Brad’s Stromboli, That’s Amori

Brad’s Stromboli, That’s Amori

If you are a Stromboli aficionado, please don’t be offended. I know I broke a few rules, but honestly, this recipe I whipped up is delicious. Like it’s relative, the pizza, you can use whatever ingredients you’ve got on hand. I highly recommend you get a bit adventurous and try a few new combinations.

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This is where the purists will pitch a fit…

I used my French bread recipe as the base. Most recipes call for a pizza dough, but I like the sweet, chewy texture of the French bread I make, so I took culinary license!

Follow the recipe linked to below, but STOP when you get to the directions for punching down the risen dough and separating it into two halves.

French Bread Recipe explained in excruciating detail with photos!

Ingredients for Filling
2 packages or 1 pound sliced Black Forest ham
1 package sliced pepperoni
1 package or 1/2 pound sliced mozzarella cheese
1 package or 1/2 pound sliced provolone cheese
1 bell pepper, sliced
1 egg, beaten

Directions
While your dough is rising, prepare your filling ingredients. I sliced and sautéed a green pepper in some olive oil. If you wanted to use spicy sausage, you would cook, drain, and cool it. You could slice and fry up an onion.

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Roll out dough on a floured surface into a large rectangle. Layer cheese, meat, and vegetables. For my two Strombolis, I used mozzarella, ham, and peppers on one and I used ham, pepperoni, mozzarella, and provolone on the other. Season with salt and pepper. Roll tightly. Please on cookie sheet and brush on egg wash.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Baking time will vary depending upon your oven. Let it sit for a few minutes before slicing. Serve with a small dish of pizza or red pasta sauce for dipping. Please note I did not spread sauce inside of the Stromboli before baking. I was worried it might get a little soggy after sitting. Since the recipe makes two, any leftovers are easily wrapped in tin foil and reheated later.

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How do you like your Stromboli? Please share your preferences!

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Vacation Vittles – Pizza, Seafood, Sausage

Vacation Vittles – Pizza, Seafood, Sausage

I spent last week on Hilton Head Island. I love that place. So many great spots to eat! In a slight departure from my usual topic of home cooked goodness, I thought I would share some of the yummy dinners I dined on.

If you frequent Hilton Head, some of these places might be familiar. Feel free to let me know what your favorite HH restaurants are so I can try them on a future vacation.

Il Carpaccio

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If like me, you fell in love with pizza in Naples, Italy, then you will understand that even though fresh seafood is the specialty on Hilton Head, I cannot leave the island without at least one pizza from Il Carpaccio. The thin, charred crust and delicate fresh tomato sauce is the closest I’ve found in the U.S. to the real thing. I chose the vegetarian this visit. Artichoke hearts, bell peppers, mushrooms, and zucchini tasted fresh and delicious.

I sometimes go off menu and ask for prosciutto, Gorgonzola, pine nuts, and pear or some other combination I tried in Italy. They are very accommodating!

The Carolina Crab Company

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You absolutely, positively cannot leave Hilton Head without trying a Low Country Boil. If you’ve eaten a LCB in some other state, you will be in for a delightful surprise when you try one from the region where it originated. What you cannot see in this image of yumminess is the loaf of hot bread I used for dunking in the flavorful broth. I’ve never tried to make my own boil, I know the timing is essential for each added element. I have a feeling it takes practice to get it right!

The Skull Creek Boathouse

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Skull Creek Boathouse is a favorite with locals and tourists. It has a huge outdoor dining area that looks over the tidewaters. The view is wonderful. The food is even better. I tried coco scallops with a pineapple salsa. The creamy coconut sauce was delicious when pared with the heat of the jalapeno and sweetness of pineapple atop the perfectly seared scallops. I plan to start experimenting with my own versions of this delectable entree. It was one of those meals that had I been in the privacy of my own home, I would have licked the plate clean!

Street Meet

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I usually get a Hoffman snapper at Street Meet, but I could not resist this Cleveland specialty sandwich. Who could pass up grilled kielbasa on a hoagie bun, then piled high with fries, creamy coleslaw, and barbecue sauce? Certainly not I! Accompanied by their own fresh cut potato chips, this was an explosion of flavor in my mouth! The combination of sweet slaw with salty fries and meat was pure heaven. This great little bar/restaurant doubled in size a few months ago so there is now ample indoor seating.

What food vacations have you enjoyed lately? Fee free to post a few pictures with descriptions and links to the restaurant!

Pumpkin Quesadillas — And No, This is Not an Oxymoron!

Pumpkin Quesadillas — And No, This is Not an Oxymoron!

http-_www.rachaelraymag.com_blogs_rachael-ray_2013_10_11_fast-idea-friday-pumpkin-quesadillas

I mentioned pumpkin quesadillas in an earlier blog which featured cooking with kale, and as you can see, I was not kidding. For some reason, I cannot get enough pumpkin flavoring whenever Fall rolls around, so here goes! Enjoy this Meatless Monday recipe from Rachael Ray:

http://www.rachaelraymag.com/recipe/pumpkin-quesadillas/

 

Ingredients you will need:
2 cups of canned pure pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Caramelized red onions (if you go for that sort of thing)
4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled (or your choice of cheese)
8 eight inch flour tortillas
½ cup chopped walnuts, toasted (or hazelnuts)
¼ cup of vegetable oil
Salt, pepper, cayenne pepper to taste

Foolproof* Directions (May not apply to ALL fools!):
These are seriously easy to make! I’d suggest saving them for a day when you need something quick. I added some caramelized red onions and cayenne, skipped the nuts, and it made these quite savory.

    1. In a bowl, mix pumpkin and cumin
    2. Spread the mixture over 4 tortillas
    3. Sprinkle them with cheese and nuts to taste. If you are not a huge fan of goat cheese (I fall into this category) the try using Mexican Cotija or Queso Fresco
    4. Place the remaining 4 tortillas on top
    5. Heat 1tbsp of oil in a large skillet, (preferably non-stick) on medium-low
    6. Cook quesadillas one at a time (medium heat), turning once (more if you’re impatient and like turning them), until browned. Takes about 3 minutes.
    7. Don’t forget to add more oil to the pan between each quesadilla. You could also use cooking spray.
    8. Cut into wedges and enjoy!

More Ideas for Quesadillas

Quesadilla Yummly Collection

Thought to have originated in colonial Mexico (so says Wikipedia), the quesadilla has Americanized over the years. This pumpkin recipe got me thinking about all the different ways you could make quesadillas other than the typical “cheese sandwich” ones. So I turned to one of my favorite foodie websites Yummly, and created a collection, http://www.yummly.com/profile/BradNierenberg/collections/Quesadillas. I plan on trying some of these combinations and will keep you posted! In the meantime, feel free to add your favorite!

Pastrami is Serious Business

New Yorker’s may think they are top of the deli game, but a favorite food blog of mine proves LA actually holds the throne. Check out Serious Eats and their two articles about West Coast/Best Coast pastrami vs the NYC classic:

Double-Baked Bread. Photo Credit Serious Eats (click for link)

Adventure one found the double-baked bread from Langer’s to be the deciding factor in which sandwich was better, but Serious Eats decided to take a second stab at this test. There’s no way that Los Angeles could be the best pastrami city in America…right?

Take two, however, didn’t redeem New York. Los Angeles has created an environment where sandwich artists can thrive,

Can’t beat the best! Photo Credit Serious Eats (click for link)

and so they have – creating menus where customers can order a pastrami burger, panini, or the traditional sandwich.  With Los Angeles’s focus on creating culinary adventures, it’s no wonder that New York City has lost the title of Best Pastrami City.