Fried Pizza Dough

There is a pizza place near where we live that we have been ordering from lately. It’s called Pizzeria Scotty, and it is probably our favorite pizza place, at this time. As I often make my own pizzas, yes there are days where I’m pinched for time, I will go ahead and place an order. Not too long ago we tried one of their appetizers. It was their deep fried garlic bread sticks. My first bite into these things, as well as everyone around the table, was as though we just entered heaven. Lightly fried with a garlic butter sauce, along with some romano cheese, we could have simply ate those for dinner. It was now for me to recreate these awesome snacks, and I believe I hit it right on the head. As my kids and I sat around the first batch that came out, we simply giggled because we nailed it. No more ordering those anymore.

Fried Pizza Dough with Garlic Butter

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 batch of your favorite pizza dough
  • 1/2 cup of all purpose flour
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups of canola oil

Start by heating your oil on medium heat. You will want this to come up to about 350 degrees.

During this time, roll out your dough. Shower your cutting board with some of the flour, then layout your dough, and roll it out into about 1/2 inch thick. Using your bench scraper, or knife, but them into strips, then slice those strips in half. You could target about 3 to 4 inch strips.

Add the butter and garlic powder to a bowl. Melt in the microwave, or on a pot on the stove. Your call.

How to make fried pizza dough

Once the oil is heated, add in a handful of the dough strips, and cook for about 2-3 minutes or until they are a light golden brown. Once golden, remove with a slotted spoon and place on a paper lined plate to let any excess oil drain.

Brush some of the garlic butter onto the fried pizza dough, and shower with some of the parmesan cheese.

Repeat.

Go buy, or make some more pizza dough because these things are so addicting you will want to.

These are the perfect side dish to your pizza party. Garlicky, buttery, and just salty enough from the parmesan cheese. I know you will love these. I know we did, and sorry Pizzeria Scotty… I’m making my own from here on out. Hope you enjoy!

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Baingan Bharta

I’ve been on an Indian food making deal lately. I’m not sure if my attempt is to start eating more healthy, or if it is to get rid of an array, and large quantity of Indian spices. Who knows, but I’m leaning more on the side of trying to eat more healthy, and I think Indian food, for the most part, is a good example of using great spices that are good for you, as well as getting more vegetables incorporated into the meat. This is a perfect example of this type of dish, baingan bharta.

Baingan bharta is roasted eggplant dip, similar in some ways to baba ghanoush. This one however uses different spices, and really makes it an awesome eggplant curry that is perfectly paired with naan, or other Indian style bread, or better yet served with a small bit of rice.

Baingan Bartha Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole eggplant, medium to large in size
  • 2 whole vine ripened tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 whole red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 tbsp fresh ginger, finely diced
  • 2 whole green Indian chili, stem removed, or 1 for less spiciness
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp red chili flakes
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp salt, to taste
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 tbsp fresh cilantro

The beauty of this is the roasting of the eggplant. Much like baba ghanoush, you can get your charcoal grill going, and place the eggplant directly onto the coals so you get that awesome smoky flavor into the dip.

If you do not have a charcoal grill, you could roast on high heat in the oven until the flesh is nice and charred all the way around the eggplant.

Once the eggplant cools, and trust me you want it to cool, remove the skin, and reserve the rest of the eggplant.

Chop the eggplant into medium sized cubes and set to the side as you prepare the remaining ingredients.

To a food processor, add the tomatoes, green chili, and ginger and pulse until you have a salsa like consistency.

How to make baingan bartha

 

To a large skillet, on medium-high heat, add in the canola oil, letting it come to temperature. Add in the cumin seeds and let them begin to pop, only a few seconds, then add in the bell pepper, and tomato mixture. Give this a good stir and let it come to a simmer.

Next add in the remaining spices, and continue to stir. Once all of the spices are incorporated, add in the chopped eggplant. Let this cook on medium heat, uncovered for about 10 minutes. Everything should begin to thicken, just a bit. Remove from the heat, and let it cool to room temperature.

Now you are ready to serve. Add some of the eggplant dip to a serving dish, top with some cilantro, and serve alongside warm naan or cooked rice.

This stuff is highly addicting. It has all of those great Indian flavors that you would expect, along with some spice from the chilies. Let’s just say my daughter loved this, and I did as well. If you are looking for another great eggplant dip, give this one a try. I hope you enjoy!

Baingan Bharta
Author: 
Recipe type: Snacks, Dips, Sides
Cuisine: Indian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 whole eggplant, medium to large in size
  • 2 whole vine ripened tomatoes, quartered
  • ½ whole red bell pepper, diced
  • ½ tbsp fresh ginger, finely diced
  • 2 whole green Indian chili, stem removed, or 1 for less spiciness
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp red chili flakes
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp salt, to taste
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 tbsp fresh cilantro
Instructions
  1. The beauty of this is the roasting of the eggplant. Much like baba ghanoush, you can get your charcoal grill going, and place the eggplant directly onto the coals so you get that awesome smoky flavor into the dip.
  2. If you do not have a charcoal grill, you could roast on high heat in the oven until the flesh is nice and charred all the way around the eggplant.
  3. Once the eggplant cools, and trust me you want it to cool, remove the skin, and reserve the rest of the eggplant.
  4. Chop the eggplant into medium sized cubes and set to the side as you prepare the remaining ingredients.
  5. To a food processor, add the tomatoes, green chili, and ginger and pulse until you have a salsa like consistency.
  6. o a large skillet, on medium-high heat, add in the canola oil, letting it come to temperature. Add in the cumin seeds and let them begin to pop, only a few seconds, then add in the bell pepper, and tomato mixture. Give this a good stir and let it come to a simmer.
  7. Next add in the remaining spices, and continue to stir. Once all of the spices are incorporated, add in the chopped eggplant. Let this cook on medium heat, uncovered for about 10 minutes. Everything should begin to thicken, just a bit. Remove from the heat, and let it cool to room temperature.
  8. Now you are ready to serve. Add some of the eggplant dip to a serving dish, top with some cilantro, and serve alongside warm naan or cooked rice.

 

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Spicy Fried Chicken

I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again, fried chicken is probably my favorite meal. It has been since I was a youngster, and it still is to this day. I’ve made plenty of varieties of fried chicken, but this one may have sealed the deal when it came to the juicy interior, and crispy exterior. It has plenty of spice as well, but not too overwhelming as my kids did not complain about the heat. I took a different approach on this one, dunking it into a wet mixture before applying the spiced flour, and I think that is what made this  spicy fried chicken the real deal.

Spicy Fried Chicken Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole fryer chicken, cut into its various pieces
  • canola oil for frying
  • your favorite hot sauce, optional
  • crispy waffles, optional
  • pickles, optional

Ingredients for the wet mixture:

  • 4 cups of water
  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 3 tsp garlic powder
  • 4 tsp cayenne powder
  • 4 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tbsp kosher salt

Ingredients for the dry mixture:

  • 3 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp garlic powder
  • 3 tbsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt

I know, sounds like a lot, right? It’s not too bad, and it actually goes pretty fast as for the most part you dump the ingredients into some bowls and mix, then fry to your hearts content.

Start by making the wet mixture. To a large mixing bowl, add all of the wet ingredients, and mix to combine. Using some cooking latex gloves if you have them, and add the chicken pieces, massaging into the wet mixture. Once all of the chicken pieces have been coated, add the bowl to the refrigerator, and chill for about 20 minutes.

During this time, make the dry mixture. To another large mixing bowl, add all of the dry ingredients, and stir to mix well.

Now, heat up a large cast iron skillet, enough to hold the chicken pieces, and add the canola oil, heating on medium heat until the temperature reaches 350 degrees.

How to make spicy fried chicken.

Remove the chicken from the refrigerator, and taking a piece out at at time, add them to the dry mixture, tossing to coat, then add the coated chicken to a baking sheet. Repeat with remaining chicken. Let the dry mixture set on the chicken on the baking sheet for about 10 minutes.

Once the oil is heated, carefully add the chicken to the heated oil. Tongs work well in this case. I like to add the breasts to the center, then thighs, wings, and drumsticks.

Keep an eye on the temperature, maintaining that 350 degrees. This is important.

After about 10 minutes, or so, turn the chicken pieces with tongs, being careful not to splash the oil. Cook for about another 10 minutes, then check the temperature of the thickest part of the breast. You want the temperature to reach 165 degrees, then you know you can pull the remaining chicken pieces to serve.

Place on a paper bag, or paper towel to let any excess oil drain prior to serving.

I cannot serve fried chicken without serving them with crispy waffles. My kids are now hooked, so that’s how I serve them. Lay a waffle, then top with your favorite part of the chicken. I go breast. I drizzled a bunch of extra hot sauce on mine, along with some pickles. Who knew pickles, and waffles would pair so nicely with spicy fried chicken!?

The result was nothing short of amazing. Super juicy on the inside, and perfectly crisp and spicy from all of the spices in the wet and dry mix. I’m glad I tried going the wet route with this recipe. It was a game changer. Hope you enjoy!

 

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Chicken Shawarma

I haven’t been able to get enough Indian or Middle Eastern food lately. I’ve been craving the stuff. Everything from potato aloo, to saag paneer, to all kinds of curries and different sauces and spices. I think that is one of the things I love about that cuisine, and it is getting to the point where it is competing with other cuisines I love so much such as Thai and Mexican. As you recall, I recently made a batch of shawarma spice seasoning, only to be used, for the most part, this recipe. Chicken shawarma is something you need to make, and traditionally done over a spit, I decided to bake mine as the weather on this particular day was not in my favor.

Shawarma can be many different types of meat, but it essentially relates to a sandwich. Think of your favorite gyro place where they are slicing meats from a spit, and placing it inside of warm pita or flatbread, along with sauces and vegetables. That’s shawarma, and this is my take on it. Did I mention my entire family was totally in love with this?

Chicken Shawarma Sandwich Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into thick strips
  • 3 tbsp shawarma spice seasoning
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1/2 cup of your favorite hummus
  • 1/4 cup of tzatziki sauce
  • 2 tbsp tahini sauce
  • 1/2 cup shredded lettuce
  • sliced cucumbers, to your liking
  • sliced tomatoes, to your liking
  • 1 whole pita bread, warmed
  • 1/2 cup cooked french fries, per sandwich, optional

OK, let’s get this going. Now you have options here. You can go with adding the seasoned strips to a skewer and adding them onto a grill, or you can bake them, as I did. You decide.

Start by marinading your chicken. To a mixing bowl, add the chicken, and the oil. Toss to coat, then add in the shawarma spice mix. Toss again to make sure all of the chicken is coated. Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours.

Chicken Shawarma Ingredients

During this time, prepare your tzatziki, hummus, and tahini sauce. They all go pretty quickly, and can be used throughout the week. That’s always a great thing.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Add the chicken to a baking sheet, and cook for about 25 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked. Once cooked, let it cool slightly, then chop into bite sized pieces.

Keep the oven on, and cook your french fries.

Heat a skillet on high heat, then add in the chicken, to get a nice sear on the pieces, tossing along the way. Once you get a nice sear, remove from the heat, and set aside until you are ready to make your sandwich.

Take your warmed pita and smear on the hummus.

Top with pieces of the chicken, drizzle on the tahini sauce, then top with the tomatoes and cucumbers. Add a couple of dollops of tzatziki sauce, the top with the french fries and drizzle with some more that tahini sauce.

Now you are ready to dig in. Fold that pita, open wide, and take this bad boy on. This chicken shawarma is so good, and the entire flavor combination just makes this an awesome one. The chicken itself is so warm and addicting in the spices, then you get that creamy hummus, and the garlic tahini. Whoa, this one is great, and again my entire family devoured them. A must make if you are looking for great all-around Middle Eastern flavors and a killer sandwich to boot. Hope you enjoy!

Chicken Shawarma
Author: 
Recipe type: Sandwiches
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 5
 
Ingredients
  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into thick strips
  • 3 tbsp shawarma spice seasoning
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • ½ cup of your favorite hummus
  • ¼ cup of tzatziki sauce
  • 2 tbsp tahini sauce
  • ½ cup shredded lettuce
  • sliced cucumbers, to your liking
  • sliced tomatoes, to your liking
  • 1 whole pita bread, warmed
  • ½ cup cooked french fries, per sandwich, optional
Instructions
  1. OK, let’s get this going. Now you have options here. You can go with adding the seasoned strips to a skewer and adding them onto a grill, or you can bake them, as I did. You decide.
  2. Start by marinading your chicken. To a mixing bowl, add the chicken, and the oil. Toss to coat, then add in the shawarma spice mix. Toss again to make sure all of the chicken is coated. Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours.
  3. During this time, prepare your tzatziki, hummus, and tahini sauce. They all go pretty quickly, and can be used throughout the week. That’s always a great thing.
  4. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  5. Add the chicken to a baking sheet, and cook for about 25 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked. Once cooked, let it cool slightly, then chop into bite sized pieces.
  6. Keep the oven on, and cook your french fries.
  7. Heat a skillet on high heat, then add in the chicken, to get a nice sear on the pieces, tossing along the way. Once you get a nice sear, remove from the heat, and set aside until you are ready to make your sandwich.
  8. Take your warmed pita and smear on the hummus.
  9. Top with pieces of the chicken, drizzle on the tahini sauce, then top with the tomatoes and cucumbers. Add a couple of dollops of tzatziki sauce, the top with the french fries and drizzle with some more that tahini sauce.

 

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