Archive for February, 2013

Pepperoni StromboliFebruary 2013

I am all in favor of making an entire meal from scratch including bread dough. However, I continue to go back to Publix to purchase a bag of refrigerated dough from the bakery for just less than $3. And this time, it was BOGO. Jackpot!

Now what? Just like trying to decide if I want to wear a sweater or polo to work, making a final decision served as a tough chore. In the mood for a mouth-watering pizza but looking for something different, I arrived at the answer and it was in the form of a stromboli.

And this meal can be as memorable and simple as you like. From steak to chicken to cheese, you can simply fill it up with whatever fancies your mouth. On this occasion, Jessica went with pizza sauce and cheese, while I stuffed my side with double pepperoni and cheese.

Either way, throw in as much ingredients as you have on hand, or as little. I usually do not like to go out and purchase anything except for the dough; using whatever rests in my kitchen to feed my need. A cheesy chicken stromboli with a pizza or marinara dipping sauce takes the cake, though.

And it really only takes about 10 minutes of prep time. Once the dough is laid out (do not make it too thin, yet not too thick since it will expand in the oven), give it some friends in the form of your favorite food items, possibly sprinkle in some oregano, then roll it up. Set it in the oven at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes and brush on a little garlic butter when finished. That’s it!

What You’ll Need For a Pizza Stromboli

Bread dough

Flour

Pizza sauce

Pepperoni

Mozzarella cheese

Oregano

Butter

Garlic Powder

Stromboli PrecookedThe Steps

1)      Set oven to 400 degrees

2)      Use non-stick spray or light butter on a rectangular pan

3)      Add some flour to the bread dough and flatten it out in a  rectangular pan – it doesn’t have to fit the entire width, but stretch it to fit a good majority of the length of the pan

4)      Since the bread will expand in the oven, it will be alright if the dough is a little thin

5)      Length-wise, leave an edge free of ingredients so it will be easy to roll up

6)      Load up the dough with pepperoni – 30 should go in a single layer from one end to the other – and add as much as you like

7)      Time for the mozzarella and any other cheese you would like

8)      Add a dash of oregano

9)      Starting with the side that has ingredients, carefully roll it up with two hands

10)   Cut slits in the dough and add a little mozzarella and oregano on top (can also be done toward the end of the baking process)

11)   Bake for about 25 minutes or until golden brown

12)   While baking, melt some butter with garlic powder and pepper in the microwave

13)   When the Stromboli is cooked, the bread may look dry, so brush the top and sides with the garlic butter

14)   Cut into slices and serve with a side of pizza dipping sauce

 

BBQ Chicken Devoured Jan. 28, 2013

These days, discovering lovely little dishes from the internet is as simple as crushing a fun-sized Milky Way in one memorable bite. Yet the art of perfecting a personalized recipe drives me. If I actually had a decent kitchen with the ability to afford plenty of ingredients, most of my nights would produce completely awful entrées. So long as 5% of those meals registered on the not-so-gross scale, though, I’d be a happy boy.

Somehow, perfecting my chicken sandwich did not take a drastically long time. On just the second attempt, the recipe was finalized.

As I have illustrated before, it starts with the bread. Inspired by experience at my first real job, I stayed away from just buying buns and fashioned bread dough into a round baking pan before sprinkling mozzarella and oregano on top. While that was taking place, my chicken was soaking up all the flavors of barbeque sauce, red pepper, oregano and garlic in the refrigerator.

Buffalo ChickenWhen both ventured out of the oven, the aromas in the kitchen have the ability to knock one on their bum. I promptly turned the bread over, placed the chicken on top and united it with bacon, mozzarella and a little more of the red pepper BBQ sauce. After letting that get happy in the oven for a couple minutes, I folded one side of the bread on top of the chicken.

Every single time I have constructed this beauty I find myself wanting even more when finished. There are numerous taste buds bursting with each bite.

And the best part is there are several substitutions to make to change the sandwich up to fit one’s needs and desires. Marinating it in buffalo or Alfredo sauce or grilling the chicken and adding condiments, for instance, is definitely doable.

What You’ll Need for Two Sandwiches

Bread Dough (Bag of bread dough by the bakery from Publix is perfect and provides enough for two sandwiches)

3 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts

Bacon

Barbeque Sauce (Preferably Sweet Baby Ray’s Hickory & Brown Sugar)

Shredded Mozzarella

Red Pepper Flakes

Garlic Powder

Oregano

Salt

Pepper

Chicken SandwichThe Steps

1)      Use fresh chicken for best results, and clean the chicken on the cutting board.

2)      In a pan or bowl, pour in half a bottle of BBQ sauce and add oregano, garlic powder (since it’s easier) and however much red pepper you’d like, along with a pinch of salt and pepper.

3)      Add the chicken and poke holes in it so the sauce really gets in there while it marinates for about 20-30 minutes.

4)      While that is taking place, maneuver the bread dough into an 8-inch round baking dish. Lightly put mozzarella and oregano on top.

5)      Cook the chicken in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. I like to put aluminum foil on top.

6)      You can cook the bread as well with the chicken but keep an eye on it. I start on the top rack for about 15 minutes and move it to the bottom rack until the cheese on top is golden brown.

7)      Pull both out of the oven. Flip the bread over and place 1.5 chicken breasts on one half of the sandwich. Add bacon, mozzarella and extra of the BBQ sauce mix on top and let it melt in the oven.

8)      After five minutes in the oven, fold the empty half over and cut it down the middle to make a sandwich.

9)      Wreck it.