Phyllo Dough Pizza

My husband and I picked up our puppy last Saturday! His name is Hugo, he’s a IMG_0627Brittany, and he’s 8 weeks old. I know everyone says their puppy is the cutest/smartest, but seriously this dog is so cute and smart (when he’s not peeing in the house or trying to electrocute himself on lamp cords). He learned to fetch in 5 minutes!

I did not realize how much work a puppy can be. I thought he’s be this cute this puppy, which he is, who just wants to cuddle all the time, which he does, who only wakes up to eat or use the bathroom–oh how wrong I was! He basically runs amok 90% of the time and then passes out dead asleep mid-stride. Those of you with dogs are I’m sure laughing at how naive I was. I thought we’d be getting the equivalent of a newborn, I didn’t know we were getting a toddler!

So these days, I don’t really have the luxury of standing in front of the stove to Pizza, Vegetariancook for an extended period of time. Unspeakable things would be happening to my house if I took my eyes off this pup for that long. So I wanted to make something for dinner last night that wouldn’t burn when I had to drop everything and scoop up the puppy to run him outside. This literally took 20 minutes to throw together (minus the time to defrost the phyllo), and I’m happy to report that Hugo sat semi-patiently and watched me put dinner together.

  • 1 roll phyllo dough
  • 2 tomatoes, sliced 1/4” thick
  • 1/2 cup feta crumbles
  • 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • Freshly grated Parmesan
  • Lemon extra virgin olive oil (regular olive oil works fine too)

*Phyllo dough are paper-thin sheets made from unleavened flour. You’ll find it in the freezer section, and when defrosted it is actually quite easy to work with. Just make sure you leave it out to defrost for a few hours before you need to work with it. The roll I buy measures 13” x 18”. I cut the large sheets in half to measure 9” x 13”.

Preheat the oven to 400˚. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place 3 sheets of phyllo dough on the baking sheet. Brush the whole sheets of phyllo with olive oil. Place another 3 sheets of phyllo dough on top, and brush with olive oil. Repeat until you have used all the phyllo, the roll I buy has 20 sheets. Sprinkle the cheese on top, leaving a crush of about 1/2”, and cover the cheese with your tomato slices. Spread the fresh herbs evenly over your tomatoes and grate a tablespoon or two of Parmesan over the tomatoes and herbs. Brush the crust of the phyllo with a bit more olive oil. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, or until the crush is golden brown and the cheese has melted. Serves 4.

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Romesco 3 Ways

First of all, I have to send love out to Boston. Miguel and I traveled there for our friends’ wedding almost 4 years ago and developed such an affinity for that city that has lasted since, probably because our very close friend, the bride, grew up there. Attending a Red Sox Yankees game and singing “Sweet Caroline” is probably top 10 in life highlights. Miguel still brags he ate 17 different types of sea creatures there. I hate that these tragedies keep happening. And while I don’t know why, I know that they do remind us all of what is important in life and bring us all together, if just for a little while. Now on to the post…

Romesco sauce has become a Saturday night tradition in the Diaz household. It all Romescostarted a few years ago when Miguel was sitting in the “husband chairs” at Anthropologie and picked up a cookbook about Spain. That day it was him, not me, buying something from Anthropologie–the irony. For some reason, he chose to make romesco sauce from the cookbook, which is a red pepper and nut-based sauce from Spain that is traditionally served with seafood. The food that we have with romesco, usually grilled chicken and potatoes, has just become a vehicle for the romesco. And what’s great is that romesco tastes amazing on pretty much anything, hence the title of my post. Romesco does take a bit of work to put together, but the reward is well worth it and it lasts in the fridge for at least a week. Also, no, I did not have a bet with someone about how many times I can use the word “romesco” in a pharagraph. Wow. If you’re counting, it was 7.

We started off Saturday night with the usual: grilled chicken, potatoes and salad. Saturday morning: scrambled egg tacos (they also make a delicious and quick worknight meal). Saturday night: chicken enchiladas. All smothered in romesco. That makes 8 now.

(In the name of full disclosure, I have never made this myself but I have had a few requests for this recipe, and Miguel has been dying to be a “guest blogger”.)

Romesco sauce:

  • 2 large red bell peppers
  • 15 oz. jar of roasted red bell peppers
  • 2 small roma tomatoes
  • 5 cloves garlic, unpeeled, wrapped in aluminum foil pouch
  • 1 cup hazelnuts
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1-2 tbsp smoked paprika (It can have a bit of a bite to it, so add 1 tbsp if you’re sensitive to heat.)

Preheat the oven to 400˚. On a parchment lined baking sheet, roast the fresh red bell peppers, tomatoes and garlic for about 15-20 minutes, until the skins of the bell peppers are starting to blacken. Allow the bell peppers and tomatoes to cool slightly and then remove as much of the skins as possible (I’ve found the easiest way to do this is place them in a brown paper bag and allow them to steam for a few minutes, the skins will come right off). Remove the skins from the garlic once they have cooled.

Bring a small pot of water to boil. When you reach a rolling boil, blanch the hazelnuts for 5 minutes. Drain and rinse with cool water.

Combine jarred red bell peppers, freshly roasted bell peppers, tomatoes, garlic, hazelnuts, smoked paprika, red wine vinegar, lemon juice and 1/2 cup of olive oil in a food processor. Pureé until smooth. If necessary, with the motor running, drizzle in more olive oil until you reach a pesto-like consistency.

Saturday Morning Egg Tacos (Serves 2 people who eat a lot)

  • 3 whole eggs, 3 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup low-fat milk 
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 small shallots, minced
  • 1 avocado, thinly sliced
  • 6 tortillas
  • 1 cup arugula
  • Romesco sauce!

Whisk the whole eggs, egg whites, olive oil and a generous pinch of salt together in aEggs, tacos, romesco, breakfast small bowl. Heat about 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large nonstick saute pan over medium heat. Add the eggs when the pan is good and warm. Gently bring the cooked eggs from the outside of the pan towards the middle of the pan, allowing the uncooked egg to spread out to the edges, which will allow the eggs to cook evenly.

While your eggs cook, bring a small saute pan to medium heat. Crisp the tortillas for about 2-3 minutes per side, until starting to brown slightly.

Evenly divide eggs between the tortillas, top with a bit of minced shallot, a few avocado slices, a few arugula leaves, and of course a very generous dollop of romesco sauce!

Sunday night: Chicken enchiladas with, you guessed it!, romesco sauce! For this recipe, I used my previous recipe, black bean, cauliflower & pickled red onion enchiladas, but substituted 6 oz of shredded jack cheese for the goat cheese, and added left over shredded chicken from Saturday night. I also left the pickled red onions out of the enchilada filling, instead using them as just a topping. And, of course, I used romesco as the enchilada sauce. I had about 2 cups of romesco left over, to which I added about 1/2 cup of chicken broth to thin it out and cover the enchiladas. I then covered the enchiladas with another 2 oz of jack cheese and baked for 20 minutes in a 400 oven until the cheese was melted and golden.