Neapolitan Pizza

PREP TIME 2 hrs

COOK TIME 30 mins

TOTAL TIME 2 hrs 30 mins

YIELD 2 – 10-inch pizzas

Ingredients

Pizza Dough:

  • 1 1/2 cups (355 ml) warm water (105°F-115°F)
  • 1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
  • 3 3/4 cups (490g) bread flour
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (omit if cooking pizza in a wood-fired pizza oven)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon honey

Pizza Ingredients and Topping Options

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Tomato sauce (smooth or pureed)
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Fresh soft mozzarella cheese, separated into small clumps
  • Fontina cheese, grated
  • Parmesan cheese, grated
  • Mushrooms, very thinly sliced if raw, otherwise first sautéed
  • Bell peppers, stems and seeds removed, very thinly sliced
  • Italian pepperoncini, thinly sliced
  • Italian sausage, cooked ahead and crumbled
  • Sliced black olives
  • Chopped fresh basil
  • Baby arugula, tossed in a little olive oil, added as pizza comes out of the oven
  • Pepperoni, thinly sliced
  • Onions, thinly sliced raw or caramelized

Preparing the Pizza Dough:

Proof the yeast:

  1. Place the warm water and honey in a bowl. Sprinkle the yeast over the warm water and let it sit for 5 minutes until the yeast is dissolved.
  2. After 5 minutes stir if the yeast hasn’t dissolved completely. The yeast should begin to foam or bloom, indicating that the yeast is still active and alive.

Make and knead the pizza dough:

  1. Add the flour, salt, and olive oil, and mix with a spatula until the dough comes together.
  2. Remove dough to a lightly floured surface and knead the pizza dough for about 7 minutes.
  3. The dough should be a little sticky, or tacky to the touch. If it’s too wet, sprinkle in a little more flour.

Let the dough rise:

  1. Spread a thin layer of olive oil over the inside of a large bowl. Place the pizza dough in the bowl and turn it around so that it gets coated with the oil.
  2. At this point you can choose how long you want the dough to ferment and rise. A slow fermentation (24 hours in the fridge) will result in more complex flavors in the dough. A quick fermentation (1 1/2 hours in a warm place) will allow the dough to rise sufficiently to work with.
  3. Cover the dough with plastic wrap.
  4. For a quick rise, place the dough in a warm place (75°F to 85°F) for 1 1/2 hours.
  5. For a medium rise, place the dough in a regular room temperature place (your kitchen counter will do fine) for 8 hours. For a longer rise, chill the dough in the refrigerator for 24 hours (no more than 48 hours).
  6. The longer the rise (to a point) the better the flavor the crust will have.

Preparing the Pizzas:

Divide the dough into two balls:

Remove the plastic cover from the dough. Dust your hands with flour and push the dough down so it deflates a bit. Divide the dough in half.

Form two round balls of dough. Place each in its own bowl, cover with plastic and let sit for 15 minutes (or up to 2 hours).

Prep the toppings:

Prepare your desired toppings. Note that you are not going to want to load up each pizza with a lot of toppings as the crust will end up not crisp that way.

About a third a cup each of tomato sauce and cheese would be sufficient for one pizza. One to two mushrooms thinly sliced will cover a pizza.

Flatten the dough ball, and stretch out into a round:

  1. Working one ball of dough at a time, take one ball of dough and flatten it with your hands on a lightly floured work surface.
  2. Starting at the center and working outwards, use your fingertips to press the dough to 1/2-inch thick. Turn and stretch the dough until it will not stretch further.
  3. Let the dough relax 5 minutes and then continue to stretch it until it reaches the desired diameter—10 to 12 inches.

Treat the dough gently!

  1. You can also hold up the edges of the dough with your fingers, letting the dough hang and stretch, while working around the edges of the dough.
  2. If a hole appears in your dough, place the dough on a floured surface and push the dough back together to seal the hole. Use your palm to flatten the edge of the dough where it is thicker. Pinch the edges if you want to form a lip.
  3. Brush the dough top with olive oil:
  4. Use your fingertips to press down and make dents along the surface of the dough to prevent bubbling. Brush the top of the dough with olive oil (to prevent it from getting soggy from the toppings). Let rest another 10 to 15 minutes.
  5. Top with sauce and desired toppings. Do not over load!

Bake:

Bake pizza in the 475°F oven until the crust is browned and the cheese is golden, about 10 to 15 minutes.

Pizza Sauce Recipe

Prep: 5 mins

Cook: 75 mins

Active: 15 mins

Total: 80 mins

Serves: 2 to 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) unsalted butter
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, grated on microplane grater (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and split in half
  • 2 (6-inch) sprigs fresh basil with leaves attached
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

Directions

  1. Process tomatoes and their juice through food mill, pulse in food processor until puréed, or purée with immersion blender.
  2. Purée should not be completely smooth but should have no chunks larger than 1/16th of an inch. Set tomatoes aside.
  3. Combine oil and butter in medium saucepan and heat over medium-low heat until butter is melted.
  4. Add garlic, oregano, pepper flakes, and large pinch salt and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant but not browned, about 3 minutes.
  5. Add tomatoes, onion halves, basil sprigs, and sugar.
  6. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to lowest setting (bubbles should barely be breaking the surface), and cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced by half, about 1 hour.
  7. Discard onions and basil stems. Season to taste with salt.

Allow to cool and store in covered container in the refrigerator for up

ANTIPASTO SALAD RECIPE

SERVINGS: 12 PEOPLE

Ingredients

  • 3 cups romaine chopped
  • 1/2 cup green olives halved
  • 1/2 cup medium black olives
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1/2 cup mini pepperoni
  • 1/4 cup jarred roasted red peppers chopped
  • 8 ounce Genoa Salami cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese balls
  • 13 ounce artichoke hearts quartered
  • 8 ounces provolone cheese cut into bite size pieces

Lemon Olive Oil Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl add the romaine, olives, tomatoes, pepperoni, red peppers, salami, mozzarella, artichoke hearts, and provolone.
  2. To make the lemon olive oil dressing: In a small bowl whisk the olive oil, lemon juice, and Italian seasoning. Pour over the solid and toss.

 

Chicken Piccata

Total: 40 min

Prep: 15 min

Cook: 25 min

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 skinless and boneless chicken breasts, butterflied and then cut in half
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • All-purpose flour, for dredging
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup brined capers, rinsed
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped

Directions

  1. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge chicken in flour and shake off excess.
  2. In a large skillet over medium high heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter with 3 tablespoons olive oil.
  3. When butter and oil start to sizzle, add 2 pieces of chicken and cook for 3 minutes.
  4. When chicken is browned, flip and cook other side for 3 minutes. Remove and transfer to plate. Melt 2 more tablespoons butter and add another 2 tablespoons olive oil.
  5. When butter and oil start to sizzle, add the other 2 pieces of chicken and brown both sides in same manner. Remove pan from heat and add chicken to the plate.
  6. Into the pan add the lemon juice, stock and capers. Return to stove and bring to boil, scraping up brown bits from the pan for extra flavor.
  7. Check for seasoning. Return all the chicken to the pan and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove chicken to platter.
  8. Add remaining 2 tablespoons butter to sauce and whisk vigorously. Pour sauce over chicken and garnish with parsley.

Chef John’s Basic Pasta Dough

Yield 2 pounds raw pasta

Ingredients

  • Eggs                       8 each
  • oil, olive 1/2 fl oz
  • salt                 1/2 tbl
  • flour, bread 12 oz
  • flour, semolina 12 oz

Directions

  1. Place the eggs, oil and salt in a large mixer bowl.
  2. Use the paddle attachment to combine.
  3. Add one-third of the flour and stir until the mixture begins to form a soft dough. Remove the paddle attachment and attach the dough hook.
  4. Gradually add more flour until the dough is dry and cannot absorb any more flour.
  5. Remove the dough from the mixer, wrap it well with plastic wrap and set it aside at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes.
  6. After the dough has rested, roll it into flat sheets by hand or with a pasta machine. Work with only a small portion at a time, keeping the remainder well covered to prevent it from drying out.
  7. While the sheets of dough are pliable, cut them into the desired width with a chef’s knife or pasta machine.

 

Sauteed Vegetables

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 bell pepper, strips
  • 1 carrot julienne
  • ½ cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 6 cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup zucchini, batons
  • 1/2 cup yellow summer squash, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh oregano
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons chicken stock

Directions

In a large saute pan over medium-high heat, add the olive oil and heat. Add the garlic and saute, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the vegetables and cook until just starting to wilt, about 2 minutes. Add the oregano, soy sauce and chicken stock and stir well and cook just until vegetables are wilted, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and serve.

Shrimp Scampi

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 shallot, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Pinch red pepper flakes, optional
  • 1/2 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/4 tsp Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped parsley leaves

Directions

  1. In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter in 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Saute the shallots, garlic, and red pepper flakes (if using) until the shallots are translucent, about 3 to 4 minutes.
  3. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper; add them to the pan and cook until they have turned pink, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Remove the shrimp from the pan; set aside and keep warm. Add wine and lemon juice and bring to a boil. Add 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons oil.
  5. When the butter has melted, return the shrimp to the pan along with the parsley and cooked pasta.
  6. Stir well and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle over a bit more olive oil and serve immediately.

 

Citrus Roasted Chicken

Servings 4 people

Ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken (3-5 pounds)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced + 1-3 additional whole garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped (or ½ tablespoon dried rosemary)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage leaves, chopped (or ½ tablespoon dried ground sage)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped (or ½ tablespoon dried parsley)
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 large orange, quartered
  • 1 lemon, quartered
  • 1 small yellow onion, peeled and quartered
  • 1 can (14 ounces) chicken broth
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • ¼ cup olive oil (see notes)

Instructions

Prep and roast the chicken

  1. Position rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400°F.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together softened butter, 2 minced garlic cloves, chopped rosemary, sage, parsley, kosher salt and pepper.
  3. Pat the chicken dry, remove giblets (if there are any), and sprinkle the cavity with salt and pepper. Gently rub the inside the skin of the chicken breast with half of the butter herb mixture. Then rub the outside of the entire chicken with the remaining half of the butter herb mixture.
  4. Stuff the cavity with the quartered orange, lemon, onion, and 1-3 whole cloves of peeled garlic. Tie the chicken legs together with kitchen string. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper.
  5. Pour ½ cup of the chicken broth into the bottom of a large roasting pan; set aside the rest of the chicken broth for later. Place a rack in the pan, then place the chicken, breast side up, on top of the rack.
  6. Roast at 400°F for one hour. Baste with chicken broth if necessary. During this time, whisk together the orange juice, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Set aside half of this citrus juice oil blend in a separate bowl.
  7. At one hour, turn the heat down to 375°F, and baste the chicken using some of the citrus juice/oil blend. Continue basting as needed and roast for about 35-45 more minutes, or until the chicken is fully cooked, when a meat thermometer registers 165°F.
  8. Remove from the oven, cover and tent with aluminum foil, and allow to rest at room temperature for 10 minutes before slicing.

Make the pan sauce

  1. set the roasting pan over two burners and add the remaining half of the citrus oil blend you had set aside. If you want thicker sauce, whisk in flour or cornstarch. Strain into a separate bowl or gravy boat and serve alongside the chicken.

 

Pork Chops Marinated

Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 4 bone in pork chops, 2 cm / 4/5″ thick about 280g/9 oz each (Note 1)
  • 1 tbsp oil

MARINADE:

  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 garlic cloves , minced
  • ¼ tsp black pepper

Instructions

  1. Place Marinade ingredients in a ziplock bag. Massage to combine.
  2. Add chops. Massage to coat in the Marinade. Marinate for 1 – 24 hours. (Note 2)
  3. Take the chops out of the fridge 20 minutes before cooking.
  4. Brush BBQ grill or drizzle oil in pan, heat on medium high. Add pork and cook for 4 minutes or until the underside is caramelised and the pork releases from the grill, then turn the chops and cook for 3 minutes (Note 2 for thin chops).
  5. Baste both sides with residual marinade in ziplock bag, then cook the basted side for 30 seconds before serving. The chops should have a great crust
  6. Transfer chops to a plate, cover loosely with foil. Rest for 3 minutes before serving.

 

Shrimp Kabobs

Servings 4

INGREDIENTS

For the marinade

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon honey
  • 3/4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoons parsley leaves chopped
  • 1 teaspoons thyme leaves chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon minced garlic

For the kabobs

  • 1/2 pound shrimp peeled and deveined, tails can be left on or off depending on your preference
  • 1/2 red bell pepper cut into 3/4 inch pieces
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper cut into 3/4 inch pieces
  • 1/2 red onion cut into 3/4 inch pieces

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Combine all the marinade ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk until thoroughly mixed.
  2. Place the shrimp and vegetables in the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to 8 hours.
  3. Thread the shrimp, bell peppers and onions onto skewers.
  4. Preheat the grill or a grill pan to medium high heat.
  5. Cook for 2-3 minutes per side, or until shrimp are pink and opaque and vegetables are tender. Serve immediately.

 

 

Peruvian-Style Roast Chicken with Green Sauce

Servings: 4

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE CHICKEN

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup lime juice, from 2 limes
  • 4 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 4 pound whole chicken

FOR THE GREEN SAUCE

  • 3 jalapeño chili peppers, seeded if desired (I use about half the seeds for a medium-hot sauce), and roughly chopped (see note)
  • 1 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup mayonnaise, best quality such as Hellmann’s
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, from one lime
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

INSTRUCTIONS

FOR THE CHICKEN

  1. Combine all of the ingredients except the chicken in a blender or mini food processor, and blend until smooth.
  2. Remove the giblets from the inside of the chicken and pat the outside of the chicken dry with paper towels; place in a bowl, breast side up with the legs facing you. Using the handle of a wooden spoon or your fingers, loosen the skin from the flesh over the breasts and legs, being careful not to tear the skin or push all the way through (you want the marinade to stay inside the bird).
  3. Spoon about ⅔ of the marinade evenly underneath the skin, and spread the remaining ⅓ evenly over the skin.
  4. Marinate the chicken in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours or overnight.
  5. Adjust the oven rack to the lower-middle position, and preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a roasting pan with aluminum foil for easy clean-up.
  6. Spray a rack (preferably a v-shape) with non-stick cooking spray and place the chicken on top. Tie the legs together with kitchen string. Roast for 20 minutes, until the skin is golden.
  7. Turn the heat down to 375 degrees, and continue to roast for about an hour and ten minutes more, or until the juices run clear when you cut between the leg and thigh. (Keep an eye on it — if it’s browning too quickly, cover it loosely with foil.)
  8. Tent the chicken with foil and let rest for about 20 minutes. Tilt the chicken over the roasting pan to release the juices, then transfer to a cutting board. Carve the chicken and serve with green sauce.

FOR THE GREEN SAUCE

  1. Combine all of the ingredients except the olive oil in a blender or food processor and blend into a smooth sauce. With the motor running, open lid and slowly drizzle in olive oil. It will seem very runny at this point but, don’t worry, it will thicken up as it sits. Transfer the sauce to a bowl, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup

Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 14.5 ounce cans diced tomatoes , with the juice
  • 1 carrot , finely diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 small onion , finely diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 rib celery , finely diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cup half and half (or whole milk)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

Instructions

  1. Add oil to a large soup pot over medium high heat. Once hot, add carrots, onions, and celery and sauté them for a few minutes.
  2. Add diced tomatoes, tomato paste, chicken broth, oregano, and dried basil. Bring to a gentle boil and cook for several minutes, until the vegetables are tender.
  3. Use an immersion blender or regular blender (you may need to do this in batches, depending on how big your blender is) to puree the soup until smooth. (This step is optional, if you like a smooth soup). Return it to the soup pot.
  4. In a separate pot, prepare the roux. Add butter to the pot over medium low heat and allow to melt. Stir in the flour and whisk together constantly for about 10 minutes or until the roux is a nice golden brown color.
  5. Add a big ladle full of the soup to the roux–it will start to form a thick paste. Add a few more big scoops of soup to the roux and stir well until smooth. Add the roux mixture to soup pot and stir to combine.
  6. Stir in the parmesan cheese, half and half, salt, pepper and basil. Add additional oregano and basil if needed, to taste. Stir well. Cook for a few more minutes until warmed through.
  7. Store tomato basil soup covered in the refrigerator for up to one week.
  8. Try it served in a yummy homemade bread bowl!

Classic Minestrone Soup

Yield: 6 bowls

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 medium ribs celery, chopped
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 2 cups chopped seasonal vegetables (potatoes, yellow squash, zucchini, butternut squash, green beans or peas all work)
  • 4 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 large can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, with their liquid (or 2 small 15-ounce cans)
  • 4 cups (32 ounces) vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup whole grain orecchiette, elbow or small shell pasta
  • 1 can (15 ounces) Great Northern beans or cannellini beans, rinsed and drained, or 1 ½ cups cooked beans
  • 2 cups baby spinach, chopped kale or chopped collard greens
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for garnishing (optional)

 

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Warm 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or stockpot over medium heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add the chopped onion, carrot, celery, tomato paste and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables have softened and the onions are turning translucent, about 7 to 10 minutes.
  2. Add the seasonal vegetables, garlic, oregano and thyme. Cook until fragrant while stirring frequently, about 2 minutes.
  3. Pour in the diced tomatoes and their juices, broth and water. Add the salt, bay leaves and red pepper flakes. Season generously with freshly ground black pepper.
  4. Raise heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil, then partially cover the pot with the lid, leaving about a 1” gap for steam to escape. Reduce heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer.
  5. Cook for 15 minutes, then remove the lid and add the pasta, beans and greens. Continue simmering, uncovered, for 20 minutes or until the the pasta is cooked al dente and the greens are tender.
  6. Remove the pot from the heat, then remove the bay leaves. Stir in the lemon juice and remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Taste and season with more salt (I usually add about ¼ teaspoon more) and pepper until the flavors really sing. Garnish bowls of soup with grated Parmesan, if you’d like.
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