Friday, February 28, 2014

Stinky Grilled Cheese

Last weekend Mama, Papa and Marta were visiting Los Angeles. We ate very well. Tripel for dinner on Friday, dessert at the Culver City Hotel, Marmalade Cafe for coffee on Saturday, lunch at the Kogi, happy hour at MB Post and dinner at Pinguini. By Sunday, when Mama and Papa were back in Michigan, Marta and I were ready to cook.  We found inspiration at the Santa Monica Farmer's Market, buying mold-ripened goats cheese from Drake Family Farms and crusty whole wheat bread. We sautéed some mushrooms with butter, buttered our bread, and added two slices of mozzarella to act as a glue for our mushrooms and goats cheese. The result, a deliciously stinky grilled cheese sandwich. We also made prosciutto wrapped asparagus and homemade kale chips. If you are looking for a way to switch up your regular menu, visit the farmer's market with no plan, and be inspired by the ingredients.

4 Slices of Mozzarella
4 slices of crusty yummy bread
Butter Sautéed Mushrooms 
Butter for the bread
Facetime with Colby at MB Post
Kogi Truck on Abbott Kinney
Pretty self explanatory. Butter the bread, add two slices of mozzarella top with a chunk of goats cheese and mushrooms. Use a panini press and cook until golden brown.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Caramelized Onion + Sausage Pizza

I first made this dish back in 2008 the day I got my wisdom teeth pulled. Brent came over and spent the evening with his drowsy chipmunk fiancée. Despite wishful thinking, my super sensitive teeth could only handle smoothies and mashed potatoes. I had all the ingredients in the refrigerator to make this pizza dish, so I made it just for Brent. I was so envious when he took a big, pain free bite of this pizza topped with caramelized onions, spicy sausage and melted gorgonzola cheese. When my teeth were back to normal I started making this dish fairly regularly. This week I had a craving for gorgonzola and for the first time in years made this pizza. I'm not sure why I abandoned the incredible flavor combination for so many years. It definitely won't be a few years before I make this again. Enjoy!

Cornmeal, for dusting
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 pound spicy turkey sausage, casings removed, crumbled
2 individual pizza dough servings
3/4 cup (3 ounces) crumbled Gorgonzola
A handful of Arugula

Put an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F. Sprinkle a heavy baking sheet (without sides) with cornmeal and set aside.

In a large skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the onions, sugar, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until golden and caramelized, about 20 minutes. Increase the heat to medium-high and add the sausage. Using a wooden spoon, break up the sausage and cook, stirring constantly, until cooked through, about 8 minutes.

Roll out the pizza dough until about 1/4-inch thick. Transfer the dough to the prepared baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Spread the onion mixture evenly over the dough. Sprinkle the cheese on top. Bake until the crust is golden and the cheese has melted, about 15 to 17 minutes. Remove from the oven and top with arugula. Cut and serve.