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Pizza or Peace-zza?

Greetings’ Team Daddy, hope you are enjoying this wonderful day.  I trust the weekend was filled with joy and togetherness.   “How’s that?” why am I so cheery, its Monday? Take it in a notch? No thanks. Someone amazing once said “There is nothing enlightening about shrinking so others feel more comfortable around you”.  So we are not going to play that game today.  However I will play another game with you.  It’s called Lets’ fantasize about Friday instead of being present to the doldrums’ of Monday. Before all of you who recently just finished Siddhartha get concerned allow me to share one of my secrets to inner peace…PIZZA!  That’s right!  Now is a great time to plan your family fun Friday night feast.  Just like the feeling of a once valued lottery ticket that was sure to change your family’s life now transformed into crumped up dreams, tossed in the trash.  A back to work Monday can resemble that empty, lost feeling.  Again how do we overcome this Team Daddy? PIZZA! 

Pizza has always been a comfort food for me.  I think it will always be my favorite.  I have a lifetime prescription to Prilosec to prove it. Here in New EnglandFriday Night is Pizza night.  Seeing that I am a patriot it pleases me to believe that Friday is Pizza night in America!  I am lucky to have been brought up around here as some of the nation’s best are close by.  New Haven has some pretty old reveries that continue today to divide families and friends. All the way up interstate 91 which should be known as the pizza corridor.  You can find some awesome pies’ first secret? The water plain and simple.  You can’t make good doe with fluoride and other things like that in the water. Second, healthy competition.  You can’t swing a dead cat around here without hitting a half dozen pizza shops.  But who’s complaining?. 

I do enjoy making our own pizza from scratch.  It is WAY cheaper and really a lot of fun. My wife and I are always thinking of new creations to try out. We are really looking forward to when our daughter can help and enjoy the gift of Friday night pizza.  You know I fancy myself a foodie and amateur chef, but if you were to peel back all the layers of my adult pallet you would find a core made up of fresh bread, melted cheese covered in salty meats and veggies. 

The present is always the best time to be in a wonderful mood.  Having trouble?  Just start planning your next Friday night its only 4 days away!  Here is a work in progress recipe to give you a hand.  Be peace-zza full and Have Fun!  

Red Sauce Recipe:

1 can of peeled plum tomatoes drained and pureed.  1 clove of minced garlic, and a handful of fresh oregano salt and pepper to taste. Put ingredients in a small sauce pan and cook together for a few minutes.    

Try different fun toppings. Pepperoni, cheese, and Goat cheese, red onion basil and turkey bacon pictured

This Pizza Doe recipe is courtsy of Gabrele Corcos from Extra Virgin.  I have tried many but this one works best.  Ialso do not use bread flour just normal.  If you dont have a mixer dont worry it still works out fine.  The Prep Time: 30 min / Inactive Prep: 1.1/2 hr / Serves:4

 1(.25-ounce) package dry active yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)

1/2 cup lukewarm water (about 105 to 115 degrees F)

4 cups bread flour

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

3/4 cup cold water

1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for bowl
In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the yeast, lukewarm water, and 1/2 cup bread flour. Mix well and let sit until bubbly, about 30 minutes.  Whisk together the remaining 3 1/2 cups bread flour and salt in another bowl so it will be evenly distributed.  Once the yeast mixture is nice and bubbly and looks like foamy beer, add 3/4 cup cold water and olive oil. Using a dough hook, turn the mixer on and add the flour in increments.
 
Mix the dough for about 5 minutes, until the dough starts creeping up the dough hook and comes away from the sides of the bowl.

Place the dough in a large bowl lightly greased with olive oil. Turn to coat all sides of the dough with oil. Cover the bowl loosely with a clean tea towel. Let rise until doubled in size, about 2 hours. Punch dough down, and let rise another hour.  I make 2 pizzas with this recipe

Feeling Saucey? (Fried mac & cheese with homemade suace recipe)

I feel lucky today!  My baby slept 12 hours!!! Last night.  I feel like my old self today.  Mommy and I even stayed up for 2 whole hour’s baby free.  We watched Boardwalk Empire episodes on DVD and I drank like 4 beers.  So in the spirit of fun, here is a neat recipe that will entertain the young ones and the rest of you weary eyed parents on these last days of winter. This is a fun one for everyone. 

Below is a follow up to my Snowblind Mac & Cheese recipe from last week.

Really it is my favorite part of making that dish.  The next day for lunch or an easy after work dinner it’s a crowd pleaser…  I make a quick simple homemade red-pizza sauce for dipping, and with the Italian bread crumbs and it is a completely different taste from the night before.

I would also like to credit Alton Brow from the Cooking Network for being the inspiration to this fried Mac recipe however; as always I have made some changes.

The Sauce recipe is mine.  And now yours too!!  Enjoy!!!!

Sauce Ingredients

  1. One can pealed Italian tomatoes.
  2. One teaspoon fresh or dry oregano.
  3. One clove minced garlic.
  4. Third of a red onion chopped.
  5. Two shakes of red pepper flakes.
  6. Drizzle of olive oil or so.
  7. (Optional) piece of already cooked turkey beacon or pancetta chopped

Sauce directions:

In a sauté pan heat up oil med to med high, drop in onions and garlic.  Try to sauté and not fry, no browning the garlic.  If you’re a meat person drop in the bacon or pancetta.  Once onions run clear, sprinkle in red pepper flakes, oregano, and any basil for that matter.  Open and drain tomatoes and mash.  Or better yet a quick food processer of blending wand really rocks for this.  Add all together and bring to a quick light boil and back down and simmer for 15 min or up to an hour. 

Fried Mac Ingredients

  • Leftover baked macaroni and cheese, refrigerated for at least overnight
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 egg beaten with 2 ounces water
  • 1 cup Italian bread crumbs
  • Oil for deep frying, preheated to 375 degrees

Directions:

Cut refrigerated macaroni and cheese into slices or bite size pieces. Season the flour with salt, pepper and cayenne. Dredge each piece through the flour and gently tap off excess. Dip in the egg wash and then coat with the bread crumbs. Allow them to rest for 5 minutes so the crust can set. Very carefully drop into the oil and fry until golden brown. Remove to a baking sheet fitted with a rack and rest for 2 minutes before serving.