Monday, December 27, 2010

Vegetable Pizza

I love homemade pizza. It's so much better then average pizza found outside. Dose not take much effort and the most interesting thing is we can have various toppings of our choice and reduce the cheese and sneak in some whole wheat flour. This dough recipe is from Nupur's blog and I am repeating here for completeness. I have used this dough recipe many times now and I am pretty happy. Here I am posting a veggie pizza recipe. We like our pizza neither thin crust nor deep dish..somewhere in middle. Similarly not too chewy nor too crisp. This recipe plays along beautifully. Give it a try.

Ingredients for Dough

2 cup AP bleached flour
1 cup Whole wheat flour
1 tsp Active dry yeast
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Sugar
1/2 cup Warm water
1 tbsp Olive oil

Ingredients for Pizza Toppings

1 cup slice capsicum
1 cup sliced onion
1/2 cup slice tomato
Cheese of your liking.I used shredded mozrella.
Pizza sauce (I used leftover Tomato Basil pasta sauce. )


Add yeast and sugar to warm water. Cover it and let it stand for 10 minutes. It should be foamy and frothy after 10 minutes.

Mix both kind of flour and salt. Add olive oil and yeast mixture to flour. Add water as needed to knead a pliable dough. Once it comes together knead it couple of times to make it smooth.

Now place the dough in well oiled deep bowl. Cover it with moist kitchen towel and let it rest for at least 1 1/2 hour. It would double in size.

After it has doubled in size divide the dough in three parts (I got three 6 inch pizza) and let it again rest for 10 minutes. Make pizza immediately or freeze the dough for later use.

Preheat the oven to 500 F. Place the pizza stone on middle rack. If you do not have pizza stone you can use baking sheet.
Now take one part and flatten it using rolling pin making about a 6 inch circle. You can also do it using hands. If dough is sticky you can use some dry flour. Don't use too much of dry flour.

Take the Pizza peel and spread some cornmeal/sooji/semolina over it. Once pizza is rolled out lift it and place it over the peel. If you are using the baking sheet spray some oil over it and place the rolled out dough over it.

With light hand (At one time my pizza stuck to the peel badly) spread some sauce. I prefer to use little sauce otherwise pizza get soggy. I would say about 2-3 tbsp. Sprinkle salt and pepper generously. Add little cheese (Optional at this point). Now add veggies. Add cheese over the veggies and bake it for about 8 - 10 minutes. For crispier pizza bake couple of minutes more. Savor the delicious results hot!!

Choice of toppings is endless. My husband like a jalapeƱo pepper and mushrooms on his pizza. I like spinach, garlic and feta. Even using store bought pesto gives tasty results. Get creative and experiment with all kind of stuff. Next time I am going to try roasting vegetables before adding them as topping.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Low Fat Chocolate Marble Loaf Cake

I am big fan of starbuck's marble pound cake. So I hunted for the recipe and luckily found it on Starbuck's website. But alas it had 10 eggs and so much butter that I dropped the idea of making it at home and kept indulging once in a while at Starbuck's only. But marble cake is one thing that I always wanted to bake at least once. So another search and I found a recipe in Alice Medrich's Chocolate and the Art of Low-Fat Desserts. Cake turned out very good..crumbly but moist. My friends liked it a lot and this post is for them.

Though above picture doesn't show much swirls because that was the first time I was doing it but later I got much better results (picture below). First time I did not use bread knife and that makes the difference. Recipe mentions it to be baked in 8 -10 cup tube pan but not having one I baked it in 9 in by 5 in loaf pan.

Chocolate Marble Cake (from Alice Medrich's Chocolate and the Art of Low Fat Desserts)

2 Cups cake flour
1 tsp Baking powder
1/2 tsp Baking soda
1/2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Instant espresso or Coffee powder
1/3 cup Unsweetened Dutch process cocoa
1 1/3 cups Sugar
6 tbsp Unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 whole egg
1 egg white
1 cup Nonfat plain yogurt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Have all ingredients at room temp. Preheat oven to 350 degrees with rack in the lower third of the oven. Spray 8-10 cup tube pan or 9 by 5 loaf pan with cooking spray.

Use a whisk to combine four, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Sift together. Set aside.

In a small bowl combine the espresso powder, cocoa and 1/3 cup of the sugar with 1/4 cup of water. Whisk until smooth. Set aside.

In another small bowl, whisk whole egg with egg white. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and remaining 1 cup of sugar until light, about 3 minutes. Gradually add eggs about 1 Tbsp at a time beating constantly for about 2 minutes. Beat in 2 tsp vanilla extract.

Add third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Then beat in half of the yogurt at low speed. Keep alternating flour and yogurt and mixing at low speed until just combined.

Measure out 1 1/2 cups of the yogurt batter and stir into the cocoa mixture.

Use a large spoon to fill the bottom of the pan with about three quarters of the white batter placed in dollops. Cover the white batter with dollops of chocolate batter. Top the chocolate batter with small dollops of white batter spaced so that the chocolate batter shows through. Use a bread knife to marble the batters together with a circular or zigzag motion; be careful not to blend them too much. Bake for 40 -50 minutes or until the cake starts to pull away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted in comes out clean. With 9 by 5 loaf pan it took me 45 minutes.

Cool for 10-15 minutes on a rack. Unmold the cake. Cool completely before serving or storing.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Baked Penne with Roasted Vegetables

Its more than a year since last post. So much so has happened. Have been thinking of coming back and posting but obviously it never happened. I think too much deliberation and perfection kills enjoyment and impulsiveness of action. So today without thinking much I am writing this post with the hopes that I will be regular here.

On the same lines without expecting too much perfection, I mean a recipe with gorgeous picture and measurements so that even beginners can reproduce the dish I will be doing quick posts. Mostly about whatever I made for dinner or lunch with short and easy instructions.Also I use to think that trying recipes from other blogs and blogging about them is lame. But now if I feel that if my attempt whether good or bad is worthy of few words and picture it will find it way here. As I said no more pursuit of perfection. I will blog for fun and sharing.

At times I have found that every evening when I am battling with the question what to cook, I wonder I have been answering this question for almost everyday since marriage, so why am I not pro by now. Keeping that in mind I would try to chronicle what am I cooking everyday so that I can comeback in future and have my choice.

Today I made what I must have thought of cooking of if not 100 time but definitely 20 times. So am really happy that finally I gave it a try and it turned great. Like so many of you Food network is part of my daily routine. It's going on in backdrop when I am busy with my daughter, or trying to finish up some really boring assignment.

Baked Penne with roasted Vegetable comes from one of Everyday Italian by Giada Laurentiis that was all about vegetarian dishes. Vegetarian food rarely makes it appearance on Food Network shows. This recipe is so simple and delicious that I am going to make it more often. It is also good to include wholesome goodness of vegetables in diet.

I omitted Fontina cheese and mozzarella, using only Parmesan. As such me and my husband use cheese in moderation or should I say minimalism. I am not a mushroom fan either so they have to also go.

Simply put you pick vegetables of your choice like carrots, zucchini, squash, green bell pepper, red bell pepper, onion, peas. Slice them to same size and drizzle with olive oil . Add salt, black pepper, italion seasoning blend(I used dried oregano and basil as well) and spread them on line cookie sheet. Bake in oven .

Vegetables ready to go in oven

After roasted in oven

I ate quite a bit of veggies soon after they were roasted. They looked gorgeous and tasted yummy.

While vegetables are roasting, cook the pasta. Finally, eake a baking dish, butter it, add marinara sauce, pasta and vegetables , Parmesan chesse, mix it nicely, add some cheese on top and put it back in oven . For detailed recipe please see Baked Penne with roasted Vegetable .

Baked Penne with Roasted vegetables
Looks great, tastes great. Will make good party food as well as for potlucks.