Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Potato Pizza

Pizza with a mashed potato and cheddar topping
I got the idea for this recipe from UNO's restaurant. They have a potato skins pizza appetizer that is extremely yummy. So I decided to make my own version at home. I started out by making my pizza dough.

Ingredients for pizza dough:
1 package dry yeast
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup warm water
3-4 cups of flour

I put the yeast, sugar, and olive oil into my bowl, then I add the warm water (as hot as I can get from my faucet) and stir well. Then I add the flour a cup at a time. Usually by the time I get the second cup in, the dough is starting to form a ball. When it does that, I put some flour on the kneading board, and I start to knead the dough. I add another cup or two to get the dough to to stick together without being tacky. Usually, it takes around 3 cups in total, but it all depends.

Spray PAM in a bowl, and put the dough in. Flip the dough to make sure both sides have oil on therm. Then cover the bowl with Saran wrap and a towel. Let the dough sit in a warm spot for around 1 1/2 hours. It will double in size.

After the dough has been rising for an hour, start the mashed potatoes. Peel and cut 2-3 potatoes into pieces (depending on size--the larger the potato, the fewer you need). Put them in a pan, covering with water, and bring to a boil. Boil around 10 to 15 minutes. They are done when you can poke them with a fork, and the potato is soft. Drain the potatoes.

To make mashed potatoes, add around 2 Tbsp butter, an ounce of shredded cheddar cheese, and salt and pepper to taste.

After the dough has doubled, get a 13x9 pan. Spray with the pan with PAM. Spread the dough in the pan.

Put the dough in an oven preheated to 400 degrees. Bake for 15 minutes.

Take the dough out, and spread the mashed potatoes over the dough. Sprinkle cheddar cheese over the top. Bake for another 10-15 minutes till the cheese melts.

For an added touch, you can shred some potatoes, saute, drain off extra oil, and spread over the pizza before serving.

As I always say, EXPERIMENT!!! You can add toppings that you want, or make a different type of mashed potato. Heck, au gratin potatoes might make a nice topping. Enjoy!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Homemade White Pizza

slice of homemade white pizza
I'm sure that there are people out there who think that homemade pizza is just way too difficult to make. Well, I can assure you that even you can make a tasty homemade pizza. I make my dough from scratch, so to do the same, you would have to plan on around two hours before you are sampling the finished product.

To make the dough, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 1/2 to 3 cups of flour
Now it's time to start making the dough.
  1. Get a big bowl that you'll use for the dough to raise in. Spray this bowl with some PAM to oil it.
  2. In a small bowl, measure out around 3 cups of flour. 
  3. In a large bowl, put the sugar, olive oil, and yeast.
  4. Add the hot water to the large bowl.
  5. Stir until the ingredients are well mixed.
  6. Add the flour a bit at a time. Use a spoon to mix in the flour.
  7. When the dough starts to form a ball (usually around the 1 1/2 to 2 cup amount), put the dough on a floured cutting board.
  8. Knead in some more flour until the dough is forming a nice, non-sticky ball. Usually, I wind up using around 2 1/2 cups of flour.
  9. Put the dough in the oiled bowl, then flip it so top and bottom are oiled.
  10. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, then with a small hand towel.
  11. Put the bowl in a warm place for around 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
You can now start to make the pizza.
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Spray some PAM on a cookie pan or pizza pan.
  3. Get your dough, and spread it over the pan. Make sure to give the pizza a raised crust.
  4. Bake the crust for 15 minutes.
  5. Take the crust out of the oven, and covered with desired pizza toppings and cook for another 15 minutes or so. I usually set the timer for 12 minutes, and check to see if it needs more time.
When I make pizza, I usually make a white pizza. I buy some good mozzarella cheese, and use the slice side of the grater. Sometimes, I'll sprinkle some feta cheese on the top. I spread some cheese on the pizza, then add some sautéed garlic and onions. Then I add some more cheese. 

Of course, you can put whatever you want on the pizza: mushrooms, tomatoes, fresh basil, spaghetti sauce, meat, etc. Use your imagination to satisfy your taste buds!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Beefy stew

stew with garlic toast
I haven't been making many original recipes lately, but with bone chilling temperatures in Pittsburgh today (hovering around zero degrees Fahrenheit), I thought a nice, hearty stew would hit the target. It was too cold to go to the market, so I just used the products I already had at home. You know what that means: you can make substitutions out the wazoo!

  • 1 pound London broil (or similar low fat meat)
  • 4 medium sized potatoes
  • 2 handfuls of baby carrots
  • 2 packages Lipton Onion and Mushroom soup mix
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 4 cups water
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a casserole dish or roasting pan that would be big enough to hold all the ingredients, mix the 2 packages of soup mix with the flour. Mine was a medium sized round roasting pan with a lid.
  3. Add water to the mix, and stir with a whisk to get everything mixed together.
  4. Cut the meat into big sized cubes. Mine were around 2 inches or a bit under in size. Add to the mix
  5. Peel and chop the potatoes into chunks the same size as the meat. Throw them in with the meat.
  6. Add the carrots, and stir everything up.
  7. Put in the oven. Stir it periodically so it doesn't stick to the bottom, and the stew should be done in around 2 to 2.5 hours.
I made garlic toast from a small loaf of challah bread. For the garlic toast, cut small slices. Put on a baking sheet. Add spreadable margarine or butter of your choosing. Sprinkle dried garlic bits on top. Cook at 400 degrees for around 10 minutes.

You can put the stew over rice or noodles. I think dumplings would be a good idea, which I might try next time. I think I might also put in some peas or green beans instead of carrots next time for a change. 

Recipes are made to be changed and enhanced. Keep that in mind, and don't be afraid to experiment!