Sunday, October 28, 2012

Breakfast Pizza? Zucchini Pizza? Zucchini Goat Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms? Who Am I ...

Zucchini and Goat Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms - White Lake, MI

Zucchini and Goat Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms
I love going home. Partially because that means I get to cook for my family and also because it means I get to raid my mom's garden in the summer. I seriously down tomatoes by the fist full with every trip to the garden. Similarly to when you go apple picking. Yea, you fill your little tote... but you eat 15 apples before you even fill up the bag. So what if you want to vomit an hour later?

In my excitement to cook something fun and healthy for my mom, I settled on zucchini and goat cheese stuffed mushrooms. We're pretty big fans of mushrooms and zucchini. These were ridiculously simple to make and my mom and Doug loved them! This recipe came from a blog I found called Pink Parsley. I liked her modifications of this recipe, so unlike I normally do, I followed this one almost exactly. The sharpness of the goat cheese isn't as pronounced as you'd think. The blends of all the cheeses are so appeasing. Look at that photo. Just look at it. Makes me wish the events from "Honey I Shrunk the Kids" could actually take place so I could shrink myself and chill in these little guys like a bean bag. Please let me share. And get ready. Your house is about to smell phenomenal.

Zucchini and Goat Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms
  • 10 large button or cremini mushrooms, wiped clean, and stems removed but reserved
  • 1 cup grated zucchini (about half a medium zucchini)
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 Tbs olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 2 oz. (1/4 cup) crumbled goat cheese
  • 2 Tbs grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese
  • 3 Tbs dried breadcrumbs
  • 2 Tbs minced fresh basil
  • 2 Tbs snipped fresh chives
  • Salt and black pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

1) Finely chop the mushroom stems.  Toss the zucchini in a colander with a little salt and allow to drain 5-10 minutes, then wrap in a paper towel and squeeze to remove excess moisture.

2) Heat the oil in a small skillet over medium heat.  Add the shallot, mushroom stems, and zucchini, and saute until the vegetables have softened, 3-4 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

3) Remove the skillet from heat and stir in the cream cheese, goat cheese, Parmesan, bread crumbs, and herbs.  Taste and season with salt and pepper.

4) Scoop the filling into each of the mushroom caps.  Drizzle with additional olive oil.  Bake 15-20 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown and the mushrooms are cooked through.  Serve immediately. 

Breakfast Pizza - White Lake, MI

Breakfast Pizza
I had been planning this experiment for a while. I wanted to make something delicious for my grandpa that he would never have the energy to make himself for his birthday. Smitten kitchen introduced me to the idea of a breakfast pizza. I love breakfast. I love pizza. This could only be good. No. This could only be phenomenal. One important step I believe is making your own homemade dough. Don't go the easy way. Let it rise overnight like the recipe says. You'll thank me later. Oh and get good bacon. Get the good meaty stuff. Just put down the Oscar Mayer. This recipe makes 2 pizza dough balls. I only used one for this breakfast pizza, and used the second for another amazing pizza which I'll describe in a moment. I promise, you'll make this and wonder how you ever lived before. And it's ok if your pizza is in the shape of a football.

Breakfast Pizza
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry active yeast
  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons bread flour, plus more for dusting 
  • Kosher salt
  • 6 strips bacon
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 2 cups grated mozzarella
  • 6 large eggs
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons minced chives
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 shallot, minced
1) The night before, prepare the dough: Place 3/4 cup lukewarm water in the bowl. Sprinkle in the yeast, stir and let sit for 5 minutes. Add the flour and 1 teaspoon of salt and mix for 1 minute. I'm guessing it's best if you use a mixer with a dough hook, but I'm sure using the good ole paws would be fine. Increase the speed to medium and mix for 2 minutes, then increase the speed to high and mix until a smooth dough forms, about 2 minutes more. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface, divide into two equal pieces and form each half into a tight ball. Place on a large floured sheet pan, place the pan in a plastic garbage bag, tie the bag loosely and refrigerate overnight.
One to two hours* before baking, place the dough in a warm spot. Adjust the oven rack to the lowest position and set a pizza stone on it. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees 30 minutes before you are ready to bake the pizza.

2) Prepare the dough and toppings: Fry the bacon in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat until crisp. Cool on a paper-towel-lined plate; roughly chop.

3) Dip your hands and a ball of dough into the flour. On a lightly floured counter top, pat the dough into a disc with your fingertips, then drape the dough over your fists and carefully stretch it from beneath to form a 12-inch circle. This part is super fun :]

4) Lightly oil a sheet pan/pizza stone/cookie sheet or whatever you're using and place the stretched dough on it. Sprinkle the dough with half of the Parmesan, mozzarella and bacon. Crack 3 eggs over the top and season with salt and pepper.

6) Bake the pizza: Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, rotating after 5 minutes. When the crust is golden, the cheese is melted and the egg yolks are cooked, transfer the pizza to a cutting board. Sprinkle half of the parsley, chives, scallions and shallot on top. Let cool for 2 minutes, slice and serve immediately. 

 Zucchini Ribbons, Goat Cheese & Raisin Pizza - White Lake, MI

Zucchini Ribbons, Goat Cheese and Raisin Pizza
Only a few hours after the breakfast pizza debut, and pizza ideas for lunch start churning in my head.  I have one ball of pizza dough. I have zucchini from my mom's garden. I have goat cheese left over from the mushrooms. Educate me google. And like magic, google teaches me of a goat cheese, zucchini and raisin pizza. Beyond excited for this. This pizza had dimensions. Mild sharpness of the goat cheese, the zucchini was lightly roasted and the raisins provided bursts of delicious sweetness. The combination of these three plus the homemade crust just blew my mind. I modified this recipe quite a bit (including omitting lemon zest and pine nuts) to just dress up the pizza as I thought it ought to be, so don't be restricted by measurements. You've just got to try this. 

Zucchini Ribbons, Goat Cheese and Raisin Pizza
  • 1 ball of homemade pizza crust (see instructions within breakfast pizza)
  • 1 small zucchini
  • 1/2 cup soft goat cheese
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large garlic clove minced
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1) Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.

2) Combine the olive oil and garlic in a medium bowl and set aside.

3) Meanwhile, use a vegetable peeler along the length of the zucchini to make thin "ribbons." Mix zucchini ribbons thoroughly with the olive oil mixture.

4) Spread the goat cheese evenly over the pizza crust.

5) Sprinkle the raisins evenly over the cheese. Add the zucchini ribbons evenly on top of the pizza, lightly folding and mounding them. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

6) Bake the pizza on a lightly oiled baking sheet for 15-18 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the crust is crispy.

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