Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Mexican Happiness

This is a recipe that Whitney has been making for quite awhile, she said it was inspired by a roommate's cooking, but she added her own combination of ingredients. It has a real latin american flavor, and it tastes wonderful! Whitney wanted me to make sure that I made it clear that you could use the base in any sort of way, either as taco filling, with chips, with whatever! Enjoy playing with it!

Creating the Base

1/2 lb. of ground beef
1 can of corn
1 can of black beans
1 can of northern white beans (I think hominy might taste good here)
1 pint of medium salsa
Garlic Salt
Chili Powder
Ground Red Pepper

In a non-stick skillet, brown the beef over medium heat. Mix some garlic salt (a teaspoon or so) into the beef as it is browning.

Once the beef is browned, add the cans of corn, beans, and salsa. Stir to combine.

Now to try and explain Whitney's method of spicing. I asked her for specific measurements, but she has no idea! So here's how she does it: When she's adding a spice, she sprinkles it completely over the top of the mix, stirs it in and then tastes it to see if she's added enough. It usually takes two to three tries of that to get it right. She does say that she added a little more garlic salt, and not very much ground red pepper.

Let it simmer until the flavors combine, a nice juicy forms with it, and it looks like this:

The way we arranged the Mexican Happiness tonight is that we made homemade tortillas to use as a base for tostadas. We then added shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, and grated cheese. Another favorite is to put the base in a bowl, add the shredded cheese, and eat it with corn chips.


Sunday, September 20, 2009


So, I keep bragging about my Wife's cooking on facebook, and I keep getting asked for recipes. So I decided its time we start a blog, eh? I hope you enjoy. The story behind this is, we never do exactly what the cookbook says, but we will give you the recipe as we did it :) Hopefully you can enjoy and add your own tweaks in the comments!

So, Saturday night was pizza night. Having served my mission in Italy, I really love pizza and have never successfully recreated it. Until last night. We did everything, from throwing the dough (wish we had some pictures of that) to sliding it on a pizza crisper (a pizza tray with holes in it, found it at bed bath and beyond, really recreated the "brick oven" idea) AMAZING stuff!

Pizza Dough

4 1/2 c Bread Flour (it actually is important to get the Bread Flour, we used "Better for Bread" in the yellow bag)

1 1/2 t. salt

2 1/4 t. Yeast

1 1/2 c. lukewarm water

2 T olive oil

Sprinkle the yeast over the warm water and allow to proof.

Meanwhile, put the bread flour and salt in the cuisinart and pulse to combine. (If you don't have a cuisinart, a kitchen aid with the dough hook, or a bowl with your hands will work just fine).

Once the yeast is proofed and foaming (I usually stir it in at some point) add the olive oil to the water.

Turn on the cuisinart and add the liquids through the spout very slowly. Continue mixing until you have a ball. Let the dough rest for two minutes, then mix again for 30 seconds. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover, and let rise for about an hour. Punch down and then let rise for another five minutes.

This recipe makes three 12 inch pizzas. The throwing and the rolling out of the dough is up to you. I usually would roll it until it was about 6 inches in diameter and then throw it. We ended up with a lot of holes and had to start over, but it was fun!

Now for the pizza toppings:

Margherita Pizza (Traditional Italian, and my personal favorite)

2 tomatoes, cored and sliced

5-6 basil leaves rolled and sliced (so you get little ribbons of basil)

2 cups (or more!) mozerella cheese

3 T Olive oil

1 t garlic

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees farenheight. Mix the olive oil and garlic and spread over the crust. Place in the oven for 8 minutes.

Remove from the oven and arrange the tomatoes on the pizza evenly. Salt the tomatoes to taste. Then spread the cheese over the top. Place in the oven for another 12 minutes.

Remove from the oven and immediately sprinkle the basil over the top.

Slice and Eat!!

Potato and Onion Pizza

2 Potatoes, sliced 1/8 inch thick

1 small onion, cut in half and sliced lengthwise

2 T butter

2 T Olive oil

1 t garlic

Thyme, Rosemary, and Salt to taste

2-3 cups shredded mozarella cheese

Caramelizing the onions: Melt the butter over medium high heat. (If you want you can also add a little olive oil, reduces the smoking point of the butter). Add the sliced onions to the butter and sprinkle a little bit of salt on them. Stir them until they're slightly translucent. Reduce the heat to medium low, cover, and let cook for 15 -20 minutes, stirring occasionally until golden brown. Spread onions out on a paper towl and blot to remove the butter.

Preheat the oven to 400-degrees farenheight. Mix the Olive oil and garlic and let rest for a few minutes. Brush over the pizza crust. Layer the potatoes on the pizza very close (not overlapping, but touching) until the pizza is covered. Season with Rosemary, Thyme, and salt (Whitney still thinks we should've used garlic salt here, it was a little underseasoned still). Place in the oven for 12 minutes.

Remove from oven, sprinkle cheese over the top. Back into the oven for 8 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender and the crust is browning.

Remove from oven, let cool for a couple minutes (or as long as you can last), slice, and serve!

Hope you enjoy!