Thursday, April 22, 2010

Homemade Pizza

We used the James McNair pizza recipe and it was absolutely fabulous! This receipe made two medium-large pizzas.

(Using a Kitchenaid Mixer with Dough Hook)
Source: James McNair

1 tbsp. sugar
1 cup warm water (112-115 degrees f.)
**use instant-read thermometer**
1 envelope quick-rising active dry yeast
3 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Place all dry ingredients, except 1/4 cup flour, into mixing bowl.
Attach dough hook and mix for 15 seconds at #2 speed.

Slowly add water and oil.
Knead 5 minutes at #2 speed scraping down sides as needed.

[If dough is too crumbly add water a little at a time.
If dough is too sticky add flour a little at a time
Dough should be smooth and elastic.]

Remove from mixer and form into a ball and place into a well oiled bowl,
turning to coat evenly. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rise 'til double in size, about 45 minutes.

Punch dough down. Divide onto 2 sprayed pizza pans, smoothing to fit evenly.

Rub pizza with a little Olive Oil. Cover with your favorite sauce. Cover well with shredded cheese(s) of choice. Place extra toppings over cheese.
(Pepperoni, sliced Onions, Peppers, etc.)

Preheated 525 degree F oven / 5-8 minutes

* This recipe made enough dough for two thin crust pizzas!

Here is the first step of the dough making process!

It's all done! You know that it is ready when the dough is very smooth - just like a little baby's bottom!

Mama Butta pre-made a batch of dough so that we could make our own but also make pizzas while ours was rising. It took about an hour or so for it to rise. Here is a picture of the dough fresh from the mixer, next to dough that has risen for about 2 hours.

Here are our ingredients for the two pizzas that we made. We made a Margherita Pizza and Roasted Garlic Pizza with Sun dried tomatoes and goat cheese.
For both of the pizzas we used an olive oil sauce.

Baby buttas hard at work preparing the seasonings, tomatoes, and garlic.

The Margherita Pizza
We sprinkled the crust with oregano, salt and pepper and then brushed it with olive oil. We topped it with mozzarella and parmesean chesses and fresh slices tomatoes. When it was done added fresh basil.

Our second pizza of the night was a roasted garlic, sundried tomato, goat cheese pizza.
We prepared it just like the previous pizza and added the garlic, tomatoes and goat cheese on top.

Both pizzas were amazing to eat and so delicious! The baby buttas love trying new recipes, learning new cooking tips and trying new foods!

Watch out for flying flour!!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Stay tuned: Italian Pizza Night coming up!!

We cooked pizzas from scratch last night! Be looking out for the recipe and pictures very soon!
butta love!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

New Orleans Gumbo Night

Son of a gun, we'll have big fun on the bayou!

Seasoning mix: 2 whole bay leaves, 2 teaspoons salt, ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, ½ teaspoon black pepper, 1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 cup finely chopped onions
1 cup finely chopped green bell peppers
¾ cup finely chopped celery
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup vegetable oil
7 cups chicken stock
1 pound andouille sausage, cut into ¼ inch cubes
1 teaspoon minced garlic
Fresh or frozen okra, optional*
Tabasco sauce to taste
Chopped parsley & green onions to garnish

Mix together dry seasonings, prep the vegetables.

Heat stock in a medium saucepan

The "trinity" of Louisiana cooking consists of bell pepper, onion and celery. When making this dish or any other gumbo there is a lot of chopping!
Please take note of the baby butta hats. They are representing the New Orleans theme!!

In a Dutch oven, make the roux: Heat the vegetable oil over high heat. Add the flour, whisking constantly until roux turns dark red-brown-darker than peanut butter (very hot, be CAREFUL!!!)

For this dish we made a dark roux. They baby buttas had lots of questions because they had made a roux before with their mac & cheese but this roux was dark! For macaroni and cheese they made a blond roux which is made from butter and flour. A dark roux is made with oil and flour. Which a dark roux you have to constantly stir so the oil doesn't burn. Also, a roux can be a thick as you would like as you can see ours had the consistency of peanut butter.

When the roux is just the right color, turn off heat and add onions, bell pepper, celery and seasoning mix--continue stirring until mixture cools a bit. Add garlic after a few minutes (you don’t want it to burn). Don't taste test during this phase: they are heavily seasoned vegetables - Lauren learned this the hard way!

Gradually add the chicken broth, stirring constantly. Add the sausage, then bring to a simmer. Cook for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add deboned chicken and adjust seasoning.

Remove bay leaves and serve immediately over rice. Garnish with freshly chopped parsley and green onions.

*If you choose to use okra, coat it lightly with a little vegetable oil and bake on a half-sheet pan in a 400 degree oven for approximately 20 minutes, turning occasionally until it loses its slimy texture. Add to gumbo when you add the sausage.

Some of our baby buttas are new to certain vegetables and okra was no exception! After we baked the okra and added what we needed to the gumbo pot, we put the remaining okra back in the oven and let it get a little more crisp! It was a yummy snack until the gumbo was finished!! Our picky eater LOVED THE OKRA - yay Blanche!!
Mama Butta is headed to New Orleans for the Jazz Fest next week , maybe she will take us one day for a field trip!!

Stay tuned for next week's class!!!

Stay tuned: Sausage & Chicken Gumbo coming up!!

We cooked a fabulous meal last night, Sausage & Chicken Gumbo! Lauren and Blanche just came back from New Orleans and with it being Mama Buttas hometown it was only necessary we learn how to make a real Gumbo! Pictures and recipe will up very soon :)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Importance of Composting


According to Dr. Butta our ingredients had quite a large carbon footprint so we are off-setting our carbon footprint by composting!

Fact from tonight from Dr. Butta:
MPR says tomatoes have 3 times the potassium as bananas!

Coming attractions:
Field Trips: 701 Whaley St., The Farmers Market on a Saturday morning, grocery shopping lesson

Upcoming cooking lessons: crabcakes, apple tart, appetizer night, pot roast, all side dishes night, tomato pie, casseroles, breakfast foods (pajama party!)

We butta see you soon!!!

Spring Cooking; It's gettin hot in here.....

Fresh Tomato Pasta with Basil & Garlic
- plum tomatoes
- garlic
- salt, pepper, olive oil (to taste)
- fresh basil, chiffonade
- pasta
- italian sausage
- mozzarella & parmesan cheese
Raw Tomato Sauce:
1/8 the plum tomatoes and add to big mixing bowl. Add 4-5 cloves of finely chopped garlic. Add salt, pepper and olive oil to taste. Then add basil chiffonade Let this sit while you cook the pasta and meat.

Butta Lesson 1:
adding salt to tomatoes it extracts the juice-this creates a delicious pasta sauce

Butta Lesson 2:
BASIL CHIFFONADE - roll basil leaves, like a cigar, and slice thinly lengthwise

Bake or grill according to package.

Boil the pasta according to package to al dente perfection! Strain the pasta. In a large bowl toss the warm pasta with fresh mozzarella and parmesan cheeses. Toss until the cheese is melted, place a towel on top of the bowl and let it steam for a little bit.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Chocolate Molten Souffle

12 tbsp (1 ½ sticks) butter, softened
1 pound semisweet chocolate, in small pieces
8 medium eggs
1 ½ cups sugar
1 ½ cups all- purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350.

Use 2 tbsp of the butter to grease 8 ramekins or oven proof coffee cups, each with a 6 oz. capacity. Check to see all surfaces are covered, especially the corners – you want your soufflĂ© to pop out so the more butter the butta (better)!

Place the remaining 10 tablespoons of butter with the chocolate pieces in the top part of a double boiler or in a medium bowl set over a saucepan on barely simmering water, and melt completely. Stir occasionally with a rubber spatula.

Break the eggs into the workbowl of a food processor, add the sugar and the melted chocolate, and process until the mixture is smooth, about 15 seconds.

 Add the flour and process for another 10 seconds. Scrape down the inside of the workbowl with the spatula and process until smooth.
Pour an equal about of batter into each ramekin. Place the ramekins on a baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes, until the mixture begins to rise and the center is still slightly soft to the touch. Remove the soufflĂ©s but don’t let them cool for more than a few minutes.

The baby buttas were very impressed with this recipe! Not to difficult to make but appears that way. Impress your guest with the chocolate that pours from middle when you break it open. We loved it with vanilla ice cream! Yummmmm

Here are some pictures of last week's class: