Friday, January 16, 2015

IC Friendly Red Pizza

1-2 pizza's worth of your favorite dough
2 roasted peeled seeded red bell peppers, puréed
1/4 C water
4-6 large cloves of garlic, chopped
Fresh basil, shredded with your hands (use dried if you prefer)
If you have access to other fresh herbs, you can also add thyme, oregano, tarragon, parsley, etc. 
1 tb olive oil
Salt to taste
(Optional, red and black pepper to taste)
1 bag of Daiya mozzarella shreds
1 can of sliced olives
(Optional, artichoke hearts packed in water, mushroom slices, seasoned wheat gluten, or any of your favorite pizza toppings)

Purée the red bell peppers in a blender, food processor, or use a stick blender. You may need to add a little olive oil to get things moving. Set aside.

Warm your olive oil in a sauce pot over a medium low flame.  When you can feel heat from the oil, add your chopped garlic and turn the heat all the way down. Let the garlic infuse the oil for ten minutes or so.  When your kitchen smells like grandma's house, turn the heat to medium and pour in the bell pepper purée. 

Add your herbs and water, and simmer (stirring occasionally) until it thickens to a pizza sauce consistency. Take off heat and salt to taste. If your sauce is bitter, you can sprinkle in some sugar. Making sure all the seeds and skin are removed cuts down on bitterness.

My favorite dough recipe, made in a bread machine:

3/4 C semolina flour
3/4 C spelt flour
1 3/4 C bread flour or AP flour
3 tb sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1-2 tb olive oil
1 1/4 C plain unsweetened almond milk, warm
1 envelope of yeast

Using the dough setting, add the ingredients according to the manual for your machine. I add salt and sugar first, then liquid followed by the semolina and spelt. Next comes the yeast and finally the wheat flour. I let the dough mix for a bit, then use a scraper to push down the flour and dough pieces that stick to the side. Wait until the first mixing cycle is done to decide to add more flour or almond milk. A good dough ball will be round and firm, but not sticky (too wet) or flaky (too dry). To fix a dough ball, add a tb of flour or almond milk to get it right. 

This dough is ready to bake when the bread machine is done, or you can knead and store in a zippy bag coated with olive oil for the next day. This will develop the gluten and make your dough chewy and puffy. When you roll out your dough, you may need to let it rest if the gluten gets fussy.  You'll see this if the dough keeps shrinking back to its original size.  Letting it relax in the fridge for a few minutes will make rolling it out easier.  The higher the gluten content of your flour, the puffier our crust will be.  Bread flour has a high gluten content, AP flour has less, pastry flour has low gluten content.  You may need to play with different types of flour to get the crust you like.

Top your pizza with a few tb of sauce, olives (and other veggies), a handful of cheese shreds, and bake at 450° for at least 10 minutes. Check the crust for crisping, depending on the thickness, it may take 20 minutes or so to cook through. The thicker the crust, the lower in the oven it should go. You may need to broil the top to get the cheese to melt. If your crust is golden, take the pizza out of the oven while the broiler fires up so that the bottom doesn't burn. 

Serve hot, keeps well in the refrigerator for a few days.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Rocket Salad with Kite Hill Cassucio Cheese

I needed some superfoods after Christmas, so this is what I came up with.  

2 handfuls of wild rocket, or arugula
1 persian cucumber, diced
1/4 C red bell pepper, chopped
2 tb sliced black olives
1-2 oz Kite Hill Cassucio cheese, diced (check the ingredients, if they're bothersome, use garbanzos)
1 tb orange infused olive oil (aranciolio)
Salt and pepper to taste

Lay greens on the plate, then cucumbers and bell peppers.  Sprinkle with olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Top with cheese and olives.  Nom, nom, crunch, crunch.

As it is, this salad is low carb, fiber rich, full of healthy fats, vitamin C, and other stuff that is good for winter stricken bodies.  Also, it is IC Friendly.  But if you like, you could add more veggies, croutons, wonton strips, nuts, seeds, or use limonoilo instead of aranciolio.

IC Friendly Pozole

Pozole is a lot like menudo as it has hominy cooked in a spicy broth.  From what I've been told, the difference types of soup is the meat you make it with,  Menudo has tripe while pozole has pork and chicken.  Pozole can be red, made with red chiles, or green, made with tomatillo and green/yellow chiles.  If you want to make this recipe green, use yellow bell peppers that you've roasted, seeded, and peeled.

1 jar of roasted bell peppers (about 3-4 peppers)
1 large can of hominy (the really big one that looks like it's about a gallon)
Thyme (I used about 4 heaping tb dried)
Oregano (if you use fresh, start slow, you can always add more)
3 large cloves of garlic, chopped
2 boxes of sliced mushrooms
(optional ) 1 C of your favorite chik'n substitute, sliced (unflavored wheat gluten/seitan works well.  I used +gardein Crispy Mandarin Orange Chik'n without sauce, but it has soy)
1/2 - 1/4 C maseca (masa harina)
Canola or corn oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Water or IC Friendly broth for cooking

Traditional IC Friendly garnishes include shredded cabbage, avocado, radish slices, oregano, and thyme. *

You're gonna need a big soup/stock pot for this quantity of pozole, but I guarantee it's worth it.  Everybody will want some too and it will last until the end of the next day.  **

The first thing I do when I cook with hominy is drain and rinse it.  Just dump it in a colander, run the faucet, and leave it to drain while you cook.  Then, put your mushrooms in a dry pan to sweat.  Cook them until they're soft.  They don't need to dry out, the juices will add flavor to your broth.

Add the bell peppers to your pot with a 1/2 C of water and bring to a boil.  Put the peppers with the water into your blender (or you can use a boat motor), keep the pulp or strain if you like, then back into the pot with 2 quarts of water.  Add your garlic, herbs, salt, pepper if you can tolerate it, and bring back to a boil.  Taste your broth to see if it needs more herbs or salt.  Add the mushrooms, chik'n, and hominy and cover with more water, about two inches over the hominy.   Boil for about 15-30 minutes, stir so it doesn't stick.  It;s ready for the roux when the hominy is tender, but still toothy (al dente).

While the soup boils, make your masa roux.  For masa roux, I like to use 1 part oil to 2 parts maseca. Heat oil in a saucepan, then sprinkle or sift in the maseca.  When it's cooked through, ladle some broth from your pot (about a cup) and add water to thin.  Work out any lumps and stir while you bring to a boil.  If your hominy isn't soft when the roux comes together, set the roux to warm and stir about every minute so that it doesn't burn or stick.

When, the hominy is soft add the masa roux and stir so that it mixes evenly.  Bring back to a boil, stir well, and serve with hot corn tortillas.  What you see in the picture is pozole topped with shredded cabbage and avocado slices.

*If any of the ingredients in this recipe are bothersome for you, substitute them for something else.  For example, parsley instead of oregano or diced zucchini instead of mushrooms.  

**to make a more manageable quantity, use these proportions:

1roasted, peelers bell pepper
1small can of hominy
1 tb thyme and 1 tb oregano
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 C to 1 C sliced mushrooms
(Optional)1/2 C chik'n, sliced
1 to 2 tb maseca
1 to 2 tb canola or corn oil
Salt and pepper to taste

The hominy and herbs will be cheaper at the Mexican market, and they may have better corn tortillas.  My favorite are dark yellow, grainy, thick, and smell like fragrant masa.  They steam very well.  I've seen hominy that has been frozen in supermarkets before, but I've never used it before.  If you have massive leftovers, freeze them in a zipper bag for no longer than a month. The Middle Eastern store may have large jars of roasted peppers at a good price.