Comfort Food and Easy Entertaining

As a private chef, caterer and cooking instructor I am often asked "What do you enjoy cooking when you're at home on a weeknight or entertaining guests at your table?" I started this blog to answer that question. Here I will share with all of you the recipes that I find delicious and comforting. Many of the recipes are my own versions of classic dishes, some are contemporary twists on old ideas, and some are discoveries I made while perusing my grandmother’s vast collection of cookbooks dating back to the early 1900’s. Please enjoy these videos. I have also included links to some of the published articles I have written recently. Please feel free to comment here or email me directly with any questions, comments or general thoughts. My email address and information on my catering, private chef and private cooking classes can be found on my website:

Pizza on the Grill - Pizza Margherita

Pizza Margherita

Makes 4 pizzas
• Pizza Dough – recipe below
• All-purpose flour, for rolling
• 1 cup prepared tomato sauce
• 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
• 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
• 24 fresh basil leaves, torn
• Coarse sea salt

1. Preheat a grill or grill pan.
2. Divide dough into 4 equal pieces and shape each into a ball. Loosely cover with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap; let stand 15 minutes.
3. Using a lightly floured rolling pin or your hands, stretch each ball into a 9- to 10-inch round.
4. Place one round of dough directly on grill and cook until bottom is lightly browned and dry, about 2 minutes. Using tongs, gently turn dough and cook for 30 seconds more. Transfer to baking sheet, browned side down, and set aside. Repeat process with remaining dough.
5. Divide sauce evenly between pizzas spreading to within 1/2 inch of the edges of the dough. Top with cheese.
6. Working with 1 or 2 pizzas at a time, place on grill and cook until cheese is melted and bottom is golden brown and crisp, about 2 minutes. Repeat process with remaining pizzas. Transfer pizzas to a cutting board and drizzle with olive oil. Scatter basil leaves over each pizza and sprinkle with salt. Cut using a pizza wheel and serve immediately.

Basic Pizza Dough

Makes about 1 3/4 pounds
• 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
• 2 teaspoons instant or rapid-rise yeast
• 1 tablespoon salt
• 1 tablespoon sugar
• 1 cup warm water
• 2 tablespoons White Wine Vinegar, at room temperature
• 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1. In a large bowl, combine flour, yeast, salt, and sugar; mix until well combined. Make a well in the center and add water, wine, and olive oil. Using a wooden spoon, stir liquid into the dry ingredients until mixture becomes too stiff to stir. Continue mixing with your hands until the dough comes together and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
2. Lightly dust work surface with flour. Turn dough out onto work surface. Gently knead, dusting work surface with more flour as necessary, until dough is smooth, elastic, and only slightly sticky, about 5 minutes.
3. Oil a large clean bowl; add dough and turn to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel; set in a warm part of the kitchen and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
4. Punch down dough before using.

No comments: