Friday, June 29, 2012

Zucchini Pizza and Anaheim Pepperoni Pizza

This is not my first post about pizza and I doubt that it will be the last. As I discussed before, some of the simplest foods can have the most diverse methods of cooking. I recently tried a new way of preparing pizza that I've been reading a lot about. This is probably how many of you have been preparing yours, but for me this is an ingenious way of getting that wood fired taste. All you have to do is preheat the oven and pizza stone for about 20 minutes, get it good and hot, then when you put the pizza in turn the oven to broil. This way the top of the crust will get a little charred. I like to put the dough on the stone first (keep it at 500 F) and crisp up the bottom for about 3 minutes. This also makes the pizza easier to put on the stone when it is covered with delicious toppings. Take the partially cooked dough out of the oven and begin to add the sauce, cheese, and toppings. Return to oven and cook the pizza for about 8-10 minutes depending on your oven. The crust us amazing! Perfectly crispy and delicious.

I decided to test this new method with some of the fresh zucchini from my garden. So I shredded some up and added a grilled artichoke heart from the night before as well as some caramelized onions. The results were scrumptious! I always like to make two pizzas so I also included a pepperoni pizza. Only with this one I also wanted to include something from my garden so I roasted an Anaheim chili and added it to the pizza. I really love the smoky heat that it added.

Remember pizza is a great way to experiment with new and interesting flavors. For the dough recipe see this post on pizza.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Nashville Street Food Festival

Last Saturday I had the opportunity to participate in Nashville's first Street Food Festival. The event was sponsored by Wanderland Urban Food Park a company that specializes in gathering these food trucks together. Food bloggers of Nashville were asked to be judges of best savory, best dessert, and best drink. This was a really great opportunity for me and fellow food bloggers to get together and try some new and innovative cuisines.

I find the food truck movement to be really interesting. As an anthropologist who studies the intersections of food and culture I think that the food truck movement will emerge as an interesting topic of study in the near future. Food trucks move away from some of the traditional American concepts of how and where foods can be eaten and create a new sense of identity and community. The trucks themselves are movable representations of art and culture, as well as movable feasts.

I really encourage everyone out there to go and try these food trucks. These unconventional businesses are also locations for discovering some unconventional foods and twists on some classics. No mater what your taste preference is I'm sure that there is a food truck out there that will satisfy your cravings!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Linguine with Garden Veggies

Sorry for the absence of posts lately. I just finished my masters exams! Woo hoo! I've also been busy being the teaching assistant for a summer program at Vanderbilt for some very intelligent and great junior high students. It has been a long week but a great one.

But I'm not the only one around here that has been busy. My garden is really going! I have some Anaheim chiles growing and the tomatoes are popping up every where. I would have been able to enjoy one of the wonderful beauties, except those darn squirrels in our backyard got to them first! I was so angry. If anyone has any suggestions on how to keep them out of there that would be great. I don't want to hurt them I just want them to stop biting and discarding my tomatoes. But the zucchini is great and so is the Swiss chard. So I decided I should cook some of it up and make a fresh, bright pasta meal, perfect for a warm summer evening (before a giant storm hits!).

Linguine with Garden Veggies
1/2 lb of linguine
1 zucchini, grated
1 big bunch of Swiss chard, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
Olive oil
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp crushed red pepper
Parmesan to taste

1) After the zucchini has been grated add a pinch of salt and set in a sieve. The salt will draw out excess water. Let sit for 10 minutes then squeeze to remove water.
2) Boil water for pasta and cook linguine
3) Coat a saute pan with olive oil and add the veggies, garlic, and spices and cook until veggies are softened

4) Add the white wine and let it reduce
5) Once the pasta is cooked add it to the pan and add the Parmesan and cook until everything comes together. you can add more wine or pasta water if it needs it, just cook it a bit longer
6) Serve and enjoy!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Stuffed Poblanos with Chipotle Pork

Last night I decided it was time to try out a new recipe. I needed to step away from writing and working on my exams and do something with my hands and be creative. So I decided to make stuffed chiles. I needed something spicy and comforting and I couldn't think of anything more delicious to make. We had roasted corn the night before and had leftovers and I thought they would give a nice texture and flavor to the spicy pork filling I planned on making.

I love stuffed bell peppers, but these are out of this world. They are smokey and spicy with deep flavors that will heat your taste buds up!

This recipe is actually really easy to make. If you've never roasted chiles before don't be intimidated. It's easy and really transforms the flavor of the chile. All you have to do is place the chiles on a pan and broil them on all sides until the skin begins to blister and pop. Then place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap to steam. Let them sit for about 10 minutes like that and then peel off the burnt skin. And there you have it. Roasted chiles. Ready to be stuffed!

Stuffed Poblanos with Chipotle Pork
3-4 poblanos, roasted
1 lb ground pork
2 ears of roasted corn (canned or frozen will also work)
1/2 onion, diced
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup grated Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese

For the sauce click here

1) Preheat oven to 400 F, prepare poblanos (see above), and make sauce (see link)
2) Heat a large pan with oil and saute onion until translucent then add pork and brown, season with cumin, garlic powder, salt and pepper then add the corn and most of the sauce, reserving some to top the chiles, and let cook until flavors are combined and pork is cooked, about 5 minutes

3) Slice open peeled chiles and remove seeds. Then stuff with poblanos with the pork mixture and top with remaining sauce and cheese and place in oven to cook for 25 minutes

4) Once chiles are cooked and cheese is brown and melted remove from oven and let cook slightly
5) Serve and enjoy!