Again, good, but not quite good enough

The title really says it all… tossing together cooked tortellini, nuts, dried figs, and salad greens, then drizzling with red wine vinegar is pretty decent. It’s just not terribly exciting, taste or texture wise. I’m sure it will work perfectly well as an emergency ‘I’m hungry and need to throw something together quickly; what do I have in the refrigerator’ kind of thing. It’s just not worth planning out and making sure the ingredients are available.

On the plus side, now we have a bag of emergency cheese tortellini in the freezer. Goes with the emergency pasta sauce in the pantry. 🙂

Tortellini Salad

Original from TheKitchn
Makes 2 servings
Recipes left to try (& copy…): 10 recipes; Lunch: None! Hurray, another section done!

  • ~10 oz tortellini (I used cheese and see no reason other types wouldn’t work)
  • ~1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup dried Mission figs
  • Salad greens
  • Red wine vinegar
  1. Bring a pot of water to boil over high heat. Add the tortellini and cook as long as the tortellini package directs you to. Or until they bob to the surface and are tender. Drain and set aside.
  2. Roughly chop the walnuts. Cut off the stems of the figs and then roughly chop them.
  3. Combine the salad greens, tortellini, walnuts and figs in a bowl; toss together. Drizzle with red wine vinegar (or balsamic vinagrette) and toss again to coat. Divide between serving bowls. Alternatively, withhold the walnuts until the end and sprinkle on after the division into serving bowls.

Pretentious Pizza

Also known as ‘Grown-up Pizza’. Yep, I understand how utterly snobbish the title and first line sound. But serious, what else am I going to call pizza involving figs and brie? Oh, and caramelized onions.

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Pizza is one of those things around here: we own a pizza stone (and leave it in the stove all the time to even out heat in the oven) but don’t make it very often. Which probably explains why the finished product was square tonight. Ledo’s, I am not and would like to make round pizzas…. You’d think if I can for pie, I’d be able to with pizza. But no-O-o. 🙂

The pizza was utterly delicious by the way.

Tonight was actually testing two new recipes: the thin crust and the topping combination. The crust came out pretty good – rolled it out a bit too thin so folded it over on itself which created some air pockets when parbaking. Wasn’t a problem per se, but definitely something I’ll keep in mind next time. Tasted a bit like sourdough bread, except, you know, thin and almost crispy (not burnt crispy, approaching cracker crispy).

The topping combination worked out really well – as Adam said when we sat down to dinner, this was a bit outside his comfort zone. After the first bite, his comfort zone had expanded. 🙂 Fresh (green) figs with brie and a caramelized red onion, with a drizzle of honey reminded both of us of an appetizer I’ve made occasionally: dried figs split in half with a smear of goat cheese and a drizzle of honey. The tartness from goat cheese was brought in here by the onion (although not a great deal – red onions == sweeter than yellow onions). And I really like slightly goo-y brie melted just a bit into onion.

Good crust, good toppings, just not quite right with each other though. We’ll be keeping both recipes, just not using them together.

Next time though? DEFINITELY caramelizing the onions in a slow cooker ahead of time. I swear every recipe I’ve ever seen lies about how long caramelizing onions takes.

Thin Pizza Crust

Original from TheKitchn.com
Makes two 10-inch crusts
Recipes left to try (& copy…): 35; Pizza: 2 recipes left

  • 6 fluid oz of lukewarm water (~3/4 cup water for them without digital scales [get a digital scale. I’m making the transition from measurements to weights right now and it’s pretty awesome])
  • 1 tsp active dry yeast
  • 10 oz (~2 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  1. Combine the water and yeast; stir to dissolve. Let sit for 5 minutes to proof. Combine with the flour and salt in a bowl and mix until the dough comes together, kinda shaggy.
  2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface (along with any loose dough from the bowl). Knead until all the flour is incorporated and the dough is smooth and elastic. It should still be moist and slightly tacky. Knead in 1 tbsp of flour at a time if too wet.
  3. Set in a warm place and allow to rise until doubled in volume, about 1.5 hours.
  4. Divide the dough into 2 portions. The 2nd portion can be used or frozen (at least I hope so – the 2nd one from tonight is in our freezer right now). Gently press, stretch and roll the dough out until 1/4 inch thick.
  5. Top and bake as directed in your pizza recipe

Caramelized Onion, Brie and Fig Pizza

Original from Heather Crhisto
Makes 1 pizza
Recipes left to try (& copy…): 35; Pizza: 2 recipes left

  • 1x pizza crust
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • 1 large red onion, thinly sliced and separated
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 8 oz brie
  • 5-6 fresh figs
  • Honey, optional
  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F and prepare a baking sheet/pan.
  2. In a large sauté pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Then add the sliced onion and sprinkle with kosher salt; sweat for 5-7 minutes. Add the water, stir, and continue cooking until the onions are soft and the water has evaporated. Add the red wine vinegar and cook, stirring, until the vinegar has cooked off. Transfer the onions to a bowl and set aside.
  3. Roll the pizza crust out, brush with the olive oil, and sprinkle with kosher salt. Bake in the oven for 12 minutes (this parbakes the crust).
  4. Meanwhile, slice the brie and figs into slices the size of your choosing. Thin brie slices will be more melty (and wonderful).
  5. Spread the onions over the crust, then top with the brie, then layer on the figs. If desired, drizzle honey over the pizza.
  6. Bake until onions are hot and brie is melted, 5-7 minutes. Slice and enjoy.