April’s first recipe test: Strawberry Bruschetta, Thin crust cheese pizza and apple cinnamon chimichangas. Deliciousness.
The cast of characters for the Strawberry Bruschetta:
Cutting up the strawberries:
Mixing the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and pepper:
Slicing the baked french baguette on a bias:
Once you’re ready to eat, just spread on some goat cheese, drip on the olive oil and balsamic vinegar mixture, add the strawberries and top with basil. YUM:
The cast of characters for the thin crust cheese pizza:
Mixing the ingredients for the pizza sauce. I can tell this will be on heavy rotation in my kitchen:
The cast of characters for the apple cinnamon chimichangas:
After making the apple mixture we rolled it up in tortillas:
Then we fried them up in a heart healthy(er) corn oil and then gave them a bath in a cinnamon sugar. Next time I would love to add some cheesecake mixture to try to recreate Applebee’s old cheesecake chimichanga that was my favorite dessert. It was a sad day when they discontinued it.
The completed meal- SO TASTY!!:
Want to test out these delicious recipes?
Yield: about 4-6 servings
1 cup strawberries, hulled and diced
1 tbsp. sugar
1 French baguette, sliced on a bias
4 oz. goat cheese
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
¼ cup minced basil leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
thin crust cheese pizza
Yield: 2 13-inch pizzas
For the crust:
3 cups (16½ oz.) bread flour
2 tsp. sugar
½ tsp. instant yeast
1 1/3 cups ice water
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1½ tsp. salt
For the sauce:
1 (28 oz.) can whole peeled tomatoes, drained
1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. oregano
¼ tsp. ground black pepper
Olive oil, for brushing
½ cup (1 oz.) finely grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups (8 oz.) shredded whole-milk mozzarella
To make the dough, combine the flour, sugar, and yeast in the bowl of a food processor* fitted with the metal blade. Pulse just to combine. With the machine running, add the ice water through the feed tube and process just until the dough is combined and all dry ingredients are incorporated, about 10 seconds. Let dough rest for 10 minutes.
Add the oil and salt to the dough. Process until the dough forms a smooth, tacky ball that clears the sides of the bowl, about 30-60 seconds. Remove the dough from the bowl, knead briefly on a lightly oiled work surface, about 1 minute. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 24 hours and up to 3 days. (After the period of refrigeration, the dough can be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and frozen for later use.)
To make the sauce, combine all ingredients in a food processor. Blend until smooth, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a bowl or container and refrigerate until ready to use.
One hour before baking the pizza, adjust an oven rack to the second highest position and place a baking stone on the rack to preheat. Preheat the oven to 500˚ F. Remove the pizza dough from the refrigerator and divide in half. (If you plan to freeze a portion of the dough, this is the time to wrap in plastic, place in a freezer bag and freeze for later use.) Form each half into a ball and place on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Spray the dough balls lightly with cooking spray. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour.
To assemble the pizza, transfer a dough ball to a well floured work surface. Flatten into an 8-inch disk, leaving a slightly thicker edge around the rim. Using your hands, gently stretch the dough to a 12-inch circle. (I needed to use the rolling pin a bit to get my crust thin enough.) Transfer the dough to a well floured pizza peel and stretch to a 13-inch circle. Lightly brush the thicker edge of the disk with olive oil. Spread ½ cup of the pizza sauce over the dough. Sprinkle evenly with the grated Parmesan and the shredded mozzarella. Carefully transfer the pizza to the preheated baking stone. Bake until the cheese is bubbling and slightly browned, 10-12 minutes. Let cool about 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
* This dough can also be made in a stand mixer or by hand. Keep in mind, the idea is to avoid warming the dough, so a food processor or mixer is optimal.
* I used pizza dough from Trader Joe’s- and it was fantastic. So if you want to make it a little easier for yourself, go ahead and cut a few corners and go the grocery store route.
Cinnamon apple dessert chimichangas
For the Apple Pie Filling
- 4 baking apples, chopped (I used a mix of granny smith and gala apples)
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 Tbs. lemon juice
For the Chimichangas
- 8-10 small tortillas
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 Tbs. cinnamon
- Oil for frying
For the Apple Pie Filling
- Combine the water, cornstarch, sugar, cinnamon, salt, and lemon juice in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook for approximately 3 minutes, or until the mixture becomes very thick.
- Add the chopped apples and reduce to a simmer. Allow the apple mixture to simmer until the apples become just tender (approximately 10 minutes). Allow the mixture to cool.
For the Chimichangas
- Mix cinnamon and sugar in a shallow bowl and set aside.
- Spoon apple pie filling across the bottom 1/3 of the tortilla.
- Roll in both sides of the tortilla before rolling up the bottom of the tortilla over the filling, and then continue to roll the tortilla up like a burrito.
- Meanwhile, heat a small skillet with 1/2 an inch of oil. Once oil is hot, fry the chimichangas on all sides until the tortilla turns golden brown. (approximately 30 seconds on each side)
- Remove the chimichangas to a paper towel-lined plate and allow to drain briefly. Immediately roll the warm chimichanga in the cinnamon sugar mixture to coat and serve.
- You can serve the chimichangas drizzled with caramel sauce if you desire.