Monday, November 11, 2013

Pizza Part Nueve: California Fiesta Pizza:

I named this pizza California Fiesta Pizza: roasted cauliflower and grape tomatoes, a creamy sauce, and pepperoni for some zip. I made it based on a recipe in a magazine that I saw way back, for a pasta dish, and thinking about the combination of flavors, I wondered what it would taste like on a pizza. Of course, it has my own little twists, and I decided that a cream cheese based sauce would go good with it. It was a hit with the family, and has easily become a favorite. I hope you’ll enjoy it too.

So, let’s get cooking!

The vegetables are going to be roasted under the broiler, so you’ll want to get those going first. After washing them, pull the cauliflower apart into florets and slice about ¼ inch thick.

Cut the grape tomatoes in half.

Cut the pepperoni slices into quarters. You can use thicker slices, but the thinner ones were all I had on hand. I buy a huge package at a wholesale club and freeze. It costs less, and frozen pepperoni slices are so much easier to work with.

In a small bowl, mix together the oil, salt, pepper, and minced garlic.

Place the cauliflower, grape tomatoes, and pepperoni in a bowl and stir in the oil mixture to coat.

Spread the mixture out on a sheet pan, sprinkle with crushed red pepper, and broil for approximately 8 to 10 minutes, turning every two minutes or so.

Now, while the veggies are roasting, start the cream cheese sauce. In a medium saucepan melt the butter and mix in the flour to make the roux. Cook over slightly less than medium heat until bubbly.

Slowly add the milk and stir constantly to blend in. Cook and stir until thickened. Add the cream cheese and stir until melted into the cream sauce. Set aside to cool a little.

When the veggies and pepperoni are slightly browned and smelling so good, remove from oven and set aside.

Press out the pizza dough onto a greased sheet pan. You can use homemade pizza dough or store bought.

Spread the cream cheese sauce onto the pizza dough and sprinkle the mozzarella cheese evenly over that.

Add the roasted veggies and pepperoni to top the pizza. Use a spatula, spoon, or whatever is easiest for you. I actually used my hands and just picked them up to “sprinkle” them on.

Bake in a 425° oven for 18 minutes. The underneath of the crust should be nicely browned and crispy. Enjoy! ~TMMF

California Fiesta Pizza

1 pizza dough
2 Tbl butter
1 Tbl flour
¾ c milk
6 oz cream cheese
½ small head cauliflower
½ pint grape tomatoes
3-4 oz pepperoni slices
1 Tbl olive oil
¼ ts salt
¼ tsp pepper
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
crushed red pepper
1 ½ c shredded mozzarella cheese

Friday, November 8, 2013

Easy Chicken Carbonara

This little recipe was born out of sheer desperation and then inspiration. ;) One night I had nothing planned for supper. I’m not exactly the most organized person (except when hanging my laundry on the clotheslines!), so some nights are like this. So I was looking through Midge the fridge, seeing what we had in there and hoping a meal might just present itself. And it did, sort of.

I saw bacon and garlic, and I had already been ready to resort to pasta something if I didn’t have anything else, and in a flash Chicken Carbonara came to mind. I had eaten it twice from a pizza place several years ago, and I remembered basically what was in it, so I thought I’d give it a whirl. It was so good, and the kids loved it! This is the quickie version, using 2 packages of Knorr Pasta Sides, the Fettuccini Alfredo. Yes, I could have made an alfredo sauce from scratch, but I had the 2 packages (only $1 each!) and figured this was one less step in the cooking process.

So, enough of the chitchat; let’s get cooking!

First, you’ll need to sauté your chicken breast in a skillet with a little oil.

And get the bacon fried up. When both of these are done, cube the chicken and chop up the bacon.

While both of those are cooking, you can dice the onions and red bell peppers. And mince the garlic, or use a garlic press when it’s time.

In a large saucepan, put the milk, water, butter, diced tomatoes, onions, peppers, and minced garlic. Bring to a boil.

Open the two packages of Knorr Pasta Sides Fettuccini Alfredo and set aside.

When the contents of the saucepan are boiling, add the pasta mix and stir well. Turn the heat down to a simmer and cook for 7 minutes or until tender, as it states on the back of the package of pasta. Stir frequently.

                        Add the chicken and bacon…

…and cook for another minute or two to heat them through.

Let stand for a few minutes, just like it says on the pasta package, to thicken a little more, if needed. It may not need it at all. Serve and savor the flavors. Enjoy! ~TMMF

Easy Chicken Carbonara

2 pkgs. Fettucini Alfredo mix
2 c. milk
1 1/4 c. water
2 Tbl. Butter
1 sm can diced tomatoes (15 oz)
½ lb. bacon
1-2 chicken breasts
½ sm Vidalia onion
½ sm sweet red pepper
1 large clove garlic, minced