Fugazetta

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In 1893 Don Augustin Banchero arrived in Buenos Aires, Argentina from Genoa, Italy and opened one of the country’s first pizzerias. The Banchero family, who now have four branches, claim to have invented the fugazza con queso, and this cheese and onion pizza, has since practically become part of the Argentinian staple diet. Fugazzetta is a variation of the popular Argentinian treat, and is very similar to Italian-style.

What makes it different?  Well, fugazzetta is a double crusted version of fugazza, stuffed with cheese and topped with the same sweet onions and slices of green olives. Fugazzetta de verdura has all of this plus a layer of sautéed spinach and vegetables. Fugazetta is more than a  century-old Argentine pizza and it has actually been listed as a food of ‘patrimonial value’ by the Argentine Parliament.

The fugazetta reminds me of the pissaladière , a  savory caramelized onion tart with black olives, that originated from Nice in Southern France, taking  its name from pissala, a pungent anchovy paste that gives the flatbread its distinctive flavor. May I will make that one day and post the results.

Traditionally topped with a copious amount of provolone cheese, finely shredded raw onions, green olives, and dusted with a bit of oregano and red pepper flakes, fugazetta  is a wondrous creation, that is completely vegetarian.

Serves 8 to 10

Ingredients:
*For the Pizza dough:
1 teaspoons Rapid-Rising Dry Yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1 Tablespoons sugar
1 3/4 to  2 cups flour
1/2 Tablespoon coarse salt
2 Tablespoons olive oil
Extra olive oil, for Brushing the crust
*(Or a good-quality store-bought crust.)

For the Toppings:
2 Tablespoons olive oil
4 Vidalia onions, halved, thinly sliced
4 cups shredded Provolone Cheese (or Mozzarella)
3/4 cup Green Spanish  Manzanilla olives, sliced
2 teaspoons dried oregano
Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste

Directions:
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a dough hook, proof the yeast by combining it with the warm water and sugar. Stir gently to dissolve. Let stand 3 minutes until foam appears. Turn mixer on low and slowly add the flour to the bowl. Dissolve salt in 1 tablespoons of warm water and add it to the mixture. Pour in the olive oil. When the dough starts to come together, increase the speed to medium. Stop the machine periodically to scrape the dough off the hook. Mix until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes, adding flour as necessary.

Turn the dough out onto a work surface and fold over itself a few times. Form the dough into a round and place in an oiled bowl, turn to coat the entire ball with oil so it doesn’t form a skin. Cover with plastic wrap or damp towel and let rise over a gas pilot light on the stovetop or other warm place until doubled in size, about 45 minutes

Coat a sheet pan with a little olive oil and corn meal. Once the dough is doubled and domed, turn it out onto the counter. Roll and stretch the dough out to an oblong shape about 1/4-inch thick. Lay the flattened dough on the pan and cover with plastic wrap. Let rest for 15 minutes.

In the meantime, coat a small saute pan with olive oil, add the onions, and cook over low heat for 30-45 minutes until the onions are deep brown and caramelized. Add a pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper, then cook for another few minutes. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Uncover the dough. Brush the crust with a bit of olive oil, then Scatter the provolone cheese, caramelized onions, olives, oregano and red pepper flakes over he surface of the dough.  Bake on the bottom rack for 10 to 15 minutes.

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TODAY.com Parenting Team FC Contributor

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Thai-Style Pumpkin Soup

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This past Summer, I was stuck on cauliflower and all the wonderful edible things that could be made from it.

Well, the  vegetable obsession saga continues. This Autumn, I am obsessed with PUMPKINS.……

Through the fall and  winter months there are a good number of vegetables and fruit that guarantee a seasonal supply of nutrition. Pumpkin is a particularly good example, capable of being stored for several months. Low in cholesterol and sodium, it is also a good source of vitamins A, B6, C and E, thiamin, niacin, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper and manganese.

Just like with any type of food, people tend to fall into two camps when it comes to pumpkin flavored foods; they either love it or hate it. If you are in the ‘love it’ camp then read on. Because I think that you are going to love this Thai inspired recipe that is perfect for the transitional days of Autumn to Winter.

Enjoy!

Serves 6
Ingredients:
For the Soup:
4 pounds fresh pumpkin flesh, peeled and chopped into large chunks
1  yellow onion, chopped
Two 15-ounce cans organic coconut milk
4 cups vegetable stock
4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon Kosher salt

For the Red Curry Paste:
2 Thai red chillies
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
4 lemongrass stalks, tough outer leaves removed and chopped
2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 red onion, finely chopped
grated zest and juice of 2 limes

1 Tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped, for garnish

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350°F.

To make the red curry paste, simply place all of the ingredients into a blender and process until it turns to a paste.  Remove to a non-metallic bowl, cover  with plastic wrap and set aside.

Place the chopped pumpkin flesh on a baking sheet, sprinkle on the salt and drizzle with half of the olive oil. Put in the pre-heated oven for about 30 minutes or so, until the flesh is soft when pierced with a sharp knife. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of   olive oil in a  Dutch oven or a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes until it is soft and translucent. Add the pumpkin flesh and the red curry paste. Quickly stir to combine and then add the coconut milk and the vegetable stock.Bring the contents of the pan to a gentle simmer, lower the heat and cover the pan. Cook for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, then remove from the heat and allow it to cool for a another 10 minutes.

Put the soup into a blender, doing so in several  batches and process until smooth. Return the blended soup back to the  Dutch oven or stock pot and reheat gently, simmering, and NOT boiling.

Serve the hot soup in bowls, garnished with the chopped cilantro.

Photo Credit: Eat Drink Paleo, 2013


Tofu Nuggets

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Adapted from
Alice Currah
Kitchen Explorers, 2015

These seasoned fried tofu nuggets make a great vegetarian option for the more popular chicken nuggets. Dipped in a seasoned batter and pan fried to a crisp golden brown, these nuggets are known to convert tofu haters into lovers.Unlike chicken, making a baked version of this dish is not easy or recommended. There is so much moisture the tofu holds that frying at a relatively high heat quickly gives the batter its nice crispy golden texture. If the tofu sits out too long, the batter becomes wet due to the liquid within the tofu. So enjoy them while they are warm. These seasoned tofu nuggets are irresistibly good and will make tofu haters into lovers. Enjoy!

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients:
1 package extra firm tofu
½ cup chickpea flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 vegetable bullion cube, slightly dissolved in 1/4 teaspoon of  water
2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast (available in the health food section, bulk spices)
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon Chinese Five Spice powder
½ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon black pepper
2/3 cup water
Coconut oil, for frying

Directions:
Place the block of tofu on top of a flat strainer and place a flat plate over the top of the tofu. Then place a heavy pot on top of the plate. This will allow the tofu to expel as much water as possible. Allow the tofu to drain for 1 hour.

Cut the tofu into rough, 2-inch cubes.

In a medium bowl, stir in the flour,  baking powder, baking soda, yeast,  dissolved bullion, garlic powder, salt,  five spice powder paprika and black pepper.Slowly add the water, whisking as you go. The mixture should be the consistency of pancake batter.

Pour 1/3-inch level of oil into a medium pan. Heat the oil on medium heat.

Working in small batches, generously coat the tofu cubes with the seasoned batter.

Without overcrowding the pan, fry the bottom of the tofu until the batter turns to a crispy golden brown. Flip the cubes and cook until the rest of the tofu cubes are crispy and golden brown. Place finished cubes on a plate lined with a paper towel.

Continue to do this until all the cubes have been fried.

The tofu will be very hot. Allow the tofu to cool for five minutes. Serve with your choice of condiment and enjoy while warm and crisp.

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