Margherita Pizza

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Hunter picked up some beautiful flowers from the farmer’s market last week (I wish I had a picture of them in their full glory!). Lovely blues and oranges, perfect for fall. Extra awesome bit – there was a bunch of basil in the center of the bouquet! Smells great, and deliciously useful.

Tonight, now that the last of the flowers have wilted away, we plucked out the fresh basil to make some homemade margherita pizza. Which I’ve incidentally been craving for weeks. Yum.

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(Throwback to 2013 when Hunter and I were living together in Amsterdam and didn’t have an oven. How to make pizzas in a pan.)

Margherita Pizza

  • Servings: 8ish slices (we finished the whole thing in one sitting)
  • Time: 30 min
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 cup (plus up to 3/4 cup extra) flour, we used whole wheat
  • 1 packet yeast (1/4 oz)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp honey
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2/3 cup very warm water
  • toppings: olive oil, freshly sliced mozzarella, tomatoes, basil

(A couple other fun topping ideas: (1) pesto, shrimp, garlic, sautéed mushrooms, parmesan; (2) sauteed/smashed anchovies, capers, roasted red pepper, garlic, parsley, parmesan)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees, and line a baking sheet with lightly greased parchment paper.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, mix together 1 cup flour, yeast, and salt.
  3. Add the honey, olive oil, and warm water. Bring dough together with your hands, slowly adding extra flour as needed.
  4. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough (HARD) 6-8 minutes, until the dough is nicely pliable and stretchy!
  5. Flatten and stretch out the dough with your hands (optional: throw and spin it like they do in the movies) and spread it out on the baking sheet.
  6. Bake for about 8 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven, drizzle with olive oil, and top with the sliced tomatoes and mozzarella.
  8. Bake another 8-10 minutes, until crust is firm and cheese is a melty gooey mess of deliciousness. Sprinkle fresh basil on top.
  9. Slice and serve hot!

Holy Kaprao!

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In August, I visited Thailand for a total of five days, and during that time, I ate kaprao a good three or four times. Fragrant, spicy spoonfuls of juicy ground pork, gooey fried egg and fresh basil. It’s addictive. It inevitably led to kaprao withdrawals back in Ann Arbor. Solution? Homemade kaprao in the lofty!

This dish is so fast and SO easy and SO delicious. Definitely going to be my go-to when I’m in need of a homemade Thai food fix.

Kaprao

  • Servings: 2
  • Time: 15 min
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground pork (chicken would be good too!)
  • large handful basil leaves
  • 5-10 chilli peppers, finely chopped (we used local farmer’s market cayenne peppers)
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • large pinch sugar
  • 1 fried egg, cooked rice

*Note – soy sauce, fish sauce, oyster sauce, and sugar is the base sauce for many, many Thai dishes! Once armed with these ingredients, you’re prepped to be able to keep making yummy Thai food, particularly noodles.

Directions

  1. Heat oil in a pan on high heat, then add garlic and chilli peppers (reserve a small amount for garnish) and stir for about 30 seconds.
    Wear an apron! Things get spattery :).
  2. Add ground pork and use a spatula to really smash the pork down into the oil, garlic, chillies. Break it up into small pieces.
  3. When the meat is almost done cooking, add the sauces and sugar (adjust amount to taste).
  4. Add the basil leaves, turn the heat off, and stir, letting the residual heat wilt the basil.
  5. Serve with warm rice (helps absorb some of the extra sauce and oil nom nom). Top with a fried egg and a sprinkle of fresh chillies. Squeeze of lime juice optional.