Saturday, August 20, 2011

Cleaning out the Kitchen

It's official: We're Moving!  OK, it's been official for awhile now, but I've been so busy packing that I haven't been posting.  We have to be out of our apartment by the end of the month, so I've been trying my hardest to reduce the amount of food in our pantry and freezer.  The more things I use up, the less I have to pack up when we leave and the less we spend on groceries during our remaining time here.  My latest use-it-up recipe was Smoky Southwest Pizza from Camilla Saulsbury's Puff Pastry Perfection.  I adapted and streamlined it a bit so I was able to use only ingredients I had on hand.

I have to admit, I made this once before and completely screwed it up.  I didn't follow the directions and I used way too much salsa which made the whole thing come out as a soggy mess.  This time, I learned my lesson and just eyeballed everything and it turned out really yummy.  For my version, I defrosted a sheet of frozen puff pastry and rolled it out slightly onto a cookie sheet sprinkled with a little cornmeal.  I spread a very thin layer of good quality salsa over the pastry, and then sprinkled a reasonable amount of cheddar cheese on top.  The whole thing cooked for about 20 minutes at 400 degrees.  It came out MUCH better than last time.  So, once again I warn you: do not overdo the salsa.  You will regret it.  If I wanted this to come out even a tiny bit better, I probably should have pre-baked the pastry like the recipe suggested, but I was in a hurry and missed that step.  Thankfully, my error this time around was not nearly as bad as my prior attempt.  If you love puff pastry as much as I do, definitely check out Camilla's cookbook.  (I also recommend her blog Enlightened Cooking).

Monday, August 8, 2011

Another use for pesto

Just a quick post to share a family favorite that uses some more delicious summer pesto: Pesto Chicken Pizza from Health Magazine.

I never use commercial pesto because the one time I was craving pesto in mid-winter and decided to buy a jar, I found it way too salty and it had a bunch of questionable ingredients in it that just didn't seem like they belonged in pesto.  If you ask me, the real deal is easy enough to make and freeze to enjoy year-round. (See my original post here.)

Last week, my mom made this recipe for us and she used a large ciabatta loaf instead of the pizza crust. All she did was cut the loaf in half and then cut it again lengthwise.  I think I liked this variation even better than the original!