Category Archives: Events

Chicago Style Hot Dog Pizza

Lately I have been obsessed with mastering pizza dough. It know, it sounds nerdy, but to me pizza is one of the best vehicles for delivering an amazing meal. I should also state that my wife purchased a Kettle Pizza for me for Father’s day, and that is another reason I have been tinkering with the ultimate pizza. It has really never been that uncommon for me to make a least a few pizzas during the week. I used to make batches of dough and have my kids create their own pizza, and for the most part that was always cheese and pepperoni. I would then create another ‘family-friendly’ pizza, and then I would always create one for myself, typically with hot peppers of some sort. But this time around I created something pretty darn amazing; the Chicago style hot dog pizza.

Chicago Style Hot Dog Pizza

I love a great Chicago hot dog. I love the snap of the weiner, and the combination of pickle, peppers, tomato, and the great sesame seed bun. That’s when it came to me that I have never seen nor tried making a pizza in that style, and I knew that would be a real winner. It was.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • One batch of your favorite pizza dough
  • 2 Weiners, sliced into 1 inch rounds
  • 3 slices of dill pickle
  • 1 cup of shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • Sport peppers, as many as you desire
  • 3 cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • 1/2 tbsp dark sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp yellow mustard
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp celery salt
  • Medium grind corn meal

Start by shaping your pizza dough onto your bread board.

Sprinkle the corn meal onto your pizza wheel and then transfer the shaped pizza dough onto the wheel.

How to make a Chicago Style Hot Dog Pizza

Brush the olive oil onto the pizza dough. Drizzle the yellow mustard over the pizza dough, then top with your celery salt, cheese, shallots, sesame seeds, sport peppers, and hot dogs.

Slide the pizza into your oven, grill, or pizza kettle. My Kettle Pizza was about 680 degrees, which I find to be just perfect for cooking pizza in about 5 minutes or less, otherwise cook in a preheated 500 degree oven until cooked through and crisp.

Once cooked, remove the pizza onto your pizza tray and top with the cherry tomatoes, and sliced pickles. If you want the neon green relish, go for it, however the pickles did the trick for me.

This pizza was totally awesome. It was everything you would expect in a great Chicago hot dog, but served pizza style. What’s not to love about that! Have you tried a Chicago style hot dog pizza yet? What were your thoughts? Hope you enjoy!

Bacon Fried Rice

One of my kids favorite recipes is fried rice. I think that even at a very early age, my father-in-law had served it up for breakfast to him while they watched him while we were at work. Yes, I’m talking like two years old or something of that nature. Let’s just say he was young. But at that age, that food stuck in his head, that’s what fried rice can do to someone. Since then, he has come a long way in terms of exploring food. He is big into smoked meats such as ribs, brisket, and chicken, and lots of other things. Let’s just say he is no longer a chicken tender and french fry kid. With that said, one of his favorite dishes is bacon fried rice, so much that he makes requests for it. I’m down with that because this is a great opportunity to get vegetables into this rice, along with eggs (that he hates), that he devours it all up. That is called winning.

Bacon Fried Rice

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of Jasmine, or long grain rice
  • 2 cups of water
  • 5 slices of Nueske’s Bacon, diced
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 whole carrots, diced
  • 1 large shallot, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 whole eggs, beaten
  • 1 tbsp Red Boat Fish Sauce or Three Crabs Fish Sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 cup of soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup of frozen peas
  • 1 tbsp chili oil, optional
  • additional water

Start by making your rice. I use a rice cooker, and to that I add the rice to the rice pot, and rinse several times in cold water until the runs clear. Drain and add equal parts of water. Cover, and turn on the rice cooker until it is finished. I love the rice cooker.

Now I do this the same day, and the trick to making fried rice the same day is to make sure the rice gets dry. I accomplish this by removing the cooked rice onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, fanning it out, and letting it sit on the counter for several hours. Otherwise, let the rice cool, store in the refrigerator and use the following day.

Make sure you have prepared the remaining ingredients.

Heat a large wok on medium heat. Add in the diced bacon, and cooked until slightly crisp. Keep the bacon fat in the wok, along with the bacon. Next toss in the garlic and shallot and cook for about 40 seconds or so. Add in about two tablespoons of butter and your chili oil. Stir, then toss in the carrots.  Add in about 2 tablespoons of water. Stir.

How to make bacon fried rice

Turn up the heat.

Add in the beaten eggs, and stir, ensuring the the eggs are thinned out and cooked. Using your spatula, break up the eggs into pieces.

Toss in your rice, and begin breaking that up, using your spatula, and scraping underneath the rice in the wok. Use your wok master skills and wok like you mean it. Toss in the fish sauce, cracked black pepper, and soy sauce. Keep woking, aggressively under high heat until you get a nice light crust on the rice.

Serve immediately.

The result is an awesome bacon fried rice. You get the great smokiness from the bacon, and when everything is mixed together, well, let’s just say it’s awesome, and perfect for breakfast as well. Hope you enjoy!

Garlic Scape Hummus

My wife and I are huge fans of hummus. I’ve said it before, and I will say it again. I have no shame in that. With that said, our farmers market is finely bringing in the seasonal pickings, and as I tend to every Saturday morning, I head up to the market and support a couple of local farmers, my favorites being Jerry and Paula. A couple of weeks ago, Jerry had bunches of nice garlic scapes. I do like garlic scape and think they are not only great to eat, but they are also super cool to look at. As I was looking at these curly things of joy, my brain sparked, and I decided to utilize it in some hummus.

Garlic Scape Hummus

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 15 oz can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • water to cover the chickpeas
  • 1 cup tahini
  • 4 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 1/2 tbsp ice cold water
  • 1/2 tbsp salt, to taste
  • 1 bunch of garlic scapes

Start by adding  enough water to cover the chickpeas in a pot. Bring to a simmer, and let cook for about 5 minutes or so, then drain, and let the chickpeas cool.

How to make garlic scape hummus

Add everything but the cold water to a food processor. Process until you have a nice, stiff paste, then add in the ice water and mix it for about 3-5 minutes, or until you have a nice, creamy paste.

Transfer the hummus to a bowl, and serve.

The great thing about this garlic scape hummus is that you get this great flavor from the scapes.  It’s a bit like an light onion, as well as light garlic flavor. It’s perfect in every way. So if you can get a hold of some garlic scapes that are in season, grab a bunch and make some hummus. Hope you enjoy!

Son-in-Law Eggs

I’ve told you before, but I will mention it again, I am a big fan of hard boiled eggs. They are so simple to make and provide a quick energy boost when you have a busy schedule. I have been hooked on the 8 minute eggs, but then again I am always thinking of other creative ideas such as these Son-in-Law eggs. If you have never heard of Son-in-Law eggs, don’t worry, that’s why I am here to tell you about them, and after you make them, you can thank me. Trust me, these are wickedly awesome.

I’m not too sure of the naming of this recipe, but it probably has something to do with having a man’s mother-in-law inflict a bit of fear into the man, that if you do not treat her daughter with respect and love, well, she will indeed inflect some fear into you and well, you probably get the point. But there is something beyond this, and something so amazing about the combination of flavor and texture that really makes this dish shine.

Son-in-Law Eggs Recipe

This is a perfect use of hard boiled eggs, and believe it or not, the eggs are deep fried. Yep, deep fried. Who would have thought?

The sauce has this great sourness and spice that when paired with the creamy deep fried egg and shallots, just blows ones mind. Again, trust me. You will probably want to use the sauce on things like fried chicken or fish. It’s awesome.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 3 whole eggs, cooked to your hard boil liking (I go with 8 minutes for a creamy, yet set yolk)
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp palm sugar (you could use light brown sugar as well)
  • 4 tbsp tamarind sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 1 Thai chili pepper, smashed
  • 1 pinch of chili flakes
  • 3 cups of cooking oil for deep frying
  • 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped

Start by making your sauce.

Add the one tablespoon of cooking oil to a small pot. Bring to medium heat, then add in your garlic. Cook for about a minute, then toss in the fish sauce, palm sugar, tamarind, and chili pepper. Cook for a couple of minutes, then remove from the heat and set it to the side.

Peel your hard boiled eggs.

How to make Son-in-Law Eggs

Heat another pot with the cooking oil on medium heat. After a few minutes, add in the thinly sliced shallots, and cook for about 5 minutes or so, until they are lightly browned and crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon and set them on to some paper towel to drain.

Bring the oil back to about 350 degrees, then carefully add the peeled hard boiled eggs. Cook for about 8 minutes or so, until they are lightly browned. You can go longer if you want, but I always think they are going to explode. Once lightly browned, remove with the slotted spoon and let them drain on the paper towel, lightly patting.

Slice the eggs in half and add them to a serving plate. Shower the eggs with the fried shallots, then pour the sauce over the eggs. Shower with fresh cilantro and dig in. Feel free to serve with cooked jasmine rice if you desire.

Again, the flavor combination is out of this world. Thai food at it’s best in terms of texture, and flavor. Hope you enjoy!