I am currently flirting with the idea of doing a Paleo diet for 30 days. And when I say flirting with the idea, I mean, I’m entertaining it…for like 10 minute increments and then I try and imagine if I could go 30 days with no wine and pizza. Truth is: I’m great at eating healthy for about 2 days and then something happens…
1. I bake a cake and want a slice…or two?
2. Friends come over and a bottle of wine opens up…
3. I meet a friend for dinner and how can we say no to fried calamari on the menu and maybe we should order the mozzarella sticks, too?!
Balance is oh so hard. That’s why I love Gaby’s new book, What’s Gaby Cooking. It’s all about California living! And the food is filled with beautiful salads and healthy things like salmon on skewers with basil vinaigrettes…and then there’s the fun stuff: burgers and tacos and lots of pizzas. It’s about living that good California life that I adore so much.
Ayyyyye! These are SO good, girlfriends and dude friends.
I am currently in full-on heavy planning for Thanksgiving and this year it feels like SO much earlier than usual. Thanks so much for all your feedback about Classics vs. Twists. It was so interesting hearing everyone’s opinion on it.
I think I feel similarly like all of you: mostly classics on the savory stuff but TONS of twists and fun with desserts.
I think I’m going to bring a few classics. Like how I get the fluffiest of fluffy mashed potatoes and give you some fun twists on desserts.
This fine specimen you see in the photos is something that could definitely be served at Thanksgiving. The big, gigantic bonus is that it uses store-bought pizza dough (and yes, you can make a homemade batch too). It saves on a ton of time so it’s basically just an assembly-type recipe.
Moving to the suburbs of LA has kinda forced Josh and I to explore the chain restaurants of our childhoods. Some are just as good as we remember them. But others….eeesh. I feel like I remember them being so much more awesome back then.
I feel like garlic knots are those things that are still awesome at Olive Garden but why not make a homemade version, especially when we can make it taste better.
This recipe starts with roasting dat garlic.
We’re using an entire head of garlic here and it’s amazing. I just squeezed it out into of bit of room temperature butter with crushed red peppers, salt and dried oregano.
We’re going for classic, Italian-pizzeria type content, ok.
Another big bonus with this recipe is that it uses store-bought pizza dough. Of course, you could make your own but I used store-bought and it saved a ton of time and made me excited to start the assembly process.
I divided the dough into twelve pieces. And rolled them out into strips. THEN I smothered them with the butter/garlic mixture and that’s kinda it!
It rises and then bakes. It is glorious and maybe too cheesy…but then maybe it’s just heaven.
Maybe-Too-Cheesy Roasted Garlic Knots
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
Serving Size: 4 to 6 (as an appetizer or a lil' snack)
1 whole head of garlic, top sliced off
1 pound of store-bought or homemade pizza dough
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons minced Italian parsley, plus more for garnish
2 teaspoon salt (if you’re using salted butter, please leave this out!)
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper, plus more for garnish
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 3/4 cups of shredded mozzarella, divided
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Wrap the head of garlic in a small sheet of foil and place on a baking sheet or in a baking dish. Transfer to the oven to roast for 1 hour. Carefully remove it from the foil. Allow the head of garlic to cool and press the roasted garlic out of the cloves and into a bowl.
To the bowl with the garlic, add the butter, minced Italian parsley, salt, crushed red pepper and oregano. Mix and mash it together until combined. Give it a taste and add a bit more salt if needed.
Lightly flour your work surface and divide the dough into twelve pieces. Listen, this doesn’t have to be perfect. We just want the twelve pieces to be sorta the same size so it all bakes evenly.
Roll and stretch each piece until it’s about 5 inches long. Spread about a half of teaspoon of the butter mixture onto the piece of dough and sprinkle it with a bit of mozzarella, pressing it into the butter. Tie the strip of dough into a knot and transfer it to the cast iron skillet. Repeat until you’ve worked your way through all of the strips of dough.
Brush the top with a bit of the remaining butter (if any) and cover the knots with a clean kitchen towel. Allow it to rise until it’s doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Uncover the cast iron skillet and transfer to the oven to bake for 20 minutes. At the 20-minute mark, sprinkle the top with the remaining 1 cup of mozzarella and bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, or until the tops of the knots are golden brown. Top with more Italian parsley and crushed red pepper (if you like it spicy!).
Tip #1: If you don’t have time to roast garlic, it’s ok. Just add half of the garlic (about 6 cloves) of minced garlic to the butter mixture. Raw garlic is more intense than roasted garlic so that’s why I recommend half of the amount.
Tip #2: I use a cast iron for this recipe but a baking dish that’s about 9-inches round or rectangular will work just fine too.
Amelia’s favorite food is pizza. Whenever we walk in through the door with a big square flat box, she always gets SO pumped because she knows exactly what it is. We don’t feed her whole slices of pizza because we’re not monsters but Josh does give her a piece or two of the crust and she LOOOOVES IT.
I actually love making pizza at home because it’s super easy and I can make it exactly how I like it: on the lighter, healthier side.
There is still cheese. A lot of cheese. But I like the veggies I select. In this case: blistered cherry tomatoes, corn and lots of basil and crushed red pepper.
Instead of a normal tomato sauce, which you could totally still do, I made a quick arugula basil pesto with walnuts and smothered that on the pizza crust.
If you have talked to me in the past three months, like, in person I have most likely brought up:
1. working out (I’ve been doing a lot of that), specifically Kayla.
2. how fast the year is going (OMG HI APRIL!)
3. how much I love podcasts lately (more on that tomorrow)
4. and how obsessed I am with Detroit-Style pizza
5. how to make detroit-style pizza
I had Detroit-Style pizza, like, six months ago when a pop-up popped up in Chinatown serving just that. I had never had it before. I had seen the beautiful photos of Emmy Squared on the Instagram but since I am allergic to going to New York (and whenever I am there it’s always for a blip), I haven’t been.
But when I went to this pop-up in Chinatown, I thought the pizza was like a dream. The crust is crispy, like a cheese crisp, because the cheese is taken all the way to the edge of the pan, while the center is fluffy, similar to focaccia.
I’m pretty sure it’s taken first place as my favorite style pizza EVER. I even went to Detroit a few weeks ago and didn’t have the chance to eat pizza there and was so bummed. 🙁
I decided to take matters into my own hands and make it! Luckily, when I decided to embark on my journey Kenji Lopez had just posted, a mere two days earlier, a recipe for it! WHAA!
So I tried it, thinking that perhaps I would only half like it. I figured I’d probably move onto another recipe and try a few others. But, guys, it was perfect.
I guess that’s not a huge surprise since his recipes are so dang reliable.
So here’s the link to his recipe. Use that crust recipe AND then get creative.
This is for a very spring-forward Detroit-style pizza. Probably toppings you’d never get in Detroit.
This one has radishes that are tossed in a bit of olive oil and salt and pepper. The sauce is an arugula pesto. The cheese is tons of mozzarella (a must) and dollops of ricotta with sprigs of basil, crushed red pepper on top and peas.
Last week in the kitchen was full of humble pie. So many fails! First, there was a no-churn semifreddo with tahini that never whipped up properly. Apparently tahini is too heavy for whipped cream. Lesson learned. Luckily, I switched things around and I think it finally worked (currently in the freezer!). Fingers crossed. And then there was a sesame tuile. Have you ever made one? I wanted to make one so I could feel like the fancy pastry chef that I’m not. They’re insanely strange (or at least the start is). I burned, like, the first two or three batches but the last one worked and was really good! Definitely needs some work. I’m thinking more salt and more sesame but mostly, kewl!
As health-conscience as my mom was growing up, she was not above shoving a frozen French bread pizza in the oven. I’m so glad I was privy to that childhood experience!
Lately I dunno why–maybe I’ve been browsing Pinterest too much–but I’ve been craving really trashy French bread pizza. But since I am a person who cooks stuff for a living, I figured I’d make a non-frozen version that is slightly classy. I figured I’d try and give it a bit of a facelift (not that it really needs it!).
I’ve seen cauliflower pizza crusts around for a while. And each time, I shook my head like oh hell no. Because I’m what you call a real pizza lover type of person. I like real crust, real gluten, real carbs.
But for the past few months (since the beginning of the year), I’ve been working out like crazy (mainly because I’ve started to really like it) and have been searching for something healthy-ish to eat at night when I want pizza.
A few months ago when I was fishing around Google Images for pizza inspiration, I came across this gem of a photo and my mind was straight blown.
It took me a long time to figure out how I would actually do this/if I should do this. Initially I wanted to make it slightly classier but then I was like whatever, this is Pizzaception! let’s make it fun!
Before I forged forward with this recipe, I had a few concerns:
1st concern: Would it be too dough-y. Is there such a thing as too many carbs? I think yes.
To solve this issue, the dough is not allowed to proof, like, AT ALL. The first time I did this, it rose on the cutting board while I was making the mini pizzas and it was way too dough-y. SO, to prevent this, when we divide the dough, we put it in the fridge to stop the rise.
When we’re done assembling the mini pizzas, then those too go in the fridge.
2nd concern: What’s the point? Why don’t we make little mini pizzas and end there?
Well, what if I told you that you could have different flavored pizzas in one slice! This is achievable here.
I didn’t grow up ordering meat lover’s pizza from Pizza Hut (or is it Domino’s?). I was a junk food deprived child who would watch lustfully at the commercials that promised cheesy, carb goodness. Those slo’ mo shots: AHHH!
But now that I’m an adult, I DO WHAT I WANT.
A few weeks ago I was having lunch with Stephanie and she told me she was planning on making a meat lover’s pizza later that night. I was jealous. And then I thought, I kinda want to make one with vegetables. So when I was at the farmer’s market this past Sunday, I bought up a bunch of late-summer produce: okra, yellow summer squash, these beautiful variety of tomatoes and basil. So much basil.
I used the crust recipe from How Sweet Eats. I let it rise a tad bit longer than she did because I’m badly at moving quickly apparently but I ended up really loving the rise time of 10 to 15 minutes. It’s the perfect intersection of thin crust with a bit of volume. It’s not super thick but not super thin either.
Today we’re trashing it up. There’s nothing artisanal about this pizza. It doesn’t wear suspenders, a pageboy hat or do the whole fancy-talk about coffee. Think Lindsay Lohan passed out in the front seat kinda trashy. I’m pretty sure that’s where buffalo chicken pizza ranks on the scale of trash.
If you know me, you know that chicken wings of any form are my favorite food ever. I like Korean chicken wings, Japanese-style fried chicken, Thai chicken wings and of course, good ol’ American buffalo chicken wings.
This pizza exploits all those delicious flavors: hot sauce, chicken, ranch dressing and for good measure, some fresh Italian parsley and green onion.
In other pizza-making news, I haven’t made pizza for this blog for a very, VERY long time. It’s mainly taken me so long because I broke my pizza stone during a move and hadn’t replaced it…until…Baking Steel got in touch with me and sent me one.