Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Zucchini and Summer Squash White Pizza

Summer CSA frenzy is ON...before I could even eat up one week's offerings (head of lettuce, what seemed like 8 cucumbers, a bunch of radishes, blueberries, raspberries, zucchini, squash) another week was upon me with the more of the same plus corn on the cob, potatoes, arugula and basil. I relish the bounty but stress out over using it all up. That's when I start throwing weird stuff on pizza dough. This particular pizza was inspired by smitten kitchen's zucchini galette which is more of a tart made with pie dough. But it works just as well on as a pizza.

2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup olive oil
Pizza dough (store bought is totally fine)
1 zucchini
1 summer squash
15 oz ricotta
1 cup mozzarella (or more if you want)
1/2 cup grated parmesan
zest of 1 lemon

Preheat oven to 475.

Mince garlic and add to olive oil and let marinate to infuse the oil with garlicky goodness. In the meantime, slice your squash into 1/4 inch rounds and spread on a paper towel lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and let sit for 30 minutes. The squash will release a lot of moisture so you'll need to dry them with paper towels before putting them on your pizza.

Mix ricotta, half the mozzarella and all of the parmesan in a bowl and add a few tablespoons of the garlic/oil mixture and the lemon zest. Season with s&p to taste.

Roll out your pizza dough to fit whatever pan you're using and place dough in the oiled pan. Brush a few tablespoons of the garlic oil over the dough and then spread your cheese mixture over the whole thing, leaving about a 1/4 inch border. Lay your zucchini and squash slices over the cheese then top with the remaining mozzarella. Bake until cheese is melted and crust is golden brown, 15-20 minutes.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Steak Salad with soy, sesame and shallots

This meal came together really quickly on a super hot day.

I had two 1/4 pound eye round steaks from the csa. If you know anything about the eye round cut, it's usually a roast, which you have to braise for a long time to get tender. It's not a good cut for a nice grilled steak, frankly, but I really didn't want to have to braise it for a long time in the 90 degree weather we've been having, so I decided to marinate it in soy (which tenderizes and kind of brines it), broil it super quickly, and slice it thin to go on a salad.

Summer Soy Steak Salad: Super Simple, Satisfying
serves 2

-2 steaks, 1/4 lb. each (or one 1/2 lb steak), of any type (would be awesome with a better cut like strip steak or flank steak, but it worked surprisingly well with the cheap/untender eye round cut we had from the csa) (I truly think this would be delicious with seitan, tempeh or tofu as well, and really any other kind of meat, come to think of it)
-2 shallots, sliced
-1/4 cup soy sauce
-2 tbsp fish sauce
-2 splashes worcestershire sauce
-freshly ground black pepper, to taste
-garlic powder, to taste (I usually prefer real garlic, but in this case powdered is better)
-1 tbsp sugar (brown or white)
-1/4 c olive oil (plain, not extra virgin, or any other neutral tasting oil)
-1/4 c sesame seeds
-1 large or 2 small cucumbers, sliced in rounds
-mixed greens, torn up into bite size pieces (I had a little head of boston lettuce and some arugula from the csa)

If you have a cheap/tough cut of steak like I had, take a fork and stab the steaks all over a bunch of times. This helps tenderize it, and it's fun. (If you're using tofu, I'd press it for a while to get as much of the water out as possible.)

In a dish with high sides big enough to fit the steaks in one layer, combine the soy sauce, fish sauce, worcestershire sauce, shallots, pepper and garlic powder. Add the steaks, nestling them down into the sauce, and piling the shallots on top of them. Cover and put them in the fridge for at least an hour, turning once, if you can remember to (no big deal if not).

Dry toast your sesame seeds in a small heavy bottomed non-stick frying pan until brown and fragrant, set aside in a small bowl or dish.

Meanwhile get the steaks and shallots out of the marinade and dry them as thoroughly as possible with paper towels, reserving the marinade.

To make the dressing, pour the steak marinade into the pan in which you toasted your sesame seeds. Add the sugar to the marinade, and bring to a boil, shaking the pan occasionally, and reduce by about half. Pour into a bowl to cool briefly, then slowly whisk in the olive oil (a hit of toasted sesame oil would be great here, I just didn't have any). Set the dressing aside to cool (you can put it in the fridge to help this along, but don't leave it in there too long or the oil will solidify).

Preheat your broiler to high, and put your rack as close to the heat source as possible (my oven is kind of lame at this, I hope yours is better). Place some kind of cooling rack on a foil lined baking sheet, and line the rack with foil, poking holes in the foil to allow for drainage (an actual broiler pan would do the same job, come to think of it... I just don't have one, so the foil covered rack on a sheet pan is my work-around).

Place the steaks on the rack, with the shallots spread out around them. Put them under the broiler for 5 minutes. Flip the steaks, stir the shallots (moving them to the edges of the rack if they're getting too dark), and put back under the broiler for another 2-5 minutes (depending on the thickness of your steaks).

Pull them out and put both the steaks and shallots on a cutting board, and allow the steaks to rest for about 5 minutes (the shallots will soak up any juices that escape from the steaks).

Arrange the mixed greens on two plates, with the cucumbers on top (lots of em!), then slice the steaks and divide them and the shallots evenly between the two. Sprinkle on the toasted sesame seeds and drizzle on the dressing. I served it with some sticky white rice, also topped with sesame seeds and the dressing.