Posts

Cooking With Spring Vegetables!

In case you’ve been ignoring the news lately, there’s been a lot of talk about pizzas and weddings (or any event for that matter!) If you scoff at the idea of having pizza at your nuptials or special event, perhaps this recipe will change preconceptions.

When you combine spring vegetables, pizza dough and cheese something remarkably delicious can happen. This is the kind of pizza that you’d be proud to serve at your spring or summer wedding, perhaps as an appetizer or during cocktail hour. But be warned, your guests might tear up the next time they try to eat pizza when it becomes all too clear that your pizza has ruined them and now no ordinary pizza will do.

Cheese: Because it’s a wedding or special occasion, opt for a fancier selection than mozzarella. The chef behind the recipe below used a Robiola Bechamel. Robiola is an Italian blend with goat, cow and sheep’s milk. It has a tangy taste to complement the vegetables and salty meats that top this appetizing, yet chaotic, culinary feat. If you cannot locate Robiola cheese, you can always substitute Fontina cheese.

Veggies: On top of the cheese, sprinkle asparagus tips and fava beans and mix in a pesto puree. Rather than quail eggs, use farm fresh chicken eggs. Add a pop of color to the pizza with yellow tomatoes and red peppers.

Protein: Coppa is hard to locate in stores so sub it for prosciutto or soppressata. Either meat will taste spectacular without losing the chewy, salty, “why haven’t I always put this on pizza” effect that we’re aiming for.

Tip: If you want to get out of the hot kitchen and enjoy the weather, this pizza tastes just as good prepared on the grill as it would baked in an oven.

That Personal Touch Catering has the expertise and creativity to create a custom menu for your event. From pizza to pan seared shrimp, let us cater your wedding, anniversary, milestone birthday and together we can make delicious memories. Get the spring pizza recipe here: http://www.zencancook.com/2012/04/spring-pizza/

Keep it Fresh with these Spring Cooking Ideas (Plus a Bonus Recipe!)

Spring has sprung and thus our cooking styles have changed. Say goodbye to the thick, hearty meals we enjoy in the fall and winter seasons and say hello to the lighter, fresher fare of spring! So what makes a dish more “springy?” Typically spring cooking is lighter and very colorful! Here are some tips to help you add a springtime flare to your cooking at home!

  • Keep it Fresh – Lots of fruits and vegetables will be coming into season during the coming months so take advantage!
  • Get Colorful – The beautiful colors of spring can easily transfer into your cooking. Add fruits and vegetables with bright colors to your dishes to give them a springtime feel.
  • Stay Light – After months of hearty winter meals, now its time to get light (and I’m not just talking about losing our winter insulation!) Use lighter oils and glazes instead of thick sauces. Try using a protein like fish instead of London broil.
  • Keep your Cool – Now that its warm outside we can start making cooler meals (temperature wise that is!) Try making pasta or couscous salads and mix in fruits for a fresh springtime taste.
  • Lots of Veges – Start your meal off with a fresh salad and accompany your main course with lots of roasted vegetables!

Spring is all about growth and rebirth. Spring clean your diet and start cooking with a fresh new perspective! To give you a head start try out this recipe we would like to share with you. Not interested in cooking anything? Have your next office meeting or event catered by That Personal Touch Catering! Check out some of our spring specials here.

 Roasted Asparagus Salad

  • 1/4 pound of fresh asparagus
  • 2 Red bell peppers
  • 1/3 cup virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons of pine nuts
  • ¼ cup of sliced grape tomatoes
  • 2 cups of spring mix salad greens

Slice the red peppers in half lengthwise, removing the seeds and the membrane. Place peppers skin up on a sheet pan and place under a hot broiler until the skin blackens and blisters.  Cool peppers in a plastic bag for 10 minutes.  Carefully remove skin and dice peppers. Place lemon juice, garlic, olive oil and basil in a small bowl and wisk to combine.  Add diced peppers and pine nuts, season with salt and pepper. Wash and rinse asparagus, carefully remove the woody end (hold each spear at both ends and bend gently-the woody end will snap off at its natural breaking point.)  Blanch the asparagus in boiling water for 3 minutes, or until just tender.  Immediately drain asparagus and place in a bowl of ice water to cool.  Drain again, and pat dry with paper towels. Arrange spring mix on plate, garnish with sliced grape tomatoes.  Place asparagus over spring mix and gently spoon the dressing over the top of the asparagus and serve. Garnish options: sliced black olives or lemon wedges for squeezing.

September Garden Veggie Deep Dish Pizza Party

It may be September but there are lots of delicious vegetables that are still in season like peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, mushrooms, and onions. You know what those vegetables sound like? Pizza toppings! When it comes to pizza, everyone’s favorite is usually thin crust. The light, crispy thin crust, sweet tomato sauce, and thin layer of cheese is just so delicious. But what about deep dish? This underrated style of pizza seems to be popular nowhere but Chicago. Until now… Check out this fantastic deep dish pizza you can make at home in your cast iron skillet using all those delicious seasonal vegetables. What you need:

  • 1 Pizza Dough – You can buy premade dough at most any grocery store. If you want the challenge of making your own dough, check out this dough recipe.
  • ½ Cup of Pizza Sauce – Pizza sauce can be anything from standard marinara to one of my favorites, arrabbiata (spicy!) Do you like white sauce or oil? Experiment and let us know how it goes!
  • At least a Cup of Veggies – Use up those tasty in season veggies like eggplant, fresh tomatoes, and a green pepper.
  • At least a ½ Cup of Mozzarella Cheese – You can cheese this to the max if you want (I usually do) otherwise, use at least ½ a cup.
  • Olive Oil – For coating the skillet (You’ll also need a cast iron skillet!)
  • You can also add seasonings, Parmesan cheese, basil or whatever you fancy!

Istruzione:

  • Cook the veggies however you’d like. I’d suggest roasted them in the oven (since you’ll have to use that anyway) or try grilling them to give them that smoky charred flavor.
  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees
  • Use olive oil to coat your cast iron skillet. You can also rub a garlic clove around to add some more flavor.
  • Add your dough to the skillet and push it up the sides about 1-1.5 inches.
  • Sprinkle in your cheese. (Oh yeah, cheese first with deep dish!) Then add your veggies and top with the sauce. You can put some cheese on top and add seasonings and/or Parmesan.
  • Bake for about 25-30 minutes. (Adjusting for altitude it may take 30+minutes) Basically you are looking for a golden brown crust and bubbly cheese and sauce.

Let it cool for a few minutes and then enjoy. Deep dish is hearty so don’t expect to eat it all, even though you’ll want to. Don’t feel like cooking? That Personal Touch Catering will cater your events at home or work. Check out our catering menu here.