Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Cast Iron Skillet Pull-Apart Stuffed Pizza


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My pull-a-pizza is perfect for Sundays when Steve’s watching football all day. I serve it with a side of Marinara sauce. Served hot or at room temperature, these pull-a-part pizza bites can be customized. Here, I made them all the same, but you could get really creative and make them with a variety of fillings. All You need is a cast iron skillet. Let’s start with the filling.

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In a large saute pan on med heat,  I browned off a pound of bulk sweet Italian sausage, until it was crumbly, which took about 10-12 minutes. Once it was browned and fully cooked, removed the cooked sausage from the pan, I placed the sausage on a plate lined with paper towel to drain off the excess grease. In the same saute pan, with the crispy bits stuck to the pan,  I added in some olive oil. The sausage bits will come loose from the bottom of the pan as the veggies saute. That will add extra flavor to the veggies. I have diced green, red, and yellow bell peppers, diced onions, minced garlic, along with some Kosher salt, black pepper. I’ve just sauteed this, on med heat, for about 5-7 minutes. I just wanted to the veggies to be tender and to have picked up some nice color. At this point, I added the cooked sausage back in, stirred that together and then added in some dried oregano. Next, I’ve added in a can of drained diced fire roasted tomatoes. I’ve stirred those through and let the tomatoes simmer with everything else for another 5 minutes or so. Now that everything has cooked and all the flavors have combined together, I turn the heat off. Using a slotted spoon, I transferred everything to a large bowl allowing the ingredients to cool down. I like stirring all the ingredients up every now and then so they cool faster. Takes about 5 minutes or so. To the bowl of sauteed veggies and sausage I thrown in some store bought, shredded whole milk Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Now the fun part. I start preheating my oven at 400 degrees F.

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I’ve bought store bought pizza dough. It’s a lot easier on a weeknight, and really it’s just as good. I sprinkled the board with a little bit of flour to help the dough from sticking. I rolled out the dough and cut 24 circles about 4 inches in diameter. Lsay them out on baking sheets lined with paper towel. I placed a tablespoon of the filling right in the center of each circle. Fold the dough in half, then curve the bottom of each stuffed pocket in a crescent shape.

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I took my cast iron skillet and wiped the bottom and sides with a piece of paper towel that I drizzled 2 tablespoons of Canola oil on. This insures to dough won’t stick and browns nicely on the bottom. Lay the stuffed pockets of pizza dough into the skillet starting with the outside rim of the skillet first. Continue this process until the entire skillet has been filled. Place into the 400 degree oven on the bottom rack. Keeping a close eye on your oven, bake until crust is golden brown, about 25 minutes.

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As soon as the pizza comes out of the oven, I brush the top with a mixture of melted butter, a pinch of garlic powder, and Italian seasoning.  Serve with a side of Marinara sauce for dipping.

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes ( this includes the filling cooking time)
Yields: 6 servings
Equipment; cast iron skillet, rolling pin,
sheet pans, parchment paper
Ingredients:
1 pound of room temperature store bought pizza dough ( rolled out and cut into circles, 4 inches in diameter)
1 pound of bulk sweet Italian sausage (optional- spicy sausage)
2 tablespoons of Canola oil ( for greasing cast iron skillet)
1/2 diced yellow onion
1.2 diced red, green and yellow bell pepper
3 minced garlic cloves
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1-15 ounce can of drained fire roasted tomatoes
2 tablespoons of dried oregano
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
8 ounces of shredded Mozzarella cheese
1/2 stick of melted unsalted butter
1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon of Italian seasoning
Marinara sauce for dipping ( or store bought pizza sauce)

Directions:
In a large saute pan, start by browning off the bulk sausage. Once the sausage is brown and fully cooked, remove the sausage with a slotted spoon and discard the grease. Place sausage on a plate lined with paper towel and set aside. Next, 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and saute all the veggies with the seasonings. Once veggies are tender add the cooked sausage back in along with the drained diced tomatoes, stir and let cook for another 5 minutes. When that’s finished cooking, transfer all the ingredients to a bowl. Next, add the shredded Mozzarella cheese to the other ingredients and mix together. Move on to rolling out the pizza dough. Cut out 24-4 inch circles out and lay them out on sheet pans lined with parchment paper. Wipe down the cast iron skillet with a paper towel that has 2 tablespoons of Canola oil on it. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Start adding the filling to the circles of pizza dough and folding them. Next, place them in a circular pattern starting at the outside of the skillet and work your way in. Bake on the bottom rack for about 25 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Be sure to keep your eye on it while it’s baking. Once out of the oven and still hot, brush the top with the seasoned butter. Serve with a side of Marinara or pizza sauce.

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Rustic Grilled Pizzas


2015-05-14 17.52.33

When I talk about making pizza at home, the first thing I need to decide on are the toppings. Because we’re into the beginning of summer, I thought I check out what was in season at my local farmer’s market. Boy was I surprised. There was so much to choose from that I thought I get a little of everything. Now these pizzas are great if you are leading a vegetarian life style. I will post this under both categories, “my recipes” and  “vegetarian recipes” because I want to both of my readers. Those that eat meat, and for those who don’t. Most importantly, I want to show my readers a great way to prepare the toppings for the pizzas. Let’s get started on the toppings first.

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I have so many goodies that I found at the market, heirloom tomatoes, red and yellow bell peppers, fresh garlic, sweet onions, fennel, and red and yellow beets. I start with roasting off the peppers, onions, fennel, garlic, and beets.

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After the onion,fennel, beets, and garlic came out of the oven, I let them all cool before slicing, dicing. I made  a delicious garlic oil paste to spread over the pizza dough for extra flavor. Placing the roasted bell peppers under plastic wrap will ensure the skins will peel easily before seeding and slicing.

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I also couldn’t pass up these beautiful heirloom tomatoes. With some fresh Mozzarella, and maybe a little Proscuitto. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it!

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This is totally optional, but if there’s someone in you life that must have, some type of, meat on their pizza, I recommend Prosciutto.

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For the dough, I just bought store bought pizza dough. Of course you could make your own, but for these pizzas, I really wanted to concentrate on the toppings. I save homemade pizza dough for another post. Here I just let the dough rest a room temperature for about an hour. I cut the dough into four equal parts. Next I rolled them out. They don’t have to be perfectly round, that’s what make them so rustic looking. I just got my indoor grill pan really hot, then I brushed the rolled out dough on both sides with olive oil. Lastly, I just placed them two at a time on the grill pan for a couple of minutes on each side, long enough to get those beautiful grill marks. I’d say anywhere from 2-4 minutes per side. Just when you see the grill marks, flip the dough over. I would say that each of them are about the size of a personal pan pizza.

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Next, what I did was to brush each of the pizzas with roasted garlic oil. To make this all I did was to remove the roasted garlic from their jackets. Place all the cloves into a bowl, and add 1/2 a cup of good olive oil to it. Mixed it around really well and brushed it all over the top side of each of the grilled pizzas. To that, I tore up some of the fresh Mozzarella and just placed pieced all over the pizzas. With the oven on 425 degrees, I wanted the cheese to melt and get a little golden brown for the bed for all my toppings. This process only takes a couple of minutes, so don’t take your eye off the oven. I just turn the oven light on so I can see what’s happening as it happens. Once the cheese has melted, I pull the pizzas out and start the art work. I just made different combinations of flavors for each of the four pizzas. For the base of all of the pizzas I added the roasted onions and fennel over the cheese. Two of them I saved for the heirloom tomatoes, one for the roasted peppers, and the last one for the roasted red and yellow beets with goat cheese. I also add some mixed greens which included baby spinach, Swiss chard, and baby kale. With the tomatoes pizzas I laid the greens underneath the tomatoes because I wanted the colors to show through. With the roasted peppers and beets, I placed the greens on top with a sprinkling of Kosher salt and pepper. I posted this recipe with ingredients that I chose and were in season at the time. You could make pizza with whatever ingredients you like. These are just a few ideas you may want to play around with.

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Oven Temperature: 425 degrees
Prep Time: 30-40 minutes ( this includes the slicing and dicing and preparing the salad topping for the pizzas)
Inactive Prep Time: 30 minutes ( opening the foil and letting the veggies cool before prepping them for the pizzas)
Roasting Time: 30-60 minutes ( each of the veggies takes a different roasting time. starting with onions and fennel, then                            bell peppers, garlic, last and taking the longest the beets.) ( once a knife goes through the beets with no                            resistance they are ready)
Grilling Time: 2-4 minutes per side

Equipment:
2 sheet pans
Indoor grill pan

Ingredients:
1 ball of store bought pizza dough
1 package of fresh Mozzarella cheese
4 ounces of fresh Goat cheese
6 slices of Prosciutto (Optional)
4 heirloom tomatoes
1 sweet onion
2 bulbs of fennel cleaned and cored
4 beets of your choice
2 bell peppers of your choice
2 bulbs of garlic
3 tablespoons of basil leaves chopped
2 tablespoons of Italian parsley chopped
1 package of greens (ex. Arugula

Ingredients to have on hand from pantry:
Olive oil
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Kosher salt
Black pepper
Red wine vinegar
granulated sugar

Recipe For Heirloom Tomato Topping:
4 heirloom tomatoes
1 teaspoon of sugar                                                                                                                  .
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
2 tablespoons of chopped fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup of E.V.O.O.
Directions: Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl.

Recipe For Roasted Beet Topping:,
2 red and 2 golden beets ( wrapped in foil, roasted off at 425 degrees for 60 minutes, cooled, peeled and diced).
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
2 tablespoons of chopped Italian parsley
1 tablespoon of fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
1/4 cup of E.V.O.O.

Directions: Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl.

Recipe For Roasted garlic:
2 bulbs of garlic cut in half cross wise ( wrapped in foil and roasted off with a sprinkling of Kosher salt and black pepper, at 425 degrees for 40 minutes, peeled and placed into a bowl).
1/2 cup of olive oil.
Directions: Mix together in a small bowl until well combined.

Recipe For Roasted Bell Peppers:
1 each red and yellow bell pepper ( roasted off on a sheet pan at 425 degrees for about 30-35 minutes
Directions: Once out of the oven, place into a large bowl covered in plastic for about 10 minutes. This allows the skin to peel off easily. Then seed the pepper and slice into thin strips.

Recipe For Onions and Fennel
1 large sweet onion quartered
2 bulbs of fennel cored and quartered
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1/2 a teaspoon of black pepper
2 tablespoons of olive oil

Directions: Place onto a sheet pan, spread out into one layer. Drizzle with olive olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss through with clean hands and place into a 425 degree oven for about 30-35 minutes.

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Portobellos And Pappardelle In A Garlic Cream Sauce


2015-04-05 19.08.57

Portobellos, have to be my very favorite mushroom. They have such a meaty flavor and texture. They’re just so delicious. My favorite pasta of course, pappardelle. It only made sense to me that I bring them together.

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Let’s talk about the mushrooms first. I have nine Portobello mushrooms that I’ve cleaned and removed the stems and gills. Then all I did was to slice them about an inch in thickness. I also have some peeled garlic cloves. I take half of the peeled  garlic cloves and grate them into a quart of whole milk that I have on very low heat, on the back burner. I just want to let the milk heat up for 3-4 minutes or so, this way the garlic will infuse into the milk. You don’t want the milk to come to a boil. After 3-4 minutes turn the heat off and let the garlic just steep in the milk.  Back to the mushrooms. I melt 3/4’s of a stick of unsalted butter in a pot with some crushed red pepper flakes. Next I add all the sliced mushroom into the pot.

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While the mushrooms have started to cook down in the butter, I add the other half of the garlic that I’ve minced to reinforce that garlic flavor throughout the dish. The mushrooms need to saute on med to med high heat for about 10-12 minutes until they’ve released all their water and have caramelized nicely. Once they are caramelized this is the time I season the mushrooms with Kosher salt. At this point I add 1/2 a cup of flour to the mushrooms. With a wooden spoon, I stir the flour around in with the mushrooms giving that flour taste to cook out, about a minute or so. Now, for that garlic flavored milk.

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I add the flavored milk to the sauteed mushrooms, still on med heat, I whisk the milk until it starts to thicken. Right as it’s starting to thicken, I add in 1 package of baby spinach. I switch back to a wooden spoon, stirring the spinach through. I add black pepper and  grate some fresh nutmeg into the pot. I always add nutmeg when I’m making a white sauce or, I’m making any type of leafy greens.  Also on the back burner I have a pound of Pappardelle cooking in salted boiling water.

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Now that the sauce has thicken, and the spinach and nutmeg have been stirred through, I turn the heat off before adding in some freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Finally the pasta. I cook the pasta to the al dente stage, then add in right into the pot with that garlic flavored, cheesy cream sauce. I always reserve a cup of pasta, starchy cooking liquid to help thin out the sauce if it gets a little too thick.

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To garnish some freshly chopped Italian parsley.

Yields: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 25-30 minutes
Ingredients:
9 Portobello mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
8 cloves of garlic (4 grated and 4 minced
1 bag of fresh baby spinach
3/4’s stick of unsalted butter
1 cup of flour
1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
1-1/2 teaspoons of freshly grated nutmeg
1-1/2 teaspoons of black pepper
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1 quart of whole milk
1 cup of freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 package of Pappardelle pasta (reserve a cup of pasta cooking liquid)
2 tablespoons of chopped fresh Italian Parsley

Directions: First clean and slice the mushrooms. Next, prepare the garlic, minced and grated. Place two pots on the back burners, one for the milk, the other for the pasta. To the pot with the milk, on low heat add the minced garlic and let cook for 3-4 minutes. Turn the heat off and let the garlic steep in the milk. On the front burner, on med heat, melt the butter, add the crushed red pepper flakes. Throw in the mushrooms. Let cook until they start to soften and release their water, then add in the minced garlic. Once they are caramelized, 10=12 minutes or so, then add the Kosher salt in. Next add in the flour and stir through so all the mushrooms are coated and the flour has cooked out. Now, it’s time to add the garlic flavored milk in. Change to a whisk and start whisking. Add the grated nutmeg and black pepper in at this time. As the milk sauce starts to thicken, switch to a wooden spoon and add in the spinach. Stir that through until the spinach has wilted. Turn the heat off and add in the Parmigiano- Reggiano cheese. Stir the cheese through and then add in the al dente Pappardelle. Toss everything together and add parsley to garnish.

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Portobello Pizzas


2014-08-26 17.37.40

Last night I made an awesome bolognese sauce, but it’s awful hard to make a small amount. So for tonight’s meal I had this idea to use up some more of the sauce. I went to the farmers market and got some beautiful Portobello mushrooms along with a bunch of arugula. So here’s what I’m thinking.

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First I start by heating up the sauce on low heat so it doesn’t burn.  Then I heat up my indoor grill pan so it’s really hot. While this is going on I start cleaning  the 6 portobellos by removing the stem and gills from underneath. I brush the tops with a damp towel and get them ready for a spa rub, on both sides, of olive oil and black pepper. I don’t salt them yet because I want them to brown on the grill, not steam. After they get those beautiful grill marks and have caramelized, then I will sprinkle them with some Kosher salt. This whole thing takes, just a few minutes on each side to get this color and the grill marks.

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As the mushrooms and sauce are doing their thing. I slice up some fresh Mozzarella cheese along with grabbing a bunch of my cleaned and dried arugula leaves. I remove the mushrooms from the heat and get them ready for their cheese topping.

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Next I have my oven on broil to get the cheese nice and melted, and bubbling brown on the top.

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Now to spoon on some of that sauce. Listen, you could totally make this meat free with your own sauce, or even a good jar sauce from the store. I’m not being shy with the sauce either. Big spoonfuls please! Finally I top the sauce with that fresh peppery arugula and a sprinkling of Kosher salt. These pizzas are a lot lighter and healthier then having all that pizza dough. Don’t get me wrong I love pizza dough, but once and a while eating a bit healthier can’t be a bad thing.

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