Tag Archives: mushrooms

Loaded Veggie Pizza (& I mean loaded!)

Veggie Pizza - Inside NanaBread's Head

Ever been so sold on a certain brand you start to think of yourself as a rabid brand loyalist? Well, I have become obsessed with DeLallo. You may remember a certain post for homemade pimento cheese? Well, those piquillo peppers were so glorious, I decided to branch out and try other items. To the extent that I made a total veggie power pizza with some of their line. And you know what? Their other products live up to the piquillo pepper hype.

Here’s what I bought from the DeLallo line this week:
1.) can of artichoke hearts
2.) jar of sun-dried tomato bruschetta
3.) jar of basil pesto in olive oil
4.) jar of pine nuts
5.) yet another jar of piquillo peppers

I know… I’m out of control. But stay with me, because the pizza was awesome.

In addition to the DeLallo goodies, I also picked up:
1.) fresh baby spinach
2.) fresh button mushrooms
3.) an orange bell pepper
4.) a purple onion
5.) a small tub of ricotta cheese

Secret foodie confession: I keep frozen pizza dough in my freezer at all times. The type I buy is just a frozen dough ball in a bag from my local HEB grocery store. I keep both the whole wheat and traditional white on hand. And not just for pizza. If you thaw it out and let it rise, it can double as breadstick dough, cinnamon rolls, etc. Pretty versatile stuff, really.

So for this pizza, I thawed out a ball of the whole wheat and let it rise while I baked cookies. (More on that later, but it involves an on-line bake sale coming up later this month for which I am making cherry almond shortbread cookies dipped in chocolate. Break out your wallets, kids. You’re going to want to bid on these.) Here’s how the pizza baking went down.

First, I rolled out the whole wheat dough and baked it for 10 minutes, brushed only with olive oil, to prevent it from getting soggy, then I layered on a schmear of pesto, some sun-dried tomatoes (drained) and mushrooms sautéed in chili oil.

Veggie Pizza - pesto, sun-dried tomatoes & mushroom layer

Next came a layer of fresh spinach, some sliced purple onion and the chopped & drained artichoke hearts. For the record, I L-O-V-E love artichoke hearts.

Veggie Pizza - spinach, purple onion, artichoke hearts

But wait! There’s more! Next, I got artsy with my orange bell pepper and roasted piquillo peppers. Yes, I play with my food. :) The Complete Package walked into the kitchen just as I finished laying on the peppers and said “this is going on the blog, isn’t it?” Psssh, what do you mean? All my food looks this good! Okay, whatever. Yes it’s for the blog, smartass. Still, it’s pretty!

Veggie Pizza - orange bell pepper & piquillo peppers

And then, just when you’re thinking “Holy craptastic veggie goodness! What else could she possibly add?” I threw on some ricotta cheese seasoned with oregano, basil, garlic salt & red pepper flakes, some pine nuts I toasted in a skillet, and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Looks good, doesn’t it?

Veggie Pizza - seasoned ricotta, pine nuts & olive oil

I know what you’re thinking, and you’re right. That’s a whole lotta veggie. But we’re not done yet. You gotta pop that beast into the oven and bake at 425F for 25-30 minutes. I like to bake mine on a Silpat mat for an extra crispy crust. When the ricotta and pine nuts start getting brown around the edges, it’s done.

Veggie Pizza - just out of the oven

Yeah, baby… that’s the good stuff. Now you have to let it sit for 5-10 minutes to settle down a little. Then, cut that puppy up and dig in!

Veggie Pizza - Dig in!

Boom. Done. Blow it up! For the record – it was delicious, we didn’t miss the meat, and it has completely solidified my deep and abiding love for all things DeLallo. Rabid. Brand. Loyalist. And not ashamed. Do you have a favorite brand or brands that you can’t live without? Please leave a comment and share. You never know what might spur my next food obsession!

Please Note: I am not in any way compensated by the DeLallo Foods Company. I am (as I have stated) just a loyal lover of their products who is dead set on converting the rest of the world. Amen.



Filed under Food & Recipes, Things I Love

Recipe Review: ATK’s Chicken Marsala

I am locked in a perpetual search for new main dish recipes. This weekend, I decided to take on Chicken Marsala from the America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook. There’s a lot of good stuff in that cookbook, and I’m a big fan of their work. I’m also a big fan of mushrooms stewed in wine, so it was a no-brainer. This recipe makes 4 servings. Here’s how it all went down.

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
salt & pepper
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
3 ounces of pancetta, finely minced
8 ounces of button mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon of tomato paste
1 1/2 cups of sweet Marsala wine (see note below)
1 1/2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 tablespoons of cold butter, cut into 3 pieces
2 tablespoons of minced flat-leaf Italian parsley
Spaghetti, linguine or other pasta, cooked

Start by pre-heating your oven to 300F. You’ll want to keep your chicken cutlets warm while you’re making the sauce.

To prepare the chicken, slice each breast in half horizontally to make two thinner cutlets. If one end is thicker, pound the thick end to make chicken cutlet uniformly thin. Once the chicken is halved and pounded, season each cutlet with salt and pepper and dredge it in flour to coat. In a hot skillet over medium-high heat, add the vegetable oil and cook the chicken until golden brown on each side. Place the cooked cutlets in an oven-proof pan, cover lightly with foil and place them in the hot oven to stay warm.

Using the same oil that is already in the skillet, cook the pancetta and sliced mushrooms until they are a deep, gorgeous brown and the pancetta is crispy. Note: I did not mince my pancetta, and I came to regret it. The larger pieces really distracted from the desired texture of the sauce. Don’t be like me. Mince your pancetta into tiny little tidbits. You’ll thank me for it later.

When the pancetta and mushrooms are a gorgeous golden brown, make a well in the center and throw in the garlic and tomato paste. Brown for a few seconds, or until you really start to smell the garlic. Stir together with the mushrooms and pancetta and add the Marsala wine (as soon as you read the following note).

NOTE ON SWEET MARSALA VERSUS DRY MARSALA WINE: The ATK Cookbook clearly says to use sweet Marsala wine. The little Italian man at the liquor store said to use dry Marsala wine. I bought both, thinking I might blend the two. Instead, I convinced myself to use the sweet Marsala, as stated in the cookbook. Big mistake, in my opinion. The final sauce was… well, too sweet. Not at all like the savory Marsala sauce I order in restaurants. Next time, I’m sticking with the little Italian man and using the dry Marsala. As he so wisely stated, “You use the sweet Marsala for tiramisu; you use the dry for marsala in sauces for meat.” Lesson learned? Never argue with an authentic Italian when you’re making Italian food. That seems so clear to me now.

Okay, so once you’ve decided to skip the sweet for the dry Marsala, pour the wine into the pan with the mushrooms. Keeping the heat at medium-high, allow the sauce to cook down until it is reduced by at least half and the wine takes on a syrupy texture. This will take a few minutes, so stir it occasionally and keep an eye on it. Once it’s reduced, add the lemon juice and stir to combine. Turn off the heat and add the cold butter, one piece at a time, whisking it in before adding the next piece. Add the minced parsley and stir it in; add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve over the cooked pasta of your choice. I also recommend a nice salad and a warm, crusty baguette. And if you have a lovely bottle of Italian red on hand, well that’s just frosting on the cupcake.

Final Thoughts: this recipe is worth making, with a few minor adjustments. I feel strongly that dry Marsala is the better choice here. And because I like the smooth texture of a Marsala sauce that really showcases the mushrooms, I think I will fry the pancetta and remove it from the pan next time so it will flavor the mushrooms, but not be incorporated in the final sauce. I’m looking forward to trying this again with the dry Marsala, possibly on a grilled sirloin. If you love mushrooms in wine, this one is worthy of a shot at your dinner table. Mangia!

NanaBread's Chicken Marsala courtesy of America's Test Kitchen


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Louise’s Stroganoff Over Baked Potatoes

Stroganoff Baked Potatoes

My mother-in-law serves this simple, delicious stroganoff over steamed rice, but we love it on baked potatoes. It’s the perfect recipe when you have leftover steak and need a quick meal. The mix of steak, mushrooms and buttery baked russets is irresistible.

One 8-ounce can of sliced mushrooms, drained
Three 6-ounce cans of Dawn Fresh Mushroom Steak Sauce
One 0.75-ounce envelope of McCormick’s Brown Gravy Mix (not pictured below)
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/8 teaspoon McCormick’s Montreal Steak Seasoning
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups of leftover steak, sliced thin and then chopped
2 jumbo or 4 small to medium russet potatoes
butter for potatoes
salt and pepper, to taste

Scrub your potatoes, rub them with butter and salt them. Poke a few holes in the skins and wrap them tightly in aluminum foil. Bake at 400F for 2-3 hours, or until potatoes are soft and squishy when you squeeze them with a towel or potholder. If you are more comfortable microwaving baked potatoes, feel free. Just be sure not to overcook them, or they can start to turn hard or burn.

Here's What You'll Need

In a small to medium saucepan, combine the drained mushroom slices, all three cans of Dawn’s Mushroom Steak Sauce, the McCormick’s Brown Gravy powder and the seasonings. Dawn’s steak sauce is a little thick when it comes out of the can, but resist the temptation to add liquid! It will loosen up as it heats, and the gravy mix will thicken it back up. Cook the sauce over medium heat until it starts to bubble around the edges, stirring often. Just before serving, add steak and stir to combine. Allow the sauce to sit for a few minutes, just until the steak is warmed through. Serve immediately over buttered baked potatoes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Shopping Note: Dawn Fresh Mushroom Steak Sauce is found on the shelf next to canned mushrooms or by the gravy mixes. The cans are small and the labels are a boring beige, so it’s sometimes hard to find, but it’s worth it.

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Mom’s Creamy Beef Stroganoff

Mom’s Creamy Beef Stroganoff – still one of my favorite meals

My mom’s creamy beef stroganoff has been a family favorite for more than 40 years. It’s delicious, quick and simple to make, and so good you’ll find yourself eating it cold right out of the fridge. It has some of my favorite foods – steak, mushrooms, pasta and sour cream. Now you can make it, too!

12 ounces egg noodles, extra-wide
2 tablespoons butter
½ cup onion, minced
2 cups button mushrooms, thinly sliced
½ teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon beef bouillon granules
1 pound sirloin steak, trimmed and thinly sliced
16 ounces sour cream (or lite sour cream)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 pinch ground nutmeg
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon Italian flat-leaf parsley, minced

In a large saucepan, cook egg noodles until al dente. While the noodles are cooking, prepare your sauce ingredients. In a nonstick skillet over high heat, melt the butter; add onions and mushrooms. Cook, stirring often, until the mushrooms are golden brown. Add garlic salt and beef bouillon granules and stir to combine. Add thinly sliced steak and toss just until steak is still medium-rare (it will continue to cook in the sauce later).

In a bowl, combine sour cream, flour and nutmeg, stirring until well combined. Turn the heat under the skillet down to medium, and stir the sour cream mixture into the skillet until all ingredients are combined and the sauce is heated through; remove from heat. Don’t overcook here, or the beef will get rubbery and the sour cream will break down. Toss sauce into cooked, drained egg noodles and stir until well combined. Add salt and pepper to taste (and more nutmeg if you’re a fan). Sprinkle parsley over the top and serve warm.

I like to serve this with warm, buttered deli rye bread and a nice green salad.

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