This is a “Basic Pizza Dough” recipe I learned a few years ago. The story behind it, is that it was one one the recipes that was developed by Wolfgang Puck for the restaurants California Pizza Kitchen. Just a few ingredients and 60 minutes later you have fresh pizza dough waiting for you to get a little creative. I remember when I first attempted preparing pizza dough from scratch. Seems like it took the whole afternoon, lol! Most of the time that I do prepare this recipe, I end up making 4 smaller pizza’s. I will keep 2 for us and usually share the other two with friends. One fourth makes a perfect thin crust 10 inch pizza. Another method I like for my pizza recipes is to season the rolled out dough lightly and add my sliced or shredded cheese first. If using a tomato based sauce I add it sparingly, then a light layer of toppings. And I always finish it off with a little sprinkle of Parmesan, oregano, red pepper flakes and a drizzle of olive oil. For this blog post, I prepared 3 thin crust pizzas with various toppings and the fourth one I prepared a calzone with a Mexican twist. Filled with my scratch made refried beans, sauteed poblanos and shallots, Chihuahua cheese, Mexican chorizo and more cheese. If you are not using the dough right away, it can be refrigerated for 2 days or it can be wrapped tightly and stored in the freezer for a few weeks. Defrost in a warm spot and it will rise slightly. I found that lately take out pizza is too much money and it never taste as good as homemade, but that’s just my opinion.
1 package active dry yeast 1 teaspoon honey 1 cup warm water, 105 degrees 3 cups all purpose flour 1 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon olive oil
1. To make dough,stir and dissolve the yeast with the water and honey. Let stand for 10 minutes.
2. Add the salt, oil, and 1 cup of flour, stir to mix. Gradually add in the rest of the flour until dough forms. I used almost all 3 cups of flour, left some for later.
3. Transfer the dough to a glass bowl that has been coated with olive oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 40 minutes.
4. After it rises, gently punch down and knead on a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into four equal parts. Knead it with your hands to form a smooth dough ball. Transfer a plate and let rise for another 20 minutes. If not going to use right away, refrigerate it or freeze it for a later time.
5. Preheat oven to 500 degrees, roll out dough ball on lightly floured surface. On a large baking pan, add a little cornmeal and drizzle with olive oil. Carefeully fold the pizza dough and transfer it to the baking sheet. Add your toppings(do not overload), bake for 10 to 15 minutes on the lowest rack in the oven.
Tips~ After rolling out pizza dough, I add my layer of cheese first then a light layer of sauce or sliced tomatoes.
After many years of cooking rice dishes, I have to admit that both my husband and I are hooked on jasmine rice. I will also admit that I have tried every boxed, pre- mixed, par boiled and rice o roni that was ever made, lol!! I am not sure why I was so intimidated when it came to preparing my Mom’s recipe for Mexican Red Rice. It may be that I knew my version would never be as wonderful as hers. Or so I thought…. I can finally say that I am happy with my rice making skills now. I don’t fuss too much when it come to preparing rice recipes. Every cook has a method that works for them, whether it’s soaking, rinsing, steaming or toasting the rice. This is a collection of some of my favorites I have experimented with. Most all prepared with jasmine rice and a few with brown rice or quinoa. The first recipe was from my most recent cooking class where we prepared a fresh batch of Mexican chorizo and added it to the rice! My new favorite…for now.
from the cooking class….. picture by Celeste
Ingredients: 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 cup of long-grain rice (I like to use Jasmine rice)
1 small white onion, diced
1 to cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup uncooked Mexican chorizo
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon black pepper
Salt to taste
2 cups of chicken broth
1/4 cup of tomato sauce or 2 fresh Roma tomatoes, blended
1/2 cup of peas and carrots mixed, fresh or frozen. We used a vegetable mix this time
Chopped cilantro, optional
1. In a large pan, heat 2 tablespoons of oil to medium heat. Add the rice and saute for a few minutes or until the rice becomes aromatic and slightly opaque. Add the onions and the garlic and cook for just 2 minutes. Move the rice mixture to the outer edges of the pan and add the chorizo to the center of the pan. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes, breaking apart with wooden spoon until crumbly.
2. Add all the dry spices and stir well to combine. Add the tomato sauce and broth, stir well and taste for salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 10 minutes without disturbing the rice.
3. Add the peas and carrots evenly to the top of the rice. Cover and continue cooking until all of the liquid has evaporated. Total cooking time is about 18 to 20 minutes or so. (If rice doesn’t look like it is cooking evenly, gently stir with a fork and add 2 to 3 tablespoons of broth or water, cover and continue cooking.)
4. Remove from heat once liquid has evaporated and let stand for 10 minutes. When ready to serve, fluff with a fork and fold in the fresh cilantro if using. Yields up to 6 servings.
Savory Chicken Rice with Toasted Cumin Seeds and Lime
2 tablespoons olive oil 1 cup jasmine rice 1/3 cup red onion, diced
1/3 cup red bell pepper, diced
1 jalapeno, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons cumin seeds, crushed
1 packet of Knorr brand Sazon with annatto
1 packet of Goya brand chicken bouillon granules (always use homemade stock if available, but this works in a pinch)
2 cups water
1 red fresno pepper
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup fresh green beans, chopped fine
1 medium carrot, diced
Zest and juice of 1 lime
1. Add the 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a skillet. Heat to medium and add the rice. Toast the rice until it become aromatic and begins to brown slightly.
2. Add the onions, bell pepper, jalapeno and garlic and saute for another 5 minutes. Push the rice to the outer edges of the pan. Add the crushed cumin seeds to the center and toast for a few minutes.
3. Add the Sazon, chicken bouillon, water and fresno pepper. Stir gently and season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce to low, cover and continue cooking for 10 minutes. Add the fresh veggies to the rice and spreed out evenly over the top. Cover and continue cooking for another 8 to 10 minutes or until all of the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Before serving, add the zest and juice of the lime and fluff with a fork. Yields 6 servings.
Mexican Style Red Rice with Quinoa
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup red onion, diced
1 serrano pepper, sliced in half (lengthwise)
1/3 cup red bell pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 roma tomatoes, diced
1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste or 1/4 cup tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
Salt to taste
1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 tabespoons lemon fresh juice
1/4 cup green onions, sliced
1. Preheat the olive oil on medium heat for a minute. Add the onions, serrano, bell pepper and garlic. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes.
2. Add the tomatoes and tomato paste or sauce. Season lightly with salt and pepper and let cook for 5 minutes.
3. Add in the broth, cumin, pepper, smoked paprika and salt to taste. Bring to a boil, add in the quinoa, making sure you spread it out evenly. Push it down slightly so it is covered with broth. Reduce heat, cover and continue cooking for 13 to 18 minutes or until most of the broth has evaporated. Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Add fresh lemon juice, green onions and fluff with a fork before serving. Yields up to 6 servings.
Savory Mango Rice
Cilantro Chile Rice
Arroz Huerfano~ Orphan Rice, my Tia Minerva’s Recipe
Shrimp and Chorizo Masa Cakes with Bacon. It was not until I was married and moved away from home that I discovered masa harina. Masa harina is a fine corn flour ground from dried corn. It is used in recipes to prepare tamales, tortillas, gorditas and pupusas. And not only does it work as a great thickener, but it can replace all purpose flour in a variety of recipes. The bonus for many people is that masa harina is naturally gluten free. The masa harina is slighty different than all purpose flour. The results for this masa cake is a slightly more dense texture, but still quite tasty. It adds a light corn flavor when added to recipes. This was one of those recipes that happened due to some leftover filling I was using to prepare a pan of jalapeno popppers. I think any ingredient would work well in the masa cakes as long as it’s pre-cooked and does not contain too much broth or oil. For best results, cook all your ingredients and let them cool completely before mixing with the masa harina. I am looking forward to trying many variations for these masa cakes!
1/2 cup cooked Mexican chorizo 1/2 cup grilled shrimp, chopped 2 strips thick cut bacon cooked and crumbled 1/3 cup sauteed onion/garlic jalapeno mixture (1/2 small onion, 2 jalapenos and 1 clove garlic) 1/3 cup shredded cheese, I used Chihuahua cheese 1 large egg, lightly beaten 1/3 cup masa harina Oil for frying olive or grapeseed oil is what I use
1. Mix all of the ingredients until well incorporated. Roll and form 8 equal size balls and flatten into cakes. transfer to a plate and chill for 30 minutes. If you rub cooking oil onto your hands while rolling and forming the masa cakes it’s much easier. * Make sure all of your ingredients are cool before you mix them together.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Preheat 1/3 cup of oil to medium heat in a large skillet for 5 minutes. Fry the masa cakes for 2 to 3 minutes per side or until golden brown and crispy. Transfer to oven and continue cooking for another 10 minutes. Serve right away. Garnish with salsa. Yields 4 servings.
Embracing my Mexican heritage and sharing all the wonderful flavors, colors and foods I grew up with. Join me on this journey as I also learn new foods and cooking techniques. Dedicated to my parents Ramiro and Blanca.