Posts Tagged 'mozzarella cheese'

Tomato Pie


There is nothing better than a ripe, juicy summer tomato. I sometimes find it hard to believe that these bright red, juicy fruits are even in the same family as the bland, pinkish variety available at supermarkets the rest of the year.

Tomato pie is a classic recipe that is a delicious way to enjoy this summer treat. Tomatoes take center stage in this dish that is made with simple ingredients.  In this recipe, the taste and texture of the tomatoes don’t get lost in a rich custard. Instead, the additions of cheese and a flaky crust compliment the tomatoes to make this dish irresistible.

Summer tomatoes tend to be very juicy. To make your tomato pie less watery, place the tomatoes in a colander over the sink.  Sprinkle a little bit of salt on them and allow to drain for about ten minutes. This simple step will make your pie easier to slice. If you don’t mind the juiciness, you can skip this step.

When reading the ingredient list, you may question the mayonnaise. Be assured it is an essential addition to this recipe. The thin layer of mayonnaise on top offers a crusty golden top to the creamy, juicy interior of the pie.

Perfect hot from the oven, or equally as good at room temperature as well, tomato pie is perfect summertime fare. Pair it with a leafy green salad and you have a complete meal.

Tomato Pie

1 unbaked pie crust (9-inch), homemade or store-bought
4 medium tomatoes, thinly sliced
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tbsp. thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
2 cloves garlic, minced
2/3 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup mayonnaise

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place the pie crust in a deep-dish pie pan. Flute the edges, if desired. Bake until lightly golden brown, about 10 minutes.

While the crust is baking, place tomato slices in a single layer in a colander; sprinkle with salt. Let stand for 10  minutes. Pat dry with paper towels.

Remove the crust from the oven. Layer 1/2 the tomatoes slices on the bottom of the crust. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle 1 clove of minced garlic and 1 tablespoon of sliced basil evenly over the top. Sprinkle 1/3 cup cheddar cheese and 1/3 cup mozzarella cheese over the tomatoes. Arrange remaining tomato slices over the cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the remaining garlic, basil, and cheeses evenly over the top of the tomatoes. Evenly spread the mayonnaise over the entire pie.

Bake until golden, about 30 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes before serving.

Serves 6.


Flank Steak Roulade

I love dishes that look so much harder than they are to make!  When I serve them, my guests ooohhh and aaahhh over how impressed they are with my cooking skills.  Little did they know, the dish was so simple, my daughter could have assembled it!

My flank steak roulade is the perfect example of such a dish.  It makes a beautiful presentation at the table, has a delectable combination of flavors, and is a cinch to prepare!

Here’s the trick.  You take a flank steak and place it on a cutting board. Generously season it with salt and pepper to taste, layer your favorite filling ingredients, and then roll it up like a log.  Finally, I tie it up with cooking twine to ensure it holds it shape. That’s it. See, I told you it was simple!

I prefer to brown the roulade on all sides before placing it in the oven.  I think it adds flavor and texture to the meat.

For the filling, I like to use ingredients that add flavor, texture and color.  Vibrant spinach and roasted red peppers make a statement.  French fried onions add both flavor and texture to the mix.  Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese add creaminess.

Feel free to substitute ingredients that you have on hand. Sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, sautéed mushrooms, goat cheese and fresh herbs are all delicious filling alternatives.  Worried about fat?  Omit the cheese.

This delicious dish that is much easier than it looks will definitely impress your company.


Flank Steak Roulade

1 flank steak, pounded about 1/3-inch thick
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 ½ cups fresh spinach
3/4 cup FRENCH’S® French Fried Onions
1/2 cup drained and diced roasted red peppers
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place the flank steak on a cutting board.  Generously season with salt and pepper. Place the spinach in an even layer over the steak. Next layer the FRENCH’S® French Fried Onions, roasted red peppers, mozzarella cheese, and parmesan cheese on top of the spinach. Roll the steak tightly into a log.  Tie with kitchen twine every 2 inches along the length of the roll. Generously season the outside of the roulade with salt and pepper.

Place the oil in a large, oven-proof sauté pan and warm over medium-high heat until a few droplets of water sizzle when carefully sprinkled in the pan. Sear the roulade until well-browned on all sides, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Place the roulade in the oven to finish cooking, about 20 to 25 minutes for medium. (If you like it more well done, leave it in longer.)

Let the roulade rest for 10 minutes. Remove and discard the kitchen twine. Slice into 1-inch thick slices and serve.

Serves 4 to 6.

Cooking Tip: Be sure to let the roulade rest for about 10 minutes before slicing. This ensures a juicy steak.

Variations: For the filling, feel free to substitute ingredients that you have on hand. Sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, sautéed mushrooms, goat cheese, and fresh herbs are all delicious filling alternatives.

Do Ahead: The roulade can be assembled and refrigerated one day in advance.





Chicken, Caramelized Onion, & Apple Thin-Crust Pizza

There is something about a crispy thin-crust pizza that I can’t resist.  I’m not sure whether the allure is the crispy-yet-chewy texture of the crust, the gooey melted cheese, or the savory toppings.  (It’s probably a combination of all three!) But homemade pizzas have become a staple at our house.

It is so easy to whip up a batch of homemade dough.  All you need is a food processor, a few basic ingredients (flour, cornmeal, yeast, water, and olive oil), and you are ready to go.

If you are short on time (the dough is a cinch to make but does need a couple of hours to rise), you can always pick up some dough from the grocery store or your neighborhood pizzeria.

I like to get creative with my toppings. This one with caramelized onions and apples is high on my list.


Chicken, Caramelized Onion, and Apple Thin-Crust Pizza

For the pizza dough:

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornmeal
1 envelopes (1/4-ounce) rapid-rise yeast
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup cold water

For the pizza:

1 tablespoon olive oil plus extra to brush on the pizza crust
1 cup thinly sliced yellow onions (about 1 onion)
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup shredded cooked chicken
2 Granny Smith apples, cored and thinly sliced
1 ½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Prepare the pizza dough:

In a food processor, pulse together the flour, cornmeal, yeast, and salt. With the processor running, add the oil and then water in a steady stream; process until the dough just forms a ball.

Place the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic, 4 to 5 times. Place the dough in a resealable plastic bag and let it rise at room temperature until it is doubled in size, about 2 hours.

Divide the dough into two equal portions, roll it into balls, and cover them with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap. Let the dough rest for 15 to 20 minutes before shaping, topping, and cooking.

Prepare the pizza:

Pre-heat the oven to 500°F.

While the dough is finishing, warm 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until a few droplets of water sizzle in the pot. Add the onion and thyme and cook, stirring often, until softened and caramel colored, stirring often, about 20 to 30 minutes. Remove the onions from the heat.

Place each dough ball on a baking sheet; using your hands, gently flatten, and pull into ovals. Brush each crust with olive oil. Season the dough with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle the cheese evenly across both crusts. Then evenly spread the chicken and apples across the pizzas. Bake until crust is golden brown and toppings are hot, 10 to 12 minutes.

Make two 10-inch pizzas.

Cooking Tip: I prefer to use rapid-rise yeast in this recipe. Active dry yeast has to be activated with hot water before it can be used.

Jennifer Chandler

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