Wednesday, August 20, 2014

A Little Time With Roz – Pizza Margherita

As I’ve said before, I don’t read recipe books and use very few (although Bev will on occasion), as I prefer to let you who love them do the reading, make the meal, and post the recipe on your blog along with your comments and improvements.

We like both tomatoes and Italian food and this summer, Roz from La Bella VitaCucina has been posting some dishes we wanted to try, so I decided to just devote a week or so to them - first up is Pizza Margherita.

We made the recipe as she posted it, with a few deviations, and rather than recopy it here, you can click on the link above for the recipe and some hunger inducing photos.  This was a joint effort between Bev and I, where she handled the crust and I did the topping.

Now for the deviations.
1. We used Publix made-in-store pizza dough

2. We made a pizza sauce using The Best Pizza Sauce Ever recipe and really liked it as it was, so we omitted Roz’s sauce amendments.  This will now be our go-to pizza sauce.  

2 T olive oil
1 T butter
½ C onion, chopped
¼ C celery, chopped
1 clove of garlic, chopped
8 oz. tomato sauce
6 oz. tomato paste
2 T grated parmesan cheese
1 t basil, dried
1 t oregano, dried
½ t salt
½ t sugar
¼ t black pepper
1 bay leaf
1 t fennel seed

       Melt butter and heat olive oil in a large pot over med heat.  
Add the onion, celery and garlic and saute until soft
             Remove to blender and puree until smooth then return back to the pot
Add in tomato sauce and tomato paste and stir
Add the rest of the ingredients and allow it to simmer on lower heat for 30 to 60 minutes
Remove the bay leaf before using on your pizza

      3.  I ran the sauce and toppings out to the crust edge rather than leaving a 1” edge - just because it never made since to me to do it that way.

4.  I adjusted the baking to suit our oven (I thought), using convection/bake and this was a mistake as the pie ended up spending too much time in the oven getting the crust bottom done – next time, I’ll do what Roz tells me.

Here are some shots but check Roz's site for some good ones.

I thought the pizza was outstanding and would make it again in a heart-beat – the dark sauce on the edges (due to the long oven time) tasted fine, as did the very dark basil (but both kept it from being pretty).  If you are looking for a Pizza Margherita recipe, this one is hard to beat – thanks Roz for a fine supper.

Tune back in for the another offering during Roz week or so.

Photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.


8/18/14 meal date

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Fish On The Grill Ala George

I follow several RV blogs, mostly full timers, and one I read daily is Our Awesome Travels which follows the journeys of George and Suzie, a full time Canadian couple who split their time between Canada and the USA.  George writes about their travels and his daily dinner creation (he was a restaurateur), which is nearly always cooked on a Weber Q – I once commented that he could be the poster boy for this grill.

He frequently cooks fish using an easy method for the grill by making a foil pan, seasoning the fish, topping with lemon slices and cooking with the lid closed (I assume) - I don’t know if he cooks over direct or indirect heat.

I wasn’t sure how it would work with this method but it’s a mild white fish and we were having a southern meal, so I used catfish – hey this is the South you know and I’m making a major departure by not frying it.

I decided to do a little taste test while I was at it and cooked four different filets – two spread with soft butter and two without and one of each with a different spice – toothpicks and whole or halved lemon slices tell me which is which.  Ready for the grill.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Seafood For The Roden’s

In addition to the fried potatoes, the Roden’s also requested seafood while they were here – their dad is a meat and taters Texan who doesn’t eat anything that swims so they don’t do much seafood at home.  For this meal, I decided to kill two birds with one stone by allowing budding griller, Lauren, to expand her repertoire beyond beef and help me cook the seafood.

The menu was to be shrimp, king crab legs, and scallops all cooked on the grill, plus another batch of the fried potatoes.  We decided to make this an event meal over a period of time and began it with some lobster bisque that we had bought at the Palm Beach Gardens, FL Green Market back in January and frozen - it was still very good.

We followed this with king crab legs heated on the grill and then Lauren and cousin, Riley, cooked the scallops and shrimp.  I’ve mentioned this before, but one of the things I’ve learned about grilling seafood is that butter is a key ingredient and in this case, garlic butter – made with garlic powder.  Riley started the scallops and got a hug from Aunt Kathy.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

A Day At The Lake With The Roden’s

As I’ve posted previously our daughter, Kathy, and her three girls were here for their annual visit from the San Antonio, TX area.  The typical visit includes playing at the lake, a trip to Pigeon Forge for a fun day (Wonderworks this time), and a picnic in Cades Cove.  After discussing it with her kids, Kathy realized that what they really wanted from the picnic was a hamburger cookout with the special potatoes fried in a big cast iron pot so we decided it would be a lot easier to do this at the lake than haul everything up to the mountains.

Kathy invited some local friends (used to be our neighbors) who have a pontoon boat and two teenage boys (their son and nephew) for the day and they used both the pontoon and our jet ski to pull the seven kids on tubes. This is Kathy’s group coming into the dock for gas.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Grandpop Gets A Grilling Lesson From Lauren

Daughter, Kathy, and her three girls were here for their annual visit from the San Antonio, TX area and they usually come with a list of things they want to eat while here.  During one of the food conversations, Kathy mentioned that her 11 year old, Lauren, was quite the steak cooker and perhaps she could show me a thing or two.  And since I’m always eager to learn, I headed for the freezer to see what we had on hand and found six nice rib eyes from our last whole loin purchase.

I was thinking of just using our normal Montreal Steak Seasoning, but Bev convinced me to use the Best Steak Marinade in Existence so I whipped up a double batch and the steaks got a six hour soak.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

A Southern Summer Breakfast

Kathy and the Texas grand kids are visiting and this was an easy meal for a crowd.  I debated about whether to title this post as I did or as "THE Summer Southern Breakfast."  Either way, it was delicious - frozen biscuits (always Pillsbury for us), from-our-garden maters, sliced cheese (one cheddar & one pepper jack), and Wrights bacon (our back-up to Benton’s), and a locally grown cantaloupe.

Monday, July 28, 2014

You Alone Are Accountable

In a society that seems to be filled with individuals who don't want to accept personal accountability, I thought this is something everyone should consider.

Thanks for stopping by.