culinary review

Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich

Last Modified: 10/01/15
First Published: 02/22/08
Views: 4318
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General Info
Servings: 1
Total Cost: $0.29
Cost Per Serving: $0.29
Total Calories: 370
Calories/Serving: 370
Bread, White (2 slices) * 60.00 Grams $0.15 120
Peanut Butter 2 Tablespoons 32.00 Grams $0.10 200
Grape Jelly 1 Tablespoon 20.00 Grams $0.04 50
Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich

Creamed Lobster Mushroom Toast

Last Modified: 09/07/11
First Published: 09/07/11
Views: 489

Walking through the local farmer's market the other day, I came across something called lobster mushrooms at the mushroom stand. Never having heard of it before, and intrigued by it's bright red/orange color, I decided to try it out.

As I wanted to carefully taste and experience this mushroom without too much interference, I decided to cook it simply: the way mushrooms (especially chanterelles) exceed and showcase their unique texture and flavor. In other words, I decided to sauté the mushrooms in butter, add a bit of cream and serve it on toast.

So that's exactly what I did. I began by cleaning the mushrooms under water, getting off any dirt. Then I cut off the hard parts of the stem and diced in smaller pieces. Using a generous pat of butter I sauteed them, adding a bit of salt and pepper. I was surprised to see this mushroom did not give off much water, as you would expect with chanterelles or button mushroom. Once they were browned, I added a bit of whipping cream and let the whole thing come together and simmer for a few minutes until the cream thickened.

This mushroom sauce was served over white toast and topped with a bit of fresh parsley.

And the verdict of this mushroom? It had a very meaty texture, perhaps not quite as much flavor as I had hoped for, but good nonetheless. I can imagine this would be an excellent mushrooms to use as a part in a stew, or with other mushrooms in a risotto for example.

Quick and Easy Thin Crust Pizza Dough

Last Modified: 10/05/10
First Published: 12/10/06
Views: 3459

This is a great recipe to make pizza dough. The method below produces a thin, crispy crust.


  • 1 cup cold water
  • 2 cups AP (all purpose) Flour
  • 1 packet instant yeast
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp saltpizza dough


Place dry ingredients in a food processor with the dough blade, pusle a few times to distribute the flour, salt and yeast.

While on add the oil through the feed tube, and slowly add the cold (ice) water.

As the dough ball forms let continue for about 30 seconds. This process will tenderize the dough and replaces the kneeding process.

pizza dough

Let rise for about 2 hours.

After your dough has risen begin to stretch it out carefully with olive oil. Use your oiled palms and form a circle, slowly stetching out the dough each time you move across it. Leave a little dough on the edge to form a crust.

Preheat oven 500 degrees F

Place on a pizza stone and let cook for around 12 minutes.


Do not place too much sauce on the dough and leave enough room along the edges. We like homemade pesto, tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese.

This would be a great dough to make pizza sticks as well as calzones.

Basic Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Last Modified: 08/18/10
First Published: 03/05/08
Views: 1892

grilled cheese

Here is a very basic grilled cheese sandwich with white bread and cheddar cheese. Of course you could replace the cheddar with some other kind of cheese - the calorie content should basically be the same.


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for more information, including
measurement conversions
General Info
Servings: 1
Total Cost: $0.43
Cost Per Serving: $0.43
Total Calories: 334
Calories/Serving: 334
Bread, White (2 slices) * 60.00 Grams $0.15 120
Cheddar Cheese (sliced or shredded) * 1.00 Ounce $0.22 114
Butter, Unsalted 1 Tablespoon 14.00 Grams $0.06 100

A nonstick pan works optimal when making grilled cheese sandwiches, however a seasoned cast iron pan would also work.

If your butter is soft, then butter the two slices of bread. Add the cheese between the two slices and grill a couple of minutes on each side until the cheese has melted and the bread is crusty. 

Otherwise, assemble the sandwich, melt half the butter in the pan, saute the sandwich on one side. Then lift the sandwich up, add the remaining butter and grill on the other side. 

Grilled Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Another way to do a real grilled cheese sandwich is to use a grill pan. So we used the Old Mountain Cast Iron Grill with your basic bread, butter, cheese combination. Using this pan you get great grill marks, crispy bread and excellent cheese flavor. The one thing to make sure is that you start with melting your butter on medium-low heat, that way the butter does not burn and the cheese has a chance to melt before the bread becomes crispy.

Just flip over and add more butter to do the other side.

Onion, Pecorino Ramono, Prosciutto Pizza

Last Modified: 07/10/10
First Published: 06/28/10
Views: 509

Creating a pizza is more than just red tomato sauce, cheese and crust. The concept of pizza allows just about any combination of ingredients you can throw together. Tomato-mozzarella-basil is classic, tomato-?cheese?-pepperoni is normal, pesto as a topping is workable - pesto replacing tomato sauce is better. And a pesto pizza works well with feta, black olives and red onions.

But with all these combinations, if the ingredients are not managed well they can get out of hand. In trying to go with a simpler set of compatible ingredients we came up with white onions (diced), pecorino romano and prosciutto. Three ingredients seems to be the magic number with pizza. A good crust with a combination of three distinct flavors is just about perfect.

To add even more flavor we wanted to cook the whole thing on the grill. You want to manage your heat carefully so you don't burn the crust, but as long as you use fewer coals (or lower heat) and the grill cover you can really get something different out of your normal pizza night.

Basil, Tomato, Fontina Pizza on the Grill

Last Modified: 06/30/10
First Published: 06/28/10
Views: 508

Grilling a pizza is a great way to be outside as well as attain that great smokey grill flavor.

We based this pizza on a no-sauce design. So we took a few really ripe tomatoes and placed them in a cast iron pan directly on the grill, and closed the top. After a few minutes turn them to get both sides done.

Then add the tomatoes, fontina and basil on the dough. We used a pizza peel and placed the pizza directly on to the grill surface. Cover the pizza with the grill lid and give it about 8 minutes or so. The bottom will become really crispy.

If you want both sides crispy just wait with the toppings and cook both sides of the pizza dough on the grill first, then put the toppings on and just melt the cheese.

How to make Pizza Dough

Last Modified: 06/29/10
First Published: 06/28/10
Views: 733

We made this pizza dough with just a few simple ingredients. First start with Bread flour. Then add water, sugar, yeast, salt and a little olive oil. Mix in a food processor and let rise for a total of 2 hours.


2 1/2 cups bread flour

1 tablespoon sugar

2 teaspoons dry active yeast

2 tablespoons warm water

1 - 1 1/4 cups cold water


Add the yeast to the warm water and sugar in a small bowl. Let the yeast become a little active and you should see some bubbles.

Then add the flour to a food processor or stand mixer with the dough hook. Add the yeast mixture and salt, mix a little and then add the cold water. If you see that the dough is a little dry add some olive oil (1 - 2 tablespoons). Run the machine for 3 - 5 minutes.

If the dough is still sticky add a little flour. Then place the dough in a bowl. You can knead it a little first and form it into a ball.

Cover and let rise for 1 1/2 hours.

Then cut the dough into small pieces. You may want 4 crusts or just 2. Either way you work the dough a little and place them on a sheet pan for another 30 minutes.

At this point the dough is ready to form into pizza and cook. 10-12 minutes for the oven at 450° F, or 8 minutes if you are using an outside charcol grill. Toppings are optional and your choice.

Interesting Flavored Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Last Modified: 05/29/10
First Published: 05/29/10
Views: 548
Nothing beats a simple grilled cheese sandwich at times: it's crunchy, soft and just addictive. The grilled cheese cheesesandwich is certainly one of the best comfort foods there is, and best of all, it's quick and easy to make. However, simple grilled cheese is tasty, but if you want to fix it up a bit, then there are lots of fun additions you can add which can turn a classic to something new and exciting.

Traditionally cheddar cheese is used in the grilled cheese sandwich, however don't feel limited to this one cheese. Mozzarella, Monterrey Jack, Provolone, Gouda, Fontina and Swiss as well as more flavorful cheeses such as blue cheese and goat cheese are all good candidates for a delicious grilled sandwich.

The basic:
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 8 sliced sandwich breads
  • 2 cups shredded cheese


Assemble sandwiches. Brush top of each slice with butter. Lay buttered side down in nonstick skillet. Cook 5 minutes. Turn, do another 4 minutes. Keep in a 200 degree oven while you do the other two.

While the basic is fine as it is, it can be fun to mix it up a bit. Try one of these additions to the sandwich:


- Pesto & Fresh Tomatoes

- Roasted Red Peppers & Tapenade (olive, capers and anchovy spread)

- Sundried tomatoes & artichokes

- Salami, Brie Cheese & basil

- Roast Beef & Sauteed Mushrooms

- Chipotle Adobo Chili & Turkey

Pissaladiere French Pizza with Caramelized Onions, Olives & Anchovies

Last Modified: 05/18/10
First Published: 05/12/10
Views: 699
pizza and soup
This is a classic French pizza which is traditionally not made with either cheese nor tomato sauce, but instead with flavorful caramelized onions, olives and anchovies. It's very flavorful and delicious and is a great dish to make if you're tired of the regular pizza and you're looking for something interesting and tasty.

The secret to making a very good Pissaladiere is to use a thin crust. We like to oil our hands and the dough and stretch it out on parchment paper, then add the toppings, slide a wooden pizza spade under it and bake it on a hot baking stone. That way the bottom will get crisp and the filling will be well balanced.

When it comes to making caramelized onions, time is really the key. The longer you caramelize them, the more flavor they will get, don't do any less than 30 minutes. Flavorful Kalamata olives are really to be preferred, however if you don't have that on hand, regular ones will work as well.

Anchovies can be a bit tricky. If your whole family don't like them, then add them on half of the pizza.

Traditionally there is no cheese on this pizza and most of the time we do it that way. However this time we had some leftover cheese in the fridge that we wanted to use up, so we added some. Of course that was really tasty as well, although try it first without any cheese, just to see that you don't really need it!


  • Pizza Dough
  • Butter
  • Lots of onions (at least 4-5 for 4 people)
  • olives
  • anchovies
Make the pizza dough according to instructions.  Put the oven on as high as it goes. Ideally have a baking stone in the oven.

Slice the onions, add some butter and saute the onions on the stove. Add some salt on them and cook on medium heat for as long as you have. If you need to deglaze, use white wine, dry vermouth or regular water.

Cut up the olives.

Assemble the pizza: Stretch it out thinly. Put on a layer of caramelized onions, then olives and anchovies. Bake in the oven for about 8-14 minutes depending on the heat of your oven, thickness of pizza and size of pizza.

When it comes out of the oven, let sit for at least 5 minutes before slicing.

Bagel with Cream Cheese

Last Modified: 03/06/08
First Published: 03/06/08
Views: 1252

Can it get more simple than a plain bagel with cream cheese? For a more interesting sandwich - add some smoked salmon, sliced deli meat or fresh vegetables such as tomato, cucumber, red pepper, arugula salad etc...

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for more information, including
measurement conversions
General Info
Servings: 1
Total Cost: $0.89
Cost Per Serving: $0.89
Total Calories: 360
Calories/Serving: 360
Bagel, Plain * 100.00 Grams $0.71 259
Cream Cheese 2 Tablespoons 29.00 Grams $0.19 101
Toast the bagel and spread it with cream cheese.