Pizza with Fontina, Prosciutto, and Arugula

The other night I had some frozen pizza dough and prosciutto and knew I had to make a pizza of some sort. A quick search on led me straight to this Pizza with Fontina, Prosciutto, and Arugula.

This is a straight forward recipe so I followed it pretty much as is, except I took some inspiration from a pizza favorite here in Austin, Homeslice Pizza, and put cornmeal all over the crust to give it an extra crunch. Also, I like my prosciutto to have a crunch, so I baked the slices at 350 degrees until crispy.

The fontina was gooey and melty and perfect with the crispy and salty prosciutto. I served with a simple side salad with a honey dijon and shallot vinaigrette – one thinly sliced shallot combined with olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice and honey dijon mustard. So simple and delicious!

This weekend it’s Cast Iron Skillet Burgers and Lemon Ginger Fried Chicken from Cooking Light. I think my mouth is already watering.

(Photo from

Ancho Mama’s Pork Chops

I love Chile Rellenos but I never seem to seek them out in restaurants or I guess don’t see them too much in my recipe search. In fact, the last time I had one was this delicious little beauty we tasted for the National Mango Board. Seriously, this was an awesome spin on the traditional chile relleno. So, when I was flipping through the new Bon Appetit recently and came across this Pork Chops with Chiles Rellenos and Ancho Sauce recipe, I recalled the mango chile relleno and decided to try this one for size.

Fabulous, just fabulous, is the only word I can use for this dish. When I read all of the ingredients and preparation, at first blush I thought this might be too spicy or smokey even for my heat-loving palate but it most certainly was not.

The pork chops sit for two hours at room temperature with a simple blend of salt and ancho chile powder. While that sits you can make the simple ancho chile sauce and chile rellenos. I loved the easy-to-make chile relleno filling that had oregano, cheese, boiled Yukon Gold potatoes and toasted cumin seeds. YUM!

The pork chops were smoky and delicious and the chile relleno (which I cooked-off in the oven at 350 degrees) was amazing, plus the ancho sauce with its sweet, smokey notes drizzled on top of of it all was perfect. Since I was cooking the pork chops inside, my one recommendation is to be sure to turn on the oven vent and open a window, that chile powder is intense.

This is definitely going on the top of my recent favorites and will be a fun and delicious dish to enjoy throughout the year.

Bacon and Garlic Pasta with Garlic Herb Twists

Well, dearest readers, none of the recipes I tried last week really tickled my palate enough to post here. So, for the second time in a row I did something very un-cooking inside the lines of me by doing my own thing with some leftover bacon, pasta and marinara sauce. However, I did also decide to try these Garlic Herb Bread Twists from Gourmet magazine. Mangia!

I had some bacon that needed to be cooked and some pappardelle pasta in the pantry. I simply cooked the pasta in salted water until al dente and while that cooked, I diced three pieces of center cut bacon and cooked until crispy. I let the bacon bits cool on a paper towel, and reserved about a tablespoon of the the bacon grease in the pan and lowered the temperature to medium-low. I then added two minced garlic cloves and after 30 seconds, added a jar of marinara sauce and simmered until warmed through. Once the pappardelle was finished, I drained and then combined with garlicky, bacony, marinara and added the cooked bacon bits and freshly grated Parmesan cheese on top. This was super simple and a delicious way to use the rest of bacon in the package.

I also tried these delicious Garlic Herb Bread Twists that were amazing! I used store-bought, frozen pizza dough and the herb filling inside the twists with the garlic oil was a perfect complement to my pasta dish. Next time you have pasta night try this “twist” on the typical garlic bread. Mine didn’t look this beautiful (photo from but tasted amazing!

Beer-and-Beef Chili Sliders on Bacon Biscuits with Tomatillo Ketchup

Everyday with Rachael Ray
August/September 2009

2 poblano chiles
2 slices of bacon, chopped
One 8-ounce box Jiffy buttermilk biscuit mix
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup of chives
1/4 cup of yellow mustard
2 tablespoons of honey
6 tomatillos – peeled, rinsed and chopped
1 small red onion
2 cloves garlic, chopped
Salt and Pepper
3/4 pound ground beef chuck
3/4 pound ground beef sirloin
1/2 cup beer
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons grill seasoning
1 tablespoon sweet smoked paprika
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 tablespoons cilantro leaves
1 teaspoon grated peel plus the juice of one lime
Shredded lettuce, for serving

Preheat the broiler. Arrange the chiles on a broiler pan and broil, turning occasionally, until blackened all over about 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, cover and let stand 5 to 10 minutes. Peel and discard the stems and seeds.

While the chiles are broiling, in a medium skillet, cook the bacon over medium-high heat until crisp, about 7 minutes. Drain, reserving about two tablespoons of the bacon fat; crumble the bacon.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Preheat a grill or a grill pan to medium-high. In a large bowl, combine the biscuit mix with 1/2 cup of water and whisk until dough forms. Mix in the cheese, chives, mustard, honey, bacon and reserved bacon fat. Spoon 8 equal mounds of the biscuit dough onto a baking sheet and bake until golden, 10 minutes. Let cool for 2 minutes, then transfer to a rack and let cool completely; split.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine the tomatillos, onion and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook over medium-high heat until the onions and tomatillos are softened, 8-10 minutes.
In a medium bowl, combine the beef, beer, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, grill seasoning, paprika, cumin, coriander and oregano. Shape into eight patties, about 1 1/2 inch thick. Add to the grill and cook, turning once, for 5 minutes for medium-rare.

Using a food processor, puree the tomatillo mixture, chiles, cilantro, lime peel and lime juice; season with salt and pepper.

Top each biscuit bottom with a little shredded lettuce, a beef patty, some tomatillo ketchup and a biscuit top; secure with a toothpick.

Fresh Peach, Bacon and Fried Egg Sandwich

First, let me say to the two people who actually read this blog that I’m sorry I haven’t updated in more than a week! Do you ever have one of those weeks that are so long that you think of things that happened on Monday was actually two Mondays ago? Yeah, long one my friends.

So, I’m back in the saddle again and of course I was in the mood for a fried egg sandwich and had the tasty idea to make a fresh peach, bacon and fried egg sandwich and it was really, really good! I simply smeared a half tablespoon of salted butter on two slices of whole wheat multi-grain bread and toasted. While the bread toasted, I chopped up two pieces of center-cut bacon and cooked in a skillet until crispy. I reserved the bacon fat and then fried the egg until the whites were set and the yolk was still all runny and gooey. I then thinly sliced a peach and placed on the bottom piece of the toasted bread, then sprinkled the crispy bacon on top, followed by the fried egg. I finished the egg with a little sea salt and a pinch of cayenne pepper for spice and topped with the other bread slice. The hint of spice from the pepper, the gooey egg and juicy peach with the crispy bacon were all really good together. In the fall, I could see this being really good with pears too.

I’ve got a pretty interesting menu set-up this week and I’ll let you know what recipes make the cut! Tonight is Beer-and-Beef Chili Sliders on Bacon Biscuits with Tomatillo Ketchup and Jalepeno Popper Mac ‘n’ Cheese from Everyday with Rachael Ray.


So Cooking Light has been on an egg kick lately and I could not be happier because man, I love me some eggs. I sometimes feel like Bufford aka “Bubba” in Forrest Gump because I seriously could eat eggs anyway you make them…scrambled, poached, fried, over easy, on a car engine. Let’s take a gentle moment to reflect on glorious eggs shall we?

There, that’s better. So Cooking Light came up with some wicked good recipes using the incredible, edible egg, one being Poached Eggs with Buttery Multigrain Toast. When I first saw this recipe I thought “um yeah, that seems pretty simple and basic, I’ll try it sometime in 2010.” Well dear readers, I’m glad I decided to try it when I woke up one Saturday morning hankering for eggs and all I had were the ingredients for this dish. Simplicity can sometimes (or really all the time actually) knock your freaking socks off and this recipe is a prime example. I added a dash of red pepper and used Fleur de Sel (oui, oui friends!) because I love those flavor combinations on eggs.

The other egg recipe I tried was an Asparagus Salad with Soft Poached Eggs, Prosciutto, and Lemon-Chive Vinaigrette. The cooking method for poaching the eggs was something I hadn’t seen before. You boil water in a large skillet and then break the eggs into a custard cups covered with cooking spray. Once the water is brought down to a simmer you place the egg filled custard cups in the skillet and cover. In about 10 minutes, voila, they are done. How cool right? This was salty, gooey, eggy-goodness and the chives gave a great herbaceous note to the whole dish, plus the vinaigrette complemented everything on the plate.

Now go get your lutein, zinc, iron and protein with these two egg-alicious dishes!

Photo courtesy of Cooking Light


No, not this guy. But you can certainly say that I acted as crazy as him when I dug in to this so super/delicious/amazing Chile-Dusted Pork Chops with Strawberries and Grits recipe featured in SELF magazine from Animal restaurant in Los Angeles.

I would have NEVER put these ingredients together but I’m glad I tried this out. First of all, it was really easy to make and the flavors, oh goodness the flavors, were perfect. I especially like that you feel you are being really indulgent with a whole dish that is 433 calories per serving, especially when two slices of cheese only pizza from a national chain is more than that!

Perfect for a meal on your own or this dish could be a spectacular (and quick) option for a dinner party – however get ready for your guests to start acting like the orange-haired crazy Muppet above!

Chile-Dusted Pork Chops with Strawberries and Grits (Photo from