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September 2011

September 22, 2011

Better than Roxy's Grilled Pizza

The inspiration for this recipe came from a grilled cheese sandwich made by Roxy's Gourmet Grilled Cheese truck on a recent episode of the Great Food Truck Race.  The original sandwich contained caramelized onions and shallots, walnuts, granny smith apples and cheddar.  People were lining up in droves and raving about the sandwich.  "Clearly this combination of ingredients would work on a pizza", I thought.

The next step is transposing a grilled cheese sandwich into a pizza.  The cheese and toppings are no brainers, however using regular pizza sauce would detract from the overall concept.  Instead, I came up with a caramelized shallot roasted onion sauce.  The recipe is simple, but takes time.  The sauce turned out so zesty and delicious, that it could pair with poultry and fish or serve as a dipping sauce.

The final steps to pizza deliciousness are the dough and grill.  Both white and wheat crusts were used to determine which flour is best.  Ultimately, the whole wheat's hearty grain complimented the hearty ingredients perfectly, and is pictured below.  (Note: There is an awesome pizza dough recipe on this blog, too!)  The grill's smokey, outdoor flavor adds a nice kick to this classic New England mix of ingredients. 


Caramelized Shallots and Roasted Onion Sauce Ingredients

 Yields1 1/2 cups of sauce and makes four 10 inch pies

  • 3 shallots, diced
  • 1 large onion, quartered
  • About 10 - 14 petals of garlic
  • Olive Oil
  • Sea Salt
  • 5 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves broken from sprig
  • 1/2 sprig of rosemary, leaves broken from sprig
  • Pepper

Pizza Ingredients

Note: The ingredient measurements are per 10 inch pie.

  • Dough
    • Pre-made: Purchase frozen from whole foods, able to split white into two 10 inch crusts, wheat creates one 14 inch
    • Homemade pizza dough recipe
  • Cheddar cheese, grated, 4 - 6 oz per 10 inch pie
  • 1/3 granny smith apple, cut into thin small chunks, per 10 inch pie
  • 1/3 medium red pepper, cut into small segments, per 10 inch pie
  • 1/2 grilled chicken breast, pulled from the bone or cut in small chunks, per 10 inch pie 



  1. Create the sauce
    1. Heat oven to 300 degrees
    2. Place onions and garlic on separate foil squares
      1. Cover onion and garlic with olive oil
      2. Loosely wrap foil around vegetables and place onto a metal pan
    3. Place pan into the oven
      1. Cook garlic for about 10 - 15 minutes.  The petals will be soft to the touch.
      2. Cook onion for 45-60 minutes, or until well cooked, translucent brown and caramelized on the bottom
    4. Let vegetables cool, remove skin and place in blender, along with a 1/4 cup of water.  Puree and set aside.
    5. Spray a large skillet with olive oil or non-stick cooking spray.
      1. Place the shallots, a pinch of salt, 1 - 4 tbsp olive oil and 1/3 cup water in skillet on medium high heat.
      2. When water evaporates, reduce heat to medium, and cook shallot mixture until deep brown, translucent and well caramelized. 
        1. If the shallots start to burn, reduce heat slightly and add a few drops of water.
      3. Reduce heat to medium-low.  Add onion garlic puree, pepper, thyme and rosemary to the shallot mixture.
      4. Cook the mixture for 15-20, or until most of the water is cooked out.  The mixture's thickness should be similar to red pizza sauce.  Not soupy or watery, but also not dense. 
  2. Assemble the pizza
    1. Spray olive oil or non-stick cooking oil onto foil and place the pizza dough on foil.
    2. Add the sauce, apples, red peppers, chicken and cheese to the dough
  3. Grill for 20-30 minutes on low to medium heat, until cheese slightly browns and crust is cooked.



September 15, 2011

Car Bomb Cupcakes




This boozy recipe is inspired by the Smitten Kitchen.  The recipe was modified to more accurately represent a Car Bomb cocktail and create a lighter, more delicious treat.  A traditional Car Bomb begins with a shot of Irish cream that has Irish whiskey floating on top.  The shot is placed in a glass of Irish stout, where it must be immediately consumed, often ushering the consumer into a late night filled with drunken antics.

In order to accurately represent the famous drink, the cupcake is made with an Irish stout beer, filled with an Irish cream chocolate ganache, and frosted with an Irish whiskey frosting.  The original recipe uses Irish cream in the frosting and whiskey in the ganache.  Putting the Irish cream inside the cupcake more accurately portrays the drink.

Additionally, creating a light and delicious cupcake is always a fun MO.  Instead of the original frosting recipe, an italian meringue butter cream was used because I've been on a kick lately.  They are divine and not overly sweet, but take extra time.  Additionally, some ingredients were changed to prevent greasiness and procure delicacy. 

The recipe creates 24 cupcakes.  The frosting recipe will generate about 4 cups of frosting, which can be stretched to frost 48 cupcakes if modestly frosted, see posted pictures. 


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September 03, 2011

Blueberry Cornbread Muffins


This is adapted from two recipes.  My initial recipe from Epicurious tastes fabulous and is exceptionally moist, however it tastes more like a muffin than a "cornbread" muffin.  I found another recipe that uses equal parts corn meal and flour, and adapted the changes to the original.  Fresh corn was added to give the muffins a real cornbread feel.  Many fruits can be substituted for the blueberries, including mangos and strawberries.  

This recipe makes 24 muffins or two 8 x 8 pans.




1 5/6 cup cornmeal
1/3 cup hot water
2 tablespoons Olive Oil

10 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 c sugar (may substitute 1 1/2 cups agave nectar for the sugar and 1/3 cup water)
1/3 cup water
4 teaspoons lemon zest
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
4 eggs

1 5/6 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

1 6oz cup Greek Yogurt, preferably without added sugar

2 pints fresh blueberries
2 ears of corn, cut from the cob




  1. Mix corn meal with 1/3 cup hot water and olive oil.  Let sit for 20 minutes to allow cornmeal to soften.
  2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line muffin tins with paper liners or spray two 8-by-8- inch glass baking dish with nonstick spray.
  3. Beat butter. Add sugar and 1/3 cup water (or agave nectar) as mixer is running. 
    1. Add zest and juice. 
    2. Add eggs one at a time. Mixture will appear "broken" but it is OK.
  4. In separate bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt.  Stir to mix. 
  5. Return to the butter-sugar bowl
    1. Using a low mixer speed, add the dry ingredients and yogurt to the butter-sugar mixture in three parts.  Mix only as long as necessary to combine ingredients. 
    2. Fold in blueberries and corn.
  6. Scoop batter into muffin cups with an ice cream scooper or pour into the 8" pans. 
  7. Bake the muffins about 30 minutes, until firm to the touch.  Bake the pans for about 45 minutes, until firm.