Saturday, August 20, 2011

Repurposing Basil, Part VII (Homemade Pizza, y’all!)

OK, simplicity itself. Homemade thin-crust pizza is simply wonderful.

Go to Kroger (or other supermarket of your choice). Get a packet of dry pizza dough. This will cost you about six bits.

Get a pizza crisping pan. This is one of those round pizza pans with all the holes in it. $15 will get you one that will last forever.

Follow the instructions on making the pizza dough. Let it rise. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 450. If you’ve got time to roast your vegetable toppings, great. Otherwise (like in this case), we simply sliced up the contents of a jar of roasted red peppers. Also some shiitake mushrooms and a number of basil leaves. (You can use whatever you like, though.)

Spread the pizza dough on the crisper. Spread a thin layer of olive oil over the dough. Sprinkle some parmesan cheese across the oil. Top with...your toppings. Sprinkle with, in this case, goat cheese.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges start to brown nicely. Remove. You should have something that looks a lot like this:

Pizza...sweet, glorious pizza...

Slice. Pour yourself a glass of bubbly. Be happy. Fun.

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Monday, August 8, 2011

Repurposing Basil, Part VI (Extra-healthy red snapper in foil packs)

As the heat continues to blister us here around the neighborhood, light & fresh meals are the order of the day. If you’ve followed us here, you know that I love to do foil pack meals on the grill. Only problem – when it’s seven skadillion degrees out and the air feels like reclining on a damp sponge, even grilling can be a chore.

We took it easy. The Sweet Partner in Crime put together this delicious foil pack recipe with some fresh snapper filets in the oven. This is an incredibly simple, flavorful recipe that’s also super-healthy. No oil or butter was harmed in the creation of this dish. It’s unnecessary here:

  • 2 (8 oz.) snapper filets
  • 12-16 cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 medium yellow squash, cut in half lengthwise and sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 medium shallot, minced
  • 2 tsp. dill weed
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme or 4-6 sprigs fresh
  • 8-10 leaves fresh basil, cut into small strips
  • salt & pepper

Preheat the oven to 400. Put one of the filets in the center of a piece of foil. Top each with half of the ingredients listed above:


Seal the foil tightly to make a couple of pouches:

Pack it up!

Bake for 25 minutes (cooking time may vary based on size and thickness of filets). Let stand for five minutes at room temperature. Be careful opening the packets. You’ll get a blast of steam when you do. Empty into bowls and serve with some crusty bread for sopping up the juices.

Dig in!


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