Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Okay, not really.  It is actually naan pizza I want to talk about today.  And by the way, I won't take all credit; I heard about it through the grapevine.

My favorite store, Trader Joe's sells this really excellent frozen naan.  If you want a really great and really easy dinner option, this is your ticket.  Paired with Indian curries or eaten with hummus, it will make a great dinner any night... but, drum roll please, it also makes awesome pizza!

Lay your frozen pieces of garlic naan out on a counter, add pesto or tomato sauce or garlic and oil, and then add your favorite toppings.  Bake for about 7-10 minutes on 400, and viola, delicious pizza is yours.  If you are tired of the same old toppings, here are a few suggestions:

Goat cheese, asparagus tips, and smoked salmon

A fine grating of Parmesan cheese, sun dried tomatoes and spinach leaves

Feta Cheese, kalamata olives and artichoke hearts.


Thursday, August 5, 2010

Lebanese Hamburgers

SOOOOO easy and SOOOOO good, these burgers make a great sidekick to hummus and some roasted veggies or tabbouleh salad.

1 lb of lean ground beef or lamb
1 finely chopped caramelized onion
2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp paprika
pepper to taste
4-6 pita pocket breads

Mix together all of your ingredients except pita in a bowl.  Cut a one inch strip off the end of each round pita, creating an opening that you can stick your hand in (imagine a circle with a flat edge).  Gently, reach your hand in and loosen the two layers of bread from each other so that you now actually have a pocket with which to work. Divide your meat filling into 6-8 parts, depending on the number of pitas you will be stuffing.  With a gloved hand, or washed hand, whatever you like better, smear the meat stuffing evenly inside each whole pita.

Now, arrange your pitas on a griddle and cook, dry (no oil or butter) over low/medium heat for 8-10 minutes a side.  Cut each in half and serve immediately.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Bacon pancakes

While reading a currently popular thriller recently, I read about bacon pancakes.  I was inspired.  Now before you say, "ewww, gross" or anything, ask yourself some important questions.  Do you eat breakfast sandwiches?  Do you like to dip bacon in maple syrup?  Do you like meat and bread together?  If the answer to any of these is yes, then this might be worth a try.

Simple plan: chop 3 slices of bacon into little pieces and fry until crispy.  Fold into you favorite pancake recipe or mix.  Cook and enjoy.

For those of you who have never made pancakes from scratch, may I suggest the following recipe which is delicious and worth the extra 3 minutes to make:

In a bowl, combine 1 cup of flour,  1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp baking powder, 1 Tblsp brown sugar (or white)

In another bowl, whisk 1 egg.  Drizzle in 2 tsp of melted butter while whisking.  Mix in 1 cup of buttermilk OR 1/2 cup sour cream or yogurt and 1/2 cup milk.

Combine the wet and dry and cook on a griddle.  This will make 8 small pancakes and can be doubled or tripled easily.

Sunday, August 1, 2010


I love them!

Beyond my favorite vegetable, they are also one of my favorite foods.  Their mild, yet distinct taste is almost buttery in flavor.  Eaten with toppings or without, these delectable flowers are a treat.  Beyond the common uses steamed and in spinach artichoke dip, there are many ways to enjoy are a few ideas.

Grilled Artichoke Quarters After steaming 2 artichokes(but leaving them slightly underdone, quarter them, remove the choke and toss into a gallon bag.  Add a splash or two of balsamic and a splash or two of olive oil.  Sprinkle in some salt, some garlic powder or finely diced garlic, and some pepper or hot sauce.  Close bag and distribute ingredients.  Marinate for 30 minutes plus, up to a day.  Grill to heat right before serving.  No dip is required because they have marinated in it!

Goat Cheese Artichoke Leaves For a fancy appetizer, first steam a large, well trimmed artichoke until tender.  Take off all of the leaves and lay out on a platter.  Mix equal parts of sour cream and a soft goat cheese.  Put a small dollop or canelle or spoonful of the mixture on the edible end of each leaf and sprinkle with finely chopped roasted red bell pepper.  Enjoy!

Fried Stuffed Artichoke Hearts purchase canned artichoke hearts, not marinated.  Allow to drain well.  gently remove the very center of each one, replacing it with a sliver of brie wrapped in prosciutto.  Dredge each piece in egg and panko bread crumbs twice, allowing to rest at least 10 minutes before re-dipping.  Deep fry until crispy.

Toss with Pasta  While a pain, the end product is well worth it: with a sharp knife, carefully trim the leaves and choke away, leaving only the heart.  Thinly slice the remaining heart.  Saute sliced garlic, chopped onion and the artichoke hearts in olive oil.  Boil your favorite pasta.  Throw in some crisped bacon, rendered pancetta, or prosciutto slices into the sauce if desired.  Toss the pasta in the sauce and throw in fresh tomatoes.  Enjoy!

I hope I have inspired you to take a new look at artichokes!