Tag Archives: balsamic

Homemade Pizza with Nectarines, Ricotta and Basil

7 Aug

This dinner was eaten standing up.

After all that effort to put together a nice meal, we never even made it to the table.

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I’ll take it as a compliment.

I’m most excited to finally find a great pizza dough recipe. Once you’ve got that down, the toppings are the easy part. This recipe was awesome. It created a nice crispy, chewy, thin crust and was quite easy.

I’ll never stray.

I lifted this recipe (once again) from Alexandra’s Kitchen.

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Pizza Dough

3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for rolling
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 3/4 cups lukewarm water
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons active-dry yeast (I used quick-rising)
2 teaspoons olive oil

1) In one bowl, combine flour and salt. In another small bowl, combine yeast, sugar and warm water. Let sit for 5 minutes or so until bubbly. Add olive oil.
2) Gradually add liquids to flour mixture and knead until firm and smooth, about 5 minutes.
3) Divide dough into four balls and coat with small amount of olive oil. Let sit in a warm place on greased pan with plastic wrap loosely covering for about 1 – 1.5 hours until dough has risen (almost doubled) in size.
4) Roll out with floured rolling pin until dough is flat (Note: this recipe makes “personal sized” pizzas)
5) Pre-heat oven to 500. Place on greased pan or dry pizza stone and cover with whatever yummy toppings you desire! (Note: I used a pizza stone with great success). I baked the pizza with ricotta and nectarines and added the other toppings after. Bake 10-15 minutes until crust is golden and crispy (although not too crispy like Pizza #1!)

I reduced about 1/2 a cup of balsamic vinegar while the pizza was baking over medium-high heat until syrupy (be careful not to burn!)

Toppings

2 ripe nectarines, sliced
1 cup fresh ricotta cheese
1/2 cup fresh basil (after)
2 tablespoons balsamic reduction (after)
Slices fresh Parmesan (after)
Olive oil (after)
Arugula (after)

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I still have dough left over. Apparently it freezes  very well (we shall see). Making dough in advance makes for very quick meals later on! I can’t wait to have more homemade pizza in a pinch. Having the dough pre-prepped will help me feel extra domestic goddess-y later on.  

What are your favourite pizza toppings?

Let me know if you try this out!

xo

M

 

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Rosemary and Balsamic-Glazed Pork Chops

18 Apr

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This was a super easy and quick recipe to whip-up. In fact, Scott made this as I coached him (with feet-up) from the kitchen table (so fun!). These chops would be great for when you have company and are caught off guard have not a lot of time to prepare.

You’ll Need
-6 tablespoons good balsamic vinegar
-2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
-1/4 sea salt
-3 cloves garlic, minced
-2 boneless centre-cut pork chops
-1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

1) Chop garlic and rosemary finely, mix with salt and pepper to create a rub.

2) Place vinegar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and cook until reduced by half (about 5 minutes). Don't burn! (Learned this the hard way!)

3) Heat a grill pan to medium high. Rub pork with rosemary mixture on both sides. Place pork in the pan and cook for about 5 minutes on each side until desired done-ness. Baste in balsamic glaze throughout cooking process, while reserving some for final drizzle.

4) Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Tip: bring raw pork to room temperature before cooking (but not too long if exposed to air!). It helps with tenderness. Optional: marinating pork in milk for a few hours before also helps to tenderize.

Enjoy while lounging in front of reruns of Modern Family or alternatively, while entertaining your own elegant, real life one.

M

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Baked Balsamic n’ Honey Glazed Tempeh- Prepare to be Converted

18 Dec

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There have been three lonely packs of tempeh sitting in the fridge forever. Three. That’s a lot.  Like an old hand-me-down hanging in the closet, time and time again I just never seemed to reach for it.

I realize that I have sung the praises of tempeh and its health benefits in the past (as in this post and this post) but lately it has just seemed…uninspired.

So, determined not to toss it (as that would be very wasteful), I searched the miraclenet and in 10 seconds found this recipe from Making Love in the Kitchen, one of my favourite Toronto healthy eating sites/blog (Check it out, guys).

As usual, it did not disappoint!

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First of all, let me just share some major reasons to love tempeh: 

  1. It is a probiotic food- like yogurt, meaning that it helps your body produce healthy bacteria. It also has antibiotic properties.
  2. Tempeh is a complete protein, containing all of the essential amino acids.
  3. AND very importantly, unlike tofu, tempeh maintains all of the fiber of the bean, and gains some digestion benefits from the enzymes produced during the fermentation process used to make it.

Still not convinced? Then I suggest you try this recipe.

Baked Balsamic and Honey Glazed Tempeh 

(recipe is for two 250 gram packages)

  • 2 packages of tempeh cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 cup of balsamic vinegar
  • 5 tablespoons of honey
  • 4 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme (or dried)
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 bay leaves

Marinade: 

  1. Add vinegar, garlic, honey, thyme, tamari, oil and bay leaves to large bowl and add tempeh cubes to marinate in the fridge and mix (2-24 hours, mixing occasionally)

Cooking

  1. Preheat oven to 350, place tempeh and marinade in a glass dish and cook covered for 20 minutes
  2. Remove from oven, stir, and recover. Cook another 20 minutes. Your house should smell amazing by now, and your mouth should be watering.
  3. Remove cubes from sauce and transfer to bowl.
  4. Over medium high heat, cook sauce until bubbling. Add cornstarch to thicken (tip: stir cornstarch with small amount of water in separate bowl first to make a loose paste before adding to sauce. This eliminates clumps).
  5. Cook for about five minutes, until syrupy. I added fresh black pepper for some more bite. Pour over tempeh and mix.
  6. Garnish with scallions and fresh basil. Serve over rice or quinoa. Eat!

Best tempeh recipe I’ve tried yet! This is a very simple way to incorporate it into your diet. Also great for those who are vegan and/or gluten free.

ps. If you are making this on the fly and don’t have time to marinate it first, its no biggie, but recommended. Proof: this dish was even better the next day.

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And hey, I have 99 likes on Facebook- such a tease. Anyone care to make it an even 100? It would make my day!

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