 minutes.

We felt extra fancy because of how truly aesthetically pleasing these pizzas turned out. Hence, the 97 pictures.

We felt extra fancy because of how truly tasty these pizzas turned out. Hence, only a third of each pizza remained.

Lastly, Jo's amount of basil pesto was just right. I love you, Mr. Fabuful.

Happily full,

P.S. Make sure to watch The Pioneer Woman's Food Network debut this coming Saturday, August 27, at 10:30 a.m., CDT.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Lou and Jo's Second-Favorite Thing

Lou and Uncle He-Man joke that he is Lou's second-favorite thing right after pizza.

Don't tell him, but it's not true. Actually, he's right after pizza after chicken fried steak. Yum.

We kid. We kid.

We do love a good pizza, and the Pioneer Woman gives a great pizza recipe along with two topping variations. Today, we'll talk about the crust. We will then divulge the tantalizing details of the toppings in a future post.

Frankly, we are both exhausted this evening and had our skirts in a twist about the calculus it would take to blog about the entire pizza-making process. We took 97 pictures of pizza, folks. We were excited that night. Obsessive? Yes. Crazy? Maybe. Fatter? Oh, dear. We need new skirts.

Drumroll, please (and no, not a drumstick because we would eat that, too). Here is Ree Drummond's Pizza Crust recipe (p.108).

We started with one-and-a-half cups of warm water. We sprinkled active dry yeast into the water. Are you on the edge of your seat, yet? Good. Us neither. Although...which photo is better?

This one...

...Or this one?

We think the yeast looks particular yeasty in photo two. We're glad you agree.

In a separate bowl we mixed four cups of flour and a little salt. Jo attempted to multi-task. She tried to add a third cup of extra virgin olive oil to the flour mixture while manning the camera as Lou was spot-on with her focus of manning the hand-held mixer. Thankfully, most of the flour remained in the bowl.

Next we added the yeast mixture to the flour mixture.

Here's the fun part. Pour a little olive oil into a large bowl, and place the dough into the bowl. At this point, our dough was a touch crumbly, but with Lou's magic fingers she coaxed the dough into a ball of yeasty beauty. Are we delirious? We think so. Continuing on.

Jo covered the bowl with a moist kitchen towel. Dough grows better in a warm environment, so she placed it on top of the refrigerator. That also kept us from peeking at it too often as it grew over the next two hours.

After its incubation period, we divided the dough in half to make two separate pizza crusts. Mr. Fabuful assisted us as we each spread the crust thin on separate olive-oil-drizzled baking sheets. Somehow that sentence does not seem to be in proper English form, but at this point, we don't have the energy to change it.

So, yeah.

That's it for tonight.

When we're a little more lively, we'll share the rest with you. We promise. Until then...

Happily Full,

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Sugar & Spice

And everything nice.

Including Crisco. And buttah.

This weekend we made P-Dub's French Breakfast Puffs (p. 66). We now understand why the French are rumored to drink so much red wine. Red wine thins the blood. After you eat one of these overweight puppies, your blood will need a little thinning. Not low cholesterol fare. But, my, they are tasty.

We started by mixing together flour, baking powder, salt and a couple dashes of ground cloves. Ree's recipe calls for nutmeg, which we did not have on hand. But, cloves gave the mixture a nice, tease-of-fall flavor.

Then we got out our little friend, The Beast, otherwise known as the KitchenAid stand mixer. We creamed together sugar and shortening until it was smooth. Eggs were added.

At this point we poured in a third of the flour mixture, then a third of a cup of milk. This was repeated until both the flour mixture and milk were thoroughly combined in the sugar mixture.

Next we greased the muffin tin and filled the cups two-thirds full.

And, of course, we sampled a little bit of the dough. Jo sampled a lot. Lou was disciplined and refrained from sampling a lot. We were good little girls and didn't sample from the pan.

These were baked until the tops were lightly brown.

Next we melted two sticks of butter in one bowl and combined a goodly amount of cinnamon and sugar in a separate bowl.

Now for the fun your glass of red wine handy?

We rolled each puff in the butter so each centimeter of the puff was covered. Then we rolled ourselves in the butter.

Next, we rolled each puff through the cinnamon and sugar, setting each one aside to cool and glow in its sparkling, atherosclerotic glory.

We like to be poetic about cholesterol.

These were a wonderful breakfast treat...

...that we ate at 6:00 in the evening. They's good anytime.

Happily full,

Monday, August 8, 2011

Breakfast for Lupper

This past Sunday we made Ree Drummond's PW Breakfast Burritos (p. 51), which contain her Basic Breakfast Potatoes (p. 48). We were feeling industrious, conquering two recipes in one blow. And, admittedly, we were feeling
a bit behind. We have 41 recipes to complete in about 19 weeks of the remaining year. Heaven help us, folks. That's a lot of food. Woof. We thought these burritos would be the perfect after-church throw-together dinner.

Confession. We missed church on Sunday. Not purposely, mind you. Church is important to us. Jo's alarm failed to be on (aka - she forgot to turn it on), and the electricity went off at Lou's house. We blame the huge party from the previous evening for our lethargy. The reason being, The Bean's second birthday party.

So, here are our Bedside Baptist Burritos.

Confession. We did not bake these potatoes in the oven for 45 minutes as Ree instructs. We missed that small detail when reading over the recipe, and it was already 1:30 Sunday afternoon when we were beginning our process. Jo came to the rescue with her nifty baked-potato bag for the microwave. In about five minutes our potatoes were ready to go.

We diced up seven Yukon gold potatoes and one onion.

We put a little oil and Crisco in a skillet along with the diced onion, and allowed the onion to caramelize.

Next, we sauteed the potatoes with the onion. These were salted and peppered. Ree suggests gently pressing the potato mixture to the bottom of the skillet so one side browns. Now here's the kicker. We're begging you to try this next part. As the potatoes are browning, she recommends sprinkling the top with flour and paprika.

Then, when you flip the potatoes, with the floured-side down, the potatoes become wonderfully crispy as they brown. See what we mean?

We removed the potatoes to a bowl. We used the same skillet to begin the burrito part of our dinner. We browned breakfast sausage with sage. Smells fantastic if you've never given it a go.

A diced red bell pepper was a part of the mix. Lately we've been obsessed with Joy the Baker's blog and photos. We decided to be like Joy and take an aerial view. Trendy. What say you?

Then Lou added the potatoes and bell pepper to the sausage.

Meanwhile, Jo mixed twelve eggs, half-and-half, Lawry's seasoned salt and pepper.

Into this mixture went Monterrey Jack cheese and our very own herb-garden garlic chives. We felt fancy. Like Fancy Nancy.

The egg mixture was poured in to the potato mixture and slowly cooked at a low temperature.

We gently folded the burrito mixture to prevent the eggs from burning to the bottom of the pan.

Finally, we rounded up our favorite Tabascos, a bunch of tortillas and our favorite guys. And, enjoyed a tasty lupper at 2:15 p.m. A lovely day of rest it was.

Through our own personal experimentation we discovered these burritos are great with sour cream, picante sauce or sriracha. These hit the spot any time of day.

Have a cheerful week!

Happily full,

P.S. You know how much we love barbecue, potatoes, the works. Here's a chance to enjoy those things for a good cause. Numana is hosting a Western-themed fundraiser on August 27 at Prairie Rose Chuckwagon just northeast of Wichita in Benton, Kan. Food and family-friendly entertainment will be provided. Check Numana's website for details!