Tag Archives: Mozzarella

Pizza from Scratch (Chicken-Garlic and Pepperoni-Pineapple)

Pizza is probably one of the most consumed dishes of all here in the USA. This is probably because it is relatively cheap and there are such a variety of ways to prepare it that there is bound to be a combination of crust, sauce, and topping selections to please nearly anyone. There are thin, crispy crusts for those who enjoy a New York style pie; thicker, doughier crusts for those who like the West Coast style; and even the infamous Chicago style with another layer of crust on top of the entire pie. Sauces range from pesto to ranch to creamy-garlic to marinara, while the list of possible toppings are too many to list here. Continue reading

A Knefeh Dessert Experience

Last weekend was the perfect opportunity for me to make the knefeh for the challenge. I wanted my family to try it since it is not something that one finds on the average menu here in the USA. So after the kids finished school for the week and the rain set in a bit, I decided I would prepare this for all the house’s cooped up occupants.

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Flower Caprese Salad Reproduction

When my friend Clint visited me here in Lebanon, we had lunch at a local Italian restaurant called Olio. They served us a Caprese Salad with Buffalo Mozzarella, served in such a beautiful way, that it looked like a flower.

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Crêpes with Asparagus and Mushrooms in Béchamel Sauce

Today, Mom made a local dish made of veal and rice. I am not a great fan of red meat and I did not feel like eating just the rice. So I decided to finally try a crêpes dish I wanted to make since ever… well since I tried it a few years ago at a family lunch where my great-aunt cooked it. My great-aunt worked as a cook and she always made the most amazing dishes. When I tasted this one, I asked what it is and she told me in her usual soft voice: it is crêpes.

Although then the filling was made with ground meat and the crêpes rolled like cannelloni. And we all already know I was not in the mood for meat…

I had to find a replacement. I have not long ago read on a Foodbuzz fellow’s blog (Frank Fariello), a crêpes recipe which was filled with Swiss chard and ricotta. Also the crêpes were folded in triangles.  I did not want chard either; neither did I want its cousin the spinach. Finally after a little concerting with Zahrah, my Taste-Bud, I finally decided on an Asparagus/Mushroom filling. Initially I wanted to add mozzarella to the filling and top with parmesan, then I went for cream cheese.

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So this is Sofficini…

Prior to this challenge, I can’t say I had ever tried or even heard of Sofficini. I am always looking to learn and experience new things, so this challenge had an air of excitement to it for me. Of all the things I could fill these with, I decided I would use a favorite cheese combination of mine I normally use to stuff ravioli and manicotti.

After dropping the kids off at school, I set out to buy my missing ingredients. I went into the grocery store I had worked at while going to college. This way I knew right where everything would be, and seeing old friends often sets the day off to a decent start. I had thoughts of bringing some of the sofficini back to the store with my well wishes, but later I thought better of it being as how this was my first experience making these.

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After Work Sofficini

I set myself to make the Sofficini today.

I have had the tomato sauce prepared a while ago. I am against buying what you can easily prepare yourself. I also had some very ripe tomatoes.

Not to mention a basic tomato sauce could always come in handy in a wide range of recipes.

Here is how I make it: I brown diced onions and crushed garlic then when they get a golden color, I add the cored and peeled tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Some add some sugar but I prefer the acidity of tomatoes, so it is a matter of taste. Then I let it simmer till it becomes a little less thick than a paste and blend when cold.

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