Grilled Zucchini, Portabella’s and Eggplant with Lemon Ricotta & Grilled Flatbread

August 10th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

2 zucchinis, sliced long and thin using a mandolin
1 portabella mushroom, sliced thin
1 grilled Japanese eggplant, sliced round and thin
Salt & pepper
Olive oil
1 cup fresh ricotta
1 tablespoon lemon zest plus 2 teaspoon
Grilled flatbread (recipe follows)

Directions

Follow instructions for the grilled flatbread and keep warm. Place all the ingredients on a flat baking sheet and season with salt and pepper and 2 teaspoons lemon zest, making sure to get both sides. Drizzle olive oil over it, not too much and flip and do the same. Let stand while the lemon ricotta is made. In a medium bowl mix together the lemon juice, ricotta, and zest and season to taste with salt. Heat a grill and grill all vegetables until grilled and soft, or about 3-4 minutes. Place a dollop of the herbed ricotta on the flat bread and spread around, place the grilled vegetables of choice over the top and serve!

Grilled Herbed Flatbread

Makes 6 hand sized breads

Ingredients

1½ cups warm water
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
3½ cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons sea salt
Olive oil
Coarse salt
¼ cup fresh herbs of choice (rosemary being the classic version), chopped fine

Directions

In a small bowl combine warm water and yeast, whisk a bit to mix and let stand for about 10 minutes or until the yeast if frothy and dissolved. In a large bowl mix the flour and salt, add the yeast mixture and about 2 tablespoons of olive. Mix well with hands or a wooden spoon until sticky dough is made, adding more flour or water if needed. Turn the dough out onto a floured flat surface and knead until smooth and elastic or about 5-10 minutes. Grease a large mixing bowl with olive oil and place the dough (smooth and elastic) in a round ball in the bowl and cover with a towel or plastic wrap. Place in a warm area and let rise until more than doubled in size or approximately 1½ hours. Punch down dough and divide into 6 balls. Roll out each ball into hand size flat bread until golden brown with grill marks, or about 3-4 minutes per side. Take off the grill and immediately brush with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and rosemary.

Calzone Dough

June 12th, 2011 § 1 comment § permalink

A calzone is simply an Italian savory turnover of sorts that is made by folding pizza dough in half and forming a “pizza pocket”. The pizza pocket is then filled with sauces and/or vegetables combined to create the flavor and textures of your choice.

Ingredients

1½ packets active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar or honey
Olive oil
Dried herbs (optional)

Directions

In a large bowl, gently mix the warm water, yeast and honey until frothy and creamy, normally about 1-2 minutes. Let stand for 1 minute so the yeast can activate. In a separate large mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt and any optional dried herbs such as oregano or basil. Mix well. Slowly combine the yeast mixture with the flour mixture mixing well until a soft dough forms. Turn the flour on a lightly floured surface and knead until the dough is very smooth and elastic adding more flour as needed. Knead for about 8-10 minutes. In a lightly oiled bowl, preferably ceramic or stainless steel, place dough covered with greased plastic wrap. Place bowl in warm, draft free location for about 1-2 hours or until the dough doubles in size. Flatten the dough to desired size shape and thickness – thin, thick or regular.

Basic Pizza Dough

June 12th, 2011 § 2 comments § permalink

Ingredients

1 packet active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
2½ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar or honey
Olive oil
Dried herbs (optional)

Directions

In a large bowl gently mix the warm water, yeast and honey until frothy and creamy for about 1-2 minutes. Let stand for 1 minute for activation of the yeast. In a separate large mixing bowl combine the flour and salt and any optional dried herbs: oregano, basil etc. Mix well. Slowly combine the yeast mixture to the flour mixture mixing well until a soft dough forms. Turn the flour on a lightly floured surface and knead until very smooth and elastic adding more flour as needed. Knead for about 8-10 minutes. In a lightly oiled bowl, preferably ceramic or stainless steel, place dough covered with greased plastic wrap. Place bowl in a warm, draft free location for about 1-2 hours or until the dough doubles in size. Flatten the dough to desired size shape and thickness – thin, thick or regular.

Beignets

June 12th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes about 30

Ingredients

1 package dry yeast
4 tablespoons warm water
3½ cups plus 2 tablespoons flour
1 tsp. salt
¼ cup sugar
1¼ cup milk
3 eggs, beaten
¼ cups melted butter
Oil for deep frying
Powdered sugar for dusting

Directions

Combine yeast and warm water, set aside. Whisk flour, salt and sugar. Stir in yeast mix, milk, eggs and butter. Mix until dough is formed. Cover with a dish towel and set in a warm place to rise for 1 hour. Heat vegetable oil to 350. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead once or twice and roll out to 38 to ½ inch thick. Cut dough into 3″ squares and place on a lightly floured pan. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Deep-fry beignets, two or three at a time, about 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown and puffed. Remove from oil, drain and dust generously with powdered sugar.

Recipe from the Encyclopedia of Cajun & Creole Cuisine, by Chef John Folse

Semita de Piña (Pineapple Tart)

June 12th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes about 12 tarts

Semita is the most popular pastry in El Salvador and its basically a bread dough filled with jam. The most popular filling is pineapple utilizing El Salvador’s sweet pineapples!

Ingredients

1 cup milk
½ cup butter, unsalted
½ cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
13 cup warm water
1 package active dry yeast
5 cup all purpose flour
3 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1½ cups pineapple preserves (recipe follows)
(egg and water for glaze)
Turbinado sugar for dusting

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a saucepan heat the butter, sugar and milk until all the sugar is dissolved, remove from heat and cool to a lukewarm temperature. In a small bowl whisk together water and yeast and set aside for about 3-4 minutes until yeast is frothy. In a large bowl combine the flour and salt and make a well in the center. Mix together the milk mixture and the yeast mixture and slowly add to the flour bowl mixing as you add forming a bread dough. Once a bread dough is formed and all the ingredients are mixed well, transfer to a floured surface and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic. Transfer to a lightly oiled metal or ceramic bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm spot for about 1½ hours or until doubled in size. Punch the dough down and divide into two sections and place again on a lightly floured surface and roll out the dough into a rectangle sheet the size of a baking sheet. Place the dough on a lightly greased baking sheet (save the trimmings of dough if you have). Spread the pineapple preserves all over the dough evenly leaving a border around the edges for sealing the top layer. Roll out the second section of dough and place over the top of the jam. Making sure to seal the edges (by pressing together tightly). Roll out the strips of dough into long strips and make criss-cross pattern over the tart. Take some beaten egg and water and brush the tops of the tart and sprinkle with the turbanado sugar. Poke many holes in the tart to prevent it from puffing ad let the tart rest for about 30 minutes before placing in the oven to bake. Bake for about 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the dough (on the side) comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let stand about 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

Pineapple Preserves

Makes 2 cups

Ingredients

1 cup pineapple, chopped small to fine
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon lime zest
1 vanilla bean, cut and scraped (scraped parts reserved)
½ teaspoon cinnamon, freshly grated
½ teaspoon ground cloves

Directions

Place all ingredients in a medium sauce pan on low heat and cook slowly stirring often for about 20 minutes.

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