Tomato Feta Tartlets

I was asked to post the recipe for the tomato tartlets shown in the photo with this Tomato Basil Bisque. They were, in fact, delicious, and I can't believe I forgot to post the recipe before! Thanks Emily for the request.

These tartlets looked and tasted fancy but were in fact, super easy. All thanks to a magical ingredient called puff pastry. If you haven't been introduced to puff pastry yet, do yourself a favor and buy some. It is amazing stuff! It will change your life! Chicken pot pie, apple tarts, tomato-feta tartlets... and a million other possibilities. The stuff is flaky and buttery and pretty and so easy to use. You'll feel like a cooking goddess for making something that tastes so fancy.

Tomato Feta Tartlets

1 sheet puff pastry dough
1 small onion
1-2 tsp olive oil
1 plum or roma tomato
½ cup feta cheese, crumbled
¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
fresh basil, roughly chopped

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice onion. Over medium-low heat, sauté onion in olive oil until caramelized, about 20 minutes. While onions caramelize, slice tomato and cut circular pieces of pastry by running a knife around the edge of a small bowl or plate. When onions are done, place about one tablespoon on each pastry round, followed by crumbled feta, then 1 or 2 tomato slices, and sprinkle parmesan on top. Sprinkle a little basil on top. Bake for 25 minutes.

Makes 4-5 tartlets.

Recipe from my good friend Alexa.


Chicken Ranch Pizza

Lately I haven't made a whole lot of new recipes. I'm still cooking a lot, I've just been making tried and true favorites from my files (this blog). I feel like I should apologize for not posting anything new. But if you're anything like me, you can still make good use of this blog and all that the archives have to offer.

Anyway, I made something new today! I decided to try a new recipe for pizza dough and the one from Annie's Eats looked and sounded amazing. I was excited to try it out since she suggests freezing the dough for later use (which I did, and it worked wonderfully). I actually made the dough earlier this week while my husband was working late and I had extra time on my hands. Usually I'm in such a hurry to get dinner ready that I wouldn't use a recipe that requires the dough to rise for 2 hours. But making this ahead of time and freezing it for when I needed it was the perfect solution. I just took it out of the freezer in the morning for dinner that night.

This dough was really simple but yielded awesome results. Annie did a whole post all about pizza, and I found her tips extremely helpful in making my pizza so much better. Short of buying a scale and measuring my ingredients by weight, I followed all her instructions and my pizza turned out amazing! I will be using this dough for all my pizza from now on.

Chicken Ranch Pizza

For the crust:
½ cup warm water
2¼ tsp. instant yeast
4 cups (22 oz.) bread flour, plus more for dusting
1½ tsp. salt
1¼ cup water, at room temperature
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

For the toppings:
¼ cup Ranch dressing
¾ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
½-1 grilled chicken breast, chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 tomato, seeded and diced
2-3 green onions, chopped
¾ cup shredded cheddar cheese

Measure the warm water into a 2-cup liquid measuring cup. Sprinkle the yeast over the top. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the bread flour and salt, mixing briefly to blend. Measure the room temperature water into the measuring cup with the yeast-water mixture. With the mixer on low speed, pour in the yeast-water mixture as well as the olive oil. Mix until a cohesive dough is formed. Switch to the dough hook. Knead on low speed until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, turning once to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size, 1½-2 hours.

Press down the dough to deflate it. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface. Divide the dough into two equal pieces. Form each piece of dough into a smooth, round ball. Wrap one of the balls of dough in plastic wrap, put in a freezer bag and freeze for later. (When it's time to use the frozen dough, put it in the fridge in the morning, then take it out of the fridge 30 minutes before you're ready to use it.) Cover ball of dough with a damp cloth. Let the dough relax for at least 10 minutes but no longer than 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven and a pizza stone to 500° F. Allow the stone to heat for at least 30 minutes. In the mean time, cut a round of parchment paper the size of your pizza stone. (Alternatively, use a pizza peel.) Sprinkle lightly with cornmeal or semolina flour. Gently roll out the pizza dough into a large circle, leaving a thicker ring around the edge for the crust. Brush crust with olive oil to help it brown while baking. Spread the Ranch dressing in a thin layer evenly over the unbaked crust. Sprinkle with shredded mozzarella. Top with grilled chicken, tomato and green onions. Sprinkle with shredded cheddar. Once assembled, carefully transfer the parchment round and pizza to the preheated baking stone and return to the oven. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and browned. Slice, serve, and enjoy!

Makes one medium pizza.

Recipe from Annie's Eats.