Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Tuesday's with Dorie: Pizza Dough

Okay, okay, so I really only made half of this week's Tuesday's with Dorie recipe, which is supposed to be Pizza with Onion Confit (can find the recipe here at The Boy Can Bake).  I didn't make the onion confit, which sounded very interesting, because my husband was horrified by the idea of topping a pizza with so many onions, and I envisioned my house reeking of onions for the next 3 months.  So I decided to make a different kind of pizza, though the dough recipe was followed straight from the book.  Sorry, Dorie and Julia!

The verdict: Pretty good!  Easy to make, easy to work with, tender, soft.  Definitely not a chewy crust (which may or may not be good, depending on your own tastes!), not heavy or dense, and not too breadlike, which is good.  Not especially remarkable though, and no better than my regular pizza dough recipe but takes longer to make since first you make a sponge, let it rise an hour and a half, then make the dough, and let that rise for an hour and a half.  Don't think I'll be making this one again, but we ate it happily and the other half of the dough will be enjoyed later, too.

I made my dough into a good ol' pepperoni and olive pizza, which is our default.  Used my pizza sauce recipe and baked it on my cast iron pizza pan.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Salad Stuffed Shells

I came across this recipe on AllRecipes the other day and had to make it right away!  What a clever idea, spooning chopped salad into large pasta shells.  It's also quick to make and pretty healthy.  These would make a great lunch or summer dinner, but I didn't want to wait that long and anyway it was in the 20s here today which is practically summer, right?

This is more of an idea than an actual recipe.  Make your favorite salad (with the salad and other ingredients chopped up), add dressing, and stuff it into pasta shells.  Feel free to follow this recipe, but you can really put in whatever you want!  Oh and if you decide you want leftovers, you can mix up the salad part on the first day, just make sure to only add the dressing to the portion you plan to serve right then.

Salad Stuffed Shells

20 large pasta shells (I suggest just cooking the entire 12 oz box since some will undoubtedly tear)
1/2 of a 10 oz bag pre-washed lettuce, chopped into slightly smaller than bite size pieces
1/2 cucumber, chopped
1 C cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered depending on size
1 C cooked, shredded, and cooled chicken
1 small can sliced black olives, drained
caesar salad dressing to taste (this recipe is our favorite, or you can use bottled)
6 T grated parmesan, divided

Cook pasta shells in a large pot of salted water, then drain and rinse thoroughly with cold water until shells are cold.  Drain well, then blot each shell dry.

While pasta cooks, combine salad ingredients, dressing, and 2 T of the parmesan.  When shells are ready, spoon some of the salad mixture into each one.  Arrange on plates and sprinkle with remaining parmesan.

Yield: 4 or 5 dinner sized servings