The Best Way to Use Leftovers (No Rise Pizza Crust)

This is one of those recipes that is so easy, I’m almost embarrassed to write about it. But it is one of my favorite dirty little secrets that everyone should know about. Making pizza with your leftovers is genius. And using this super simple no-rise dough makes it super fast too. It is a total no-brainer.

unnamedThe first time I saw this recipe on America’s Test Kitchen I thought, “neat, I wonder if it actually works”. I love the people at America’s Test Kitchen, but sometimes they set you up for something “easy” only to find out it takes 5 different steps including 3 hours of refrigeration. Ain’t nobody got time for that! So, I tried this recipe with a touch of skepticism. As it turns out, it is ridiculously easy. You could easily have your toddler help you with this.

And you toddler would love it.

Additionally, I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, homemade pizza is the best pizza. Pizza falls into those categories of things that you should always make from scratch along with cranberry sauce and mac and cheese. I say this because once you make this dough you’ll realize all you need to have delicious pizza at home is 15 minutes and basic ingredients everyone has in their pantry.

Now, this is not a fluffy, bready recipe. This is a no-rise pizza crust (hence the super fast part – no waiting for dough to rise). Since it has no yeast and doesn’t rise, it has a crisp, cracker like crust. This recipe also makes 2 medium sized pizzas. If you have a hungry family (read: teenagers), I would double the recipe and pair it with a salad.

This recipe is for the crust only. That is because you use whatever meager amounts of leftovers you have to top it. I really mean this. The next time you look in your fridge and see just enough leftover chicken to feed one person, but not a family, make this pizza. My husband and I have tried all sorts of crazy combinations, and some of them were fantastic! Don’t have tomato sauce? No big deal. Use olive oil or pesto or one of my favorites, barbecue sauce. Some of our favorite combinations include things you would never think of putting on a pizza. Pesto with thinly sliced potato and mozzarella. Barbecue sauce with onion, zucchini and cheddar. Leftover pork ragu with giardiniera and cheddar (pictured). Get creative.

St. Louis Style Pizza Crust, taken from America’s Test Kitchen

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water, plus 2 Tablespoons (sometimes I add up to 1 additional Tablespoon if my dough is dry)
2 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Use a nonstick baking pan. If you don’t have one, place parchment paper on your pan.

Combine flour, cornstarch, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Combine water and olive oil in measuring cup and mix. Stir water mixture into flour mixture until dough starts to come together. Turn dough onto slightly floured surface and knead 3 or 4 times, until cohesive.

Divide dough into 2 balls. Using a rolling pin, roll dough into a rough oval. As you can see from the picture, mine are far from perfect. Don’t worry about it – just make sure it will fit on your pan. Roll your dough until only about 1 mm thick. Place on pan and top the dough with sauce and toppings as you wish!

You can make dough in advance and wrap in plastic wrap to keep in the fridge. It will only last a couple of days, however.

Smothered Pork

This is a fabulous fall dish. And let’s be honest. Fall food is the best food. Root vegetables of every color and shape; fragrant apples and pears juicy as can be; and leafy greens and radish in brilliant Van Gogh shades. Fall is the ideal time to convince children that veggies are good because they become intensely beautiful and delicious.

76391_10101777959651549_1257622926_nI actually didn’t have very high hopes for this recipe. I thought it would be a way to class up some kale, but as it turns out, it was fantastic! I think this dish would make almost anyone happy. Add a roasted veggie side and you have a delicious, fairly healthy meal. It doesn’t take a ton of work. I have even put a crockpot version at the bottom. It will also please meat eaters, because, come on, who doesn’t like pork?

Essentially, this is a pork, onion and kale melange all cooked in its own sauce. The sauce is really lovely in its simplicity. I wasn’t sure how the final product would turn out, but it is actually amazing. I would recommend sifting off some of the fat, though, which I didn’t do.

Adapted from Cooking Light

1 Tbl canola oil

2 lb pork shoulder

salt and pepper to taste

2 1/2 cups sliced onion

1/2 cup chicken broth

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

2 tsp cumin

1 tsp five spice

2 garlic cloves, chopped

5 cups chopped kale

Preheat oven to 325°. Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add canola oil to Dutch oven. Sprinkle pork evenly with salt and pepper. Add pork to pan; cook 7 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove pork from pan and keep warm.

Add onion to pan (add more oil if needed). Cook 5 minutes or until onion begins to brown, stirring occasionally. Add chicken broth, vinegar, spices, and garlic to pan. Bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits.

Return pork to pan. Cover and bake in the oven at 325° for 1 1/2 hours. Add kale to pan; cover and bake at 325° for 30 minutes. Take out and let cool for 15 minutes before serving. Spoon sauce over pork and veggies and serve.

If making in the crockpot, brown all sides of pork roast, then add all of the ingredients to a crockpot and cook on high for 6-8 hours (depending on the strength of your crockpot).

Truffle Veggie Mac and Cheese

Oh. My. God. This recipe is soooo good and soooo easy. It truly is quick gourmet food. This would be a great way to easily impress a bunch of people. Present it with a French accent and REALLY impress them.

“For zee entree - macaroni et fromage.”

If you ever make mac and cheese at home, you’ll never understand why people buy the boxed stuff.  It is so easy. Step 1. Boil some pasta. Step 2. Make a roux. (fancy French word) 3. Add cheese and pour over pasta. Voila! It’s that easy. And then you can impress people that you know the word roux. Don’t let the French words intimidate you. A roux is just some fat (think oil and butter) heated up and whisked with flour. That’s it! It helps make your milk and cheese the thick, creamy consistency that comes to mind when we think of macaroni and cheese. And homemade is far superior to the powdered junk.

This recipe isn’t exactly healthy, but the fact that half of the pasta is subbed out for vegetables not only makes you feel *less* guilty, but adds a nice added layer of texture. Plus, it uses whole wheat pasta and olive oil instead of butter.  So while it still tastes incredibly rich and delicious it is slightly better for you than most mac and cheese.

Adapted from The Comfort of Cooking 

1380565_10101750806766149_1241242200_n1 cup broccoli florets, chopped into small chunks

1 red pepper, diced (I used yellow, but I would use red for color)

1 zucchini, quartered and diced

2 cups whole wheat pasta

1/4 cup olive oil

1 garlic clove, minced

3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups milk

2 cups (8 oz.) shredded Truffle Cheddar (I use Hook’s. If you can get it, you should.)

1/2 tsp thyme

Salt and pepper, to taste

2 Tbsp panko breadcrumbs

Heat oven to 400 degrees (Farenheit).  Put vegetables in a pan large enough to hold the veggies plus the pasta cooked. With just the vegetables in the pan, drizzle with some olive oil. Add thyme in addition to salt and pepper to taste. Roast in the oven for approximately 20 minutes.

While vegetables are roasting, boil a large pot of water. Add 2 cups of pasta and cook until al dente. Strain.

In a saucepan, heat 1/4 cup of oil in the pan, add garlic and cook until fragrant (only a minute). Add flour and whisk vigorously. This will thicken quite fast; you only need to cook for a minute. Gradually whisk in milk, 1/2 cup at a time. Continue to whisk once all the milk is added until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and whisk in cheese. (It is important to do this off of the heat so it doesn’t scorch.)

Pour the cooked pasta into the dish with roasted vegetables and mix. Pour cheese mixture on top. Top with breadcrumbs and place under broiler in your oven for approximately 4-5 minutes.

Let cool for 8-10 minutes before serving.

Mediterranean Barley Salad

My  renewed quest to eat healthier begun a few months ago when I realized that I only had 3 months to prepare for a beach wedding. Eeks! Luckily, the wedding was fabulous and I didn’t gain 12 pounds right before it, so everything went swimmingly, so to speak. However, it did encourage me to start looking for healthier options for grains. I have blogged about the wonder-grain quinoa, which I love, but I needed to mix things up a bit.

I recently discovered pearled barley, which *technically* is not a whole grain (because the husk of the barley grain is removed), but still pretty delicious and good for you. Because the husk of barley requires very little processing to get rid off, and takes very little nutritional value from the barley, your body treats pearled barley like a whole grain!

You can use it as a substitute for other, not-so-healthy grains like rice. And it makes a mean cold salad. You can buy pearled barley in most grocery stores in the bulk food section for VERY cheap. This is a good starter recipe if you are new to pearled barley.

This dish was inspired by a friend’s Mediterranean salad. She brought it to a party once and I was smitten.  I really like the light, earthy flavors of mediterranean cuisine. This cold salad is a crowd pleaser and great to bring to a potluck on a hot summer day.

A Delectable Endeavors Original

01 cup of dry pearled barley

2 cups of water

2 Tbl lemon juice

3 Tbl olive oil

salt and pepper

2 cloves of garlic, chopped

1 can of chickpeas, rinsed

1/2 cup of chopped, roasted red pepper

1/8 cup chopped parsley

feta

Bring 2 cups of water with 1/2 tsp salt to a boil. Add dry pearled barley. Let sit for approximately 40 – 45 minutes until water is completely absorbed. It is important not to stir the barley while it cooks.

Mix lemon juice and oil with garlic and salt and pepper. Once barley is cooked, while still warm, pour oil and lemon mixture over the barley and toss with a fork. Toss in red pepper, chickpeas, parsley and feta to taste. Refrigerate for at least an hour. Then, enjoy!

Best. Appetizer. Ever.

0-1I’m not ashamed of my title. These are the best appetizers ever. So I’ll keep my post like these Prosciutto bites, quick to go!

There are plenty of prosciutto, melon and mozzarella recipes and apps out there. However, the prosciutto in most of these recipes is uncooked. Personally, I prefer prosciutto cooked and crispy.

I made these yummy little bites for a party and they were a hit! They were gone in a flash and everyone agreed they were addicting.

The saltines of the cooked prosciutto pairs perfectly with the smooth creaminess of the mozzarella and the slight sweetness of the melon. They would be good with honeydew, too.

A Delectable Endeavors original

12 strips of prosciutto

12 small cubes of cantaloupe

small container of bocconcini (small mozzarella balls)

Spray a mini-muffin pan with canola oil. Place prosciutto into the cups so they make little cups. Place them into the oven for only about 10-15 minutes, or until prosciutto is crisp.  Drain cups on a paper towel until cool. Place one small ball of mozzerella and one small piece of cantaloupe in the cup. Enjoy!

Coconut Mango Cupcakes

I was getting pretty tired of winter. It seems to have lasted 5 months this year. I am loving warmer weather, green grass and evening walks because the sun is still out past 6 pm.

0Needless to say, I made these when I was feeling wistful for spring. They were delicious then, and still are. The cupcake recipe doesn’t seem quite right because it is more like a sponge cake. Which is delicious with the mango filling and light, fluffy coconut buttercream.

Even though these involve a few steps they are certainly worth it! Plus, the steps can be be spread out over a couple of days, which make them a little more manageable to make.

There are three parts to this recipe. Part 1 – Mango curd filling Part 2 – Coconut Mango cupcake Part 3 – Coconut buttercream

Directions for the cupcake and mango curd are taken almost exactly from Ken Leung’s post on the Huffington Post.

Adapted from Ken Leung 

Part 1 – Mango curd/Filling

12 ounces mango puree (you can find this in the frozen food isle, with the smoothies)
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons fresh lime or lemon juice. freshly squeezed
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
4 large egg yolks
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Place mango puree, sugar, lime juice, salt and yolks in a saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, whisk constantly, until thickened and thermometer registers 170°F., about 8-10 minutes.

Remove saucepan from heat and whisk in butter 1 piece at a time until fully incorporated. Strain mixture through a sieve into a container; place a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of mango curd. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. This can be made well ahead of time.

Part 2 – Coconut Mango cupcake

1/4 cup mango pureé, as from above
3 large egg whites, room temperature (2 large egg white, 1 large egg)
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
1 cups (4 ounces) cake flour
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (5-1/4 ounces) granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
3 ounces (6 tablespoons/1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and softened

In a 2-cup measuring cup, whisk together mango puree, egg whites, coconut milk, coconut oil and extracts. Set aside.

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350℉. Grease and flour two silicon muffin pans or regular muffin pans, set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, add both flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt; mix on low speed until combined. Add butter, 1 piece at a time, and mix until only pea-size pieces remain, about 2 minutes. Add half of mango mixture, increase speed to medium-high, and beat until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Reduce speed to medium-low, add remaining milk mixture, and beat until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Give batter final stir by hand.

Place about 1/4 cup of batter into each cup of prepared pans and bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking. Cool cakes in pans on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove cakes from pans and cool on wire rack completely, about 30 minutes. (Cooled cakes can be stored in air tight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.)

Part 3 – Coconut Buttercream

2 to 3 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup coconut milk
1/8 teaspoons fine sea salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup toasted coconut

Cream butter, salt and coconut milk in a stand mixer. Add sugar in 1/2 cup intervals, incorporating fulling before adding the next 1/2 cup. Taste as you go and keep adding powdered sugar until you reach the sweetness you desire.

To assemble, cut a small hole in the top of the cupcake. Discard extra cupcake. Fill the hole with mango curd. Do not fill to the top and leave a little room at the top. Fill a plastic bag with the buttercream. Cut a small hole in one corner. To top cupcakes, squeeze the buttercream on top of the cupcake in a swirl, then sprinkle with toasted coconut.

Do not refrigerate! These cupcakes will stay in a airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to a week (if you could keep yourself from eating them all).

Quick and Healthy – Greek Turkey Meatballs

My husband and I have been looking at new places to rent and I keep running into the same problem – Small Kitchens!  Some places have less counter space than we have now, which I thought was impossible! When will builders begin making what I want? A house that is half kitchen! I don’t need a bigger bedroom – all I do is sleep in there! Give me a big kitchen.

Sigh. In the meantime, I continue to bake away in the tiny kitchen we have now.

I have been making these meatballs a lot lately. Mainly because they are so versatile. You could easily double this recipe for a small family and use the leftovers to make, meatball sandwiches, toss with pasta, or eat with some roasted vegetables. They are packed with flavor too. Really, these should be called healthier-than-sausage meatballs because they taste a lot like pork sausage, but with much less fat. I like to eat them with tzatziki and pita.

And just wait to see how easy they are to make.

A Delectable Endeavors original

0-31 lb of ground turkey

1/2 cup of breadcrumbs (I like panko)

1 large egg

1/3 of an onion finely minced

red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to taste

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp fennel seeds

1/2 tsp garlic salt

1/2 tsp cracked oregano

1/4 cup of crumbled feta

Mix everything together with your hands. Form into 1 inch large balls.

You have 2 choices for baking. 1. Lightly spray a baking pan and bake them at 350 degrees for approximately 20 minutes. 2. Lightly spray a saute pan and cook them until nicely brown on all sides and cooked all the way through.