Bossy Kick Your Ass Pizza

Pizza

If you’re looking for gooey pizza globbing with mozzarella, stop reading this and call Papa Gino’s Pizzeria. No judgments. Now if you want something increabldly mouthwateringly delicious read on and follow my directions precisely. Don’t divert, don’t add your own stuff, do exactly what I say.

Now listen closely, this pizza has a sharpness and zest that will linger on in your mouth for at least an hour or two, breath mints are not an option unless you’re a frigging coward.

First things first, roast around 20 garlic cloves in olive oil.

Okay so now grab some pizza dough and put it on a pan that is coated with virgin olive oil. Let it get room temp and loose. Stretch the dough out, work it, bring it to the corners, and let it rest about a half hour. -Go back to it, if it crawled away from the corners, stretch it out again, be gentle, but forceful, and tell it to behave. Dough is a living thing, it needs to be tamed.

Okay now get some tomato paste and with your fingers paint the dough until it’s covered in red. It should look beautiful, like a work of art that could be hanging in the Met. Now, open a can of anchovies and break them apart, put them all around, then get your roasted garlic, and spread those about. Next get your black cured oils and squeeze the pits out, the underneath of your fingernails will get black, this is good, and only means you’re earthy and soulful. Scattered those black beauties about. Now sprinkle on some hot pepper flakes, a small amount of dried basil, and then some Romano cheese. Don’t overdo the cheese, make it look like a slight dusting, like fairy dust or something. Now drizzle more olive oil on top.

Your oven should be at 500, not 350, not 456… I said 500. Place your masterpiece in the oven for about 5 to 8 minutes, watch it. Don’t burn it, you’ll never forgive yourself. When it’s done take it out, let it rest, smell it, smile, rejoice. Get a spatula, put it on your cutting board, cut it up. Eat it while sipping Chianti, or cold beer, or be like me, eat it with cranberry juice. -Quite frankly I don’t care what you drink with it, I’ll grant you that option.

You will love this pizza, you will praise me to the pizza Gods, and you will send me tickets to Naples. You will nominated me for some prize. That’s it.

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Bucatini and the Little Fishys

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A favorite dish of my Dad and I is Bucatini, olive oil, chopped parsley, garlic, hot pepper flakes, ground black pepper, and anchovies (hold the raviolis). We’ve been eating that dish together since I was a kid. It’s our signature dish, the stamp, an image, the one I cherish most, Saturday afternoon, Dad at the stove, cooking with absolute zeal, me with my eyes peeled, fork in hand.

Here’s how to do it:

Flood a sauce pan with olive oil, add a couple cans of anchovies with the oil, warm until the anchovies start to disintegrate, then shut the heat off. Add the chopped garlic, and hot pepper flakes to the warm oil. Working quickly, throw in your cooked Bucatini, and toss quickly while adding tons of chopped parsley.

I find cooking the pasta in the oil makes the pasta more flavorful, but don’t do it for too long, and for God sake, don’t burn the garlic. There you have it. Simple, delicious and devilishly good.

Please don’t let the little fishy guys scare you away, they really add a magnificent, salty kick.

In the past I have added a small amount of lemon zest and capers, which offered a nice balance and more layers of flavor.

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Bucatini or Perciatelli, it’s all good to me

 

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Bucatini or Perciatelli, it’s all good to me, although the Perciatelli is thicker. I made this fantastic sauce. I used tons of garlic, say like 15 cloves, a small minced onion and I warmed them both in a huge amount of olive oil until soft or when your house smells like paradise or you pass out from pure rapture. Don’t brown the garlic or onion, do it nice and easy on medium heat. Now add Cento crushed tomatoes, a small pinch of sugar & salt, stew for hours, best to do this during a snowstorm. Before serving incorporate the garlic into the sauce with a hand held blender or use a potato masher. Don’t add anything else, I’m warning you. This is a total garlic extravaganza of a sanctified order. Follow the rules, I always do, no I don’t. Peace be with you.

 

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Vegetarian Stuffed Cabbage: Time to Get Healthy Because I’m Over-Stuffed.

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I over did it with my eating this winter. I’m sorry! So shot me, and if you do, give me a chocolate cake to eat first and maybe some cheese, any kind will do, just make sure there are mass amounts of it.

Dad is spending the latest snow storm with me and I wanted to cook something healthy not only for him, but for me, “enough is enough” as  they say and considering the last three storms I ate pretty much what I wanted; the highlights being a wheel of brie, a pound of bacon, a chocolate cake with butter-cream frosting, and a homemade lasagna that I learned how to make in Italy. (That fat-tastic lasagna is made with Bolognese and Béchamel sauce and I shamelessly admit to eating a 9 by 8 pan of it in a 12 hour span, but it did have carrots in it, so it wasn’t an entire fat-fest.)

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Anyway, it’s that time of year when I look at my belly and say, “Wow, John, you’re a fat pig, you really pigged-out all winter, and it’s time to trade-in the butter for celery sticks.” Blah! -Okay, so tonight I made brown-rice vegetarian stuffed cabbage, it was practically fat free and wholly healthy and it was really tasty. The raisins I used gave a natural, earthy sweetness to the cabbage and balanced off the nutty flavor of the brown rice.

For the stuffing I used an organic brown rice, and when it was half-way cooked (about 2o minutes) I tossed into it a cup of raisins and covered the pot so the raisins would excrete their sweetness and plump.

Next, in a small amount of olive oil, I sautéed chopped onions, red peppers, carrots, and to that I added ground Allspice, salt and one small, chopped garlic clove. I added the rice to the veggies and threw in a handful of sunflower seeds and tossed it all together with a wooden spoon. I love wooden spoons. Anyway, I put the rice mixture to the side to cool a bit.

The sauce was easy to make. I boiled a cup of raisins in two cups of water and to that added a 16oz can of tomato sauce, 5 cloves, a tablespoon of French mustard salt and pepper. I let that simmer for a while.

Keep this sauce watery, don’t let it get too thick, add more water if you need too.

Boil an entire head of cabbage until you can easily peel the leaves away.

Run the cabbage under cool water, piling-up the leave as you peel them away.

Place a small amount of the rice stuffing on each cabbage leaf, tuck-in the sides and roll them into a tight little package. Lay them in a baking pan side by side, pour the sauce over the cabbage rolls, cover with foil and bake  350 and after a while undercover them and continue to bake them until the sauce becomes bubbly and thick. When serving the cabbage rolls, spoon more sauce on top of them along with the raisins.

Happy Snow Storm.

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Shine On

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I haven’t posted in such a long time, but I hope to blog something exciting and fun next weekend! In the meantime, I was nominated for a “Shine on” award… thanks Kate Magee and her awesome blog “tea & tamarind” check it out! John

http://teaandtamarind.wordpress.com/2013/09/29/shine-on-award/

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Sunshine Award For Blogging

A I received a Sunshine Award today for my blog. How nice!

“The Sunshine Award is an award given by bloggers to other bloggers. The recipients of the Sunshine Award are: “Bloggers who positively and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere.”

 

 

 

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Scallion Cakes!

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I’ve been out of the blogging sphere for a few weeks because I am working on my second book about a foodie who is extremely neurotic and traveling around Italy for six months. How I came up with that idea totally baffles me. Anyway, I am hoping to finish another draft of the book this coming week. It has truly been one of the funniest projects I’ve worked on.

Anyway, I hope you weren’t too alarmed that I haven’t been blogging, it’s not that I’ve stopped eating, everyone knows that the chances of that happening are slim to none when considering I am usually putting something in my mouth every five to ten minutes. The fact is I haven’t had time to photograph and write about every meal I have been devouring. I must admit it was a nice break, but as the fall approaches my goal is to blog about something delicious at least once a week.

Enough about me, let’s talk about something really important, scallion cakes! I made them the other night and they were crispy, tasty and make an outstanding appetizer. They can be found on most Chinese Restaurant menus and are easy and simple to make and the best part is they require very little ingredients.

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Here is how I did it,

1 cup flour
5oz hot water (tap is fine)
½ teaspoon sesame seed oil (optional for the dough) PLUS a few drops to be rubbed on the cakes
I bunch of scallions sliced thin (the green and white part.)
Oil for frying.

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Mix the flour, oil, and water until it forms a ball. You may need extra flour. Knead into a soft ball and then let it rest for 15 minutes.

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Cut the dough into seven pieces.

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Roll them out into about six inch circles (use flour if sticky while rolling. Dough should be soft and not tough and dense).

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On top of the pancakes rub in a few drop of sesame oil and sprinkle with some salt. Next add about a teaspoon of the chop scallions.

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Now roll it up tightly into a tube and then coil it around.

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Then roll it out again flat into a six inch circle. Some the scallions will break through, no worries.

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Place the pancakes in hot oil (you’re not deep frying) until they turn brown on both sides.

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Cut into eight pieces and serve with soy sauce for dipping. You may also add chopped garlic, red pepper flakes and ginger to the soy sauce for an extra kick.

If you have any question ask me! Johnny P

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