Marie Barone isn't the only one...
I have been holding onto a secret for quite some time… or rather, secret recipe.
Did you ever watch the show, Everybody Loves Raymond? Marie Barone was one of my favorite characters. I mean, she could cook some beautiful foods, though she was very secretive of this. One recipe in particular got my gears moving and my curiosity on high alert. It was steak pizzaiola, a name that I memorized and thought about quite a bit.
Carne Pizzaiola means “meat in pizza style,” and is mostly made with cheaper cuts of beef, but can be other meats such as chicken. Basically, it is a wide range of combinations that you can use. The best way to put it is that the meat is a replacement for pizza crust. I have no idea on where in Italy this dish was first made, or even when, but I thank the Italians for such lovely fare.
I decided to look a recipe up and you’re probably going to giggle at where I found it at… I hijacked Martha Stewart’s recipe for her easier version (she has both that and traditional). I made it the first time several years ago, but right away I decided to change what I saw because her recipe seemed so… well… herbless? She was using round steak, which is quite lacking of flavor to begin with, and there wasn’t much in the way of even Oregano. I don’t even remember if she used it or not.
I thought about how I like my pizza in general and went for it. My family gobbled it up, including my very picky dad who didn’t like flavor much (aka, he had a bland pallet, the poor man). Guess what? It’s actually very easy to make, and you don’t even have to tenderize the meat because it’s a slow cooked, one pot/pan meal!
Totally optional but worth it, refined method:
Serve with pasta or bread if desired!
Note: I omitted the paste because that is how I like the sauce, so it might look different on my plate than it will look on yours if you use the paste.
The best part of this recipe is that you can play with it, adding what you like on pizza. If you are so inclined to add mushrooms, or other meats, or what have you. I like to keep it simple, closer to traditional. If you use a different meat, your cooking time might change, Chicken breast is better added back into the pan close to the end of the sauce cooking so it doesn’t dry up, chicken thigh would probably work better.
Funny story about a different protein that I used once for this recipe… My dad absolutely loathed venison. He swore up and down that he would be able to tell if it was deer or not. My sister asked me to cook dinner for a Christmas gathering, perhaps a few years back, knowing that dad would throw a fit if he knew it was Bambi in the pan and not Heifer. Challenge accepted. I made one of my best batches of pizzaiola that evening, making sure I was there before everyone else so dad wouldn’t see the venison before it was cooked. It turned out so tender and delicious that dad ate seconds… I had fooled him into eating deer meat!
When I told him a year or so later that we fed him Bambi, he said, “I knew it all along,” in that tone of voice a kid gets when they find out they’ve been duped.
And I laughed and laughed. (I kid)
With that all being said, I bid you good day and:
Yesterday was grand, a quiet Thanksgiving spent at home with my husband. I had a chance to contemplate many things that I am thankful for. My list is quite long, so here are a few things: I am thankful for my husband, who has been a cornerstone for me in the rough times of illness. I am grateful for my family and friends who have been patient and understanding, and stuck by me even when I was grumpy. I am grateful to have a roof over my head, food to fill my belly, and clothing on my back. And finally, I am grateful for being able to write these blog posts for my friends and new readers, who drive me to keep going when sometimes it's very hard for me to do so. Thank you all.
This year, I finally got to give my husband a feast made by me for Thanksgiving. I know it's not just about the food, but food is a good chunk of it and it was important to me that I get to do this special thing for Bruce. Add to that, but I saw an opportunity to develop some recipes for this blog and test them out. I have at least four recipes, maybe five, that I am going to share with you in no certain order. I have plenty of material to work with that, depending on how I feel, I will be able to share them with you at least once a week or so. Plus I have two other blogs planned involving my readers, and one about pantries.
I decided that this year, I would prep for two or three days before the big day... I must say that it was probably the best thing I could have done for myself. I had almost everything at the ready by the time Thanksgiving rolled around, and it was the easiest Thanksgiving I have ever dealt with! I made at least twelve things, two of which were unplanned. My challenge to myself was to use as many ingredients as I could that I already had on hand, and spend as little money as possible for the rest. I spent around $25 when the whole feast was worth at least $60, if not more.
Here was my menu (Recipes planned for the blog**):
Turkey with gravy
Pumpernickel and Walnut Stuffing**
Classic Green Bean Casserole
Roasted Squash and Seeds
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Italian Cheeses
Goat Cheese Mashed Potatoes with Bacon and Scallions, garnished with fried potato skins**
Cranberry Apple Relish**
Sweet Potato Cheesecake with Marshmallow Mousse**
Pecan Pie (Frozen, not going to lie.)
Home Made Bread Rolls
Today's recipe is going to be the mashed potatoes. I ended up loving this one the most out of everything! They were creamy and delicious, with a nice tangy note from the goat cheese, and they held up well to the gravy. I also plan on making a leftover reboot out of this one because I can't stand eating leftovers with the same flavors day in and day out.
Fair warning, there are lots of steps/dishes involved, and these spuds are rich and decadent (aka, not a diet food). I will include lighter options in the notes. With that in mind, proceed :)
MISE EN PLACE
Everything in place
I have a few more recipes up my sleeve for you, and I hope you enjoy this one in fellowship with your friends or family. If you have any comments or questions, do let me know! Feel free to send me pictures of your creations using my recipe as a base. I would love to post your pictures and shout you out.
The Eccentric Foodie
Cooking bacon in the oven is the easiest way.
These are various recipes that either I created, or I found and adjusted to what I thought would be awesome or even healthier.