It is not hard to make artisanal quality pizza at home. Here are a few pointers, and then we will get to the recipes. First, buy a good quality pizza stone, or you can use quarry tiles cut to fit a rack in your oven. You can also use untreated granite tiles. Expect these to crack after a year or two, unless you can find quarry tiles. I’ve been through several pizza stones now and cracked all of my granite. It’s the price you pay for good pizza. Luckily, these items are not expensive.
Sometimes your taste buds need a lift, and this dish does the trick. The flavors are very unique and it provides something a little different for the dinner table. This is a great entree to make on a Saturday or Sunday when you have some time to let it simmer, or the night before on a weeknight to reheat the next day. The dish is spicy, but you can cut back on the hot paprika and substitute with more of the sweet paprika if you don’t/can’t eat spicy food. I could not find spaetzle, so I used the kluski (short, Pennsylvania Dutch noodles and sauteed them the same way). If you would like the original spaetzle noodle recipe to make at home, let me know. You will need a hotel pan with holes in it or a spaetzle press to make it.
Everyone knows there are changes happening at Bella Brava. With the very recent departure of Domenica Macchia, everyone is wondering about the future of the restaurant.
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Marilu Henner. I have been an admirer of hers for a long time, and I recently had a chance to chat with her in advance of her appearance at the Tampa Bay Food and Wine Festival.
Other than her storied acting career, I didn’t know much about Marilu until her first book came out in 1998, Marilu Henner’s Total Health Makeover. It was not about a diet, really, but more of a complete lifestyle change. Real and organic food, stress reduction, detoxification and preventing health conditions like cancer were the major goals. I was so inspired by the book, my husband and I tried the lifestyle changes for 30 days. Although skeptical, we did notice a real difference in how we felt, our energy levels and even our appearance. Unfortunately, in what I do for a living, I am unable to limit my consumption to only certain types of foods, but her plan really works. I can tell you that firsthand.
When I spoke with her for the interview, my biggest question was, “What’s next?”. Her books have been so popular, it’s hard to imagine how she could top all of that or change it up. But she has. And she is so inspired, she took her ideas to Congress.
Through an organization called Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine, she testified in front of our representatives about the need for healthy, low-fat vegetarian options in schools. PCRM released a statement about her contribution towards healthier school lunches. “Marilu Henner’s entire life testifies to the power of her plant-based diet. The knowledge and discipline this actor, author, and full-time mom has gathered to maintain her demanding schedule is discussed in her books, including Marilu Henner’s Total Health Makeover. She is working with PCRM to persuade Congress to reform the Child Nutrition Act to offer more healthful school lunches.” They are also awarding her with the Voice of Compassion Award at PCRM’s annual gala this year.
She has another television show in the works, more theatrical work and is also working on another book. Her website marilu.com is filled with information for parents and lifestyle reformers, complete with recipes and support systems to keep the dedicated on track. I’ve personally made many of her recipes and found them to be easy to work with and tasty. The most surprising thing is I didn’t miss the dairy products and other items that don’t appear in her menus.
You have a chance to meet Marilu in person at the upcoming Tampa Bay Food and Wine Festival this weekend. Go to 2010.unleashyourpalate.com/index.html for details.
This is a menu that looks elegant, but doesn’t take long to make. Many of these items are already in your pantry or fridge. Here’s your shopping list:
8 oz lump crab (pasteurized)
8 oz claw crab (pasteurized)
2 slices of bread
1 jar of mayo (or you can make your own, see below)
Panko bread crumbs
grapeseed oil or clarified butter
1 small carton chicken stock
head of garlic
sour cream (optional garnish)
1 lb pineapple (you can buy it diced in the produce section to save time)
vanilla ice cream
Method – Dessert
Put 1 lb of pineapple (diced) in a saucepan over medium high heat. Stir occasionally until caramelized. Keep warm but don’t let it burn, then serve over ice cream after dinner.
Method – Soup
Chop one heart of Romaine into large chunks (discarding the tough core at the bottom) and place in a blender with 1 cup chicken stock 1/4 cupof parmesan, 1 tsp Dijon, 1/2 tsp minced garlic, 1 TB lemon juice (about half a lemon’s worth but save the other half), a pinch of sea salt and1/4 tsp of pepper. Puree in blender thoroughly then put in fridge tochill. Serve in bowls with a dollop of sour cream, if you wish. This makes 4 smallcups or 2 bowls.
Method – Crab Cakes
Buzz the slices of bread in the food processor into bread crumbs. In a large bowl, combine bread crumbs, both crab meats, 1 beaten egg, 2 TB of mayo (see below for how to make your own mayo), 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, 1 tsp Worcestershire, 1 tsp Dijon mustard, 1/2 tsp minced garlic, a little splash of hot sauce, 1 TB chopped parsley and 1 tsp of chopped chives. With clean hands, form into 6 patties. Put about 3/4 of a cup of Panko on a plate and cover patties with Panko. Place patties on a clean plate and heat 1 TB of grapeseed oil or clarified butter over medium heat. Saute patties until golden on both sides. (about 4 minutes per side). Keep warm in a 275 degree F oven until ready to serve. For sauce: Add 2 TB ketchup to 3/4 cup mayo, a splash of hot sauce and a tsp of lime juice. Test for seasoning and add a little water if too thick. Serve on the side.
1 egg yolk (use pasteurized eggs if you are concerned about raw eggs, they look like regular eggs in the shell marked pasteurized)
1 TB lemon juice (the other half of the lemon) or use a flavored vinegar like white wine vinegar
1 generous tsp of Dijon
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 cup of grapeseed oil
Stir everything but grapeseed oil in a medium bowl with a whisk. Slowly add oil a couple drops at a time until it starts to emulsify, then you can add it in a slow stream. Whisk briskly the entire time until your mayo is formed.
Lesa Gigante, a representative from Bowled, had the following to say about the decision to close the restaurant. “Yes it’s true. Michael made the very very difficult decision today to close the doors. We’ve been struggling for a while with high rent, labor cost and just not enough people eating out. We’ve been blessed to have wonderful customers, great reviews and enthusiastic word of mouth. We’ve prided ourselves on great food, a comfortable atmosphere and friendly service. But that just wasn’t enough in this economic climate. We needed more people coming in the door.