Sunday, July 24, 2011

A Great Grandma Pie in NJ - Krispy

Admittedly I am a pizza addict.  I could probably eat it ever day if I let myself!  A while back I posted about the different regional pizza styles and vowed to try them all.  Well grandma-style pizza can be best described as a thin-crust Sicilian.  It appears to have originated in Long Island and spread to the other boroughs of New York.  A friend who grew up in Brooklyn highly recommended Krispy Pizza to me.  They have their original pizza shop in Brooklyn and a newer shop in Old Bridge, NJ and they serve a fabulous grandma pie.  The crust which is cooked in an oiled pan was perfect.  The pie was topped with real fresh mozzarella - no imitation cheese here!  The sauce was light and tomatoey and the perfect amount of fresh basil was dusted across.  Oh my!  Maybe a trip to Chicago for deep dish next?! 

Friday, July 22, 2011

Grilled Coleslaw and What's Up with Nitrates?

Grilling time is here and who doesn't love a good hot dog?  Sure, I try to eat a healthy diet but every once in a while just crave a good old fashioned grilled hot dog!  Some of my very favorite hot dogs are homemade from D.A. Barsch German Butcher Shop in Toms River, NJ.  If you are ever in the area  it is a great place to check out - fabulous German sausages and cold cuts.  They make a mean potato bratwurst! 

I couldn't make it to the butcher so I picked up a pack of Trader Joe's all-natural no nitrate added hot dogs since they were giving out samples which were quite tasty.  I got a nice cabbage in my CSA box and wanted to make grilled coleslaw from a recipe I found on  The grilled coleslaw was fabulous and made for a fantastic hot dog topping along with some spicy Kosciusko mustard - my favorite! 

Did you know that all-natural and organic hot dogs still contain nitrates?  Manufacturers use celery juice and sea salt which are naturally high in nitrates to cure the hot dogs as opposed to chemically produced sodium nitrates.  There was an interesting article on the subject in The New York Times.  My takeaway is that all hot dogs are cured and contain nitrates.  Are natural nitrates found in celery healthier?  Is it worth extra to purchase no nitrate added products? Are nitrates really harmful?  Nitrates come from nitrogen found int the air and soil...  I'm not sure of the answer.  The quality and source of the meat used may be the most important aspect of a good hot dog.  I will continue to splurge on an occassional hot dog, emphasis on occasional, and will definitely make the grilled coleslaw again - anything in moderation! 

Kristin Donnelly - Food and Wine
One 3-pound head of green cabbage, cut through the core into 8 wedges Vegetable oil, for brushing
Salt and freshly ground pepper
4 1/2 tablespoons mayonnaise
4 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar
3 pickled jalapeños, seeded and minced, plus 2 teaspoons pickling liquid from the jar

1.Light a grill. Brush the cabbage wedges with vegetable oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the cabbage over high heat until charred, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a work surface. When the cabbage is cool enough to handle, finely slice it crosswise with a sharp knife.

2.In a large bowl, whisk the mayonnaise with the cider vinegar, jalapeños and pickling liquid. Add the shredded cabbage and toss well. Season the grilled coleslaw with salt and pepper and toss again.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Kale Caesar Slaw

Who knew a raw kale salad could be so fantastic?!   This salad was so good that I ate the leftovers for breakfast - a little weird but since there is egg in it, I think it counts as a breakfast food!  The leftover salad may have been even better than the fresh one.  I loved the traditional Caesar dressing ingredients paired with the crisp kale.  Tasty!

A big thank you to Tami and Bill from Earthen Harvest.  The CSA season has been great!  The vegetables are all so fresh and wonderful.  I look forward to each and every box!  The kale was tender and delicious - perfect for a salad.  The recipe was a find from the July issue of Bon Appetit.  Two of my favorite things are getting new food magazines in the mail and my weekly vegetable box on the doorstep - actually the CSA newsletter that comes earlier is fun too!   The little things in life can bring so much happiness!

Tuscan Kale Caesar Slaw
Courtesy Bon Appetit, July 2011

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
8 anchovy fillets packed in oil, drained
1 garlic clove
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan, divided
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 hard-boiled egg, peeled
14 ounces Tuscan kale or other kale, center stalks removed, thinly sliced crosswise (about 8 cups)

Combine the first 4 ingredients in a blender; purée until smooth. With machine running, slowly add oil, drop by drop, to make a creamy dressing. Transfer dressing to a bowl and stir in 1/4 cup Parmesan. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and chill. DO AHEAD: Dressing can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled.

Separate egg white from yolk. Place egg white in a coarse-mesh strainer set over a bowl. Press egg white through strainer with the back of a spoon; scrape egg white from bottom of strainer. Repeat with egg yolk, using a clean strainer and bowl. DO AHEAD: Can be made 6 hours ahead. Cover bowls separately and chill.

Toss kale and dressing in a large bowl to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Top with remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan and sieved eggs.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Kohlrabi, Fennel and Blueberry Salad

One of this week's CSA box items was kohlrabi. What to do with kohlrabi?  Well I started hunting around for some interesting use for it and turned to the ever reliable Food and Wine ingredient search.  The search brought me to Top Chef Stephanie Izard of Chicago's Girl and The Goat's Kohlrabi, Fennel and Blueberry Salad.  A quick Google search revealed just how well-liked this salad is so I became sold on making it.  I had wonderful local organic blueberries on hand - bonus!  All I needed was the fennel and some goat cheese. 

While I was making this salad, with the help of Cailyn, I really began to doubt my sanity!  So many ingredients - could this possibly work and actually taste good?  Cailyn claimed that the combination of ingredients sounded disgusting and Matt walked by and said, with a look of disgust, "there are blueberries in the salad?"  Well, once the salad was all assembled it looked pretty and fresh.  All of the components were really delicious on their own (I tasted along the way...) Crisp kohlrabi, toasty almonds, juicy blueberries... and the cheese I chose Cypress Grove Midnight Moon goat cheese - amazing!  I love, love, love this cheese. 

We all sat down and with trepidation took our first bites of the salad.  Well it was amazing!  I absolutely adored the salad and every last bite of it disappeared.  If you see kohlrabi at your local farmers market or get it from a CSA box, make this salad - you won't regret it!  Thank you Stephanie Izard!