Tag Archives: flour

Pesto chicken pizza

Be still, my heart...

Pesto—ground-up basil leaves, pine nuts, grated cheese, and olive oil—is a standby summer favorite that passes well into fall. The slightly tart, satisfying spread easily dresses up everything from pasta to vegetables to salad in a way that will please even the pickiest eaters in your household. It freezes fabulously, so stock up this fall and enjoy it year-round! And when you inevitably find yourself up to your overalls in plenteous greens by the end of the summer, it’s a great way to use up all of that extra basil.

While it’s simple to make and freeze your own pesto (add marble mortar and wooden pestle to ingredients listed above), this recipe uses ready-made. Look for it at your local farmers market.

Prep time: 1 hour

Total time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Ingredients

PIZZA DOUGH

– 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

– 1 cup warm water

– 1 ½ teaspoons sugar

– 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

– 1 teaspoon salt

– 1 envelope active dry yeast

– Polenta (for dusting)

– Butter (for coating)

CHICKEN

– 2 chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces

– A small bowl of flour, for coating

– Pepper, salt, and garlic powder for coating

– Extra virgin olive oil for sautéing

TOPPING

– A 5.5 oz ball of mozzarella cheese, grated

– 1 ½ cups pesto

– 1 egg yolk

– Garlic powder

Instructions

  1. Start with the pizza dough. Put the warm water in a small bowl and stir in the yeast and sugar. Let stand for about 5 minutes, or until it begins to bubble.
  2. Combine 2 ½ cups of all-purpose flour in a large bowl with oil. Stir in the yeast mixture (Step 1) until the dough becomes stiff. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead until you have an elastic, smooth ball.
  3. Coat the inside of another large bowl with butter, and run the ball of dough inside the bowl until its entire surfaced has been buttered. Leave the dough in the bowl, cover with a dishtowel, and let sit in a warm place for 30 minutes. (Dough should double in bulk.) Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 425º Farenheit.
  4. While the dough is sitting, heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet. Combine a dash each of salt, pepper, and garlic powder (or more to taste) with a small bowl of flour. When the oil is hot, roll each bite-size piece of chicken in the flour mixture until it’s coated, and sauté in the olive oil until the chicken is golden brown.
  5. After the dough has doubled, punch it down on a floured surface and shape it to fit a pizza pan or cookie sheet that has been sprinkled with polenta. Use a rolling pin if you’d like, and then roll the edges inward about an inch and a half to create a manageable crust.

    I can't do this yet, but a girl can dream.

  6. Spread the pesto evenly on the dough, sprinkle with grated mozzarella cheese, and top with chicken.
  7. In a small bowl, combine one egg yolk with a dash of garlic powder, and brush this mixture on the remaining crust.
  8. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes at 425º Farenheit.

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Reconciliation Chocolate Cake

This is the chocolate cake that will fix/solidify/start your relationship (if chocolate has any sway whatsoever over you or your ladyfriend, which is more often than not the case with people who possess a palate and taste buds.) In my experience, the magnitude of the taste and the presumed investment of time in the preparation are enough to bring together two women in love, even if they’ve parted before. When combined with the careful application of tealight candles and the Amelie soundtrack, this is just the right recipe to wow your ex all the way back into your bed.

And (trust me) make-up sex after chocolate this divine is…great.

The school of thought regarding Molten Chocolate Cakes is contentious, at best. A New York City chef claimed to have invented the recipe by accident in 1987 when he removed a chocolate cake from the oven before it had cooked completely and decided to serve it anyway, having found that the center was moist and gooey. A group of French chefs quickly contested, claiming that their country’s culinary elite had invented the recipe years before. Regardless, it’s delicious. And surprisingly easy!

This particular recipe is adapted from one I found on Food & Wine’s website (one of my favorites.)

Also, I recommend using Corningware’s ramekins, which come with an attachable lid. You can bake, store, and reheat while only dirtying one dish! I found mine at a local hardware store, believe it or not.

Buy these:

– 1 stick of unsalted butter (plus a little extra for the ramekins)

– 1/2 tablespoon cake or pastry flour

– 1/4 pound bittersweet chocolate chips (I have to recommend Ghiradelli here–it’s worth the extra pennies!)

– 1/4 cup vegan cane sugar (regular sugar will work as well)

– 2 large whole eggs (look for lovely ones at your local farmer’s market! I found mine in Copley Square on Fridays)

– 2 large egg yolks

– cocoa powder/confectioner’s sugar (optional; for dusting)

Do this:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 16-ounce ramekins.

2. Melt the butter with the chocolate chips (if you happen to have a gas stove like mine, this will happen alarmingly fast. I recommend setting out the other ingredients carefully before this step.)

3. Once melted, whisk the butter and chocolate with a wire whisk or with a fork. Add the sugar, whole eggs, egg yolks, and flour and continue to whisk until well-blended, with only a few small lumps.

4. Pour the mixture into the ramekins and bake (uncovered) for ten to fifteen minutes, or until the edges of the cakes have solidified and become crusty, but the center is still quite near-gelatinous. It must have some sort of stiffness though, or else you run the risk of food-borne illness from the eggs.

5. Allow to cool for at least one minute. This dessert is wonderful to make ahead, refrigerate, and then put back into the oven (at 100 degrees) approximately ten minutes before serving. The cakes can be served in the ramekins, or upside-down with confectioner’s sugar or unsweetened cocoa sprinkled on top (knowing my ex the way I did, I served the cakes with Ben & Jerry’s “sprinkled on top.” And yes, it worked.)

I think it was my grandmother, or another matronly older woman, who told me during my formative years that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. While I don’t know much about the male heart (or stomach for that matter), I do know that chocolate can heal certain things. This isn’t a lesbian relationship cure-all, but it will certainly put you on the path — or at least wow the pants off of your lady.

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