Thursday, June 3, 2010

Lunch Box Chronicles: Day Fifty-One (Sloppy Joe's Take Two, Salad with homemade balsamic dressing)

Garlic is an obsession in this house.   It is really a miracle food,, and much like spelt, is one of the oldest cultivated foods.  We know from bakery experience that garlic is an antibacterial.  Have you ever noticed that garlic is never mixed right in with bread, but instead is drizzled in through a slice or sprinkled on top?  The reason is that garlic's antibacterial properties will kill the yeast or sour dough.  We once had to throw away an entire batch of bagels after trying to mix the garlic in the dough.  Never did that again.

We have been very busy in the bakery for the past week and it will last for a few more weeks (hopefully forever).  In the meantime, I had to resort to some easy home recipes.  Good thing Whole Foods is just 20 minutes away.

Tonight's dinner:  Sloppy Joe's laced with garlic made with Grass Fed Beef from Cold Spring Ranch Farm in New Portland, Maine.   Greens, tomatoes, and cucumbers with very garlicy homemade balsamic dressing.  The Grass Fed Beef from Cold Spring Ranch really the best and when I can get it, the only beef I will serve my kids.  It is run by Gabe Clark, a fellow Bates College alum (tho' many years younger than I).  

Ingredients - Sloppy Joe - Take Two: 
One Spelt Right Pizza Dough, fully thawed and risen. 
One Pound Grass Fed Ground Beef from Cold Spring Ranch Farm
3 cloves of garlic
1/2 onion
2-3 TBL Extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
pasta or pizza sauce (homemade or jarred)
grated pizza cheese (we used a mozzarella provolone mix)

Directions:  Pre-heat oven to 450 F.  In a large skillet, saute chopped onions and chopped garlic in EVOO.  After onions brown slightly, add beef cook until brown.   Add tomato sauce and salt and pepper to taste.  Set aside.  Divide dough into 8-10 even dough balls, stretch or roll out until thin, but not transparent.  Cover the dough with the grated cheese, then add meat mixture.  Make triangles as shown in the photos.   We did this on a pizza peel covered with corn meal, and put it directly on the hot pizza stone, but you can do this directly on a lightly oil baking pan.

Ingredients and Directions - Salad with garlicy balsamic vinegar.   Make a salad of your choice, we used organic green leaf lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers, topped with chopped walnuts, dried cranberries, and chevre.   For the dressing,  I put 3 large garlic cubes in blender, then added balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, dried basil and dill, all to taste (sorry I did absolutely no measuring with this one).  I then blended dressing ingredients together until frothy.  It was amazing, but you have to do this to taste.

Tim and the kids loved the Sloppy Joe's (I don't eat red meat so I didn't have one).  We all devoured the salad.  Nothing was left for the lunch boxes tomorrow.  TWO THUMBS UP.

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