Nature’s Tomato Naan

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? The Next Step: Nature’s Tomato Naan. Who likes ooey gooey melted mozzarella cheese? I do, I do! Now add nature’s juicy ripened tomatoes for fresh garden flavor that will have you wiping your chin after the first bite. Be careful of those cheese pulls, though. Steam may be trapped between the naan crust and the pizza stone. Besides, there’s nothing worse than burning the roof of your mouth from lack of patience. Let your eyes create desire. After all, everyone wants eating to be an enjoyable experience.

NATURE’S TOMATO NAAN

Ingredients:

One prepared naan crust

1-2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon cornmeal

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

3 Campari tomatoes, sliced

5 grape tomatoes, sliced

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/8 teaspoon oregano

1/8 teaspoon basil

1/8 teaspoon marjoram

8 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced

1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/4 cup parmesan cheese, shaved

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400°. Spread olive oil on both sides of naan bread. Sprinkle cornmeal over bottom crust. Sprinkle garlic powder over top crust. Place cornmeal side down on a pizza stone. Bake for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, slice tomatoes on a cutting board. Sprinkle tomatoes with sea salt, oregano, basil, and marjoram. Remove naan from oven. Carefully layer mozzarella cheese over crust. Then arrange sliced tomatoes. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes. Bake 15 minutes longer or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Top with parmesan cheese before serving.

Egg Brekkie Pizza

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? The Next Step: Egg Brekkie Pizza! Ever get the feeling you just aren’t in the mood to cook? I’ve been there. While you’re standing at the refrigerator, leaning on the door like it’s your best friend, don’t ignore last night’s leftover pizza. Butter up the iron skillet, toss in a couple slices of pizza, crack an egg on top, and put a lid on it. There’s gotta be an extra packet of red pepper flakes and parmesan cheese, not to mention, crushed oregano somewhere. Bingo! You’re done.

EGG BREKKIE PIZZA

Ingredients:

2 slices leftover pizza, any variety

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon butter

2 large eggs

Sprinkling of parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes, and oregano

Instructions:

Warm butter in an iron skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle garlic powder into butter. Place pizza slices in pan. Crack an egg onto each slice. Cover. Cook until bottom of pizza is crispy and eggs are barely set, about 5-7 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes, and crushed oregano.

Dill Pickle Cheese Spread

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? The Next Step: Dill Pickle Cheese Spread! You’ve heard of pregnant women craving dill pickles, toddlers munching on them, bar patrons dunking a spear in a mug of beer, and families gobbling down an order of fried dill pickle chips. So what’s the buzz? Why is everyone going crazy over dill pickles? First of all, they practically have no calories at all. They have a crunch that makes your mouth smile. Dill pickles ease in digestion, heartburn, and bloating. Plus, their saltiness helps the body absorb water. I’m sure you can come up with a few reasons of your own.

DILL PICKLE CHEESE SPREAD

Ingredients:

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

1 cup dill pickle relish, drained

2 green onions, finely chopped

1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced

Assorted vegetables, crackers, and pretzels

Instructions:

Combine cream cheese, dill pickle relish, green onions, Worcestershire sauce, and mayonnaise. Beat until smooth. Fold in cheddar cheese. Refrigerate several hours or overnight. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve with veggies, crackers, and pretzels. Also good on deli sandwiches.

Whitewashed Egg Pizza

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? All the Buzz: Whitewashed Egg Pizza! Putting an egg on pizza? Seriously? I know this might sound a little weird, but take a baby step out of your comfort zone. The first time I saw fried egg on a pizza, I was visiting the south of France. It’s really quite common there. In fact, you’re the fortunate one if you get the egg on your slice at a takeaway stand. You really must give it a whirl. I find as long as I bake in stages, the end result is a crispy crust with an egg over easy. Just imagine how fun it will be to pop the egg yolk and spread it around so everyone gets a taste.

WHITEWASHED EGG PIZZA

Ingredients:

1 naan

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

4 tablespoons chunky pasta sauce

1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped

3/4 cup gruyere cheese, shredded

2 onion rings, nested

1 egg

1/3 cup mozzarella cheese

2-3 tablespoons Greek yogurt

1/8 teaspoon sea salt

Dash of pepper

2 tablespoons fresh basil, for garnish

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 425°. Set oven rack on middle setting. (For the last step you will raise it up one setting.) Rub olive oil over surface of naan. Sprinkle with garlic powder. Bake 5 minutes. Remove from oven. Spoon chunky pasta sauce evenly over naan. Use 1 tablespoon fresh basil over sauce. Sprinkle with gruyere cheese. Bake 5 minutes until slightly melted. Remove from oven. Raise the oven rack up one setting. Place the nested onions on a flat portion of the crust. Gently crack an egg into the center of the onion rings. Distribute the mozzarella cheese over the pizza, excluding the egg area. Dollop the Greek yogurt over the cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Bake 5 minutes longer or until egg is set. If the crust becomes too brown, cover it with foil, leaving the egg portion uncovered. When cheese is gooey and egg is cooked, remove from oven. Garnish with fresh basil.

Ultra Charcuterie Board

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? All the Buzz: Ultra Charcuterie Board! Feel gourmet at home by creating your own charcuterie board the next time you want to serve appetizers. Choose any smoked, dry-cured, or cooked meat to accompany a couple of mellow cheese selections. I like the Edam cheese for its sweet, nutty flavor. It’s nice to have fruit in the form of fresh, dried, or even preserves to balance out the saltiness of the meats. Don’t forget the pickles or olives, which provide a little tang to the palate. Keep the crackers or bread as plain as possible. You want everyone to focus on the flavor explosion going on in every bite. You can go all out and add chocolate morsels and nuts for nibbling. The best part is everyone wins! People pick and choose their own combinations and give you high praise for being such a genius!

ULTRA CHARCUTERIE BOARD

Ingredients:

5 ounces Old World pepperoni, sliced

3 ounces Old World prosciutto, sliced

7 ounce wheel of Edam cheese

8 ounces dried pitted dates

6 ounces mixed olives

10 ounces smoked almonds

1 bag of multi grain baguette slices

Instructions:

Arrange everything on one or two charcuterie boards. The pairing is up to each guest. As long as it is appealing, it definitely promotes conversation. Depending on how large a group you have will determine the number of options you choose. For larger groups I suggest crackers, jam, and spreadable cheeses as a nice complement to smoked meats and fresh fruit. Be creative. Garnish with a few sprigs of fresh herbs.

Quiche Cheese Minis

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? All the Buzz: Quiche Cheese Minis! Cheese can be a weakness, in my opinion. Mostly because there are so many kinds. Think about it: Aggiano, Brie, Cheddar, Danablu, Emmental, Feta, Gouda, Havarti…and the list goes on. I could probably eat my way through the alphabet in CHEESE alone. Wouldn’t that be interesting? Some experts say cheese is bad for you. I disagree. After all, look at the French. Their diet is filled with cheese, baguettes, and wine. Did you know people in France have low rates of coronary heart disease? “By some estimates, the average French person eats 57 pounds of cheese each year—while the average American eats a measly 34.”* My husband and I visited France where we truly enjoyed the superb food and spectacular culture. And became ultimate cheese lovers.

QUICHE CHEESE MINIS

Ingredients:

1 tube of crescent rolls

8 ounces Neufchâtel cheese, softened

2 tablespoons Greek yogurt

1 tablespoon butter, melted

3 eggs

1/4 cup green onion, chopped

1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes, drained and chopped

1/4 teaspoon Herbs de Provence

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/8 teaspoon cracked black pepper

1 cup Smoked Gouda cheese, shredded

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease muffin tin with nonstick spray. Place one triangle dough in each muffin cup. Beat Neufchâtel cheese, Greek yogurt, and butter until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time beating well to combine. Stir in chopped onion, sun-dried tomatoes, Herbs de Provence, sea salt, and pepper. Gently fold in Gouda cheese. Spoon into muffin cups. Do not overfill. (If you have extra filling, no worries, you can make a couple crustless mini quiches.) Bake 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and center is set. Remove quiche minis and serve warm.

* “Here’s Your New Science-Backed Reason to Eat More Cheese”, Mandy Oaklander @mandyoaklander

April 13, 2015 TIME.com

Effortless Pineapple Chicken

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? All the Buzz: Effortless Pineapple Chicken! Has anyone noticed May is the peak season for pineapple? Yes, I’m talking about fresh pineapple. It is naturally sweet and loaded with juice. If you’ve never cut a fresh pineapple, there are plenty of step-by-step instructions on the Internet, not to mention YouTube videos that walk you through it. Trust me, the benefits outweigh the mystery. Step out of your comfort zone and take a walk on the wild side. Fresh pineapple, it’s the bomb!

EFFORTLESS PINEAPPLE CHICKEN

Ingredients:

6 chicken tenders, boneless and skinless

1/2 cup buttermilk

6 pineapple rings

1/8 teaspoon paprika

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes

8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons cooking sherry

Instructions:

Rinse chicken; pat dry. Place in a shallow dish. Pour buttermilk over all and marinate for 30 minutes. Roast pineapple rings on a baking sheet in a preheated oven set to 400° for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with paprika. Set aside. In a large skillet on medium heat, add olive oil. Take the buttermilk-laden chicken tenders and place in the skillet. Sprinkle with garlic powder, sea salt, and red pepper flakes. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook chicken 2 minutes per side. Add pineapple rings, sherry, and Monterey Jack cheese. Reduce heat to low; cover and cook 5 minutes longer until cheese is melted.

Mushroom Beef Tips

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Take a Seat at the Table: Mushroom Beef Tips! The biggest challenge you’ll have today is deciding if you’re going to serve this over buttery egg noodles or garlic mashed potatoes! I know, right? Some days I take the way of least resistance and use a slow-cook method, but this recipe can certainly be pulled together in minutes as well. I really enjoy using my French Le Creuset cast-iron Dutch oven because it seals in the juices the way a crockpot enhances results. It just goes to show you how creative cooking can be.

MUSHROOM BEEF TIPS

Ingredients:

1 pound sirloin steak, boneless, cut into 1-inch pieces

10-ounce can beef consommé

1/4 cup red wine

1/4 cup Lea and Perrins sauce

1 tablespoon French Dijon mustard

1/8 teaspoon tarragon

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

1/8 teaspoon seasoned salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1 cup mushrooms, sliced

2 tablespoons flour

2 tablespoons water

Instructions:

Place beef tips in a covered roaster. Add beef consommé, wine, Lea and Perrins sauce, mustard, tarragon, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Place sliced mushrooms over all. Cover and bake at 275° for 6-8 hours. Then To mix water and flour in a small bowl, to thicken sauce, and stir into beef mixture. Cover and cook another half hour until thickened. Serve over noodles or potatoes.

Lasagna Lovers

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Take a Seat at the Table: Lasagna Lovers! Move over, ho-hum lasagna; Baby Kale Lasagna Roll-ups are here. This dish is fast and easy to prepare, while managing portion-control at the same time. If you are looking for a meatless meal, simply adjust the recipe to suit your needs. The taste is unbelievable and leftovers will have you looking forward to a savory dinner later in the week. Mama Mia, that’s amazing!

LASAGNA LOVERS

Ingredients:

1 pound Italian sausage, bulk

1/4 cup onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon fennel

1/8 teaspoon basil

1/8 teaspoon oregano

1/8 teaspoon marjoram

4 ounces mushrooms, sliced

24 ounces pasta sauce

1 cup water

2 cups ricotta cheese

2 cups mozzarella cheese

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

2 eggs

1 tablespoon parsley flakes

16 ounces lasagna noodles

Baby Kale Leaves, stems removed

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350°. In a large skillet brown Italian sausage until crumbly. Drain. Add onion, garlic, fennel, basil, oregano, marjoram, and mushrooms. Mix well. Add pasta sauce and water to the browned meat mixture. Simmer 10 minutes. Set aside. In a medium bowl, stir together ricotta cheese, 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, eggs, and parsley. Prepare lasagna noodles per package directions. Drain. When cooked, place the noodles lengthwise in a single layer on two sheets of aluminum foil. This makes it very easy to fill and roll up. Grease a 9″x13″ baking dish. Spread one half of the meat mixture on the bottom of the dish. To assemble lasagna rolls, spread 2-3 heaping tablespoons of ricotta cheese filling along noodle. Top with baby kale leaves. Beginning at one end, roll the noodle up. Transfer to baking dish. Repeat until all ingredients are assembled and arranged. Finish by pouring the remaining pasta sauce over lasagna rolls. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese over top. Cover with foil. Bake 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake 10 minutes longer until hot and bubbly. Serve immediately.