For those of us who remember Star Trek, The Trouble With Tribbles provided figurative thorns in Captain Kirk’s side. Not to dissimilar is the predicament with prickly pears, except that they provide literal thorns.
Prickly pear cacti, a member of the opuntia genus, abound here in the Southwest. The cactus itself is a paddle with spines. In the summer, they first burst with beautiful flowers, and by mid-September, they are bearing the most fascinating fruit, aka Indian fig. When ripe, its skin is a vibrantly-rich maroon thick exterior ensconced with even more spines. These spines are hair-like prickles, the smaller ones almost invisible to the naked eye; and the more mature ones looking like barbs ready to strike. Touch one, and those almost invisible spines will not-so-politely remove themselves from the prickly pear and insert themselves into your penetrable skin. And that’s when the fun begins. Ah, but I am getting ahead of myself. Continue reading The Predicaments With Prickly Pears→
I absolutely adore entertaining and feeding people. But I also want to enjoy their company when they arrive rather than being held captive in the kitchen, thus missing out on all the lively conversation.
Looking for a quick and easy dessert? It really doesn’t get much simplier than this one, especially with the wonderful fruits that are in season. A fresh fruit tart with a cookie crumb crust and a custard filling is just the thing to whip up when you need a dessert with only a couple hours notice. Continue reading Fresh Bing Cherry Tart→
One of my all-time favorite foods is pizza. And I’m not taking about Pizza Hut or Little Caesar’s, or the like. I’m talkin’ wood-oven New York style pizza.
It starts with the crust, which is admittedly, no easy feat. I finally came upon a recipe that was buried in my pile of cut-out recipes, so unfortunately, I have no source to cite. It’s also not your typical pizza dough in that it starts out with a sponge. Absolutely divine, never fail, recipe…
2-1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast ( or 1 package)
1 cup lukewarm water (about 98 degrees Fahrenheit)
1 teaspoon unrefined cane sugar
1 tablespoon flour (I use double zero) Dough:
4-1/2 cups flour (again, use the double zero)
1 cup lukewarm water (about 98 degrees Fahrenheit)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon sea salt
In a large bowl, combine all the sponge ingredients. Whisk well to combine. Let it sit for 15 minutes. It should be foamy and active. If not, it could be that the water was too cool and needs more time, water was too hot so yeast is dead, or the yeast is old. You’ll need to start over.
I use a food processor for this next step, and it comes out perfectly every time. You could use an electric mixer with a dough hook. Or, you could go old-school and mix by hand and then knead, but the modern day appliances are a marvel in terms of cutting down on time and laborious effort. Into the food processor, add the flour and salt. Pulse to combine. Add the water, olive oil, and sponge. Process using the ‘dough’ setting. It will quickly come together in a sticky ball.
Turn out on a lightly floured board. Flour your hands. Knead dough for 5-6 minutes, adding more flour if kneaded (needed). I find that a bench scraper is helpful if your dough is sticking to the counter; but it rarely does with this recipe. It typically comes together quickly and needs only a nominal amount of flour added during the kneading. I actually think the end product is far better with less rather than more flour added (but that also depends on the moisture level in your flour, in the air in your kitchen, and the grain of flour used).
You can either divide the dough into 2 pieces for two regular-size pizzas or into 4 pieces for individual pies. Either way, roll the balls by shaping them and rounding them, pinching at the bottom to seal seams. Place on lightly floured cookie sheet, cover with a towel (not terry fabric as it will stick), and allow to rise for 2 hours.
If you not going to use the dough immediately, you can then store the ball(s) in lightly oiled plastic bags, releasing the air before sealing, then either refrigerate or freeze. Allow to rest and completely come to room temperature before using if you use this method.
If you are going to use the dough immediately, you can move on to creating your pizza, calzone, pizza bead, etc.
I opted for two large pies, storing one ball in the refrigerator for use within the next day or so; and moved on to creating dinner. The dough was easy to form on the pizza pan, which I lightly dusted with flour. I am not adept at tossing in the air, so I use my fingers and the stretching-and-pulling method to shape my dough. Next, on to the toppings.
Earlier in the day and with the garden bounty, I made fresh tomato sauce using tomatoes, onions, parsley, thyme, oregano, marjoram, and basil, all freshly picked and taken straight to the kitchen. To them, I added some garlic and red wine. This tomato sauce became the base for all the other ingredients.
Front and center, and again fresh-picked from garden, were zucchini sliced thin, onions, oregano, basil, and jalapeno. Additional accoutrements included roasted garlic, vegan bacon, Kalamata olives, green olives, and Mikoyo’s Kitchen mozzarella.
Into a preheated 525 degree Fahrenheit oven it went for 13 minutes. Perfection! We didn’t leave a morsel.
P.S.: Stay tuned. I was gifted with a wonderful sourdough starter and have been having a blast with it. I’m thinking that a sourdough pizza dough might be forthcoming.
*An important aspect of sharing original recipes is to give proper credit to the author(s) of the recipe(s). I hope that you enjoy using these recipes and making them your own; but please do so with that integrity in mind. With much gratitude. Linda
Ciambotta (Italian vegetable stew, pronounced JumBaut), air-fried breaded zucchini frites, zucchini frittata. I could go on and on… But, it wouldn’t be garden zucchini if I didn’t include a zucchini bread, now would it :-)!
My version is a bit atypical, but I think you’ll really like it.
As you might remember from other blog posts, my love affair with all things culinary began with the premiere of “The French Chef” in 1963, when I was six years old. Between growing up with Julia and my maternal Grandma Mary, I found inspiration in the kitchen.
So, it is only befitting that in keeping with the name of my blog, Veganification, what better recipe to veganify than the recipe that started it all when Judith Jones, the editor at Alfred A. Knopf, prepared Boeuf Bourguignon following Julia Child’s detailed instructions from the cookbook manuscript. Ms. Jones was immediately convinced that the manuscript in her hands was destined to be a surefire hit in the kitchens of not only American housewives but home cooks throughout the world. The rest is history, as they say…
I absolutely adore Brussel Sprouts, those tiny little cabbages. Historically, I’ve been roasting them in the oven with just a sprinkling of olive oil and fresh garlic. With the advent of the air fryer, that became my new, go-to method…that is, until I came up with this recipe for the InstantPot. Continue reading Braised Brussels Sprouts – Cooked in an InstantPot→
Besides not seeing my family and Jersey girl(friends) as often as I did when I lived in New Jersey, top on my list of what I miss are the wonderful vegan dining experiences so readily available in Manhattan and Philadelphia. I know what you might be thinking, that living in Sedona I have the Phoenix metropolitan area nearby, which has a plethora of restaurants that cater to the veg community. While, yes, that’s true, I’ve tried all of them. Many times, in fact. However, I sadly have to admit that I am underwhelmed and unimpressed with them. What I wouldn’t do to have a Vedge, or Millenium, or Candle, or the newer kid-on-the-block, Delice and Sarrasin within my local community! Continue reading A Gastronomical Feast for the Ages – Delice & Sarrasin, New York City→