Bacon, Onion and Apple Pizza

27 09 2014

This easy bacon pie came about after I saw an idea in Food Network Magazine for ham and apple pizza, as I desperate continue to try to use up all the apples from our CSA share. I used the bacon grease to help cook some of the ingredients, which imparted extra flavor as well. Not something I typically do. But my grandma used to save and use bacon grease to cook nearly everything, so I thought, why not be like her! Of course I used a paper-towel lined plate to soak up some of the drippings after the fact, helping the pizza be not too greasy in the end.

Bacon, Onion and Apple Pizza

The following serves 2-3 (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat with inspiration from Food Network Magazine):

  • 1 package refrigerated whole wheat pizza dough
  • 4-6 slices thick-cut smoked pork bacon, diced
  • Half an onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 apple, thinly sliced
  • Grated cheese – use whatever you like, I used a combo of mozzarella and cheddar
  • Green onion, chopped

Preheat oven to 400.

In a large saute pan, cook diced bacon over medium-high heat until crispy (or done to your liking). Remove bacon to a paper-towel lined plate and set aside.

Roll out refrigerated dough onto a pizza stone in a thin layer either in the shape of a circle or rectangle. Brush a little of the bacon grease onto the rolled out pizza dough using a pastry brush. Bake pizza crust for about 7-10 minutes.

Meanwhile to the bacon grease, add the sliced onion and cook over medium a few minutes until the onion softens. Using tongs, remove to paper-towel lined plate. Finally, add the apple to the warm bacon grease and toss quickly. Using tongs and remove to paper-towel lined plate.

Once the crust has cooked through a little, remove the pizza dough from the oven. Top with some cheese (I did mozzarella first), then add your bacon, onion and apple slices – spreading out evenly on the pizza. Top with more cheese – I used sharp cheddar for the top. Return pizza to the oven and bake another 15 minutes or so, until the pizza is cooked through and the top is golden.

Remove the pizza from the oven and garnish with chopped green onions before serving.





Chipotle Crab, Corn and Bacon Bisque

15 09 2014

It’s really felt like fall around CLE this past week. The crisp air was calling for a bisque or chowder, especially after we ended up with corn and thick-cut bacon from our Fresh Fork Market share. This bisque features sweet crab and corn paired with the smokey flavors of chipotle and bacon. So delicious and comforting, and perfect for enjoying on a cool Saturday night. Make the whole batch and dive into the leftovers throughout the week!

Chipotle Crab, Corn and Bacon Bisque

The following serves 6 (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat with inspiration from Cuisine at Home):

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 slices thick-cut smoked pork bacon, diced
  • 6 corn cobs (if you can, use leftover grilled corn cobs)
  • 4 cups skim milk (I use skim milk for a healthier option, but for a richer flavor you can use cream or whole milk instead)
  • 3 cups reduced-fat, low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1 small white or candy onion, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1-2 chipotle in adobo
  • 1/4 – 1/3 cup flour (white or whole wheat)
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry
  • Corn from 4 corn cobs
  • 16 oz wild caught crab meat, drained
  • Chopped cilantro

In a large dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat and add diced bacon. Cook bacon until crisp, stirring often. Remove bacon to a paper-towel lined plate and set aside.

To the bacon drippings, add the onion, celery and carrots and saute veggies for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, add 6 corn cobs (kernels removed) to a large pot and cover with milk and chicken stock. (When I make grilled corn, I’ll cut the corn off the cob after it’s grilled and then freeze the cobs to use in soups like this later. You could of course use fresh corn instead). Heat over medium and bring to a low simmer, then reduce heat to low for about 20-25 minutes to infuse the flavor of the cobs into the liquid. Remove cobs from the liquid and discard.

Add the minced garlic and salt to taste to your sautéed veggies and cook until fragrant, about a minute. Next add the tomato paste and chipotle in adobo (add the whole chipotle, 1 for less heat 2 for more heat). Cook for a minute or so, stirring everything together. Next add the flour, stir to combine, and cook for another minute (use 1/3 cup for a slightly thicker consistency if you’d like).

Deglaze with the wine, whisking to combine. Cook until the wine is nearly evaporated and gets nice and thick. Next whisk in the warmed milk and stock, along with the sherry. Simmer on low until it starts to bubble, stirring occasionally. Season with salt to taste.

Remove from the heat and puree until smooth using an immersion blender. Turn the heat back onto low and add the corn (to cut the corn off the cobs, put a small bowl upside down inside a large bowl, stand the corn straight up and from the top to the bottom, cut the corn off the cob using a large knife – the large bowl will collect the kernels). Simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste and season with salt if needed. Fold in the crab gently just before serving.

Serve bisque garnished with crisp bacon and chopped cilantro.





Lemon Chicken Piccata Over Spaghetti Squash and Broccoli

2 09 2014

I originally made this lemon chicken piccata over the weekend for a bachelorette party, to go along with the spaghetti aglio e olio with marinated tomatoes I shared yesterday. But tonight, I served some of the leftover chicken and sauce over spaghetti squash and roasted broccoli to make a new meal. Below I show how to make this new meal all at once though.

The piccata recipe originated from Giada De Laurentiis, which my Mama adapted and gave to me. I have since slightly altered my Ma’s version. Thanks ladies! My twist is to kick up the flavor and lemon taste in this chicken by seasoning and adding lemon zest to it the night before I’m going to serve it.

Lemon Chicken Piccata Over Spaghetti Squash and Broccoli

The following serves 2 (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat with inspiration from This Girl’s Mama and Giada De Laurentiis):

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts thinly sliced – if you can’t find them packaged this way in your local grocery store (which will save you time), use 2 large breasts and sliced them horizontally in half and then pound them thin
  • Kosher salt
  • Ground pepper
  • Lemon zest
  • Whole wheat flour
  • Unsalted butter
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium, reduced-fat chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup capers, rinsed
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 small spaghetti squash
  • 1 head broccoli, chopped into florets
  • Grated parmesan or romano cheese

Season the chicken the night before you want to serve it with salt, pepper and lemon zest to taste on both sides. Store covered in the fridge.

When you’re ready to make dinner, preheat oven to 400. Poke small holes all over the spaghetti squash with a knife or fork. Place on a baking sheet and roast until tender, 45 minutes to an hour. Remove from the oven and set aside until cool enough to handle.

While the squash cools, toss the broccoli florets with a little olive oil and just a little salt on a baking sheet. Roast at 400 degrees in the oven for 10-15 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat 1-2 Tbsp of butter and 1-2 Tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Dredge the seasoned chicken in a little bit of flour, shaking off the excess. When the butter and oil are melted and start to sizzle, add the chicken. Cook the chicken for about 3 minutes or so until it begins to brown. Flip it over and cook another 3 minutes until the other side is browned. When nicely browned, remove from the pan to a plate and set aside.

Deglaze the hot skillet with the lemon juice, scrapping up any brown bits that may have formed. Next add the chicken broth and the capers. Bring to a boil. Return the chicken to the skillet and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove the chicken to a platter. You can either plate the sauce as is, or if you want it a little richer, add another Tbsp or so of cold butter to the pan and whisk to combine. Remove sauce from heat.

Cut the cooled squash in half and discard the seeds. Using a fork, scrape the flesh out of the skin of the squash over a bowl. Discard the leftover skin. Toss the squash with just a little olive oil and a pinch of salt.

To serve, divide the spaghetti squash and broccoli among plates. Nestle chicken in the middle and top with sauce. Garnish with a good helping of chopped parsley and serve with parmesan or romano cheese.





Grilled Chicken With Chipotle-Watermelon Sauce and Grilled Corn, Pepper and Cucumber Salad

27 08 2014

Tonight’s dinner is deliciously smokey and loaded with flavor, thanks to some good seasoning, the grill and gorgeous produce from Fresh Fork Market. I have been enjoying the yellow watermelon we got in our share last week as a snack. But tonight I thought it’s sweet flesh would pair beautifully in a sauce with the smokey heat of chipotle. Oh yeah, total winner! Pair it with a cool salad packed with sweet corn and cucumber for a healthy, farm-fresh meal.

Grilled Chicken with Chipotle Watermelon Sauce and Corn Salad

The following serves 2-3 (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, visible fat trimmed
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Granulated garlic
  • Ground chipotle chile pepper
  • 3 ears of sweet corn, shucked
  • 1-2 chipotles and adobo with some of the sauce (2 for more heat, 1 for less)
  • 1 heaping cup chopped yellow watermelon
  • 1/2 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 heaping cup chopped green bell peppers
  • 1 small garden cucumber, peeled and chopped (about 1 and 3/4 cup chopped)
  • Juice of half a lime
  • Cilantro, chopped

Preheat grill to 300-ish degrees.

Drizzle chicken with a little olive oil and season with kosher salt, granulated garlic and chipotle chile pepper to taste on both sides. Set aside.

Drizzle corn with a little olive oil and grill covered, 3-5 per side, flipping occasionally, until charred all around. Remove from the grill and set aside until cool enough to handle.

Once the corn is grilled and removed, add the chicken, keeping the grill slightly ajar. Grill chicken to your liking, 5-7 minutes per side. Remove from the grill and tent with foil.

Meanwhile, pulse the chipotle in adobo and watermelon in a small food processor until pureed. If it seems a little too thick, add a splash of chicken stock to thin out. Transfer to a small saucepan and add the vinegar and a good pinch of salt to taste. Cook over low heat until bubbling, stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.

Next work on the salad. Stand a small bowl upside down in a large bowl. Taking one ear of corn at a time (once cool enough to handle), stand it up on it’s bottom end and cut the kernels off the cob from top to bottom using a large kitchen knife. Continue all the way around until the cob is clean. Do this with all three cobs. Remove the small bowl. To the bowl with the corn kernels, add the peppers and cucumber. Season with salt to taste and a little dusting of the chipotle chile pepper. Add the lime juice, a good drizzle of olive oil and some chopped cilantro. Mix well. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.

To serve, dish out the corn salad. Top with a piece of chicken and finish with some of the sauce.





Blackberry Oatmeal Crisp

25 08 2014

This is such a bright and yummy dessert, packed with beautiful organic blackberries from Fresh Fork Market! You could use any other berry you have or even a mix…blueberries, raspberries and/or black raspberries would all be equally delicious in this crisp.

Blackberry Oatmeal Crisp

The following serves 6 (adapted from Food Network Magazine):

  • 6 cups blackberries (about 2 pints)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup and 3 Tbsp whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp and a pinch of kosher salt
  • 6 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

Preheat oven to 375. Butter a 2-quart baking dish, you could also use non-stick spray.

To make the filling, toss the blackberries with the granulated sugar, lemon zest and juice, 3 Tbsp flour and a pinch of kosher salt in a medium bowl. Transfer to your prepared baking dish.

To make the topping, combine the brown sugar, 3/4 cup flour, oats, nuts, cinnamon and 1/2 tsp salt in another bowl. Using your fingers, work the butter into the topping mixture until coarse crumbs form. Scatter the topping over the blackberry mixture.

Set the dish on a baking sheet and bake until the topping is golden brown and the filling is bubbling, 45 to 50 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving.

Serve with a dollop of homemade whipped cream, or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.





Leftover Italian Sausage With Balsamic Caramelized Onions and Pepper Pizza

13 08 2014

You’ve heard me say this before, and you’ll hear me say it again…and again…and again. Leftovers don’t have to be boring! It takes mere minutes to use up last night’s leftovers, but in a completely different dish. And this is the reason I make meals that serve 3-4 people, when primarily I’m only cooking for me and the hubby…for the leftovers baby!

Italian Sausage With Balsamic Caramelized Onions and Pepper Pizza

The following makes 2 pizzas (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

Preheat oven to 400.

Place naan on a pizza stone side by side. Distribute the leftover onions and peppers between the naan, evenly spreading all over. Next, top with the sliced sausage.

Bake for about 10 minutes, or until the sausage and peppers are heated through. Remove from the oven, top evenly with cheese and place back in the oven. Bake for a few more minutes until the cheese melts.

Remove from the oven and top with some red pepper flakes and basil to garnish before serving.





Ohio City Pasta With Tomato Cream Sauce and Pancetta

7 08 2014

I highly recommend dining alfresco with this delicious Italian meal! Set up a little bistro on your porch or patio, pour yourself a glass of vino and mangia!

There’s just something about fresh pasta! This savory Ohio City Pasta linguine was compliments of our Fresh Fork Market share, along with some beautifully big tomatoes! Fresh tomatoes cooked down and finished with a little cream is delicious. But top it with crispy pancetta, fresh basil and cheese….and you’ve got yourself one decadent meal!

Ohio City Pasta With Pancetta and Tomato Cream Sauce

The following serves 4 (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat with inspiration from Food Network Magazine):

  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • 4 oz diced pancetta
  • Half a red onion, chopped
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • Red pepper flakes (use a pinch or more to your liking)
  • 1 and a half large tomatoes, quartered
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup non-fat half-and-half
  • 1 lb fresh linguine from Ohio City Pasta
  • Fresh basil, chopped
  • Parmesan cheese, grated

Bring a large pot of water to boil.

Heat a large skillet over medium and add a drizzle of olive oil. Add pancetta and saute until browned and crisp, 3-5 minutes. Remove the pancetta to a paper-towel lined plate. Add onion to the hot skillet and saute a few minutes until beginning to soften, stirring often. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and saute until fragrant, a minute. Season lightly with salt.

Meanwhile, puree the tomatoes in a Vitamix or blender. Add to the skillet with the sautéed onions and cook until liquid is almost all evaporated, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add half-and-half during the last few minutes of cooking, and stir to combine.

At this point, cook your pasta in the boiling water. Don’t over-cook it! Because it’s fresh it’ll be done in 1 and a half to two minutes. Drain, and immediately add to the skillet with the sauce. Toss with the sauce over low heat for a minute, allowing the pasta to absorb the sauce.

Serve with fresh basil and parmesan cheese.