Category Archives: pizza

Baked Whole Wheat Tomato Pockets

It is calzone? Is it a pie? No it’s a baked tomato pocket, the perfect little snack, appetizer or to have a couple for lunch. These delicious, lasagna-like treats are quick and easy to make. The crust is loaded with the goodness of whole wheat and olive oil, or use store bought rolled up pie  crust instead.  Try it instead of pizza for a change!

It make an excellent tapa and can be enjoyed  with blue cheese, sopressata, and a glass of Fernet Branca

Ingredients: (makes 12 pockets)

1 recipe pie crust
3 fresh roma tomatoes, chopped
2 Tbsp chopped basil
3 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup ricotta or cream cheese
salt & pepper to taste


For the crust:

2 cups  whole wheat flour
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp sugar 
1/2 cup chilled water 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Meanwhile , prepare crust. Place flour, salt and sugar in a food processor and pulse to mix .  Turn mix to on and add the olive oil by  drizzle . You should have a weird looking wet sand mix. With the machine on, add water by tablespoons till a ball forms and stop. Take dough out and place in bowl and cover with plastic and place in the fridge. Let rest for 15 minutes .

Take out of the fridge and roll out pie crust ,cut 2 to 3 inch diameter circles.  You may use a biscuit cutter,  but a can or a an inverted glass work just as well. Place the chopped tomatoes in a bowl, add the chopped basil, add salt & pepper to taste.
In the center of each dough  circle, place 1 tbsp of the tomato mix and a teaspoon of ricotta. Seal the circle to the top by wetting the crust and pinching it together with your fingers.

Drizzle a baking sheet with olive oil, place the pockets 2 inches apart and brush the rest of the olive oil on top of the pockets. Bake for 20 minutes or until the pockets are golden brown. Enjoy with blue cheese, sopressata, and a glass of Fernet Branca

Caviar and Steak Tartare by Petrossian


Yes , I know. The economy is a mess, we are all on tenterhooks and the mood is save, save, save. But There are those important occasions in which we deserve a gourmet treat. An this my dears is it! The chefs  from Petrossian shared this exquisite caviar and steak tartare recipe . 
Tartare is a is a meat dish made from finely chopped high grade beef; combine with a good caviar and you are in heaven.
Although you might have some health concerns on account of the danger of contamination by  bacteria, the important point is to get your meat and caviar from trusted sources: a good butcher shop and Petrossian.

Petrossian is an upscale french restaurant right next to Central Park in NYC. It’s in a beautiful, old-world style building and has great atmosphere and food. If that is out of your way, don’t worry, they ship to any destination.  

So kick back, have a little luxury to ease these troubled times and ENJOY!

Ingredients ( 4 servings)

24 ounces of beef tenderloin, cleaned and minced by hand
Tabasco Sauce to taste
Salt and Pepper to taste
4 Tablespoons of drained capers, chopped
4 tablespoons of Dijon mustard
6 ounces of minced shallots
6 ounces of minced chives
4 ounces of minced piquillo peppers
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 ounce of Armagnac
Caviar, 80 grams


1 baguette cut ¼” thick and lightly toasted, approximately 24 pieces

8 ounces of salad greens


In a large chilled bowl, add the  beef, tabasco sauce, salt and pepper, the capers, mustard, shallots, chives, peppers , olive oil  and Armagnac. Mix with a spoon to combine and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper if needed. Pack 6 ounces of the tartare into a ring mold set on a chilled plate. Push down with a spoon to keep the mixture compact. Top with 20 grams of the caviar, smoothing out the top gently with a spoon and remove the mold. Serve with 6 croutons and 2 ounces of greens on the side. ENJOY!

Pocket Meat Pies AKA Empanadas

These wonderful pocket pastries have multiple incarnations among several cultures. Our Savory version are a recipe that is typical from Spain and the former colonies  South America. Seasoned browned meat meets the sweetness of cumin raisins and the right touch of chopped olives.  Look for pre- made pastry dough in the ethic section of the frozen food aisle or  make 2 large ones with prepared pie crusts . Can’t find empanada rounds? Get frozen pizza dough and cut 12 equal squares.  Stretch a tad to get a 5 inch square and follow recipe to make lovely triangle- shaped empanadas .ENJOY!

Ingredients ( for 1 dozen or two large pie crust size)

1 1/2 pound ground lean meat
1 large onion chopped
3 Tbls canola oil
1/4 cup of raisins soaked in 1/4 cup water
10 green olives, chopped
1 1/2 TBSP cumin
2 Hard Boiled eggs, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
1 egg beaten for wash  
1 package empanada rounds or 2 pie crusts (*)


In a large skillet on medium high heat brown meat with cumin. Remove meat from pan, keep the drippings and add the oil and chopped onion. Cook till onions are translucent but not brown. Turn heat to low and add chopped olives, the raisins. stir in well. Turn off heat and add salt and pepper to taste. Let cool, then gently add the chopped eggs.

Meanwhile preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Take dough out of package  and fill each round with 2  Tbsp of mixture. Moisten edges using your fingertip dipped in water.  Fold each round in half and seal either by braiding the edges, by squeezing or pinching in a zig-zag fashion with your fingertips, or by pressing down with the prongs of a fork. Place pies on a baking sheet and brush on egg-wash. 
Bake in the oven for 25 minutes or till  edges are golden. Remove from oven , let sit for 5 minutes s and serve . Enjoy as part of a tapas display with  a lovely Spaniard Tempranillo or an interesting Argentinean Malbec .

(*) please pay attention to ingredients for food allergies.
Can’t find empanada rounds? Get frozen pizza dough and cut 12 equal squares.  Stretch a tad to get a 5 inch square and follow recipe to make lovely triangle- shaped empanadas . ENJOY! 







Roasted Peppers



Want to add something delicious , elegant and easy to make to your table? Then roast your own  peppers!
Roasted peppers are used as condiments to meats, can me chopped and used in salads, to top pizza, can be served as a tapas or easy appetizer , and are a must to roasted pepper and gorgonzola panini! 
Choose large, unblemished sweet peppers for roasting.  They can be roasted on a grill, in the oven or simply on the stovetop.  Any color of sweet pepper will do, we found that the red, yellow and orange ones seamed a lot more appealing roasted than the green or purple varieties.  Fell free to add a poblano  pepper to the mix if you want some zing.

Ingredients: ( for 1 cup of roasted peppers)

4 whole sweet peppers intact , washed   
1  plastic zip-top  bag
salt and pepper to taste 
drizzle of olive oil


Adjust oven rack to middle position. Pre heat oven to 375 degrees.  Place whole peppers  ( yes with stem and all) on one side on a baking tray . Cook for 15 minutes or till you see skin turning slightly black. Use a pair of cooking tongs to carefully remove from oven and place in the bag. Close the bag and let stand for 30 minutes or until they are cool enough to handle. Place peppers in a bowl and peel skin off with your fingers capturing  the juices coming from the peppers in the bowl. Remove and discard stem and seeds. Add salt pepper and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. ENJOY!

Grill/ Stovetop method:

Set stovetop to medium high. With the aid of cooking tongs, carefully place peppers , one at a time , on your stovetop. If you have electric coils, place pepper sideways  directly on the coils. Let cook till that side turns slightly black and turn . Repeat for the other side. Remove from heat  and place in the bag. Close the bag and let stand for 30 minutes or until they are cool enough to handle. Place peppers in a bowl and peel skin off with your fingers capturing  the juices coming from the peppers in the bowl. Remove and discard stem and seeds. Add salt pepper and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. ENJOY!


The peppers will keep in their juices in a fridge for a week. 

Whole Wheat Pizza Florentine

Pizza that is actually good for you? too good to be true ? You will want to make this not because it is good for you, but because it’s so delicious.  Here at the Gastronomous kitchen, we  proudly “fooled” several tasters (kids included) to believe it’s ready-frozen pizza from the grocery store!

After some time in the works, we finally did it! Our pizza is loaded with protein ( from the whole wheat), lycopene from the fresh tomatoes , iron and vitamin A from the spinach! We also used part skim shredded mozzarella which added calcium and little fat. Try it without guilt!

For the dough:
2  all-purpose flour
1 and 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup warm water (baby bottle temperature)
1 and 1/2 Tbls sugar
1 Tbls active dry yeast (1 small pack)
1 tsp salt
2 Tbls oil

2 1/2 cups part skim shredded mozzarella
1/cup chopped Roma tomatoes (discard liquid)
1/2 cup chopped frozen spinach
1 clove garlic, minced
oregano, basil to taste

In a large bowl, combine water with sugar and yeast. Let rest for 5 minutes till yeast blooms.  Add the oil and the salt.

If you are using a food , place flour in the processor and feed the water/oil mixture litelt by little, about 2 Tbls at a time. Process for 10 seconds, add more through feed tube till a ball forms. Pay close attention to the consistency since  you ay need a little more warm water or flour.

Continue processing 2 minutes to kneed the dough. Remove from processor and let rest in a covered bowl at room temperature for 30 minutes. Punch dough down and shape to fit desired pan.

Sprinkle the pan with flour, place dough on top and bake in a 450 degree oven for 8 minutes.

Remove and place the toppings on the pizza and bake degree oven till cheese melts ( between 5 and 15 minutes). Baking time will depend on the thickness of the crust and the heat of your oven.

Slice into eight parts and serve immediately. Enjoy!

Tools: Use a pizza pan or go all the way!!!

28014 14 IN. PIZZA PAN 28014 14 IN. PIZZA PAN   

BETTY CROCKER PERFORATED PIZZA CRISPER Clear coated non-stick finish Dishwasher safe 28014 14 IN. PIZZA PAN SIZE:14 $8.69


Bialetti 4-pc. Pizza Stone Set Bialetti 4-pc. Pizza Stone Set      

This handy Pizza Set from Bialetti includes a pizza stone ideal for baking both homemade or frozen pizzas, serving rack, pizza peel, and pizza cutter. Bialetti now brings its classic Italian quality and modern Italian design to their kitchen gadgets. Origin: China Warranty: 10 Year Dimensions: 14.75-in. $29.95