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Stuffed

Pizza Stuffed Pretzel Rolls

 

I’m going unprocessed this month. Which, as my favorite byproduct of this exercise, has pushed me out of my grocery buying comfort zone and reminded me to wander into local bakeries and specialty food stores to rely on what they have to offer. I love supporting local mom & pop shops, and even though I eat a very unprocessed diet on a regular basis, this is a great way for me to double check all of my eating habits.

When I had the idea for these stuck in my head, I wanted to make it as easy as possible for the both of us. I found out a few interesting short cuts for pizza dough. While I am working on perfecting a pizza dough recipe, I realize that good dough takes time and my pizza making cravings don’t allow me the requisite 24 hours that good dough really needs. I did learn that most pizza places will sell you raw and ready to use pizza dough if you just ask, but don’t count on them delivering. Also, look for an Italian deli, I have two really great ones in my neighborhood. They usually sell homemade pasta, home cured meats, homemade cheese AND (you guested it) raw and ready to go pizza dough. Sometimes you even get handmade recipes passed down from generation to generation shipped over from the Motherland. So much better than I could ever do myself. As much as I WANT to make everything from my own hands, even on my best day I could never top an Italian Grandmother on her worst. So, my secret to these is "store bought" dough is getting it from my local Italian deli.

You can also look at your local regular-guy markets (Trader Joe’s, Fresh & Easy, Whole Foods) if you don’t have any Italian culinary entrepreneur  in your neighborhood. But it’s worth a Yelp search, just incase they flew under your radar, or call the nice folks at your local pizza restaurant to see if they will break you off a hunk of their dough.

 

Pizza Stuffed Pretzel Rolls

1 batch Pizza dough

1/2 cup marinara sauce

2 oz peperoni, chopped

1/2 cup cheese (mozzarella, cheddar, whatever you want)

1/4 cup baking soda

2 tbs sugar

3 tbs melted butter

course salt

 

Preheat oven to 350.

Start by placing the hunk of dough on a lightly floured surface.

 

Shape the dough into a long log. Cut into two equal halves, then cut each half in half (giving you four equal logs)

Then cut each log in half the other way

Now you have 8 pieces! Cut each piece in half and you are finally done with the cutting and you have 16 dough pieces ready to be filled.

Roll each dough piece on a lightly floured surface with a rolling pin. Top with about 1 to 2 tbs sauce, 2 tbs cheese and 1 tbs pepperoni.

Wet the edges of the dough (the best way to do this is to place a small bowl of water near you and wet your fingertips) and pinch the edges tightly together.

Place on a baking sheet, covered with a Silpat.

Fill a large pot with water, making sure you have enough room for it to bubble up, but deep enough for the rolls to fit in. Add the 2 tbs sugar and allow to boil, add the baking soda (there will be lots of bubbling), add the buns (about 4 at a time) and allow to boil for about 30 seconds, remove with a large slotted spoon and return to baking sheet.

Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with coarse salt.

Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes or until a dark golden brown.

*Note: if you want to freeze these, allow to cool, place in a freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 weeks. To re-heat, bake at 350 for 15 minutes or until cooked though.

 

Beer Steamed Stuffed Artichokes & How to Stuff an Artichoke

 

Here’s my artichoke. We’re going to gut him and stuff him with bacon.

And then cook him in beer.

 

 

The first step is to trim. Start with peeling off a few layers of the outside leaves They’re tough and not very good, don’t feel bad about getting rid of them.

And if your artichoke has a long stem, trim it so that it can stand upright, with its leaves pointed at the sky. That will come in handy later.

Then you are going to cut off the pointed tip of the artichoke.

 

Then use a pair a kitchen sheers, (or, lets be honest regular scissors will be fine) to trim the pointed tips off of all of the leaves.

 

Starting at the outside and working towards the inside, pull the leaves outward.

 

Once you get to the inside leaves that are yellow and purple, you are going to want to remove these. There is a lot of waste with stuffed artichokes, just accept it and move on.

This part isn’t easy. If you are having a hard time, that’s normal. The best way to do it is to dig at it with a melon baller. And swear at it a few times to put it in it’s place.

Feel the inside to make sure it’s smooth and none of that hairy choke is left behind. If it still feels fuzzy, keep digging. And swearing, if it helps.

Squeeze half a lemon into the cavity of the artichoke.

 Next you want to make the filling (recipe below).

Stuff the filling inside the middle of the artichoke. Starting at the outside, spread the leaves out and press the filling inside the leaves, work your way in until all the leaves are full.

Place in an oven safe pot, standing upright. Pour 1 1/2 cup citrusy wheat beer into the bottom of the pot.

Cover with a lid or tin foil and bake at 375 for 40-60 minutes or until the outer leaves come away easily.

Beer Steamed Stuffed Artichokes

Ingredients

  • 4 large artichokes, prepared as above
  • 1 large lemon
  • 4 strips of bacon
  • 1/3 cup chopped shallots
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 cups bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups citrusy wheat beer

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375
  2. Prepare artichokes as instructed above, squeeze 1/4 lemon into the cavity of each artichoke.
  3. In a pan over medium high heat, cook the bacon until browned. Remove from pan, and chop. Drain off most of the bacon grease, leaving about 2 tbs in the pan. Add the shallots and cook until soft. Add the garlic and stir. Add the mushrooms and cook until dark brown. Remove from heat and add the remaining ingredients as well as the chopped bacon (other than the beer), stir until well combined.
  4. Stuff the artichokes as instructed above.
  5. Place artichokes upright in the pot, fill with 1 cup beer.
  6. Cover and cook until outer leaves come away easily, about 40-60 minutes.
https://domesticfits.com/beer-steamed-stuffed-artichokes-how-to-stuff-an-artichoke/


Farmers Market + Recipe: Roasted & Stuffed Tomatoes

This week I started writing a regular feature for the Glendale Examiner on farmers markets and creating original recipes from what I find there. I love all of what is involved in the previous statement. Farmers markets are one of favorite places to be. Cooking and writing recipes has become a part of who I am. Writing is a skill that I have dedicated myself to learning. And I get to photograph the entire adventure. Now if only this hobby would pay the bills and I could finally quit my day job! Maybe someday, with a lot of work, I’ll be able to tittle my post: I Quit My Job + A Recipe.

The La Canada farmers market is only about a mile from my house. It sits right below the Angeles National Forest, still charred from a fire that ravaged it a few years ago. Although on the smaller side, this particular market has a diverse selection of goods including homemade cheese, imported salts and fresh caught seafood. You can read more about my adventures at the La Canada Market on my Examiner page. 

The produce was incredible. So beautiful.

lc-tomatoes
lc-asparagus

Of all the booths, none captured my heart like Hepp’s Salt Barrel.

lc-salt-2
salt

I have a special place in my heart for great salt and Hepp’s does it better than most. Don’t ever underestimate the power a great salt has on your cooking. Used properly it can make your food taste 20% better. You can make the same dish as the guy next to you and your salt will make people remember yours and forget his. It has a sneaky way of hiding in your dish, it’s own flavor largely concealed, springing up and grabbing onto the flavors of the other ingredients, brightening and popping them. If a dish tastes “flat” it’s most likely due to salt not being able to do his job.  Salt on the caliber that Hepp’s offers is also a fantastic gift for a foodie, just sayin’.

Somehow, after only a few minutes in his booth, I began to develops a slight crush on Country Fresh Herbs. I was so incredibly impressed by how beautiful and, well, fresh everything looked. It was like produce heaven. My favorite was the Shisido peppers, this is what I want my Trick Or Treat basket to look like next year:

lc-shisido-peppersAfter an hour of wandering among the booths, being sidetracked again and again, I selected 5 ingredients and slowly formulated a recipe.

lc-ingredientsRoasted Tomatoes Stuffed with Goat Cheese and Asparagus

Ingredients:

5 Beefsteak Tomatoes

1 tbs Olive Oil, plus ¼ cup divided

¾ cup Fresh Asparagus, chopped (top half of the stalks only)

1 tbs Chopped Shisido Peppers, seeds removed

½ tsp Salt, plus 1 tsp divided

½ tsp black pepper

1/3 cup Goat Cheese

¼ Cup Israeli Cous Cous

Preheat oven to 425. In a skillet over medium-high heat, add 1 tbs olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the asparagus, peppers, ½ tsp salt and pepper, cooking until the vegetables are slightly soft, about 5 minutes.

lc-asp-choppedRemove from heat, allowing to cool a bit. Cut a thin slice off the top of every tomato, enough to expose the insides. Using a spoon, remove the flesh and seeds from the inside of each tomato, leaving the walls and bottomintact.

lc-tomatoes-hulledAdd the goat cheese and Cous Cous to the asparagus pan, stir until combined. In a large bowl, add the remaining olive oil and salt, toss the tomatoes until well coated. Place the tomatoes in a baking dish, cut side up. Fill each tomato with the goat cheese and asparagus mixture.

lc-tomatoes-poCover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes.

Although not officially part of this recipe, I sprinkled each tomato with a bit of my Hepps salt before eating. I might have an addiction in the making.