Archive for September, 2010

From Dish Danielle:

I know I’d heard of people grilling pizza’s before, so I’m not sure what took me so long to jump on the BBQ bandwagon. I had the pleasure of spending a long weekend out in Cape Cod with my best girl and seriously culinarily inclined Aunt Kathryn this summer. She taught Nikki & I a thing or two, and the world of fabulous grilled pizza’s was one of them.

(sidenote: I know that by the time this post comes out, summer will technically be over, BUT. Sept & Oct are amazing times to be grilling outside in NYC.)

Dough Ingredients:
1.5 cups warm water
1 package fast-rising yeast
1 tbsp sugar
2 cups bread flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp or so of kosher salt
parchment paper

Pulse the first three ingredients twice in decent sized food processor. Add remaining ingredients and let run for 30 seconds after ball forms. Remove and place in well-oiled bowl. Cover with saran – allow to rise for 3-4 hours.

Now you’ve got some time to plan what you want ON your pizza’s. This recipe will yield 4 crusts, so you better invite some folks over. The day I made them I went simple: 2 Margherita’s (basic marinara & mozz), 1 White pie with pesto (basil pesto, ricotta & mozz), and another with Roasted Veggies right off the grill (basic marinara, mozz, fennel, peppers, red onions). Fresh herbs to top are also a must in my cookbook…

Get your BBQ grill going on HIGH, as hot as you can get that mofo.

Once your dough has risen, toss it onto a well-floured surface. Cut dough glob in half, and then half again so you have 4 smaller balls of dough. Roll out 4 crusts sprinkling the dough and your work surface with flour as needed. Pull out large sheet tray and oil the hell out of it. Once the first crust is rolled, oil the top surface, (I used one of those handy cooking brushes) and lay it on your oiled tray. Cover it with a sheet of parchment—oil the hell out of that, and continue until you’ve stacked your 4 crusts and you’re ready to hit the grill.

This will be a quick process if your grill is super hot, so stay right there. Pick up the top crust carefully and toss it onto the grill. Do two at once if you can. Have a pair of tongs and a large metal spatula handy. They will immediately crisp up on the bottom, so check it after 45 seconds to gauge how much longer they will take. (the grill I was working on was top notch so this literally took 60 seconds, tops). Once they’re a touch underdone, flip and repeat on second side. Crust will puff & bubble from the heat. You may want to cover grill if it’s not piping hot to speed up the process and ensure those lovely grill marks on the dough.

Grill the remaining crusts, then pull them off and quickly dress with chosen toppings. Once they’re ready, set back on a covered grill for about a minute (or until cheese melts).

Voila! You will wow your friends. I promise.

*Note: you can also make dough, let it rise, and wrap it tightly in saran and store in fridge for use the following day.

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She’s working on her latest post, but in the meantime, her urban farming is attracting plenty of press, from the latest issue of Edible Queens featuring the rooftop farm Brooklyn Grange

(Click on image for an online version of the magazine)

To this week’s New York Magazine Power Issue, which profiles Roberta’s in Bushwick, her daily farming haunt.

Go Gwen!

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From Dish Erin:

I realize that I have done quite a few soups for Saucy Lil Dish. Consider this my last soup entry for a bit. The problem is that I usually have tons of vegetables in my fridge and when I’m tired of looking at them, roasting them, sauteing them, and dreaming up new methods to prepare them, I lose my patience and puree them into soup. Every once in a while I get a dud but as in this case, the final results are pretty damn awesome. This week’s overabundance was baby carrots. “Buy 2 bags, get 1 free!” In case you’re wondering, 3 bags of baby carrots is A LOT OF CARROTS. The good news is that they make a great soup–and it’s perfect for this time of year. The sweetness of the carrots combined with the spiciness of the curry and warmth of the coriander makes such a round, complete flavor that’s filling, but not too heavy. You could probably serve it cold, too. As a disclaimer, I have to mention: I do not measure spices out. Never have, never will. The curry, turmeric and coriander are approximations based off a palate that loves curry and heat, so if you’re sensitive to that type of stuff, cut back and start with a few generous shakes instead of whole teaspoons. The best part of soups is that you can layer flavor in. You can always add more.

1/2 large yellow onion roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 sprig rosemary or thyme
3 1/2 cups roughly chopped carrots
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1/4 cup milk or cream
1 heaping teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon coriander
A pinch–or two–of cayenne

This recipe begins as all great ones do, by sauteing onions and garlic in olive oil. Do this over medium heat until they’re soft and translucent. I had rosemary on hand, so I threw that in. I actually think thyme would work best in this soup, but any fresh herbs will do. (Keep the herbs and stem in tact so you can fish it out later.)

Add the carrots to the pot, stir to coat and season with a little salt and pepper. Cook for about 1 minute, then add the stock and cover.

Bring to boil and simmer for about 25 minutes, until the carrots are fork tender. Remove from heat to cool down a bit.

When the soup is cool enough to handle, remove the rosemary or thyme from the pot. Blend with an immersion blender (or regular blender) until it forms a nice, thick soup. Add the milk*, curry, coriander, turmeric and cayenne and blend a bit more. Have a taste and assess. You may need to add more salt & pepper, and/or add some water if the soup is too thick. Start by slowly adding a few tablespoons of water if so, and blend until you get the consistency you’re going for.

It’s still technically summer so I served mine with a single basil leaf. This soup would be really good with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt, too!

*You can use any type of milk you want. Skim will make the consistency a little thinner while whole–or even better, heavy cream, will make it thicker and creamier.

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From Dish Jodi:

Usually, fall in LA is just like summer everywhere else. 80 degrees, sunny, with a cool breeze. Seasons don’t really count here.

But my household was in full on fall mode today…Football on the TV all day for the hubby. The sound of cheering and play by play filling the air while a cool breeze passed through. A day of accomplishments and nesting for me. Stocking up at the farmers market. Planted my newly expanded backyard garden with lettuces, kale, spinach and radishes. Made curtains for the dining room (OK, hemmed Ikea curtains for the dining room). And finally, cooked a meal made from the fruits of my gardening and shopping labors. Hubby helped a little…at commercials, and half times.

This meal was as satisfying as the day was. Cooking a simple chicken is a KEY part of a kitchen repertoire and this is about as foolproof as can be. Crispy skin, moist flesh and tons of flavor.


3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 Tbsp butter
2 skin-on, bone-in Chicken Breasts
2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 clove minced garlic

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix Rosemary and garlic with one tablespoon olive oil and make a paste.

Generously salt and pepper both sides of chicken breast and then smear paste on chicken. Let sit at room temp for 5-10 minutes.

In a large pan, heat remaining oil and butter. When pan is very hot, put chicken, skin side down into pan. Don’t move for at least 5 minutes or until skin is brown and crispy.

Flip and give the other side a good 5 minutes as well.

Transfer chicken to a pan and roast in oven for another 10 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked to your liking.

We served with some roasted asparagus and some amazing farmers’ market sweet corn, sauteed with red onions, butter and a pinch of pretty much every fresh herb in my backyard. It was insane. And an amazing end to the first official weekend of fall.

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Turkey Burgers

From Dish Rachelle:

It’s been a whirlwind few weeks.

First, the Boy and I took a mini-roadtrip to Toronto, which meant 10+ hours in the car each way. Then, we moved, spending 2 epic days in the new apartment painting, and 2 more panicked packing ones wondering how we’ve managed to accumulate so much stuff. In between, I made what turned out to be our last home-cooked meal in the old apartment. We had just gotten back from Canada, and while we took major highways to Toronto on the way there, the Boy’s GPS went sentimental and took us over snaking country roads on the way back. We passed so many farms – cows, wind turbines, barns, and farm stands! A friendly Northwestern New York farmer sold us corn, a $2 basket of pears (“a great deal” – if he did say so himself), and some organic “Airloom” tomatoes. As I stuffed my bag full of them, the farmer noted that people go for the more conventional round tomatoes, because the poor little heirlooms are too ugly.

Away from farm country, I took these fresh ingredients and cooked the Boy – who’d just started teaching again, a true sign of the end of summer – one last proper hot-weather meal.

1- 1 ½ pounds ground turkey
1 egg
handful of Italian breadcrumbs
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped white or yellow onion
1-2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
dash of worchestershire sauce
a couple of sprinkles of mustard powder
a couple of sprinkles of cayenne pepper

Sliced cheese of your choice.

Burgers aren’t an exact science. You get your hands dirty, and roughly blend any flavors into the meat that you might like. Drop the ground turkey into a large bowl and start cracking, sprinkling, adding and mushing. If you’re squeamish about tasting raw meat (which I’m not, but probably should be) form a tiny patty and fry it up to taste, and then adjust the seasoning accordingly.

When the meat is flavored to satisfaction, form it into 4 equal patties and drop into a hot non-stick frying pan with a tablespoon or two of olive oil. Cook on high until the burgers have a golden brown crust, about 3-4 minutes per side. Lower heat to medium/medium-low and mostly cover, until the burgers are cooked through, about 8 minutes. When they’re cooked, the burger will feel firm to the touch, and if you cut into the center, it will be all-but white. If you like cheeseburgers, add slices of the cheese of your choice to the top of the burgers and cook, covered, for the last minute.

Serve on your favorite bread (I like English muffins) with your favorite toppings (spring mix lettuce, sliced New York organic “Airloom” tomatoes, baby gherkin pickles and slices of red onion) and your favorite condiments (grainy mustard and ketchup). Oh – and nothing says summer like boiled corn on the cob with a nice pat of butter on the side.

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From Dish Paige!:

Happy Unofficial End of Summer everyone! This Labor Day, I decided to have a little impromptu Fish and “Chips” dinner, inspired by my I-have-the-day-off-let’s-rent-a-Zip-Car-and-run-errands trip to Trader Joe’s where I bought tons and tons of frozen fish, and my Spicy Side of Meatball’s love for salt & vinegar potato chips.

6 medium waxy potatoes, thinly sliced (I used a combination of Yukon Gold and purple potatoes – cause who doesn’t love purple food!?)
2 cups white balsamic vinegar
up to 2 cups distilled vinegar
olive oil
sea salt

Layer the potatoes in the bottom of a medium-sized pot and pour the 2 cups of white balsamic vinegar on top and then enough distilled vinegar to cover. Bring the pot to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Turn the heat off and let the potatoes sit in the vinegar for half an hour. Drain the potatoes, toss with olive oil, pepper and sea salt. The next step is to crisp up the potatoes – you can throw them on the grill, roast them in the oven, or take the “scenic route” and fry them up in batches in a cast iron skillet like I did. Once the potatoes are crisp & golden brown on both sides, sprinkle one more time with sea salt and serve.

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From Dish Paige!:

There’s not much to say about this soup other than it’s my favorite thing in the whole entire world. I can remember my mom heating up a can of it on rainy days, and then before serving it dropping in an ice cube to cool it down; I would watch that ice cube melt and disappear into my soup as I waited to take that first spoonful of chicken broth, pasta and meatballs. After a few particularly stressful weeks coupled with my parents being away, I searched for Progresso Chickarina soup to take me back to a simpler time. Of course, none of the supermarkets around me carry that “flavor” so I took matters into my own hands.

1 whole chicken
1 large carrot, peeled and quartered
1 medium parsnip, peeled and quartered
1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
4 ribs celery, sliced
1 handful parsley
1 tsp. olive oil
8 cups water
2 chicken bullion cubes
1 1/2 lb ground turkey
1 egg
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/2 box Acini di pepe pasta (or a similarly small pasta like pastina)
salt and pepper


Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add in the carrot, parsnip, onion and celery and saute for a few minutes just to get things moving. Wash the chicken and pat dry then nestle it down into the bottom of the pot, surrounded by the vegetables. Once the chicken has browned slightly, turn it over and brown it on the other side. Add the water (8 cups should do it, but however much you use, make sure it covers the chicken completely), bullion cubes and the parsley. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook the soup for about an hour or until the chicken is cooked all the way through. Remove the onion, parsnip and carrot from the soup (save them for something, IDK what though), then take out the chicken and cut up the meat into bite sized pieces. I like to keep the chicken separate from the soup and then add it to the bottom of the bowl before serving so I can use the leftover chicken in everything else I make the rest of the week. In a mixing bowl, combine the ground turkey, egg, bread crumbs and salt and pepper. Form the mixture into small meatballs and drop into the simmering soup. Add in the pasta and continue simmering the soup until the meatballs are cooked all the way through, about 10 minutes. Before serving, remember to add back in some chicken pieces that you reserved earlier and sprinkle with finely chopped parsley.

Note: Please be careful when you’re removing the lid on the pot of soup (see below).

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