Cast Iron Skillet Pizza

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I have a pizza stone and a peel so I really have no need to make pizza in my cast iron skillet. But now that I’ve tried it, I’m sold. The crust didn’t get as brown as when I use the pizza stone. But it’s so much easier – it makes weeknight pizza a no brainer.

1) Preheat the oven to 475. Brush the cast iron skillet with olive oil.

2) Stretch out the dough (I bought pre-made dough at Trader Joe’s) until it’s about as big as the pan and lay out. Stretch the dough as needed until it covers the whole bottom of the pan.

3) Spoon on your sauce. I used pesto for this pizza. Add cheese. I used fresh smoked mozzarella which I sliced. Add toppings. I used two kinds of salami, and mixed olives and peppers from the olive bar.

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4) Put skillet in oven and bake until brown. I checked after 11 minutes, then rotated the pan and baked for another 4 minutes.

5) Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. (I got impatient and took the pizza out of the pan after 5 – I bet the crust would have gotten browner if I let it sit in the hot pan a little longer.) Transfer to cutting board with tongs or a large spatula,

To gild the lily, I added arugula to the top after I took the pizza out of the pan.

Here’s a mushroom pizza I made on another day:

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How to Build….Risotto

Risotto is easy if you follow the basic formula. Read the formula all the way through before starting to cook — when you add the vegetables depends on which you choose, and you have to heat your broth at the beginning of the process.

1) the onion: all risotto starts with onion. You can use a shallot or onion. Melt 1 T of butter and 1 T of olive oil in a dutch oven and add chopped onion and cook until softened.

2) the rice: Arborio. No choice there. Add 1 c rice to the onion and cook for a minute, stirring to coat.

3) the liquid: white wine and broth of your choice. Add about 1/2 c. of white wine and cook for about 2 minutes. Heat 4 c. broth so it’s warm when you add. Set timer for 35 minutes. Over the course of the 35 minutes, add warm broth 1-2 ladlefuls at a time, stirring frequently.

4) the vegetables: use any vegetables you want. When you add the veggies depends on which you choose. If I’m using asparagus or peas, I add them near the very end because they need minimal cooking. Mushrooms or butternut squash might be added at the beginning, after sauteeing the onions. Alternatively, you could cook the vegetables separately and add them at the end.

5) the extras: After the 35 minutes, add 1/4 c. Parmesan or a similar (e.g. asiago) cheese, 1 T. of butter, fresh herbs (e.g. thyme or parsley), salt and pepper.

Recap of ingredients (for your shopping list):
butter
olive oil
onion or shallot
1 c. Arborio rice
1/2 c. white wine
4 c. broth
vegetable of your choice
1/4 c. Parmesan cheese
fresh herbs (optional)
salt and pepper

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Roasted Cod with Potatoes and Olives

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This recipe is flexible – you can swap out the cod for another thick fish, you can swap out the herbs for whatever you like, you can swap out the vegetables….no, don’t swap out the vegetables. The ones listed are delicious – the creamy potatoes, the sweet tomatoes, and the salty, vinegary olives make a great combination. Best of all, this dish is made on one sheet pan.

Ingredients:

2 lbs (or however much comes in a bag) baby potatoes
4 cloves garlic
olive oil
dried herbs (I used Herbes de Provence – highly recommended!)
salt and pepper
4 cod fillets (about 6 oz. each)
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1/2 c. pitted Kalamata olives (or whatever olives you like – I buy a mix from the bulk olive bar)
fancy salt (e.g. French grey salt) – optional

Instructions:

1) Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil. The Good Enough Gourmet is in love with Reynolds nonstick foil. No they don’t pay me to say that although they should, since I say it quite often.

2) Cut the potatoes into halves or quarters, depending on their size. Put the potatoes and the whole, unpeeled garlic cloves on to the baking sheet and toss with olive oil (how much? enough to coat – about a tablespoon and a half), herbs, salt and pepper. Put into oven and roast for 20 minutes.

3) Cut tomatoes in half, and I like to cut the olives in half too. Drizzle the cod with olive oil and sprinkle with herbs (whatever you used on the potatoes), salt, and pepper.

4) Remove baking sheet from oven. Add tomatoes and olives to the potatoes, stir, and try to reposition the potatoes so they brown evenly (they’ll probably be dark on the side that was resting on the foil, so turn them over so the other side browns). Push the vegetables to the side and add the cod to the other side.

5) Return baking sheet to oven and roast for 15-20 minutes, depending on thickness of fish. Be sure to check the fish after 15 minutes – fish goes from flaky to dry in minutes.

6) Remove from oven. If you’re ambitious, find the roasted garlic cloves, squeeze the garlic from the peel and stir into the veggies. If you’re like me, just let your lucky diners find the roasted garlic as a prize and they can squeeze it out onto their own portion. Just make sure one person doesn’t get all the garlic!

7) Serve, and sprinkle individual portions with French grey salt if desired. The perfect finishing touch.

Lamb and Bulgur Stew

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Many of you are going to stop reading right now, because you’re thinking, lamb? bulgur? How am I supposed to find these ingredients? I will help you out on this because this dish is so delicious. It’s a balanced meal made in one pot.

First, the lamb. Just find it. I get my ground lamb from the butcher counter at Whole Foods, but I’ve bought it pre-packaged in the regular old grocery store as well. Lamb is what makes this dish interesting.

Bulgur can be a little trickier to find. So here are four options:

1) I look at the Whole Foods bulk bins and find something that looks reasonably close to bulgur. This is what I used – buckwheat groats. Is that bulgur? I have no idea.

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2) Buy a box of tabouli and just use the grain (not the spice packet). You can find tabouli either with the Middle Eastern foods or the rice aisle. Tabouli is bulgur.

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3) Trader Joe’s carries 10-minute bulgur. I haven’t tried it, but I tried the 10-minute barley and it was fine.

4) Substitute another grain, like quinoa or Israeli couscous.

Now that you have no excuses, on to the recipe.

Lamb and Bulgur Stew, adapted from marthastewart.com

Ingredients:

  • olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 1 lb. ground lamb
  • 2/3 c. bulgur
  • red pepper flakes (a couple shakes)
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 t. paprika (sweet or smoked)
  • 1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
  • 2 c. water
  • 1 15-oz can cannellini beans
  • 5 oz. baby spinach
  • 2/3 c. feta cheese
  • 1 T. (or more) fresh oregano

Instructions:

1) Chop the onion. In a Dutch oven, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and cook for a few minutes until the onion starts to soften.

2) Add the lamb, bulgur, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Cook until lamb is no longer pink. Add paprika and cook for another minute.

3) Add the tomatoes and water. Bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer at low heat for 25 minutes.

4) Rinse and drain the cannellini beans. Chop the oregano. The oregano gives this dish a fresh flavor, so use a lot.

5) After the stew has simmered for 25 minutes, add beans and spinach. After the spinach has wilted and there’s room in the pot, add the feta and oregano and cook until the feta melts into the dish. This whole step will only take about a minute or two.

Serve. Feel virtuous about combining an ancient grain, a leafy green, a legume, an antioxidant-rich fruit (tomato’s a fruit, right?), and a protein into a one-pot meal.

Sweet Potato Soup

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It’s soup weather.  Here’s a hearty one.  It’s so thick and hearty that I want to call it a potage, but that would be pretentious, right?  This recipe makes a large batch.

Sweet Potato Soup, adapted from The Shiksa in the Kitchen

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • 3 zucchini
  • 1 onion
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • olive oil
  • 6 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 T. fresh thyme
  • 1 t. cumin
  • 1/2 t. ground ginger
  • 1/8-1/4 t. cayenne pepper
  • salt
  • 1/4 c. peanut butter (I prefer crunchy because I like the texture in the soup)

Instructions:

1) Peel the sweet potatoes, cut into small pieces.  Slice the zucchini.

2) Chop the onion and garlic.  Heat some olive oil in a stock pot or Dutch oven and cook the onions and garlic until softened.

3) Add all the other ingredients except the peanut butter.  Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer; simmer for 25 minutes.

4) With an immersion blender (or regular blender), puree the soup.  I like to mostly puree it but leave a few chunks for texture.

5) Stir in the peanut butter.  Taste and add salt if needed.

White Chili

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This is amazing chili. It’s really a misnomer to call it chili because there is no chili powder or tomatoes. But it has ground chicken and beans so it counts in my book. I just made it for friends and it was a big hit.

White Chili, adapted from marthastewart.com

Ingredients:

  • olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 lb. ground chicken (or turkey – I prefer chicken)
  • At least 4 t. fresh rosemary (I think it’s the rosemary that makes this so good so use a lot)
  • 1 1/2 t. cumin
  • 1/8 or 1/4 t. cayenne
  • 1 t. dried oregano
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 jalapeno pepper
  • 5 c. chicken broth
  • 1 can cannellini beans
  • 1 can hominy (look in the Latin food section, or with the canned veggies)
  • 3 T. cornmeal

Instructions:

1) Mise en place. Measure your cornmeal in a small bowl. Chop your rosemary and jalapeno pepper and in another bowl, add the rosemary, jalapeno, cumin, cayenne, oregano, and salt and pepper.

2) Chop your onion and garlic. In a dutch oven, heat some olive oil and add onion and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes or so until the onion softens.

3) Add the herbs and spices and cook for a minute or so.

4) Add the chicken and cook until no longer pink.

5) Drain and rinse the beans and the hominy. Add the broth, beans and hominy. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer. Partially cover and simmer for 25 minutes.

6) Remove the cover and add the cornmeal. Cook for 15 minutes more until thickened. Taste and add salt if needed.

Lentil and Chickpea Stew

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This takes a little longer and uses more ingredients than the average Good Enough recipe, but it’s healthy, flavorful, and hearty.  Perfect as the weather gets a little cooler.

Lentil and Chickpea Stew, adapted from marthastewart.com

Ingredients:

  • olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 4 stalks of celery
  • 3 t. salt
  • 1/2 t. paprika
  • 1/2 t. turmeric
  • 1/2 t. ground ginger
  • 1/2 t. coriander
  • 1/4 t. nutmeg
  • 1/4 t. pepper
  • 1/8 t. ground cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 6 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 14-oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 T. tomato paste (I buy it in a tube so I don’t have to waste a whole can)
  • 1-2 T. lemon juice
  • 1 c. yellow lentils
  • 2 cans garbanzo beans
  • 5 oz. orzo
  • 1/2 c. pitted dates
  • 3 T. (more or less) parsley

Instructions:

1) Chop onion, slice celery, press (or chop) garlic.  Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven, add onion, celery and garlic and cook a few minutes until softened.

2) Measure your spices and salt into a small dish.  Add to the pan and stir.  Cook for a minute or two, until fragrant.

3) Add stock, cinnamon stick (if you didn’t add it with the spices), tomatoes, tomato paste, lemon juice, and lentils.  Bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4) Drain and rinse the garbanzo beans.  Add them to the pan and simmer for another 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5) Add orzo and chopped dates and cook for 10 minutes, stirring from time to time.

5) Add chopped parsley.