Sunday, January 22, 2012

Prosciutto Parrano Portabella Pizza

I am always so tickled when my husband goes grocery shopping--especially when he shops at an incredible store like Harris Teeter. He always buys the most beautiful food.  These buying trips of his inspire me, especially when I am in a slump, food-wise.

Last night, he came home with some prosciutto, parrano cheese, two balls of pizza dough from the deli, portabella mushrooms, among other things.

I decided to work with the the whole wheat dough and froze the white pizza dough for another time. The dough was quite sticky so I kneaded it a bit on a lightly floured board. I then placed it in an oiled bowl, covered with a damp tea towel and let it rest/rise in a very warm place for about an hour. After that it was very easy to shape and press into a black iron skillet.

The Parrano cheese was new to us and it was delicious! It has a sharp taste like Parmesan but has a buttery, creamy texture much like Gouda.  It wasn't real melty, but I also included some fresh mozzarella, so that took care of the melty, stringy business.

I loved making this pizza and we really enjoyed eating it.

Prosciutto Parrano Portabella Pizza
1 lb. pizza dough
4 oz. thinly sliced prosciutto, chopped
4 oz. Parrano cheese, grated
8 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese, grated
2-3 large portabella mushrooms, sliced or chopped as desired
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
2 Roma tomatoes, peeled and diced
Fresh or dried oregano, to taste
Salt and red or black pepper, or both, to taste

Stretch and press pizza dough into a lightly oiled black iron skillet. Layer ingredients as desired. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 - 40 minutes, until crust is done and cheese is bubbly.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Black-Eyed Pea Curry (Lobia Tariwaala)

 Curry-Palooza #9

When I saw this recipe, I knew it was the way I was going to make my traditional New Year Black-Eyed Peas this year. The recipe comes from a small cookbook I got for Christmas, which is part of the "Quick & Easy Indian" series, called Simply Vegetarian. 

I love the way this turned out and I'm so glad I made it. The beans are cooked in the pressure cooker along with spices. They turned out perfectly and tasted delicious even before finishing the recipe. 

The recipe calls for the spice, Asafoetida (hing), which I have never seen locally. Years ago, I could get it from the bulk spice jars at a Natural Foods store in another town. Some of the workers in the store would start griping and gagging about the strong aroma of this very pungent spice. In other words, many people think it stinks. I find the scent enticing and earthy and the flavor it imparts is reminiscent of onions and garlic. I order it from Savory Spice Shop. 

Black-Eyed Pea Curry
2 cups black-eyed peas
1 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. asafoetida (hing)
6 cups water
1/2 cup ghee (clarified butter)
1 cup chopped onions
2 tsp. chopped garlic
2 tsp. chopped ginger
Dried red chilies, to taste
1 cup finely diced tomatoes
1 tsp. cumin seeds
2 tsp. red chili powder
2 tsp. cumin powder
2 tsp. coriander powder 
1 tsp. garam masala

Pick over the black-eyed peas and discard any stones, clumps of dirt, bad peas. Rinse thoroughly and place into pressure cooker along with the turmeric, salt, and asafoetida. Add 6 cups water, cover and bring to pressure, then cook for 20 minutes. 

Heat the ghee in a wok; add onions, garlic, ginger, and dried red chilies. Saute until light brown.

Add the tomatoes, cumin seeds, red chili powder, cumin powder, and coriander powder. Fry until the tomatoes turn soft.

Pour in the cooked black-eyed peas along with the cooking water. Add the garam masala, stir well and heat through.

Serve hot with Basmati rice or Naan bread.