Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Where You Taste The Love

Rustic-Style Grilled Pizzas

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Whenever I talk about making pizza at home, I need to decide on the toppings. Because we’re into the beginning of summer, I thought I check out what was in season at my local farmers’ market. Boy was I surprised! There was so much to choose from that I thought I get a little of everything.

These pizzas are great if you’re leading a vegetarian lifestyle. I will post this under both categories, “pizza dishes” and “vegetarian dishes”. Oh yeah, I’ve got a great to prepare the toppings.

Making your own pizza dough is fun but because this post is going to concentrate on the toppings. I’m taking help from my local grocery store and buying the pre-made pizza dough. You can also go to your local pizzeria and buy your dough.

Let’s get started on my Rustic-Style Grilled Pizzas.

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Sweet Basil (2)

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Fennel bulb

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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 to 60 minutes
(each of the veggies takes a different roasting time. The roasting order starts with onions and fennel, next, the bell peppers, garlic, and finally, the beets.)
Grilling Time: 2 to 4 minutes per side
Total Time:  2 hours 8 minutes
Equipment: 2 rimmed baking sheet pans, indoor grill pan, 2 large mixing bowls, rolling pin, 1 small mixing bowl, 2 pair of disposable gloves, chef’s knife

Complete List Of Ingredients:
1 ball of store-bought pizza dough
2 4-ounce balls of fresh mozzarella cheese
4 ounces of fresh goat cheese
6 slices of Prosciutto, thin julienned strips (optional)
4 heirloom tomatoes, cut into wedges
1 sweet onion, roasted
2 bulbs of fennel cleaned, cored, and roasted
2 red beets, roasted and diced
2 golden beets, roasted and diced
1 red bell pepper, roasted and julienned
1 yellow bell pepper, roasted and julienned
2 bulbs of garlic, roasted
3 tablespoons of basil leaves, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons of Italian flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
1 16-ounce package of Spring Mix

Ingredients From The Pantry:
Olive oil
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Kosher salt
Black pepper
Red wine vinegar
granulated sugar

Ingredients For Heirloom Tomato Topping:
4 heirloom tomatoes, cut into wedges
1 teaspoon of sugar
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
2 tablespoons of chopped fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar
1/4 cup of *E.V.O.O.

Directions For Heirloom Tomato Topping:
Add all the ingredients to a large mixing bowl, toss to combine. Set aside.

Ingredients For Roasted Fennel And Onions:
1 large sweet onion quartered
2 bulbs of fennel cored and quartered
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper
1/4 cup of olive oil

Note: The fennel and onions will roast on the same rimmed baking sheet pan. The garlic, bell peppers, and beets will roast on the second baking sheet.

Note: Watch the roasting times for each vegetable.

Directions For Roasted Fennel:
Preheat oven to 425-degrees F.
Place the fennel and onions onto a rimmed sheet pan, spread out into one even layer. Drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper, toss to coat. Roast for 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer to a large mixing bowl set aside.

Note: The bell peppers, beets, and garlic bell peppers will roast on the same baking sheet pan.

Ingredients For Roasted garlic:
2 bulbs of garlic, cut in half crosswise
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper

Directions For Roasted Garlic:
Preheat oven to 425-degrees F.
Place the halved garlic bulbs into a large piece of aluminum foil. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the tops of each half. Sprinkle with Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper. Wrap the garlic up tightly in the foil, transfer to a baking sheet pan. Roast for 40 minutes. Once cool enough to handle, squeeze the garlic cloves out of their skins into a small bowl. Add 1/2 cup of olive oil, using a fork smash the garlic into a paste.

Ingredients For Roasted Bell Peppers:
1 yellow bell pepper, washed and dried
1 red bell pepper, washed and dried

Directions For Roasted Bell Peppers;
Preheat oven to 425-degrees F.
Wrap each bell pepper in foil, Place onto a baking sheet pan along with the garlic. Roast for 30 to 35 minutes. Unwrap the peppers, transfer to a large mixing bowl. cover tightly with plastic wrap. Allow to steam for 10 minutes. Remove the skins, seed, and slice into julienne strips. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Set aside.

Ingredients For Roasted Beets:
2 red beets, washed and dried, cut off the tops and bottoms, cut in half
2 golden beets, washed and dried, cut off the tops and bottoms, cut in half
2 tablespoons of Kosher salt, divided
2 teaspoons of freshly ground black pepper, divided
1/2 cup of olive oil
2 tablespoons of *E.V.O.O., divided
2 tablespoons of Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 tablespoon of fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar

Directions For Roasted Beets:
Preheat oven to 425-degrees F.
Layout two large pieces of aluminum foil. Place the red in one and the golden ones on another. Add the olive oil, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper to each pair of beets. Using gloves toss to combine. Wrap up tightly in the foil, transfer to the baking sheet pan containing the wrapped garlic and bell peppers. Roast for 1 hour (60 minutes) or until a knife can be inserted with no resistance. Once cool, using disposable gloves, remove the skins, dice, and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add chopped basil, Italian parsley, 2 tablespoons of *E.V.O.O., and red wine vinegar. Toss to combine set aside.

Directions For Store-Bought Pizza Dough:
Allow the dough rest a room temperature for 1 hour. Cut the dough ball into four equal parts. Next, dust a flat surface with all-purpose flour. Roll the dough out to around 6 to 8-inches in diameter. They don’t have to be perfectly round, that’s what gives them that rustic look.

Preheat an indoor grill pan over medium-high heat. Brush two of the pizza doughs with olive oil then place onto the grill pan, oiled side down. Brush the tops with olive oil. Grill for 2 to 4 minutes per side.

Preheat oven to 425-degrees F.
Arrange the four grilled pizzas (2 grilled pizzas on each pan) onto 2 rimmed baking sheet pans. Next, brush the tops of each of the pizzas with roasted garlic. Evenly distribute torn fresh mozzarella over each one. the pizzas. Transfer the baking sheet pans to the oven leaving the door slightly ajar. This process only takes a couple of minutes.

Once the cheese melts, pull the pizzas out and start arranging the toppings. I 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 top of the melted mozzarella. Two of them I saved for the heirloom tomatoes and prosciutto, one for the roasted peppers, and one for the roasted red and yellow beets topped with crumbled goat cheese.

To serve the pizzas I added mixed greens, which included baby spinach, Swiss chard, and baby kale. The heirloom tomato pizzas, I laid the greens underneath the tomatoes because I wanted the colors to show through. Then I topped with the sliced prosciutto. With the roasted peppers and beets, I placed the greens on top with a sprinkling of Kosher salt and pepper. You could make your Rustic-Style Grilled Pizzas with whatever ingredients you like. These are just a few ideas you may want to play around with when you’re making your favorite pizza.

*E.V.O.O. is an acronym for extra virgin olive oil.

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Homemade Chili Verde

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Chili Verde is a style of chili traditionally made with white beans, tomatillos, onions, garlic, jalapeno or serrano peppers. Verde (the color green) lets you know the sauce is not tomato-based, instead, using the ingredients I’ve mentioned along with a lot of bold spices.

Listen, you could also add your choice of protein, like, ground chicken, pork, or turkey to this dish. Today, I’m adding braised pork to my Chili Verde.

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Mexican chocolate as seen below is used as a spice in traditional chili recipes. This chocolate adds depth of flavor to this dish.

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The tomatillo, which is not related to the tomato instead belongs to the gooseberry family and comes in its own natural wrapping.

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Cilantro

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Stuffing (2)

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I have a great tip for removing corn kernels from their cob and that’s to use a bundt pan. This way the corn won’t fly off in every direction.

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Olive Oil

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Limes

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Using the leftover Chili Verde to create a pie was a perfect idea. Garnished with a few slices of avocado, my Chili Verde Pie turned out to be a home run.

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours 50 minutes
Total Time: 7 hours 5 minutes
Yields: 4 to 6 servings
Equipment: 2 (6-quart) Dutch oven pots, 1 (10-cup) food processor, 1 rimmed baking sheet pan, large mixing bowl, medium-size mixing bowl, chef’s knife, indoor grill-pan, bundt pan, pastry brush, non-stick cooking spray, aluminum foil, plastic wrap, kitchen twine

Ingredients For The Braised Pork Loin:
1 (3-pound) pork loin, tied
1/2 cup of olive oil
1/4 cup of Canola oil (use for grilling corn)
1 tablespoon of ground cumin
1 tablespoon of ground coriander
1 tablespoon of ground chipotle powder
1 tablespoon of light brown sugar
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 tablespoon of garlic powder
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
3 cup of chicken stock, unsalted
3 cups of orange juice
6 sprigs of cilantro
2 bay leaves
1 medium-size onion, peeled and halved
1 whole jalapeno

Ingredients For The Chili Verde:
1/2 cup of olive oil plus 7 tablespoons
1 tablespoon of cumin seeds
1 tablespoon of ground cumin
2 tablespoon of ground coriander
8 tomatillos, peeled and quartered
4 large white onions, 2 quartered, 1 diced, 1 roasted
1 whole bulb of garlic, roasted, divided
4 Poblano peppers, roasted
2 limes, juiced
3 1/4 cups of chicken stock, unsalted
3 cups of orange juice
1 green bell pepper diced
3 jalapeno peppers, 2 seeded and minced (substitute serrano pepper)
1 cup of cilantro leaves plus 5 sprigs of cilantro (including their stems)
2 bay leaves
2 1/2 tablespoons of Kosher salt
2 teaspoons of freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) of Mexican chocolate, freshly grated
2 tablespoons of Agave nectar
1 lime, juiced
2 (15.5-ounce) cans of Cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups of shelled Edamame, shelled (optional)
4 corn on the cob, grilled and kernels removed
braised pork cooking liquid, reserve 1/2 a cup for *slurry
2 heaping tablespoons of cornstarch

Garnish and Toppings:
crunchy tortilla strips
cheddar cheese, freshly grated
Queso Fresco, crumbled
1/2 red onion, finely diced
lime wedges
cilantro

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375-degrees F.
Start by spraying both sides of the corn tortillas with non-stick cooking spray. Stack the tortillas on top of each other slicing them into strips. Divide the strips in half giving you two equal portions. Arrange the tortilla strips into a single layer on each baking sheet pan. Sprinkle with Kosher salt. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Allow the tortilla strips to cool for 15 minutes before placing them into a large resealable bag.

Adust the oven temperature to 425-degrees F.
Directions For Roasting The Vegetables:
To start, slice a whole garlic bulb in half crosswise. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, sprinkle with Kosher salt and pepper to taste. Wrap tightly with foil. Place the poblano peppers, the halved onion, and foil-wrapped garlic bulb on a rimmed baking sheet pan. Drizzle 1/2 cup of olive oil over the poblanos and onion halves. Sprinkle with 1 1/2 tablespoons of Kosher salt and 1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.

In the meantime, seed and dice 1 green bell pepper, dice the onion, quarter the tomatillos, and seed and mince the 2 jalapeno peppers. Place the vegetables on a large platter and set aside. Shuck corn, remove the silk. Set aside.

Transfer the Poblano peppers to a large mixing bowl cover tightly with plastic wrap, steam for 15 minutes. Next, carefully unwrap the roasted garlic allowing it to cool along with the onion halves.

Take 1/2 the roasted garlic bulb, squeeze the bulb until the roasted garlic slides out from the skins. Dice the roasted garlic, transfer to the plate containing the diced green bell pepper and onion.

Moving forward, using your hands, peel the skin off the Poblano peppers. Cut the tops off then remove and discard the seeds. Into the food processor, fitted with the metal blade, add the roasted poblanos, the remaining half of roasted garlic cloves, lime juice, and both the roasted onion halves. Next, add 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt, 1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper, and 1/4 cup of chicken stock. Pulse until the mixture comes together in a thick consistency. Refer to the picture above. Transfer to a medium-size mixing bowl. Set aside.

This beautifully roasted poblano-garlic flavored purée that is going to bring this chili up to a level of perfection.

Heat the indoor grill pan over medium-high heat. Brush each one of the corn with Canola oil. Arrange the cobs on the grill pan turning them every 2 minutes or until they begin to char around 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool. Using a bundt pan, remove the kernels. Set aside.

Adjust the oven temperature to 350-degrees F.
Directions For Braising The Pork Loin:
Start by adding the spices into a large mixing bowl for the pork loin. Add ground cumin, coriander, dried Chipotle powder, brown sugar, Kosher salt, garlic powder, and fresh ground black pepper. Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil, mix to form a paste. Cover the pork loin with the spice rub, transfer to a large plate. Set aside.

In the bottom of a large Dutch oven add the quartered onions, 3 cups of chicken broth, orange juice, 5 tied sprigs of cilantro, 2 bay leaves, and 1 whole jalapeno. Arrange the spice-rubbed pork loin on top. You want to make sure the liquid comes up the sides of the pork without covering the meat. If needed, adjust the liquid by adding water.

Over medium-high heat bring up to a boil, reduce the heat allowing the liquid in the pot to be at a simmer. Place the lid on, transfer to the oven, and cook for 5 hours.

Halfway into the cooking process flip the pork loin and continue cooking. After the pork has finished braising transfer the pot to the top of the stove. Carefully remove the pork loin to a cutting board. Discard the string. Cut the pork into bite-size chunks and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Set aside.

In another Dutch oven over medium heat add 3 tablespoons of olive oil. To the oil add 1 tablespoon of cumin seeds, 1 tablespoon of ground cumin, and 2 tablespoons of ground coriander, stir to combine. Stirring frequently, cook for 1 minute allowing the spices to *bloom or until you smell their aroma.

To the pot add the diced green bell peppers, onions, minced jalapenos, and roasted garlic, stir to coat with spice mixture. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until soft. Add the freshly grated Mexican chocolate, lime juice, and the Agave nectar stir to combine. Finish by adding the poblano purée, and tomatillos, again stir to combine.

Now it’s time for the liquid. Using a slotted spoon and scoop out the onions, bay leaves, and jalapeno. They ‘ve done their work. Reserve 1/2 cup of the braising liquid in a small bowl and set aside. I’ll explain in a minute. The rest of the liquid is going into the chili.

At this point add the corn, Cannelini beans, and Edamame (optional) to the pot.

To the pot containing the vegetables add the shredded pork and all the braising liquid. You want the liquid to come up to about 2 inches from the top. If needed, add a little chicken stock. Cook over medium heat for 45 minutes.

The liquid will reduce and the chili will thicken some but not enough. Here’s what I do. After the 45 minutes taste for seasoning. Add Kosher salt and pepper if needed. In the bowl containing the reserved braising liquid add the cornstarch, mix until smooth and paste-like.

Add the *slurry into the chili. Allow the chili to come back up to a bubble and cook for another 15 minutes.

The Homemade Chili Verde is ready.

The best part is the toppings. I chose to make some crunchy tortilla strips, cheddar, and Queso Fresco cheese, avocado slices, and lime wedges.

I’m wondering if you can #tastethelove that went into making this dish?

How can you change this chili into something a little different the next day? Dishes like this are always better the next day because the flavors marry together which causes magical things to happen. I spent a lot of time making this dish, so I thought I’d turn my chili into Chili Verde Pies. I bought 2 boxes of store-bought ready-made pie crusts. There are some great ones out there so don’t be afraid to take advantage whenever you can.

I took two of my pie dishes and placed 1 pie crust into the bottom of each pie plate. Then I brushed the bottom pie-crust dough with beaten egg whites. This helps to prevent that raw mushy-like bottom dough taste. The egg whites form a barrier between the filling and the crust. Cool right?

Using a slotted spoon, to separate as much of the liquid as possible, I filled both the pies with half the chili. Sprinkled shredded cheddar and the Queso Fresco on top of each pie. Placed the remaining two pie crusts on top of each pie, crimped the edges, brushed them with an egg wash, and cooked them according to the directions on the pie crust box. There you have it, Homemade Chili Verde Pie.

*Bloom:  The process of cooking spices in oil allowing them to release their essential oils.

*Slurry:  A thickening mixture that is made up of cold liquid with cornstarch. It’s used as a thickening agent.

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Cajun-Style Fajitas With Citrus Marinated Onions And Peppers

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I want to say, I love watching food shows. The shows give me a chance to keep learning new things. All types of chefs throughout the U.S. are always coming up with innovative ways to take classic dishes and make them their own.

I love to take what I’ve learned and put my own spin on the dish. The star of my dish is Andouille sausage. This type of sausage is widely used in New Orleans cuisine, for example; Jambalaya. It’s really flavorful, but it does have some heat.

These are my Cajun-Style Fajitas With Citrus Marinated Peppers And Onions.

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Prep Time:
Inactive Prep Time: 2 hours minimum
Cook Time:
Total Time:
Yields: 6 servings
Equipment: 12-inch sauté pan, 10-inch sauté pan, 2 large mixing bowls, large Tupperware container, 2 rimmed baking sheet pans, non-stick cooking spray

Ingredients For Andouille Marinade:
10 links of Andouille sausage (about 1 1/2 pounds/2 packages), sliced on the bias
1 packed cup of light brown sugar
1 cup of molasses
2 tablespoons of water

Ingredients:
1/4 cup of olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
2 teaspoons of freshly ground black pepper
2 large sweet onions, quartered and roasted
2 red bell peppers, roasted, seeded and julienned
1 yellow bell pepper, roasted, seeded and julienned
12 ounces of orange juice
1/4cup of soy sauce, low sodium
1/4 cup of packed light brown sugar
6 limes, 2 juiced, 4 cut into wedges for garnish
2 large cloves of garlic, freshly grated
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
2 cups of Monterey Jack cheese, freshly grated
2 cups of Queso Fresco, crumbled
6 (6-inch) flour tortillas
6 (4-inch) corn tortillas
Cilantro for garnish

Directions:
Preheat oven to 425-degrees F.
In a large bowl add equal parts brown sugar and molasses. Add 2 tablespoons of water, mix to combine. Add the sliced Andouille sausage to the marinade, toss to coat. Cover with plastic wrap, refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours, overnight’s even better.

After quartering the onion place them into a large mixing bowl along with the bell peppers. Add olive oil, 1 1/2 tablespoons of Kosher salt, and 1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper, toss to coat. Arrange the onions and bell peppers on a rimmed baking sheet pan as seen in the picture above.  Roast for 40 minutes, turn the peppers halfway through to all them to char on all sides.

A Good Tip: When you open the oven to retrieve the roasted peppers, stand back for just a second so you don’t get a pepper facial.

Allow the onions to remain on the baking sheet to cool while preparing the roasted peppers for peeling. Using a pair of tongs grab the hot roasted peppers, transfer them to a large bowl and tightly cover with plastic wrap. This will cause the peppers to steam, while in the bowl, and this will ensure their skins will peel off easily. Give it around 30 minutes, before taking off the plastic wrap. Remove the skins and seeds. Slice the peppers into thin strips (julienne) placing them back into the bowl along with the roasted onions.

In a large Tupperware container add orange juice, low sodium soy sauce, light brown sugar, the juice of 2 limes, freshly grated garlic, 1 teaspoon of Kosher salt, and 1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper, whisk to combine. Add the roasted peppers and onions to the marinade, mix to combine and set aside.

The next step is to grate the Monterey Jack cheese and crumble the Queso Fresco. Transfer the cheeses to a plate and set aside.

In a large sauté pan over medium heat, add the marinated sliced Andouille sausage. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until the sauce thickens and sausage becomes caramelized. Add the roasted peppers, onions, and the citrus marinade to the pan. The marinade will help to deglaze the pan by using your wooden spoon to scrape any bits that may be stuck to the bottom. Frequently stirring the sausage, peppers, and onions together, cook for another 5 minutes or until the marinade’s reduced and the sauce has thickened, then turn off the heat

Preheat open to 400-degrees F.
I’m using both corn and flour tortillas for this dish. For the corn tortillas, I sprayed both sides with cooking spray and arranged them onto a rimmed baking sheet pan to crisp up in the oven, around 5 minutes.

The flour tortillas place on at a time into a dry hot sauté pan over medium heat. Cook for about 30 to 60 seconds, or until browned, then flip and cook for another 30 seconds.

Place a little of the marinated Andouille with the roasted peppers and onions on one of each type of the tortillas. Top with a combination of the Queso Fresco and the Monterey Jack cheese. Garnish with a kiss of very finely chopped cilantro. Serve with a couple of lime wedges. There you have it, my Cajun-Style Fajitas With Citrus Marinated Onions And Peppers

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