Saturday, November 30, 2013

Bacon and Brussels Sprouts Cast Iron Pizza

It's fall (or at least, it was when I made this - hope you had a tasty Thanksgiving!). To me, fall means three things - Brussels sprouts, bacon, and PIZZA. Cooking with a Dutch oven or cast iron is 100% necessary. And if cheese is in the mix, I'm a happy girl.When I saw a recipe that combined all my favorite things, I was so excited to try it! Thanks to How Sweet It Is for this recipe! My tweaked version is below. Great for a casual Friday night pizza night.

Bacon and Brussels Sprouts Cast Iron Pizza

1/2 cup and 1 tablespoon warm water (100-110 degrees)
1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 tablespoon honey
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

2 pieces thick-sliced bacon (I recommend getting these from the butcher if you don't feel like investing in a whole package. $1 will get you two of the best pieces of bacon you'll ever have!)
3/4 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups sharp white cheddar, shredded

 In the bowl of a standing mixer, combine water, yeast, honey and olive oil with a spoon and let sit about 10 minutes. Add in 1 cup flour and salt and mix with the dough hook until the dough comes together but it still sticky. Add the additional 1/2 cup flour and let it keep mixing a couple more minutes. Rub a large metal bowl with olive oil then place the dough inside, turning to coat. Cover with a towel and place in a warm place to rise for about 1 1/2 hours. 

Meanwhile, cook bacon in cast iron skillet until crispy. Remove and place on a paper towel-lined plate.With the cast iron on medium-high heat, add Brussels sprouts to the bacon drippings and cook until crisped, stirring occasionally, about 12-15 minutes. Remove to a bowl and let it cool, then wipe clean.

After the dough has risen for the hour and a half, punch it down and place it back on the floured surface. With floured hands, press out dough to roughly fit your cast iron skillet. Now place an oven rack directly under your broiler and preheat your broiler to the highest setting. Additionally, heat your cast iron on high heat. The pan might begin to smoke - let it get as hot as you're comfortable with, for 10 minutes.  

Carefully flip the pizza dough onto the hot cast iron and let cook 2 minutes. Quickly cover with the cheddar then the Brussels and bacon and put in the oven under the broiler. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until cheese is melted and dough is getting browned on the crust. Remove from the oven and let cool a few minutes, then use a large spatula to place on a cutting board. Cut and demolish :)

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

A veggie burger that can't be "beet"

My fall garden is in full swing, and I love all the fun colors, flavors and textures that come with harvest time. While burgers are one of my top 5 favorite foods, veggie burgers are in my top 10 and something I love to make at home. I don't see them as a meat replacement, but rather as a delicious treat all on their own! The best thing about these burgers? The bright pink/purple color! Enjoy :)

Veggie Beet Burger

1/3 cup rolled oats
3 medium beets, roasted, peeled and quartered (I roast mine 1-2 days early to let them cool before peeling)
1 cup cooked black rice (or any other rice you have on hand)
1 15-oz can chickpeas (black beans would be nice here too)
2 garlic cloves
1/4 red onion (about 1/2 cup chopped)
1 egg
1 teaspoon cumin
3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
6 hamburger buns (scoop out some of the insides to help contain the burger while eating if you like)
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
Prepared pesto (I made some a couple days earlier with basil from the garden)
Goat cheese
Greens like spinach, kale or whatever else you might have in your fall garden!

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place oats in a food processor and pulse until fine like flour. Remove. Place beets in the food processor bowl and pulse until roughly chopped. Add in rice, chickpeas, garlic and onion and pulse until well combined and chopped. Add egg, spices and oat flour and pulse a few times to combine.

Using plastic gloves (unless you're not worried about dying your hands purple!) shape 6 patties out of the beet mixture and place on baking sheet. Roast for about 30 minutes. Remove and let cool 5 minutes.

Lightly oil the insides of the burger puns and sear in a hot skillet until toasted. Smear in some pesto and goat cheese, then add a layer of greens. Add beet patties and enjoy!

Note, these patties are even tastier (and hold together a bit better) the next day. I reheat mine in the toaster oven for about 5 minutes at 350 degrees.