Khachapuri, Georgian Cheese, Bread and Egg Awesomeness

I could be Georgian. According to a 2009 survey, 88% of Georgians prefer khachapuri to pizza. If being Georgian meant that I would always get to consume a dish filled with runny rich eggs, doughy baked bread, and gooey cheesy deliciousness, then dammit, call me Georgian. By Georgian I don’t mean that state north of Florida either, I mean the Republic of Georgia located right in the middle of Europe and Asia. Such simple yet fabulous cuisine.

I ran across a recipe from my favorite blogger, Lady and Pups, specific to this dish. It took me a while to get around to making it with baby Arya monopolizing so much of my time these days. It is a pretty tall order to add new recipes to my repertoire being a new dad and all. Really the dish is as easy as could be, if you’ve made pizza before you can make khachapuri. You prepare a dough, make a thick bechamel laced with tons of cheese, form the dough, spread some salty oily tapenade on the dough, fill with cheese mixture, bake and top with a raw egg yolk, at least that’s the version I made. Depending on the region, the make up of the dish will vary, just like pizza. Heh.

Continue reading Khachapuri, Georgian Cheese, Bread and Egg Awesomeness

Broccoli Rabe and Salami Pizza

I made an awesome pizza last night for the wife and myself using my favorite method of pizza making. The broiler+Baking Steel method. The dough had had 4 days to cold ferment in the fridge. Ridiculous flavor!

After a layer of fresh garlicky tomato sauce ladened with sticky estra virgin olive oil I hit the pizza with some grated Pecorino Romano. For the heft portion of the pizza I added blanched and chopped broccoli rabe as well as sliced dried Italian salami and sliced Margherita brand pepperoni. I just love how the pork products get those crispy edges and create glorious pockets for that cheese to settle in. Low-moisture mozzarella works for me most of the time and that’s what I used here. You can sub in cubes of fresh mozzarella if you wish.

You can find my previous post about how I create my pizzas HERE. Nothing goes better with a great pizza than a great beer. So indulge and enjoy. Cheers!

Broccoli rabe and pepperoni pizza with bba barleywine-5 Broccoli rabe and pepperoni pizza with bba barleywine Broccoli rabe and pepperoni pizza with bba barleywine-6

Pizza Pizza

Meet my favorite food.  This one in all its oily glory.  Pepperoni, tomato, ricotta, simple red sauce, and cubanelle peppers from the garden.  This particular pizza is baked under the broiler while sitting atop a Baking Steel. 3-4 minutes later you have a legit pizzeria pizza.  Some would say, even better than most pizzerias.  Depends on what kind of pizza you like.  This is in the style of a Neapolitan.  The only difference is I add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil to the dough while kneading, creating an enriched dough.  I do this occasionally, simply because I like the extra flavor.  Feel free to exclude the oil if you wish.

The great thing about making your own pizzas at home is two-fold.  One, it’s crazy cheap compared to ordering out.  Two, you can choose what exactly you want on your pizza without feeling limited.  OK, one more reason, it’s fucking delicious!

♥For Pizza Dough:

  • 20 oz 00 Italian Flour (this is what I use) and if you really want to get a good understanding of flour and it’s effect on your pizza, here’s a link from Serious Eats
  • 12 oz good water, I use filtered from the fridge
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

To Make The Dough:

Put all ingredients in a stand mixer and mixer for about 6 minutes. You want the dough to be a bit sticky, yet coming away from the sides of the mixer. The more wet the dough, the better your pizza will be in the end. When done, portion the dough into four equal balls of dough. Sprinkle some flour on you counter top and space the balls of dough apart on top of the floured surface and let rise for a couple of hours or so.

Place your Baking Steel or pizza stone on the top rack of your oven. Crank the oven to 550° to preheat your cooking surface. You should do this for about an hour. So plan accordingly with the rise of your dough.

*Alternately, for more flavor, after portioning the dough, place the balls of dough in separate containers and refrigerate for three days and up to five. This will give your dough much more flavor and pizzeria funkiness that you won’t get at your typical joint. The pizza featured in this post was done with your typical two hour rise.

When all this is said and done you are ready to flatten your dough to thickness of your choice (I like mine THIN!), place disc of dough atop a well floured pizza peel. Top with toppings of your choice. Remember, this is your damn pizza. Own it! Slide the pizza onto your Baking Steel or pizza stone. Bake for 2 minutes and then turn on the broiler and let the pizza go until your desired doneness (anywhere from 1-3 minutes, depending on your oven). Pull the pizza out and set on a wire rack and let cool for about 5 minutes. Do not cut the pizza until you are ready to eat, otherwise the liquid can seep out and make your crust soggy. Enjoy your awesome pizzas.

cubanelle pizza

Healthy Options: Mediterranean Inspired Turkey Lentil Meatballs

turkey lentil meatballs

Everyone needs a dish every once in a while that just makes you feel healthy.  The problem is, many times those dishes leave you feeling hungry as well.

I had some lentils that had been sitting in my pantry for quite some time and had to use them up.  I just happened to come across a post that used cooked lentils as a filler for some turkey meatballs and they seemed right up my alley.  Of course, I had to put my own spin on things and make my own Sriracha hummus, but you do whatever you feel like doing.  I also added some freshly ground cumin and coriander to the meatballs during the mixing process.

I warmed up some whole wheat flatbread on my Baking Steel that I keep in my oven.  It was already warm from baking the lentil meatballs, so that was easy.  Spread some hummus on the bread after quartering it up, top with a meatball, then some yogurt sauce, place some greens and garnish with a bit of really good extra virgin olive oil.

It is a very satisfying dish and I’m sure you will feel good about yourself after eating it.  Look there’s even greens!  Hell you’ll feel so good, go ahead and enjoy a beer with your meal like I did.  Cheers!

White Oak Jai Alai


Turkey Lentil Meatball Recipe

turkey lentil meatballs-2