Monday, March 29, 2010

Book Club Wine and Pizza

Once a month we get together to "discuss" a great book that we all read. This past month was my turn to host. On the menu was:
  • Goat Cheese Bruschetta
  • Mixed Green Salad with a Dijon Vinaigrette
  • Caramelized Onion Pizza with Gorgonzola and Arugula with Whole Wheat Pizza Crust
  • Cheese Whole Wheat Pizza with "Almost" Fat Free Tomato Sauce
My friend Alison brought a delish desert of low cal chocolate cupcakes with Cool Whip and fresh strawberries, a great ending to our meal!

Goat Cheese Bruschetta with Basic Vinaigrette
from Real Simple

Basic Vinaigrette
Yield: 3/4 cup

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 1 or 2 lemons)
1 teaspoon honey
1 small shallot, minced
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed black pepper

Whisk together lemon juice, honey and shallots in a small bowl. Slowly add olive oil in a thin stream, whisking constantly, until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper.

This can be made a few hours ahead of time and refrigerated so its ready just before serving.

Goat Cheese Bruschetta
from Real Simple

The recipe says it makes 6 servings but I found that it makes more than that. For book club I actually made 12 pieces. I use a round loaf of french bread or wheat bread. I am making it again for Easter dinner and I'm going to change it a bit and make them smaller more bite size pieces. To toast the bread I put it in the broiler on High for 5 minutes on each side, you can judge by how much you like them toasted.

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoon fresh chopped herbs such as dill, parsley, or basil (I use basil)
Toasted country or other bread
Goat Cheese (to make 12 servings I used 2 4 oz packages of goat cheese)

Add the the balsamic vinegar and fresh herbs to the Basic Vinaigrette. Drizzle over toasted bread and spread with goat cheese. Finish with another drizzle of vinaigrette.

Tastes great with a glass of wine!

Mixed Green Salad with Vinaigrette
from Cooking Light

Combine 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper in a medium bowl. Gradually add 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, stirring constantly with a whisk. Drizzle dressing over 4 cups mixed micro greens and 2 cups trimmed watercress; toss to coat.

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
from Cooking Light
Yield: 2 12-inch pizza crusts

I was a little nervous about making dough from scratch but this recipe is really easy anyone can do it. It just takes patience and time to let the yeast rise and then the dough.

1 package active dry yeast ( 2 1/4 teaspoons)
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 cups warm water ( 100 to 110 degrees)
2 1/2 to 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour, divided
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
cooking spray

I add 2 teaspoons of garlic powder for extra flavor

Dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water in a large bowl; let stand for 5 minutes. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups, level with a knife. Add 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, oil and salt; stir until well blended. If you use a mixer make sure to use a dough hook. Turn dough onto a floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes); add remaining flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel sticky). I recommend putting flour on your hands before taking the dough out of the bowl too.

Place dough in a large bowl, coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm space (85 degrees), free from drafts, 45 minutes or until doubled in size. Gently press 2 fingers into dough. If indentation remains dough has risen enough. Punch dough down, cover and let rest for 5 minutes. Divide in half, roll each dough half into 12 inch floured surface.

Note: To freeze, follow directions for kneading dough and shape into 2 balls. Coat with cooking spray and place in freezer in a zip lock bag. To use in them, thaw in a refrigerator overnight. Cover and let rise in a warm space (85 degrees), free from draft, 1 1/2 hours or until double in size. Gently press 2 fingers into dough, if indentation remains dough has risen enough. Shape as instructed.

Caramelized Onion Pizza with Gorgonzola and Arugula
adapted from Cooking Light
Yield: 4 slices (serving 1 slice) I cut them smaller so I was able to have 8 slices

2 teaspoons olive oil
2 1/2 lbs of yellow onions
1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 recipe Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
Cooking spray
1 tablespoon yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup (2 oz) crumbled Gorgonzola, blue cheese, or feta
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped walnuts
1 cup trimmed arugula

Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Add onion, and saute 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary, salt and pepper. Continue cooking 15 to 20 minutes, or until onion is a deep golden brown, stirring frequently.

Preheat oven 500 degrees.

Roll dough into a 12 inch circle on lightly floured surface. Place dough on
a 12 inch pizza pan or baking sheet coated with cooking spray and sprinkle with cornmeal. Crimp edges of dough with fingers to form a rim. Top with onion. Bake at 500 degrees for 10 minutes. Add cheese and walnuts; bake an additional 3 minutes or until cheese melts. Remove from oven, top with arugula. Cut the pizza and serve.

Hint: When the oven is heated, heat the pizza pan or baking sheet to make the bottom crust extra crispy.

Cheese Pizza with Whole Wheat Pizza Crust and Rocco's How Low Can you Go Low-Fat Marinara Sauce

Rocco's How Low Can You Go Low-Fat Marinara Sauce
from Now Eat This! by Rocco Dispirito
Yield: 6 1/2 cups (13 servings)

1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 large yellow onion, cut into small dice
crushed red pepper
2 28 oz cans tomato puree
1/2 cup water
1 small piece of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese rind
1 large sprig fresh basil

Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat. When the pot is hot, add the olive oil. Add the garlic and onion, and season them with salt and crushed red pepper to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion and garlic are translucent, about 4 minutes.

Add the tomato puree, water, and Parmigiano-Reggiano rind to the pot. Bring to a simmer. Then cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for about 25 minutes.

With the back of a knife, bruise the basil and stir the sprig in
to the sauce. Simmer the sauce, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Season with salt and crushed red pepper to taste, if desired. Serve, or store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Cheese Pizza
adapted from Cooking Light
Yield: 8 slices
1/2 Whole Wheat Pizza Dough recipe
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup How Low Can You Go Marinara Sauce
2 cups shredded part skim mozzeralla cheese
1/2 cup grated fresh parmesan cheese

Pre-heat oven to 500 degrees.

Roll out whole wheat pizza dough and brush lightly with olive oil. Transfer 12 inch circle to baking sheet. Bake on lowest oven rack at 500 degrees for 8 minutes. Remove from oven.

Spread sauce in an even layer over crust, leaving 1/4 inch border. Top with mozzarella and parmesan cheeses. Bake an additional 10 minuted or until crust is golden brown and cheese melts. Cut into 12 wedges.

No comments:

Post a Comment