Pizza Rustica | How to be Aweome on $20 a Day

Pizza Rustica

Pizza Rustica | How to be Aweome on $20 a Day

At my job, I have earned an insanely undeserved reputation for being highly efficient and always up to date on procedures. People always seem to think I know what’s going and and what’s to be done about it. I don’t know where this delusion formed, but I can tell you, not only is it a lot of pressure, it’s mostly not true.

While I do strive to be well organised at work, in my real life, I am a master procrastinator. For example, it’s taken me a week to actually write this post. I can ignore dishes like a champ, and I’ll walk around with chipped nails for weeks. By far my greatest accomplishment in procrastination is my ability to avoid working out. Any excuse to not sweat, and I’m right on top of it. Yesterday I went to the dentist and couldn’t feel half my face for about four hours. My legs worked perfectly fine, but that didn’t stop me from sitting on the couch all night.

Pizza Rustica | How to be Aweome on $20 a Day

This Pizza Rustica takes a bit of time and effort up front to make. Nothing tricky, just a lot of steps. Make it on a lazy weekend, then when the week nights roll around and you don’t feel like making dinner, you can procrastinate by eating your leftover Pizza Rustica. It will be just as awesome the next day, and there won’t be any pots and pans to clean up.

Pizza Rustica is really more of a meat pie. Layers of cheese and Italian sausage and deli meats are tucked inside a flaky crust. You can definitely adjust based on what’s available at your grocery store. As long as you keep the measurements roughly the same, the flavors can be switched up as you like. It’s gonna be delicious any way you make it. And don’t worry if, like me, you’re terrible at rolling out dough. It’s got the word rustic in the name. 

Pizza Rustica | How to be Aweome on $20 a Day

Procrastinators get a bad rap. When dinner tastes this great, who cares if you made it yesterday.

Pizza Rustica
Serves 6
Pizza Rustica is an Italian inspired meat pie loaded with flavor and just as great on day two.
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Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
55 min
Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
55 min
For the pastry
  1. 1-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  3. 2 egg yolks
  4. 2 tablespoons water
  5. 1 teaspon salt
  6. 1 tablespoon sugar
For the filling
  1. 4 ounces Italian sausage, casing removed
  2. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  3. 8 ounces ricotta
  4. 2 ounces provolone, shredded or cut into small cubes
  5. 4 ounces fresh mozarella, cut into cubes
  6. 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  7. 1/2 clove garlic, chopped
  8. 2 tablespons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  9. 2 pinches crushed red chili flakes
  10. 4 ounces proscuitto, roughly chopped
  11. 4 ounces mortadella, roughly chopped
  12. 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  13. Black pepper
  14. About 1 tablespoon dried bread crumbs
For the glaze
  1. 1 egg yolk
  2. 2 tablespoons milk
  3. Pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Put the flour and butter together in a dish and stash it in the freezer for 10 minutes. Stir together the egg yolks, water, and salt, and put that in the fridge as well.
  2. Once everything is well chilled, place your butter and flour as well as the sugar into a food processor and pulse until you've got a mixture that looks like wet sand. Add the wet ingredients and process until the dough starts to come together but is still a bit loose. I sometimes have to add a bit of extra water, but just add a teaspoon at a time.
  3. Tip the mixture out onto a clean counter and press it together with your hands. Divide the dough 60/40 into two discs (you'll need more dough for the bottom than the top), wrap in plastic wrap, and store in the fridge while you get on with your filling.
  4. Preheat your oven to 400F (200C), and if you have a baking sheet that your 8-inch springform pan can rest comfortably on, pop that in the oven to heat up as well. If you don't have one, it's not the end of the world, your bottom crust will just be a little more wet.
  5. Heat your olive oil in a skillet and crumble your deskinned sausage into the pan. Cook up your sausage until it nice and brown, then transfer it to a large mixing bowl.
  6. To your sausage, add your remaining filling ingredients except for the bread crumbs. Gently mix it all together.
  7. Roll out your larger disc of dough between two layers of plastic wrap until it's big enough to cover the bottom of your 8-inch springform pan and come up the sides. It's okay if it hangs over a bit. Sprinkle the bottom of your pie with the breadcrumbs. Don't worry about measuring. Just sprinkle until you have a fine layer across the bottom. Pour in your filling and spread it evenly over the crust.
  8. Roll out your second disc between layers of plastic wrap until it is big enough to cover the top of your pie. Place it on top of your pie, then fold over any overhanging dough to seal in your filling. Press the edges down with a fork, and poke several holes in the top of your pie with your fork for ventilation.
  9. In a small dish, whisk together your glaze ingredients and use a pastry brush to brush it evenly over the top of your pie. This will give it a lovely brown shiny top.
  10. Place your pie into the oven, on the hot baking sheet if you have it. Bake for 10 minutes at this temperature, and then lower the heat to 350F (175C) and bake for another 45 minutes.
  11. Allow your pie t cool for at least 10 minutes. Loosen the edges with a knife before removing the collar and slicing into it.
  12. Store any leftovers tightly covered in the refrigerator. It will be totally awesome the next day.
Adapted from How to be a Domestic Goddess by Nigella Lawson
http://awesomeon20.com/
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Mexican Lasagna | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

Mexican Lasagna

Mexican Lasagna | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

I am weird. This is probably not news to you. I get obsessed with things, and then I have to turn them into an overly complex list and absorb everything about them. Dance was my first ever obsession, and though I’ve tried to break the habit repeatedly, it keeps worming its way back into my life.

In addition to trying to add a weekly dance class into my busy schedule, I’ve decided to get on YouTube and watch every single season of So You Think You Can Dance. Even the first season I had never seen before. News flash, it was kind of awful. But it’s bringing back so many great memories of fabulous choreography and fantastic personalities. It’s giving me life.

Mexican Lasagna | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

An obsession that completely possessed me later in life is, of course, cooking. This Mexican Lasagna is a perfect example of how deep my obsession goes. I’ve made this recipe many times, but I’ve never eaten it. I’m famously not a fan of vegetables, and this spicy layered dish is loaded with them. Plus some beans and cheese. 

My husband definitely benefits with my obsession as he gets to eat this all by himself every time. So you know that it’s not only tasty the first time around but also makes terrific leftovers. If you are looking for a simple, veggie-filled, all-in-one, dish, Mexican Lasagna is for sure the way to go.

Mexican Lasagna | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

A healthy obsession never hurt anyone, especially when it leads to awesome food.

Mexican Lasagna
Serves 6
Mexican Lasagna is spicy, cheesy, and layered with veggie goodness.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
30 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 clove garlic
  2. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  3. 1 onion
  4. 1 bell pepper
  5. 2 serrano peppers or other small chillies
  6. 1 teaspoon salt
  7. 1 can petite diced tomatoes
  8. 1 can petite diced tomatoes with peppers (any combination of 2 cans of tomatoes will do)
  9. 1 tablespoon ketchup
  10. 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  11. 1 can whole kernel corn
  12. 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  13. 4 large tortillas
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 400 and find your deepest round baking dish, 9 or 10 inches in diameter, at least 2-1/2 inches deep.
  2. Smash your garlic clove with the flat side of your knife and peel the skin off. Toss the whole clove into a skillet with your olive oil and heat over medium. Don't forget to pull this out at the end. Chop your onion, and peppers and add them to the pan. Sprinkle them with salt and allow them to cook and soften for about 15 minutes.
  3. Add the canned tomatoes, then fill each can about 1/4 of the way up with water. Swirl it around to get the tomatoey goodness off the side of the can, then add the water to the pan. Squeeze in the ketchup and allow it all to simmer together for about 10 minutes.
  4. In the meantime, assemble your filling by mixing together black beans, corn, and most of the cheese. Hold a bit back for the very top.
  5. Now it's time to assemble. Start with a few spoonfuls of sauce spread around the bottom of your pan, then lay down a tortilla. Next, add a third of the filling, and some more sauce. Repeat this two more times.
  6. Lay down the final tortilla on the top. Spread the last of your sauce over these, then top the whole thing with some extra shredded cheddar.
  7. Bake this in the oven for 30 minutes. You will may want to put a baking sheet underneath your pan to catch any drips.
  8. When the time is up, let your dish hang out for at least 10 minutes before cutting into it. Slice into wedges like a pie and serve it to your veggie loving friends and family.
Adapted from How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day
http://awesomeon20.com/
Buffalo Chicken Tacos | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

Buffalo Chicken Tacos

Buffalo Chicken Tacos | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

After a month of pure indulgence, I’m working on taking some control over my body. I’m trying to alternate jogging and yoga, with a weekly dance class thrown in. Hopefully, I’ll be able to keep my dancing addiction under control this time. We’ve also started intermittent fasting again. The first week has been tough but encouraging. I’m already starting to feel better.

People love to tell me I’m dumb for only eating 500 calories in a day, but this is the only thing that works for me. In most other diets, you have to restrict yourself all the time, but with fasting, I can eat pretty much anything I want five days a week. So even when I’m super hungry on a fast day, I know that I just have to keep myself distracted until bedtime, then in the morning I can eat something tasty without feeling guilty. And if I want t have a doughnut every once in a while, I can just do it.

Buffalo Chicken Tacos | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

This probably doesn’t have anything t do with Buffalo Chicken Tacos except for the fact that I can eat them on a non-fast day and feel totally awesome about it. They’re somewhat indulgent with two types of cheese and a drizzle of ranch dressing, but they’re not outrageous. You could even add avocado for a hit f healthy fat if you’re into that sort of thing.

My favorite thing about buffalo chicken anything is the contrast. These tacos marry spicy chicken breast chunks with the funk of blue cheese, the creaminess of cheddar and ranch, and a bit of crunch from a sprinkling of green onions. It’s all wrapped in a chewy whole wheat tortilla. I could eat eight of them, but I don’t because fasting also helps to keep you focused on your goal and recognize the difference between hunger and cravings. I’m in it for the flavors, and the flavors in Buffalo Chicken Tacos are seriously good.

Buffalo Chicken Tacos | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

Go on, indulge a little. Make yourself some Buffalo Chicken Tacos. It’s gonna be awesome.

Buffalo Chicken Tacos
Serves 2
Buffalo Chicken Tacos are a delicious bundle of contrasting flavors.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
10 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. Ingredients
  2. 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size chunks
  3. 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  4. 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  5. 2 tablespoons corn starch
  6. 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  7. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  8. 1/4 cup buffalo sauce
  9. 4 taco size whole wheat tortillas
  10. Toppings
  11. blue cheese, crumbled
  12. sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  13. chopped green onions
  14. ranch dressing
  15. extra buffalo sauce
  16. Whatever else you think is awesome
Instructions
  1. Place chicken pieces in a small mixing bowl. Season your chicken pieces with garlic powder, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper.
  2. Sprinkle corn starch and flour over chicken pieces and toss the chicken with tongs to coat them in the flour.
  3. Heat olive oil over medium high heat in a large skillet. Give the chicken pieces a gentle shake to get rid of any excess flour before adding them to the pan. Cook the chicken for 2-3 minutes per side, or until cooked through.
  4. Remove chicken to a clean bowl, then toss with buffalo sauce.
  5. Assemble your tacos, wrap 'em up, and go to town.
Adapted from How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day
http://awesomeon20.com/
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