Skyline Chili Pizza!

Homemade Skyline Chili Pizza

We make a lot of home made pizza around here. It’s always a hit, and maybe especially the flavored garlic/basil crust.

We also eat a lot of Skyline Chili (whether store bought or homemade). It’s definitely always enjoyed.

So tonight, we combined the two with fantastic results!

Basic Crust

I started with a basic pizza crust:

Ingredients

2 cups warm water (~110ºF)
2 packets of yeast (3 1/2 tsp)
4 Tbps Olive Oil (I use mild)
1 tsp salt
5-6 Cups flour

Let the crust rise for about an hour.

Skyline Pizza

If you have cans of Skyline Chili, that will obviously be best. I used the following for the pizza:

Ingredients

2 cans of Skyline Chili
1 small chopped onion
2 or 3 wieners, sliced, then warmed
Mustard
2-4 cups of mild cheddar cheese (fine shredded if possible)

Now, there are two ways I did this. First, the regular “pizza” way. With this method, oil your cookie sheet with a couple tablespoons of olive oil, and dust with corn meal, then spread the dough out over the sheet. Layer with enough chili to cover the dough, a sprinkle or two of onion, then add the cheese (generously! don’t be stingy!), top with as many slices of wieners as you’d like, followed by the mustard. (Not much is necessary.)

Bake at 500º if possible for 12-13 minutes. (Until cheese is bubbly and crust is browned.) Remove, cool, enjoy!

skyline-crustThe other method is more like Skyline Chili, especially coneys. For this method, prepare the crust on the cookie sheet as above (olive oil, corn meal dust) but this time be sure to poke holes in the crust with a fork (to avoid large crust bubbles). Now put the crust only in the oven (at 500º as above) for 7-8 minutes, until the crust appears a bit brown, and sufficiently baked.

Meanwhile, warm Skyline and wiener slices on the stove to serving temperature.

Now remove crust from oven, and top with Skyline, followed by mustard, onions, wiener slices, and then top generously with (cold) finely shredded mild cheddar cheese. (See here for an example of just how generous!)

It’s really fantastic! Enjoy!

Skyline on Homemade Pizza

Garlic/Basil Pizza Dough

One thing we love around here is PIZZA! And, since I became fairly proficient with a few bread recipes, I figured I could probably do the same with pizza dough, right?

I found a good basic crust recipe in a cookbook we picked up along the way, and I had a recipe from my sister-in-law… both were similar, and both were pretty good. But the crust was rather bland. So, I got creative and added a few pizza-ish herbs! Thus was born my Garlic-Basil Pizza Dough!

Ingredients

2 cups warm water (~110ºF)
2 packets of yeast (3 1/2 tsp)
4 Tbps Olive Oil (I use mild)
2 tsp garlic salt
1 Tbsp dried basil
1 tsp salt
5-6 Cups flour

Dissolve the yeast in the warm water, then add the rest of the ingredients. I generally do five cups of flour first, and then mix in the final cup (or less) till the dough is the perfect consistency. Put a little olive oil in the base of your mixing bowl, cover, and let the dough rise for around an hour in a warm place. I preheat the oven on the lowest temperature while making the dough, then turn it off and let it rise inside the oven.

This amount makes enough dough for two large cookie-sheet pizzas.

Enjoy!

Garbage Plates (A Rochester, NY Favorite!)

This weekend we had some friends over to eat. We call it the Food Fest and host it every year in July. Showcasing some of our favorite foods in ridiculous quantities, just for fun! This year we decided to have a very specific theme: Garbage Plates!

The original “Garbage Plate” is from a local eatery named after it’s owner, Nick Tahou’s. It features most of the foods you can find at any local diner, all piled up together on a plate, served with a couple slices of fresh bread. It’s fantastic!

I got the recipe through a friend, and thought I’d share it here as well (with my modifications…) It made for a great summer party meal! (And is just ridiculously filling!!) Note: I did triple the ingredients below (except for the onion) for a party of about 20 people, half kids.

Enjoy!

Ingredients:
Special Sauce Ingredients:

1 – medium onion, chopped
1 – tbsp garlic, minced
1 – tbsp. oil
1 – lb. triple-ground beef
1 1/2 – cup water
1 – 6 oz can tomato paste
1 – tsp. ground black pepper
3/4 – tsp. cayenne pepper
1 – tsp. chili powder
1 1/2 – tsp. paprika
1/2 – tsp. ground cumin
1/2 – tsp. allspice
1/4 – tsp. cinnamon
1/2 – tsp. powdered cloves
1 – tsp. salt (to taste)

Mix beef with water and oil and dissolve as much as possible, for finer texture. Begin heating on medium-high heat while adding all of the ingredients, stirring frequently. (Don’t want to burn!) Cook for 10 minutes or so, still stirring, then reduce heat and let simmer for at least 30 more minutes. (The longer the better, but keep the sauce moist… may need to add water here and there. The consistency should be thin, but not too watery.)

The Garbage Plate:
Hamburger patties, or hot dogs (preferably Zweigle’s … another Rochester favorite)
Baked beans
Macaroni Salad
Home Fries (and/or french fries)
Diced Onion
Mustard

Grill up your favorite meat, and when it’s ready here’s the order for piling up the delicious food on your plate: (Large paper plates worked well for us.) First, add about 1 cup each of Mac salad, baked beans (COLD, not hot), and either home fries or french fries (your choice… some of our guests had both!) Next, add the meat. Two pieces. Next cover the plate with a ladle-full of the special sauce from above. Add some diced onion and crisscross the plate with mustard. Serve with two slices of fresh bread.

And just try to finish it! :-)

Arepas!

Pabellón - Carraotas NegrasThe final piece of the pabellón meal (that I am going to post here) is a piece that can actually stand on its own. Arepas are little cakes made of precooked, white corn flour that are usually cooked on a griddle in a little bit of oil, and then cut and filled with all sorts of good things. Sometimes it’s cheese, sometimes it’s meat, or vegetables, or a combination of any of those.

They come in all sizes, but for the pabellón meal, generally I make them about 2 1/2-3 inches in diameter. (If the arepa is the meal, they are generally 5 inches or so.) Also, they are formed to about 3/4″ thick.

Arepas
2 cups harina de maiz blanco precocido*
3 cups warm water
1 tsp salt
Canola Oil

Mix the flour and salt and water until a nice, wet dough is formed. Form round cakes by hand to the desired size. Add just enough oil to cover the cooking surface (I like to use a griddle) and cook until brown and crispy on the outside. Be sure to cook evenly on both sides. (Arepas can also be baked in the oven, usually after browning in the hot oil first. I do not usually bake mine.)

Once finished, allow to cool for a few minutes then slice open and add cheese (we use Queso De Freir, but most any white cheese will do) or whatever filling you’d like. Then enjoy!

* There are several places to get the precooked white corn flour … here are a couple of good options: Harina P.A.N. (from AmigoFoods.com), or Goya’s (white) Masarepa. I am actually able to find both at our local Wegmans.

Also, someday, I hope to visit the Caracas Arepa Bar in New York City. Check out their menu for some good ideas on what to put inside your arepas!

Pabellón Criollo (Carne Mechada)

When I was a kid, my family moved to Caracas, Venezuela. It was quite an experience, living three years of my youth in a foreign country. I learned the language, absorbed some of the culture, and acquired a taste for the food!

Now, as an adult, one of our favorite meals to make is pabellón criollo—the Venezuelan national dish!

I don’t always make the full meal, in fact, I almost never include the platanos [plantains]. (That’s just a personal preference.) But even when we just make parts, it’s fantastic! I will post each part of the meal separately here, starting with the recipe I use for the carne mechada [shredded beef].

(Note: I found this recipe posted to an internet forum several years ago now. I translated it, and of course, I modify it slightly every now and then. Usually we use a bit more meat (3lbs or so), and roughly double the rest of the ingredients. I also usually add a teaspoon and a half of Adobo once I add the meat to the vegetables.)

Carne Mechada:
1/2 kilo (about a pound) Flank Steak (any beef for roasting will do)
1 Onion, finely chopped
1 Pepper (Green and/or Red) finely chopped
2 sticks of Celery, chopped
1 Bunch of Cilantro – finely chopped
1 Can of Stewed Tomatoes
Garlic, Salt & Beef Bullion if you want

Place the meat crockpot with about a cup of water, medium onion, and a little salt. I add adobo and olive oil as well. Cook on low for many hours until tender, pulls apart easily.

Turn crockpot off, remove the meat and let it cool so you can shred it with your hands. Do not dispose of the liquid.

In a large pot, put just enough oil to cover the bottom. Heat up the oil and begin sauteing the garlic, onions, cilantro, pepper(s), and celery. Let it cook till all smells great, but do not burn the onion and garlic. After these have simmered for a bit, add the tomatoes and simmer a bit longer. Add the shredded meat and let it simmer a while longer. Now add the beef bullion, and the liquid from the crockpot. You can add a couple cups of water as well.

Stir this up and let it simmer for as long as you can, as this will let the flavors cook together. Making it delicious!

Serve when ready with rice, black beans, and arepas y platanos if you can. (More ideas for those to come!)

¡Buen provecho!