Monday, October 31, 2011

Scary (Good) Pizza

Time for a pizza that is a little bit scary.  (For children at least.)  With anchovies, spinach, and onions this delight may frighten off the faint of stomach. 
(Ok, that was my pathetic attempt at linking this to Halloween.  It really is a good pizza.  If you don't like anchovies leave them off and you still have a fantastic cheesy veggie creation.)

Anchovy Garden Pizza
Pizza Dough (and cornmeal)
1 1/2 C roughly chopped fresh spinach
1 C crushed tomatoes (w/ 1/2 tsp each of minced garlic, basil and oregano)
1/2 of a large onion, thinly sliced
2 tsp bacon fat or oil
1/3 C thinly sliced roasted red bell pepper (jarred is perfect)
6 oz sliced fresh mozzarella
6-8 anchovy fillets, rinsed and chopped

   Form dough into a 12 inch circle or 13 x 9 rectangle on baking sheet (or pizza pan) sprinkled with corn meal.  Pre-bake at 450 deg F on bottom rack for 5-7 minutes until bottom is lightly golden.  Turn oven down to 400 deg F after crust has pre baked
   Caramelize onion in bacon fat (or oil) over med/med-low heat.  Stir frequently to prevent burning.
   Spread tomatoes onto crust.  Top with spinach, then cheese, and finally peppers, onions, and anchovies.
   Bake at 400 deg F for 10-12 minutes on middle rack until cheese is melty and starting to brown.
   Serves 4

Saturday, October 29, 2011

What are you eating at your Halloween party?

I am so excited about what is sure to be an epic night of pure epic epicness!  I almost couldn't go, but ...thankfully? GSP minorly injured his knee (not that I want him to be hurt....) so the GSP v. Condit fight it postponed.  Louis is going to be a UFC zombie and I am going as some generic she-demon throw-together costume.

Meatballs are always a crowd pleaser, so I am making Chinese BBQ'd Turkey Meatballs.

What are you making for your party?  Don't know yet?  Here are my Top 5 suggestions:

Not seeing any of my archived recipes that strike your fancy?  These recipes sound scary good:

Spicy Fried Chick Peas-

Bleeding Heart Brie-

Shriveled Potatoes w/ Romesco-

Oreo Mummy Pops-


Friday, October 28, 2011

Sausage and Pepper Bake

Sausage and peppers is such a classic combination.  Often, we'll do Italian sausage and peppers simply tossed with pasta.  It is fantastic, but this complete meal allows you to be a little more flexible with your cooking and serving times.  You can prep and assemble everything the day before or a few hours ahead of time and then pop it in the oven before dinner.  Not to mention, you get that baked pasta texture with the crispy bits on the top and around the edges.

I used smoked turkey sausage for this because it has a completely unique flavor which gives the dish a decidedly delicious American spin.  Because it is cheap and fully cooked with a good (refrigerator) shelf life, you can always have it on hand.

Sausage and Pepper Bake
1 lrg onion, thinly sliced
1 lrg green bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 lrg red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 14-oz can diced tomatoes
1 7-oz link smoked turkey sausage, thinly sliced
1 1/2 Tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp oregano
1/4 red pepper flake (to taste and optional)
3 Tbsp red wine (or water)
12 oz penne pasta
1 C shredded mozzarella
~1/4 parmesan
( oil and cooking spray)

   Cooked pasta 2 minutes shy of package directions in salted water.
   In a little bit of oil (~2 tsp in a non stick skillet) over med heat, saute onions and peppers until tender, 5-7 minutes.  Remove from pan.
   Sear slices of sausage.  Add tomatoes, herbs and spices, wine, and pepper.  Simmer together for 4-5 minutes.  (Add salt to taste if tomatoes are "no salt added".)  Toss with pasta.
   Pour into a sprayed 13x9 baking dish.  Top with cheeses.
   Bake at 375 deg F for 15-20 minutes.
   *If made in advanced and dish has cooled or was refrigerated:  Cover dish, bake at 375 for 10 minutes.  Uncover and bake another 15-20 minutes.
   Serves 4 hearty portions.  (6 if you do salad and maybe some bread with it.)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Apple Walnut Crisp Crostata

It is apple pie season!  I don't make a lot of apple desserts because the hubs generally hates cooked apples.  I couldn't help myself though.  I had a pie crust and apples.  It was calling to me.  I gave half to my neighbors because I didn't want to eat the whole thing myself.  Little did I know, Louis would choose now to try cooked apples again and maybe start to like them.  I was a little too excited when he actually enjoyed the dessert! 

Use whatever apples you like, but they should have firm flesh.  I love the combination of gala and granny smith.  The tart and sweet is lovely and they are always affordable options.

Apple Walnut Crisp Crostata
1 9-inch refrigerated pie crust
2 granny smiths apples
2 gala apples
scant 1/3 C sugar
1 Tbsp corn starch
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
3 Tbsp softened butter
1/4 C quick oats
1/4 C brown sugar
1/4 C chopped walnuts
1/4 tsp cinnamon

   Very thinly slice apples.  Combine filling ingredients.  Allow to sit and marinate for 10-15 minutes
   Combine topping ingredients.
   Unroll pie crust onto a baking sheet.  Pile filling in the center of crust leaving a 1 inch border.  (It will look like a lot!)  Distribute topping over apples.  Fold up edges of crust and pinch together so it holds together making a free-form pie.  Cover with foil.
   Bake at 375 deg F 30 minutes.
   Remove foil and bake another 20-25 minutes.
   Serves 8.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tomato Mustard BBQ Sauce

A couple weeks ago, my neighbors (aka best friends) came over to carve pumpkins.  We also made dinner and ended up played a very heated game of Settlers of Catan.  Smoking has become out go-to dinner guest option.  The day was so beautiful that it made sense to cook outdoors.  I suggested barbecued chicken thighs.  This turned out to be a point of contention because of varying preferences in sauce.  A couple of use like the mustardy, vinegary sauces and a couple like the sticky sweet ketchup based sauces.  I was left with the challenge for a compromise sauce: sweet and tangy and a little bit spicy.  It ended up pleasing everyone!

I used canned tomatoes as the bulk of the sauce because I didn't want all the sugars from ketchup and it lends a certain freshness to sauce.  However, ketchup is an essential flavor in certain BBQ sauces, so I did use some.  It also makes for a very nice texture of the finished product.
Tomato Mustard BBQ Sauce
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tsp oil
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 small chipotle, chopped
1 C (heaping cup) crushed canned tomatoes or diced tomatoes
1/3 C ketchup
1/3 C water
1/4 C brown mustard
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp black pepper
pinch of crushed red pepper flake (optional)

   Heat oil over med heat in a medium sauce pot with a lid.  Saute onions for about 10 minutes, stirring regularly so they don't burn.  They should be starting to turn light brown and be soft.  If bits start to stick to the bottom of the pan, add a little bit of water to scrap them up.
   Add the rest of the ingredients.  Bring to a bubble.  Cover and turn heat to low.  Simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
   Turn heat off and let stand for a least 15 minutes.
   Remove bay leaf and puree.  (Salt and pepper according to taste, but the tomatoes probably have enough salt in them.)
   Makes ~2 1/2 cups.

For smoking or grilling meat, season meat with salt and pepper. Baste with sauce a couple times during cooking process.  Serve more on the side (that has been reheated).
  For baked chicken (picture above), season with salt and pepper.  Halfway through cooking, top with a little bit of sauce.  A few minutes before the meat is done, add more on top and put it back in the oven so sauce is hot.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Crabs by the Dozen

Last Monday was the last day of mini-Maryland vacation.  Our friends and hosts ordered a shit-ton of crabs from a little hole in the wall place near their home.  If you would like to know what a "shit-ton" of crabs is, it is 8 dozen.  Yes, 96 crabs.  There were only 5 of us eating them, but we ran through a solid half.
4 Dozen Heavenly Dead Things

While it is a labor intensive meal, it is so worth it! Cover the table with cardboard and trash bags, and start breaking down crabs.  The meat is insanely sweet and succulent.  The heavy Old Bay seasoning that the crustaceans are cooked with coats your hands so you get some with every bit of meat.  And I was introduced to dipping the crab into straight white vinegar.  It was one of those elusive "ah-ha!" moments.  The tangy vinegar is the perfect balancing compliment to the sweet shellfish.

1351 Odenton Rd.--Odenton, MD
(410) 672-1272 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

M & S Grill--Baltimore, MD

Around here, we don't have any venues of the McCormick & Schmicks apparent steak house empire.  Before heading to the Baltimore Aquarium, we had lunch in the harbor area of the city.  We arrived just as everyone (including the scientists at the convention center) were heading out.  It made things a little more difficult because we were in a new city.  Most of the places around seemed to be chains of that fast-food limbo variety, you know... it is technically fast food but the quality is infinitely high than McDonald's.

Not wanting to walk too far from the pier area, we settled on M&S Grill (Pratt St.).  The patio seating was packed because the day was gorgeous and more people seemed eager to be seated inside.  Lots of people is generally a good sign.  Now that I have done some research, I know the M&S has locations nationwide.  But I also know that the menus vary by region and even between locations in the same city (with a few consistent staples).  All under the parent umbrella, but distinctly different restaurants committed to high quality steaks and seafood at reasonable prices.  I admire that.

We started with the Maryland crab soup.  The soup itself was ok.  Absolutely nothing special.  It tasted like a good quality canned soup.  But it was loaded with fresh crab: sweet, tender, beautiful crab meat.  The amount of gorgeous crab kind of made up for the mediocre soup.
Louis had the rustic vegetable pasta with shrimp.  The squashes and tomatoes were incredibly fresh and the pasta was cooked properly (something which is often overlooked).  The sauce was a light, wine, tomato basil sauce, but thin, so it didn't stick well to the dish very well and they didn't provide bread to sop it up.  He would have asked for bread, but our waitress was mysteriously absent through the entire meal.  Apparently crappy service is not the norm because when we told our friends who live in the area, they were rather shocked.

I had the Prince Edward Island mussels.  It is an appetizer, but after the soup, it was the perfect size for one as a meal.  They were in a traditional wine and tomato broth with garlic--fresh, raw garlic grated over the top.  Obviously, I loved that.  Bread does come with this so I could soak up the delicious broth.

201 E. Pratt Street
Baltimore, MD 21202

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Maryland Renaissance Festival

If you have ventured into the depths of a Renaissance festival you have most like seen a scene similar to this:
Yes, that is ye olde food court:  overwhelming, expensive, hit or miss, and mouthwatering.  Food vendors who make their living (for at least a few months of the year) have the enticement down to a science.  To draw you in, they use a combination of bright signage, hawking, smell, and more often than not, an extreme amount of cleavage (or muscular bare chests).  I've been around faires for a good chunk of my life and usually have a pretty good idea of what will be good based on the smells.

Maryland is special type of Renaissance festival.  It has a huge attendance, is filled with beautiful, permanent structures (as opposed to tents), and offers a rather unusual selection of food.  There are the old stand-bys of fish and chips, scotch eggs, turkey legs, sweet roasted nuts, and shepard's pie.  I found out the hard way that the shepard's pie is terrible.  Odd, considering it smelled good and is really easy to make in such a setting.  The scotch eggs and roast nuts are wonderful.  And I assume the roast turkey legs are good:  they sell them by the thousands, the skin is brown and rendered, and the meat looks rich and juicy.  On the rarer side, you can buy fresh shucked oysters on the half shell, crab cakes, and various other fresh seafood offerings.  Additionally, there is a wide selection of seasonal and local ales, meades, and wines. 

Probably one of the most unique items available is the crab pretzel.  Yes, you read that correctly.  It is a soft pretzel (sans salt) topped with a slightly spicy crab mixture covered in melted cheddar and monterrey jack cheese.  I don't care about the old Italian taboo of no cheese with seafood, this is delicious.  Another great crab dish available is the Maryland crab soup in a bread bowl.  There isn't huge amount of crab meat, but the broth is laced with the rich, sweet, briney flavor of crab.  It is actually a surprisingly tasty soup and not just by faire food standards... by any standards.  The huge chunks of veggies are cooked to perfection in the spicy broth which is balanced by the fluffy, doughy white bread bowl.
Crab Pretzel
I am told the Steak on a Stake is always great, tender and perfectly seasoned.  Get to the stall early for first pick of doneness, but they do prepare them continuously through the day.  The line may be veeeeery long, though--pickings could be slim.  Also, the pork pockets are supposed to be good.  The tea and coffee booth makes peasant fry bread which smells like heaven.  Fried dough.... hard to go wrong.  And you can choose from sweet or savory toppings.

There is only one weekend left in this year's run; if you are in the Annapolis/Baltimore/DC area try to make it out.  Bonus for this weekend is that it is the jousting tournament which means lots and lots of lance passes.... LOTS of them.  So go see my father-in-law and the rest of my adopted, extended family in the list!

AND for your re-direct:  some pumpkinspiration at STA!!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Mediterranean 7 Layer Dip

Oops!  Seems this recipe somehow slipped through the cracks last week.  It was part of the UFC 136 menu.  My first thought was Mexican 7 layer dip, because people generally like it.  But that didn't fit with pizza bread so I changed things around and made a Mediterranean version that, I think, is more delicious than the original.
Mediterranean 7 Layer Dip
4 oz light cream cheese
2 Tbsp pesto
1/2 can great northern beans, drained and rinsed
2 large cloves of roasted garlic
1/2 can diced tomatoes, lightly drained
1 large onion, caramelized
1/2 C olive tapenade*
1 C shredded spinach
1/2 C shredded mozzarella**

   For onion, roughly chop.  Over med/med-low heat cook down in oil and/or butter for about 20 minutes, stirringly occasionally to prevent burning.  When onions are very soft, sweet, and a caramel brown color they are done.
   Combine cream cheese and pesto.  Spread in the bottom of a 5x5 or 6x6 dish.
   Mash beans and roasted garlic together.  Spread on top of cream cheese.
   Evenly distribute tomatoes (not too much liquid) over bean layer.
   Top tomatoes with onions.
   Spread a thin layer of olive tapenade.
   Top with spinach then mozzarella.
   Bake at 350 deg F for 25-20 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly (optional).  Serve immediately.
   Serves 8. (Less or more depending on the other items offered.)

*Store bought olive tapenade is great.  I used about 10 large olive each of black and green Spanish, 1/2 of a roasted red bell pepper, and 1 Tbsp fresh chopped parsley.  If you don't like olives, just chop up a whole red bell pepper and use that.

**This is great hot, room temp, or cold.  If you know that you intend on serving it room temp or cold, use a finely shredded mozzarella and don't bake it.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Tomato Baked Veggies over Cous Cous

I am loving vegetables baked in tomato sauce lately.  It takes no time to prep, cooks while you make the rest of the meal, and is infinitely more interesting than just steamed veg.  You can use any tomato sauce you like.  I used the spicy marinara left over from pizza bread dipping, but you can make it really easy on yourself and use your favorite jarred sauce.  Along the easy line, cous cous is the perfect vehicle for carrying this veggie saucy goodness.

Tomato Baked Veggies over Cous Cous
1 lrg zucchini, cut into 1/3 inch thick half moons
1 lrg yellow summer squash (cut same as zucchini)
1 C chopped cauliflower (fairly small pieces)
1 1/2- 1 3/4 C tomato sauce/pasta sauce
oil, salt and pepper
for cous cous:
1 C water
1/2 C chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 C cous cous
parsley and parmesan (optional)

   Toss veggies with a little oil (~1 Tbsp) salt and pepper.  Cover with sauce in a 9x5 or 8x8 baking dish.
   Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes, until veggies are tender.  Stir once or twice during cooking.
Cous Cous  
   Bring water and broth to a boil with bay leaf.  Add cous cous, cover, and turn off heat.  Let sit for 5 minutes.  Fluff with fork.
   Serve vegetables over cous cous.  Top with parm and parsley
   Serves 4

Friday, October 14, 2011

Coconut Twisted Margarita

There are people who have sworn off tequila, but will still indulge in a margarita.  Tequila and lime is such a versatile base that goes well with so many different flavors. 

My sister- and mother-in-law stumbled upon The Spice and Tea Exchange location in Annapolis, MD.  They picked up a little packet of salt for me that is a smoked coconut-lime sea salt.  Seriously.  How fucking awesome is that?!  This salt was screaming for a margarita.  (Speaking of Maryland, I am heading that way today to visit friends and go to the Maryland Ren Fest!)

Coconut Twisted Margarita
1 1/2 oz silver tequila
3/4 oz coconut rum
3/4 oz coconut water
juice of 1 lime
1 tsp simple syrup (or more to taste)
salt (optional)

   Rim glass with salt.  (Run squeezed lime half around edge of glass.  Dip into salt.)
   Combine tequila, rum, coconut water, lime juice (along w/ one half of the lime) and simple syrup with ice in a shaker.  Shake well.
   Pour into glass.  Add one ice cube to glass.
   Makes 1 drink.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Caramel Walnut Brownies and Wed-ReDirect

Last Saturday, I was cleaning and making bread so I really just didn't want to bother with brownie batter. Yes, it is really easy, but sometimes it is not necessary to bake from scratch.  A good quality brownie mix should be a staple in the pantry.  I don't keep it in my pantry because I would make them and then eat them.  All of them.  But it is the perfect go-to solution for an easy dessert for guests.  It takes no effort to jazz up the mix and make them delectable.
Caramel Walnut Brownies
1 pkg brownie mix (I used a fudgey-chewy mix)*
1 C chopped walnuts
12 soft vanilla caramels, chopped (I cut them into 9 pieces)
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt

   *Make brownies according to package directions replacing any water with milk.
   Mix in cinnamon and salt.  Fold in walnuts and caramels.
   Bake according to package directions in a sprayed 13x9 pan.
   Cut to desired size.  (I say it serves 16)

AND be sure to check out Sartorial Sideline's guest post about McQueen at Save the Artist!  And check there later today for my post on building your kitchen tool kit.


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Spicy Marinara Dipping Sauce

You know I am a UFC fanatic!  This past weekend was 136 which hosted TWO title fights, Edgar v Maynard III (lightweight) and Aldo v. Florian (featherweight).  I was disappointed with the outcome of each fight, but whatever.  A few members of the MTSU wrestling team came over to watch.  I am incapable of not feeding people when they come over.  So we had a very simple little spread, nothing fancy.

UFC 136 Menu
Pizza Bread w/ Spicy Marinara
Mediterranean 7 Layer Dip
Caramel Walnut Brownies

This version of marinara is suuuper easy.  Five ingredients, about 20 minutes total.  The flavor is complex without being complicated; it is great hot, room temp, and even cold; and can be used for a variety of dishes, not just for dipping.

Spicy Marinara (Dipping Sauce)
1 small onion, diced
1 lrg clove garlic, minced
2 1/2 C crushed tomatoes
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flake

   Saute onions in a little bit of oil over medium heat until soft, about 5-7 minutes.  Add garlic, cook ~1 minute.
   Add tomatoes, oregano, and red pepper.  Turn heat to med-low, simmer for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally.  (If your tomatoes are salt free, adjust salt to taste.)
   Puree (optional).
   Makes 2 1/2 C sauce.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Herby Olive Rice

I am always trying to figure out new ways to flavor rice.  This is simple, delicious, and easy to make in any month.  The herbs I used are available in quantity year-round and remain cheap in all seasons.  I do encourage you to buy some parboiled or converted rice (Uncle Ben's and Mahatma Gold are awesome.  Walmart even has it's own.)  The rice comes out really fluffy and the grains separate beautifully, never gummy or clumpy.  You won't go back to the regular stuff.

Herby Olive Rice
1 C parboiled (or converted) long grain white rice
1 3/4 C water
1/4 tsp salt
1 lrg garlic clove, pasted (optional)
1/4 C chopped black olives
3 chopped scallions
2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
2 Tbsp chopped parsley

   Bring water to a boil.  Stir in rice, salt, and garlic.  Return to boil.  Cover.  Reduce to low.  Cook for 16-18 minutes, until water is absorbed.  Fluff with a fork
   Fold in olives, scallions, and herbs.
   Serves 3-4.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Smoked Salmon on Bagels

I crave smoked salmon.  Maybe that is weird, but I do.  As a teenager, for quick throw together dinners my parents would just lay out smoked salmon, cream cheese, capers, onion, and some French bread slices.  Cold smoked salmon is delicious, but I can't have a huge bite of it.  The raw-ish texture is something I have yet to conquer.  When I was introduced to hot smoked salmon (cooked texture) it changed my life!  And now that we have a smoker... yeah, constant cravings.  And with this roasted garlic sun dried tomato cream cheese.... oh, my knees are getting weak.
If you have a smoker or a basic charcoal grill (which can be used as a smoker) please smoke your own fish, it is fabulous.  And cheaper.  Store bought smoked salmon will work just as well though.  Also, use a good bagel.  This is not time for Kroger plain bagels.  Go to a bakery and get a nice everything or olive oil bagel.  Or if you are having a party, making minis using small bagels or just lightly toasted bread rounds (about 2 bite size.)

Smoked Salmon on Bagels
1/2 lb smoked salmon, flaked
2 bagels, halved and lightly toasted
1/4 of a med red onion, thinly sliced
2 oz light cream cheese, room temp
1 Tbsp chopped capers
1 Tbsp chopped sun dried tomatoes
2 tsp roasted garlic

   Combine cream cheese, capers, tomatoes, and garlic.
   Spread evenly over bagels.  Top with red onion and smoked salmon.
   Serves 2.  (Or 16 hors d'oeuvers, 8 servings.)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Wednesday Redirection

Yup, another week has passed and it is time to send you on over to Save the Artist for my latest contribution.  This week is about making a recipe your own. Just some quick suggestions, there will be a more elaborate post concerning this topic in the future.


Tomorrow's Recipe:  Smoked Salmon on Bagels

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Negra Modelo Pork

Beer and pork.

Two things that have gone together literally since the beginning of fermentation and slaughter. 

I don't think I need to say anymore, except that you can eeeeeasily change the flavor just be changing the beer.  I started with Negra Modelo (a Mexican amber beer for those of you who don't know, slightly sweet, not too hop-y) because we were making the pork into taco.  But this meat is incredible versatile.  I made it into tacos and then a frittata.  You could have just a platter of this for pulled pork sandwiches, add it into a soup, make a casserole.  Almost anything you want to do with it you can.

Negra Modelo Pork
2.5-3 lbs pork shoulder*
1 12-oz bottle Negra Modelo
2.5 Tbsp honey
1.5 Tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper

   Comine beer, honey and oil.  Liberally salt and pepper pork; place in marinade and use a fork to poke holes in the meat.  Allow to marinade for at least 4 hours.  Turning over occasionally.  (The longer you marinade the better.)
   Cover an oven safe dish and palce in a 350 deg F oven for 1.5 hours.
   Uncover, turn heat down to 300 deg F .  Cook another 45 min to 1 hour until meat easily pulls apart.
   Shred meat.  (Up to this point, it can be done several days in advance.)
   Reheat uncovered at 350 deg F for service and to reduce braising liquid.
   Serves 4-6.

*Pork Shoulder:  I like to buy country ribs because you can get smaller quantities of meat and it is already cut into managable pieces.  If you can't find that, just get a small shoulder and cut it into large chunks.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Caprese Focaccia

Summer is gone and fall is full steam ahead here in middle Tennessee.  It is so lovely!  I can comfortably wear boots and cardigans, and I spent a wonderful afternoon riding at my in-laws yesterday.  (Horses... just to clear any confusion you may have.  Although, I don't know what else you might think I would ride...?)  However, I am still clinging to the flavors of summer.  We haven't had our first frost yet, so there are still gorgeous bunches of basil and beautiful ripe tomatoes to be found.  This is my send off and farewell-until-next-year recipe for summer.

Caprese Focaccia
1 1/2 C whole wheat flour (or AP flour)
1 pkg active dry yeast
1 Tbsp honey
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil (plus more for the bowl)
1 tsp dried basil
1 1/2 C hot tap water (as hot as your tap will get, not boiling)
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4- 1 1/2 C AP flour
sea salt
3-4 lrg roma tomatoes, very thinly sliced and any excess liquid removed
8 oz fresh mozzarella, sliced and torn into pieces
3-4 Tbsp fresh chopped basil

   In a large bowl (glass preferably, I find it rises better), add whole wheat flour, yeast, honey, oil, basil, and water.  Stir combine.  Allow to proof for about 5 minutes, until tiny bubbles form on the surface. 
   Add salt and about half of the regular flour.  Combine.  Slowly incorporate the last half of the all-purpose flour until it forms a ball and pull away from the bowl.
   Turn onto a lightly floured surface.  Knead until dough is stretchy and very slightly sticky to the touch.  It will take about 5 minutes.  Add flour as needed.
   Wash and dry bowl, or in another bowl, coat the inside with oil.  About 2 Tbsp.  Turn dough in oil to coat.  Cover with a warm, damp towel.  Allow to rise for 1 1/2 hours in a warm dry place until doubled in size.  (I like to stick it in the oven, which is off, of course.)
   Punch dough down, divide in half.  Spread onto lightly sprayed cookie sheets to form roughly 12x8 inch rectangles.  You want there to be little tears and holes so you get the right texture in the end (see picture below.)  Allow to rise for 30-40 more minutes, until the holes and tears come back together.
   Sprinkle with sea salt. 
   Bake at 350 deg F for 12 minutes, until very lightly golden.
   Top with tomatoes and mozzarella.  Bake at 350 deg F for another 10 minutes, until cheese is gooey and melty.
   Sprinkle with fresh basil.
   Serves 8 (makes 2 breads).  If you are using this for party-, finger-food, this recipe is good for 16 people.  (But let's be honest, I could a whole one by myself.)