Bored Cook In The Kitchen

Tried and true recipes, new twists on old favorites, and new dishes to expand my family's palate.

Tag Archives: flour

Sausage & Pepper Pizza

The other night I was trying to decide what to make for dinner and thought about making up some Sausage and Pepper’s.  Then I thought about having some pizza instead.  That was when I realized I would just combine the two. 

In the past when I’ve used pizza crust, I’ve told you that I purchase the dough either from the store or one of our local pizza places.  I’m not one of those people who has the talent for bread and dough making.  And, I do believe it’s a talent that some people just seem to have. 

Finally, I decided to try my hand at my own pizza dough, and after making batch after batch of it, I won’t ever be buying a store bought dough again.  Well, actually, that isn’t true.  If it’s on sale or if I’m in a rush I would still buy the store made version.  But, I will admit that working with freshly prepared pizza dough was a wonderful experience.

Here is how I made just one of my most favorite pizza versions.

PIZZA DOUGH:

Pizza Dough recipe from Family Circle  Magazine 10/17/10 issue

  • 1 Cup Warm Water
  • 1 Packet Active Dry Yeast (* I used Freischmann’s Pizza Dough Yeast)
  • 2 3/4 Cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1 tsp. Sugar
  • 1 tsp. Salt (I used Kosher, so I added a little extra)
  • 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil

Place water in a small bowl and stir in the yeast.  Let stand 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, whisk together 2 1/2 cups of the flour, sugard and salt.  Make a well in the center and add the yeast mixture and olive oil.  Stir until dough comes together and forms a ball.  Tur out onto a well floured surface and knead for 5 minutes, adding as much of the remaining 1/4 clour as needed.  Form into a disk and place in a bowl that has been lightly coated with olive oil.  Turn disk over and cover bowl with plastic wrap.  Allow to rise in a warm place for 2 hours. **SEE NOTE**

**NOTE:  If you find yourself making the dough on a cold day and don’t have a warm spot to place it, this is what I have done and it’s worked well.  I turn the oven to 200 degrees until just heated.  Turn off the oven and wait about 15 minutes.  Then I place the bowl with the dough, which I cover with a clean dish cloth, in the oven and allow to rise.  It will usually rise this way in less than an hour. 

TOPPING INGREDIENTS & INSTRUCTIONS:

  • 1 lb. Sweet or Hot Italian Bulk Sausage
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, sliced
  • 1 Medium Sweet Onion, sliced
  • 1 1/4 Cups Pizza Sauce (Use your favorite here)
  • 1 1/2 Cups Freshly Grated Mozzarella Cheese (or as much as you and your family prefer)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a large sauté pan, break up the sausage and brown completely.  This will take about 15 or more minutes.  You want to make sure the sausage is fully cooked and evenly browned. 

Once the sausage is done, remove it to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb any excess oil. 

In the same pan that you just browned the sausage in, add the sliced onions and peppers.  Depending on how lean your sausage is, you may have enough excess grease left in the pan to cook up the onions and peppers.  If you don’t, add 1 or 2 teaspoons of olive oil and sauté the peppers and onions until just soft.

Take your risen dough and form it into whatever shape you prefer.  I did this in a 16″ pizza pan and it came out perfectly. 

Since the toppings are pre-cooked, I decided to pre-bake the crust for a few minutes before adding the toppings. 

Place the dough in the oven and allow to pre-bake for about 6 – 7 minutes.  Remove from the oven and top the crust with the pizza sauce, sausage, peppers, onions and mozzarella cheese. 

Return the pizza to the oven and cook until the top is bubbly, the cheese melted, and the crust is a golden brown.

Sometimes, if I feel like the bottom of the crust is not cooking to the crispness I like, I will slide the pizza off the pizza pan directly on the oven rack half way through the baking process and finish it that way.  If you are using a pizza stone, you won’t need to do this.

Once done, remove from the oven and allow to set for a few minutes.  Slice into 8 equal pieces using a pizza cutter and serve.  Enjoy!

I’ve shared this recipe over at Kim’s blog (Previously known as “Quit Eating Out”) “Recipes to Run On”.  Check out Kim’s site by clicking on the link below and view some other links to some great bloggers.

 

Chicken and Dumplings

I have never once made Chicken and Dumplings.  Growing up all my life in New York, this was never a common dish to see on a menu, nor was it something my family served.

Years ago I tried it for the first time while we stopped overnight in Georgia on our way to Florida.  An extremely long trip in the car with two young boys.  So long of a trip in fact that by the time we reached Maryland I was contemplating ditching my family at a rest stop and heading to the nearest airport to fly myself home.  But that’s a whole other story.

The reason behind this story was because it was the first time I had ever eaten Chicken and Dumplings and I fell in love at first bite.  The restaurant we stopped at was nothing to write home about.  It was pretty much a little dive down the street from the hotel we were staying at.  There was a little round southern woman with the most adorable southern drawl who was not only the cook, but the woman who came to your table to welcome you to her kitchen and tell you what was on the menu that evening. 

When she mentioned Chicken and Dumplings I asked her what it was and she laughed and asked me where I came from.  When I told her New York she said, “Honey, you are in for a treat.” 

And she was so right.  She brought me out a huge bowl of this decadent comfort dish and after the first bite I fell in love with those little dumplings.  I’ve had it several times since, and now that I know of it, I have actually found it on a few restaurant menus in our area.  But nothing has ever compared to the bowl I had from that little dive of a restaurant we stopped at that night.

Despite that it is July, and 98 degrees out with 210% humidity, I got into my head the other day that I wanted this dish.  I had never made it, and I had found a couple of recipes, but all were different.  I decided I needed to find out how to make this from a true “Southern Chick”, so I went to the source and asked some fellow bloggers on Twitter to send me what they had.

I received two recipes from two different women from down South and decided to go with the first one I received.  I’ve told you about Lana before and her blog Never Enough Thyme.  She makes those awesome Overnight Sweet Rolls I’ve become so desperately addicted to!  Well, here is her recipe for Chicken and Dumplings which I followed to perfection.

I made this dish over a period of two days.  On day one I made the chicken broth and then did as her recipe instructed and refrigerated it overnight.  The reason for that trick is because it’s easier to skim off the chicken fat after it’s gotten nice and cold, and you use that glorious fat in the making of the dumplings. Genius!

The next day I made the dumplings, heated up the broth and the chicken on the stove, and dropped those little dough pillows into the softly boiling broth.  What happens next is watching those little pillows puff right up. 

I knew before I served this dish there was no way my husband was going to be thrilled with it.  He’s a weird one who doesn’t get into all the comfort dishes I love.  Creamy, heavy bowls of macaroni and cheese and the like are just not his thing.  But I really could care less, since I was craving this, I was cooking and it was what we were eating for dinner!

My children took one look at it and said, “What are these things.”

In my best southern accent I said, “Dumplings, y’all.”

I got a few weird looks so I switched back to my NY voice and said, “Just eat it and shut your traps before I knock you upside your head with a wooden spoon!”

Not really, but I did give them a look that conveyed the same message.

The result was that my husband ate some leftover ribs from the night before, and my children ate what was on their plates along with stealing the rest of the dumplings out of the remaining broth that was sitting on the stove. 

The other recipe I received was this from Our Life In the Kitchen.  This will be the second version I try, and from the looks of it, I may fall in love with that one as well!

Thanks, Lana.  Your little pillowey dumplings were the perfect antidote to my craving for this comforting dish.  Once again one of your recipes did not disappoint!

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