I’m sure we all have those days where you just really need to clean out the fridge or the cabinets. But you also really don’t want to waste the food. Our solution? Throw it onto a pizza. Gone are the days of cheese and pepperoni pizza. Now’s it’s all about the fancy, “my pizza is better and has more toppings than your pizza” pizza.
This happened to me the other day – my husband and I had a some leftover steak and buffalo chicken wings. The steak was just “ok”, not super flavorful. It needed some life. And there weren’t enough wings for us to share. So? Make the dough from our previous pizza recipe, top with leftovers, and you have an amazingly filling, delicious, “best damn pizza you’ve ever had” pizza.
*Ingredients measured for 1/2 of a pizza.
- 1 leftover steak, sliced
- 1/2 of an onion, chopped
- 2 tbsp salted butter
- 2 cups shredded Gruyere cheese
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup arugula (for garnish)
*If you have leftover buffalo wings, you can use it for the other side of the pizza. Pull the meat from the bones, shredding it as you go along. Spread on half of the pizza dough.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Make the dough according to this recipe. While the dough is rising, melt the butter in a saucepan and caramelize the chopped onions. On a cooking sheet, roll the dough to all four corners. On one half (if you’re doing halvsies), layer the steak slices and caramelized onion. Top with the Gruyere and drizzle with the balsamic vinegar. Cook the pizza for roughly 20 minutes, until the crust is golden. A few minutes before the pizza is done, toss on the arugula.
Happy Eating, XO.
Beet Salad with Fried Goat Cheese. Oh right, like I wasn’t going to trash up the health benefits of a salad by pan frying cheese. Puhlease. I don’t eat to live, I LIVE to eat. I need it to be tasty! Now, some of you a) don’t want to take the time to fry the goat cheese b) hate goat cheese and its strong flavor. Don’t fret, my pet: use gorgonzola or mozzarella instead! Be your own boss. Anyway, I was jamming out to some beats on the way to work this morning and told myself I was going to make a salad for dinner tonight (you know more time for a dance party when there is no hard cooking involved). Hmm what do I have lying around that could make my salad awesome, yup canned beets. Now I know you are thinking “ew canned veggies” gross on the preservatives etc etc. BUT, I don’t have the time or energy to deal with real beets so get over it. Plus “lipstick” as I used to call it when I was younger (you know because of the way beets stain your lips with that gorgina red/purply color). Anyway, “lipstick” doesn’t need to be fresh, if anything the fresh stuff requires tons of work with either boiling or pickling and listen here, Id rather focus my prep time on my cheese, so there. Oh and now I am going to be a total “Cheeseball” and play MJ’s “Beat It!” for my beet salad. LOL #nerd #corny.
- 16 oz. log fresh goat cheese
- 1 can of the DelMonte sliced beets (14.5 oz. and drain them obvi).
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 2 teaspoons of Italian blend seasoning (I added a pinch of red chili flakes since goat cheese has such a sharp flavor)
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 8 cups of mixed baby greens (or the Sorrento bagged mix at Trader Joe’s)
- Balsamic vinegar
- Extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup of candied pecans, if you don’t like the sweet some toasted walnuts would work too
Freeze the goat cheese for about 30 minutes until its solid but not totally frozen. While the cheese is hardening, mix together panko bread crumbs, seasoning, salt, pepper, set aside. Set up a breading line in the following order: flour, egg, bread crumbs, parchment/wax paper covered large wooden cutting board. Remove cheese from freezer and slice into 1/2 inch rounds by using plain dental floss or a knife. If using a knife make sure to wipe it off after each cut to stop it from crumbling. If any of your pieces fall apart just pat it together and try to keep a somewhat round shape. It does not have to be perfect. Take goat cheese rounds and dip in flour, then egg and then goat in panko/herb mixture. Lay onto lined cutting board. Continue until all slices have been coated. If your cheese is really soft pop it into the freezer for about 5 minutes to chill. Take a large high-sided skillet, cover the bottom with olive oil and add to range over medium-high heat. Once oil is hot, fry goat cheese rounds until crispy on both sides. Gently remove fried goat cheese from the skillet onto a paper towel lined plate to help soak up any remaining olive oil. Serve fried goat cheese warm. Toss greens with the nuts and balsamic vinegar, add the beets before laying 1-2 goat cheese rounds atop the salad.
Happy Eating, XO.
This is the first summer I’m attempting to grow an herb garden. (I say attempt because it could still all go down hill.). In it, I have chives, basil, cilantro, and peppermint, and by some act of God, I haven’t killed any of them yet. If I haven’t mentioned this already, I have a black thumb. I can barely keep a fake tree alive…
Well, I’m getting to a point where I have too many herbs and I can’t use them fast enough. I started researching some simple, “whip-it-together” recipes that I can use these herbs in and came across this fantastic food blog – Veggie & The Beast, and their literal “whip-it” style recipe. I made this for a BBQ last weekend and it was a hit. It’s so delish and refreshing, and the basil from my garden was the perfect topping.
Whipped Basil Ricotta
- 1 (15-ounce) container whole-milk ricotta
- ¾ cup fresh basil
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt (plus more to taste)
- 5 ounces cream cheese, softened
Strawberry Balsamic Crostini
- 1 (15-ounce) whole wheat baguette
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ pound strawberries, hulled and chopped
- ¼ cup basil, sliced or chopped
- ½ cup balsamic vinegar
- Place the ricotta and ¾ cup basil in a food processor, and process until smooth. There may be some small pieces of basil left, but the color of the ricotta should be a light green. Add salt and cream cheese, and pulse a few times until the cream cheese is fully incorporated. Taste and add more salt if you’d like.
- Pour the balsamic into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and let simmer for 15-20 minutes, until it has reduced by half. Set aside to cool while you get the other ingredients ready (it will thicken slightly in this time)
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Slice the baguette into ¼-inch slices. Brush both sides with olive oil. Sprinkle the top of the bread with salt.
- Bake for 15 minutes, until lightly golden.
- Slice or chop the additional ¼ cup fresh basil leaves for garnish.
- Let the baked bread cool for 5 minutes, then spoon on the basil ricotta, top with strawberries and additional sliced basil, and finish with a drizzle of the balsamic glaze.
We all need a lil night to indulge. Some yummy food, a good bottle of wine, and a night in to cozy up with your hunny. This is the ideal dinner for a candle lit night at home. So get the DVD ready, grab some fresh flowers and get this meal on the table. Lucky for you, there is wine in this recipe so the bottle will be open before your significant other even comes over. I restrained and didn’t use garlic in this dish (for the obvious reasons involving kissing & bad breath), but most certainly will next time. Anyway, Serves 3-4 so you will have left overs unless you double-date it..
- 4 boneless chicken breasts
- 3 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms
- 2 Tablespoon of olive oil (I cut down to 1 tbsp. because I figured there was enough butter)
- 2 Tablespoon of butter
- 2 tsp. of fresh thyme leaves (you know if you have a herb garden or if you are normal and want to use 1/2 tsp. dried thyme)
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 3 Tablespoons heavy cream (subbed for the half & half I had in the fridge for coffee)
- 1 1/2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
In a skillet over medium – medium/high heat melt butter and combine with olive oil. Prepare chicken breasts by sprinkling both sides with a little sea salt.
Saute the chicken breasts until golden and cooked through; remove and set aside. In the same skillet, saute the mushrooms until soft and starting to brown (5 minutes). Add the thyme, wine, and vinegar. Let the wine reduce, then add 2-3 Tablespoons of the half & half, and heat until warmed through. You can serve with a vegetable and some rice.
Happy Eating, XO.