Sunday, October 30, 2011

Greg's Beef Barley Stew

We've just returned from a weekend in Salt Lake, cheering on the UTAH UTES to their first Pac-12 conference football victory - FINALLY.

It was Blackout Game - where everyone was encouraged to wear all black - and even though I thought it was kind of a silly concept, I have to admit that the stadium crowd looked awesome.

Prior to the game Megan offered to set up a tailgate party at her primo parking space, which was fabulous.

And after the game we took the party back to Greg and Megan's house, where Greg treated us to a fabulous Beef Barley Stew that he had cooked while we all watched the game in the cold and he enjoyed it on KJAZZ TV. Greg's stew is incredibly delicious, and perhaps if there are a few requests for it in the "comment" section, I can talk him into sharing it soon!

Another recipe-focused Gourmet Gibbs will be posted within days... really!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Goat Cheese Pizza

We haven't done Pizza in quite some time, so even though the Pizza process is the same as prior posts, this week is a reminder that homemade (well, nearly homemade) pizza is way yummier than frozen.

It's not really home made since I always start my pizza with a bag of Trader Joe's Pizza Dough - or you can pick up a roll of pizza dough from your favorite pizzeria, or you could always make your own from scratch - just don't as ME how to do that!

Sprinkle some cornmeal on your pizza stone, plop out the dough, and let it rest - the Trader Joe's bag says 30 minutes, but I have found that if you let it rest for up to 8 hours, it rolls out thinner and is less likely to pull back into itself (there are some out there who heat the pizza stone in the oven, prepare the pizza dough and toppings on one of the flat boards, and then slide the prepared pie onto the heated stone - BUT those people aren't me).

I kept my toppings simple - sliced mushrooms, sliced red onion, and mozzerella and goat cheeses.

When you're ready to cook the pizza - preheat your oven to 500 degrees; then roll out the pizza as thin as you can get it on your pizza stone. Spread a thin layer of olive oil over the dough, then sprinkle with sliced fresh garlic.

Cook the dough for 8 - 10 minutes - until the dough is just starting to turn a golden brown. Remove from the oven - pop down any big bubbles that may have popped up, and then layer on the toppings.

Spread a thin layer of mozzerlla over the pizza, then evenly distribute the sliced mushrooms and onions, and finally, top with dollops of goat cheese.

Return to the oven and continue to cook for another 6 - 8 minutes - until the cheese is bubbly and just starting to turn golden brown. Remove and let sit for 5 minutes before slicing....

and then ENJOY.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Chicken Broccoli Cauliflower Farfalle Casserole

We're getting back into Fall, and that means more casseroles, soups, chilis and comfort food (not that it's wrong to cook those in the middle of Summer!) This first post for October is Chicken Broccoli Faralle Casserole, and the first rule of casserole is: Look in your fridge to see what you have left over that should be eaten, but you don't want to eat it exactly as it was initially prepared. Add to that your patry staples, and you've got yourself a meal.

I found leftover rotisserie chicken, extra broccoli and cauliflower - and I had a package of Farfalle (bowtie) noodles, cream of mushroom soup, canned mushrooms and, of course, cheese.

Prepare the package of Farfalle noodles according to the package directions. While the noodles are cooking...

Chop into bite-sized pieces approximately one cup each of broccoli, cauliflower and chicken.

Drain the noodles into a strainer and set aside, then, using the same pot, toss together the broccoli, cauliflower, chicken, mushrooms - including liquid - condensed soup, salt and pepper to taste, and about 1 cup of grated cheese.

(By the way, I'm ALL about using as few pots as possible, and if you can use one for multiple uses and just wash it once - go for it!)

Put the mix in a size-appropriate oven-safe casserole dish, sprinkle with the top with a bit more cheese, cover, and cook in a PRE-HEATED oven (375 degrees) for approximately 50 - 55 minutes. Remove the cover, and cook another 10 minutes or so until the top is bubbly brown and delicious looking.

Remove from the oven, uncover, and let rest about 10 minutes before plating...

Then enjoy - and the beauty of a casserole - it's an entire meal in one bowl, accompanied by your beverage/cocktail of choice.