Monthly Archives: June 2014

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The Cauliflower Pizza Crust Experiment

Pizza crust made with cauliflower instead of flour . . . say it isn’t so! Well it is. Lately I have been hearing a lot of talk about the technique and since I’ve been looking for ways to eat healthier and sneak in some extra vegetables, I  had to give it a try. Some years ago I would have jumped off the roof before eating a pizza that was not made with wheat flour and yeast! Now I am a bit more open minded, even though I will never completely give up on classic pizza . . . no way! I will, however, sometimes opt for the health cauliflower version.  This recipe is awesome for anyone looking to limit carbohydrates or eliminate gluten.

I can tell you that for me it’s about adding vegetables.

I really did enjoy the recipe. It doesn’t exactly have the taste or texture of pizza, however if you are having a pizza craving but want to keep it healthy, it’s a great alternative.

I used a very simple pizza sauce made by draining a can of diced tomatoes (San Marzano if possible) very well in a colander. Then I pureed the tomatoes with a pinch of salt and a garlic clove.   Simple and classic. If you don’t drain the tomatoes well the sauce will be too thin.

For this pizza I topped it with some smoked turkey breast and some ground turkey.

One head of cauliflower will make about 3 pizzas.

Cauliflower Crust

Makes 1 Crust (roughly a 10 inch pizza)

 

Ingredients

2 cups grated raw cauliflower

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese ½ cups skim milk

¾ teaspoon kosher salt

1 ½ teaspoon chopped rosemary

1 egg

 

  1. Pre heat oven to 400f.
  2. Put the grated cauliflower in a microwave safe bowl, uncovered. Cook on high for 8 minutes. This will essentially dry out the cauliflower.
  3. After removing from the microwave fluff with a fork and let it stand for about 5 minutes. Then add all remaining ingredients and mix well with a rubber spatula.
  4. Now we will prepare a baking tray one of two ways: (1) Line a baking tray with a silpat and rub a bit of olive oil on it (you can also spray with a bit of pan spray), or (2) Line a baking tray with some parchment paper and spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  5. Spread the cauliflower mixture in the shape you want on the prepared tray. Try to keep it thin, approximately ¼ inch thick.
  6. Bake in the oven for approximately 9 minutes. You will want to watch it and take it out when the edges are browning. At this point you can let the crust cool, wrap and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  7. To finish a pizza, turn the broiler to high. Top the pizza as desired with sauce, toppings and cheese. Broil in the oven on a baking sheet until the cheese is brown and everything is hot and bubbly.

Thyme Out,

Jason

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Essential Charred Tomato Salsa

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What would the world be without salsa? Salsa is healthy, vibrant, and simple while at the same time capable of great complexity.  There was a time in our country when ketchup ruled the condiment world, a bleak time in history to be sure. Thankfully we are now in the know and have at our disposable thousands of recipes for glorious salsa.

This particular salsa is quite simple.  Not a lot of ingredients, easy and quick to make, and it allows the natural flavors of the tomatoes and peppers to shine through.  I consider it an essential recipe.  The problem with simple recipes is that when there are not a lot of ingredients the quality of technique and integrity of the ingredients are paramount.   Be sure to char the tomatoes, peppers, and onions well in the oven.  The other key is the dry pan roasting of the garlic.  The unpeeled cloves of garlic get roasted in a medium hot pan until blackened and charred.  This adds a smoky sweet element to the salsa that is really amazing.

 

Essential Charred Tomato Salsa

Makes 1 quart

 

Ingredients

2 pounds ripe tomatoes (about 7 Roma tomatoes)

2 to 4  Jalapeño Chili’s

1 habanero chili (optional)

1 onion, rough chopped

8 garlic cloves, fresh and not peeled!

2/3 cup fresh cilantro (about 2 bunches)

3 fresh limes

3 teaspoons kosher salt

  1. Start the broiler on your oven on high.
  2. Begin by slicing the stem off of all the tomatoes and slicing them in half lengthwise.  Also slice the stem off all the chilies and slice them in half as well. You may want to use gloves to avoid getting any of the oils on your fingers . . .  then eventually in your eyes!
  3. Line a sheet tray with aluminum foil, oil it or spray it lightly with pan spray.  Place the tomatoes on the tray with skin side up.  Scatter the jalapeños skin side up on the try as well.  Scatter the rough chopped onions as well.
  4. Place the tray in the oven under the hot broiler until the skin on the tomatoes and peppers are blisters and blackened.  In my oven this takes about 20 minutes.  While they are broiling heat a small sauté pan over medium heat.  When hot add the garlic cloves (do not peel) and cook on medium heat, with no oil, until blackened, charred, and soft (about 15 minutes).  Cool everything down in refrigerator.
  5. Once everything is cool peel the garlic and put in a blender with the tomatoes, peppers and onions.  Add the juice of two limes and two teaspoons of the salt.  Puree until roughly pureed, not too smooth.
  6. Use the remaining salt and lime to adjust the seasoning.  It should be highly seasoned!!

Thyme for some spice,

Jason