Friday, September 16, 2005

Weekend's cooking plans.

Trader Joe's sells ready-made pizza dough that's really top-shelf and easy to work with, so this weekend I'm going to try it in a handful of different ways. Lyle's cousin Stan is in town so they'll be around to eat all the leftovers, and tomorrow night (Saturday) I'm going to give each of them an extra twenty so when they go out they get loaded enough that they puke it all up before they get home. There's nothing worse than getting yelled at for feeding Lyle and his cousin Stan things with tomato sauce.

All of the ingredients in the following recipes can be found at Trader Joe's:

Recipe #1: Pizza with chopped clams, minced garlic, red pepper flakes, part-skim mozzarella, chopped parsley, and tomato sauce. Roll dough thin, top, brush exposed outer crust with olive oil, cook on pizza stone at 500F for 10 mins. (Why skim? Fresh mozzarella in water gives off too much liquid for a home oven to evaporate and I hate watery pizza.)

Recipe #2: Calzone of tomato sauce, part-skim mozzarella, uncooked hot italian chicken sausage, chopped olives, minced garlic. Remove sausage from casing, mash into bits in pan with wooden spoon, and brown deeply in olive oil with generous salt, ground pepper, and garlic or onion powder. Drain. Cut dough in half, roll one, fill, crimp, poke steam holes, brush w/egg wash, 450F for 10 mins.

Recipe #3: Empanada of ground beef, honey, cinnamon, cumin, scallion, bacon. Brown chopped bacon, drain, set aside. Brown beef, minced scallion, cinnamon, cumin in pan until cooked through, drain, stir in bacon and honey. Roll dough thin, cut into 16 pieces, fill. Seal w/fork and pan fry in 1/2" oil in skillet until dark golden (oil at 365F). Dust w/cinnamon sugar & serve w/more honey.

Recipe #4: Khryzshno Blachinda. Same as #3 above, but filling consists of fully-cooked (steamed or baked) and slightly mashed cubed sweet potato, chopped green onion, black pepper, sour cream, chopped toasted walnut, and drained chopped bacon. Dough exceedingly thin. Press to release any air and crimp tightly. Fry at 365F until dark golden.

Anyhow, I'll let you know how these turn out. Dough can be tricky because it can steam on the inside and become gummy while the outside becomes a deceivingly nice golden brown. I guess the best way to get around that is to chill the filled, sealed item first so the fillings never get to the steaming point. Anyhow, anyhow. Can't wait until Sunday to hear what luckless parked car(s) this all slid down the outside panels of.