Many have asked for my pizza dough recipe. We rarely eat pizza, but for these times, we turned this into a Thursday night tradition, with red wine.
Makes four (10-inch) personal, two medium, or one large thin-crust pizzas. Make it once, and it will be quicker the next time.
We cook these on the grill for four minutes, keeping the temperature between 475 and 500. In the oven, preheat oven to 475 for at least 20 minutes. The recipe says to cook for 15-20 minutes, but it depends on your kitchen oven.
1 package yeast
1 cup lukewarm water
Pinch of sugar
1 tsp salt (may use less)
3 - 3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (I use King Arthur)
Place yeast in a medium mixing bowl, and pour hot water over it. Stir in sugar, mix with a fork and allow it to stand until the yeast dissolves and starts to foam (5-10 minutes). Use a wooden spoon to mix in salt and about one cup of the flour. Mix in another cup of flour until dough forms a mass and begins to pull away from sides of the bowl—place dough on the work surface.
Knead in remaining flour a little at a time, kneading 8-10 minutes. By then, the dough should be smooth and elastic. It usually takes three cups of flour. Form into a ball. Lightly oil a mixing bowl, cover with a damp towel, and leave it in a warm place until the dough has doubled in volume, about an hour.
I put it outside when it's warm, but the oven or a warming drawer works. Heat oven to 350 for ten minutes (before first kneading), then turn off the oven and let it rise with the door closed.
To test, poke two fingers into the dough, if indentations remain, the dough is ready. Punch dough down with your fist. Knead for 1-2 minutes. I cut into four pieces, use two and freeze two to use the next week.
Use your favorite pizza ingredients (or whatever is on hand), season with pepper and salt, and drizzle with olive oil. I happened to have a can of pizza sauce that lasted four weeks for my husband. To improvise: use tomato sauce, tomato paste, fresh tomato, or sun-dried tomato. I like mine with caramelized onions, Kalamata olives, parsley, and fresh mozzarella, no pizza sauce. Tastes like I am in Italy.
Wimpy Vegetables, or whatever vegetables are hanging around
The first week of quarantine, I went shopping, and there was no chicken. But the rotisserie chickens smelled divine. It was still soup weather in Kentucky, and I make chicken stock for soups, using the wonderfully roasted bones of a store-bought rotisserie chicken. So I made a large pot because I am not wasting anything.
Debone chicken and use the meat for chicken salad, fajitas, stir-fry, or serve the chicken with potatoes and a vegetable.
Put the bones in a pot with all the skin, fat and juices, and fill a large stockpot with water. Add in the less than pretty vegetables in your refrigerator, along with onions skins, carrot skins, leftover fresh greens like spinach, kale, or arugula. This pot has all that and more: limp green onions, a wilted bunch of parsley, half-used red onions, white onions, the roots and leaves of celery. I cut up another onion or two, and add chunks of carrots; even a soggy potato is okay.
Bring to boil and simmer for a couple of hours. Cool. Strain through a fine wire mesh calendar, and throw away the bones and cooked veggies.
Freeze in two-three cup measures in recycled Yogurt or Cottage Cheese containers. Use as a nutrient-rich and tasty base for soups.
Not being a fan of curry, often an ingredient in lentil soup, I found this recipe years ago. The cayenne gives it a bit of heat. It is nutrient-rich, cheap to make, and filling. It is vegetarian, but I use my chicken stock if not serving vegetarians.
It will feed a family of bears, but I make a half-recipe for us, and it lasts two-three meals.
4 cups grated carrots
1 1/2 cup chopped onions
1 Tablespoon minced garlic (optional)
2 1/2 Tablespoons of olive oil 1 pound package of lentils, rinsed and drained
8 cups water (or Lorraine's Chicken Broth and water)
Season to taste with the following:
2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 Tablespoon of salt (it is a big batch to season)
Ground black pepper
1/8 tsp - 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Saute carrots, onion, and garlic in olive oil until vegetables are soft, about five minutes. Stir in lentils. Saute one minute. Add water and or chicken broth to cover the lentils. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook uncovered, over medium heat until lentils are soft and soup has thickened about 45 minutes. Stir in lemon juice, thyme, salt, black pepper, and cayenne.
Our son loved this soup, whether it was winter or summer in Michigan--we now live in Kentucky but make this soup for his family. It uses basic kitchen ingredients, except for the green onions. Substitute with root onions, chives or shallots, whatever you have.
4 cups, pared, diced potatoes, red or white (I don't peel them anymore)
2 cups water (or Lorraine's chicken broth)
1 1/2 tsp salt or to taste ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions with tops (substitute root onions or chives)
1/4 cup butter
3 Tablespoons flour
Two grated carrots
3 cups hot milk
1 cup Cheddar Cheese (I now use Gruyere, Parmesan Regginana or another hard cheese)
Cook potatoes in water with salt and pepper until tender (they will thicken). Saute green onions and carrots in butter until softened, blend in flour. Add hot milk, a little at a time at first, stirring in the rest of the milk until it is thick and smooth. Add potatoes with the water. Then add cheese. Heat on low until cheese melts.
Coming from the U.S. North, I was sure I did not like Grits until Ken took me to a French restaurant after he picked me up at Nashville airport from an overseas trip. It was the special of the day, and every bite was sublime. French AND Southern? Yes. I am good at copying ingredients I taste in food.
There is an amazing flavor tip to this simple version that I can make in a half hour or so with available ingredients, using quick-cooking quits. For special occasions, use fresh-milled grits and cheese, and/or add in your favorite "shrimp and grits" ingredients. This recipe is simple, tasty, and less caloric.
Recipe serves four, but I adjust for two.
Quick Cooking Grits, follow the recipe for two/four servings using whole milk instead of water. Instead of adding cheese to grits, grate a bit of hard cheese over the finished dish.
3 Tablespoons butter, divided
7 extra-large or jumbo raw shrimp per person, peeled and deveined, shells reserved
1 Tablespoon tomato paste (I freeze this in one-tablespoon portions)
2 1/4 cups water
3 slices bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 garlic clove, minced
Salt and pepper
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
4 scallions, sliced thin (or substitute chives)
Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add shrimp shells and stir until shells are spotty brown (5 minutes or so). Stir in tomato paste and cook 30 seconds. Add water and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer five minutes.
Strain shrimp stock through a fine-mesh strainer, pressing on solids to extract as much flavor as possible. You should have 1 1/2 cups of stock, add water if you are low.
Cook bacon in an empty skillet over medium-low heat until crisp. Add shrimp, garlic, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper. Cook until shrimp begins to turn pink, about two minutes. Transfer shrimp mixture to a bowl.
Melt 1 tablespoon butter in the empty skillet over medium-high heat. Whisk in flour and cook for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in shrimp stock until incorporated. Bring to boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until thickened, about five minutes.
Stir in shrimp mixture, cover, and cook until shrimp are done about three minutes. Turn off heat, stir in lemon juice, Tabasco, and remaining 1 Tablespoon of butter. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve over grits, sprinkle with scallions, and grated hard cheese and pass the Tobasco bottle.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.
Grease bottom only of bread pan. I used a glass pan.
1/3 cup margarine (or butter)
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 3/4 cups flour
2 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup mashed ripe bananas
Grease bottom of pan only (I think this is important as it rises well, and you can slide a knife around to loosen the edges.)
I usually add in a cup of walnuts or pecans, but don't remember Bonnie using nuts.
Cream butter and sugar together, add eggs and beat well. Combine dry ingredients. Add into creamed batter, and beat until just blended well. Add bananas and blend until consistent. Bake for 50 minutes at 350 degrees fahrenheit.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit.
Draw a circle around a large dinner plate (10" or so) on parchment paper.
1 1/4 cup (plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (plus 2 tablespoons) sugar
1/2 cup butter (softened)
2 large eggs (slightly beaten, reserve one)
1 cup raspberries
1 cup blackberries (or two cups of seasonal fruit: blueberries, peaches, plums, nectarines, apricots).
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon fine sugar, or use regular sugar
Combine 1 1/4 cup flour, 1/4 cup sugar, butter and 1 egg in a mixing bowl. Using fingers, mix into soft pliable dough. Form into 4" disk and place it on lightly floured parchment paper. Lightly dust the dough and roll into 10-inch circle. Recipe calls to chill it ten minutes, but I find the butter gets hard and the dough doesn't fold well, so I roll and assemble it.
Mix remaining flour and sugar, and spread around center of dough, leaving about a one-inch margin. Spread berries or other fruit over mixture. Drizzle with lemon juice. Fold edges over the fruit, creating a rustic-looking small tart. Brush all the dough with remaining egg, and sprinkle with fine sugar, if desired. Bake about 35 minutes.
My tips: This makes a cookie-like crust, but I use a bit less than 1/4 cup sugar in dough.
After you make it a couple of times, it is quick and uses what you have. For the pictured tart, I used wild frozen blueberries. I saw this years ago on the the television show, The Chew. The ingredients were ambiguous so I adapted the recipe from countryliving.com