American Cuisine – Homemade Pizza

American Cuisine (Cuisine américaine) is a French Movie. After a conflict with an officer, Loren Collins got fired from the US Navy, where he was learning to be a Chef. Too poor to pay for cooking studies he went to Dijon and got hired by Louis Boyer, the bad tempered owner of a prestigious restaurant.

French-born, UCLA-trained screenwriter Jean-Yves Pitoun made his directorial debut with this French comedy in which self-taught cook Lorenzo, aka Loren (Jason Lee) is discharged from the U.S. Navy after hitting a superior who accused him of serving “sissy food” to the Admiral’s guests. Back in Brooklyn, Loren works at his Italian-Irish family’s pizza parlor and then heads for France to study with his idol, chef Louis Boyer (Eddy Mitchell). After the death of his wife, Boyer raised his daughter Gabrielle (Irene Jacob), now a successful restaurant architect engaged to physician Vincent (Thibault de Montalembert). Gabrielle and Loren compare recipes and finally choose romance from their menu, while Boyer begins to cave in from the stress of tax problems, restaurant critics, and police seeking illegal foreign workers. Jason Lee learned French in order to do the French dialogue version. In the English-language version, actors speak French but switch to English when Lee is onscreen.

Movie speaks about pizza parlor so let’s check out pizza but something different! Yes I am talking about a healthy pizza recipe for your kids.

Pizza Dough:

  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (105°F-115°F)
  • 1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) of active dry yeast
  • 3 1/2 cups bread flour (can use all-purpose but bread flour will give you a crisper crust)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

Pizza Ingredients

  • Olive oil
  • Cornmeal (to slide the pizza onto the pizza stone)
  • Tomato sauce
  • Mozzarella or Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • Feta cheese
  • Mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • Bell peppers, stems and seeds removed, thinly sliced
  • Italian sausage, cooked ahead
  • Chopped fresh basil
  • Pesto
  • Pepperoni, thinly sliced
  • Onions, thinly sliced

 

Equipment:

  • A pizza stone, highly recommended if you want your pizza dough to be crusty
  • A pizza peel or a flat baking sheet

 

Method:

  • In the large bowl of a heavy duty electric mixer add the warm water. Sprinkle on the yeast and let sit for 5 minutes until the yeast is dissolved. Stir to dissolve completely if needed at the end of 5 minutes.
  • Attach a mixing paddle to the mixer. Mix in the olive oil, flour, salt and sugar on low speed for about a minute. Remove the mixing paddle and replace with a dough hook. Knead using the mixer and dough hook, on low to medium speed, until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. If you don’t have a mixer, you can mix and knead by hand. If the dough seems a little too wet, sprinkle on a bit more flour.
  • Coat the dough with olive oil and cover with plastic wrap. Let sit in a warm place (75-85°F) until it doubles in size, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  • Place a pizza stone on a rack in the lower third of your oven. Preheat the oven to 450°F for at least 30 minutes, preferably an hour.
  • Punch the dough down so it deflates a bit. Divide the dough in half. Form two round balls of dough. Place each in its own bowl, cover with plastic and let sit for 10 minutes.
  • Working one ball of dough at a time, take one ball of dough and flatten it with your hands on a slightly floured work surface. Starting at the center and working outwards, use your fingertips to press the dough to 1/2-inch thick. Turn and stretch the dough until it will not stretch further. Let the dough relax 5 minutes and then continue to stretch it until it reaches the desired diameter – 10 to 12 inches. Use your palm to flatten the edge of the dough where it is thicker.
  • Brush the top of the dough with olive oil. Use your finger tips to press down and make dents along the surface of the dough to prevent bubbling. Let rest another 5 minutes.
  • Repeat with the second ball of dough.
  • Lightly sprinkle your pizza peel (or flat baking sheet) with corn meal. Transfer one prepared flattened dough to the pizza peel.
  • Spoon on the tomato sauce, sprinkle with cheese, and place your desired toppings on the pizza.
  • Sprinkle some cornmeal on the baking stone in the oven,
  • Gently shake the peel to see if the dough will easily slide, if not, gently lift up the edges of the pizza and add a bit more cornmeal. Slide the pizza off of the peel and on to the baking stone in the oven. Bake pizza one at a time until the crust is browned and the cheese is golden, about 10-15 minutes. If you want, toward the end of the cooking time you can sprinkle on a little more cheese.         
  • Place a pizza stone on a rack in the lower third of your oven. Preheat the oven to 450°F for at least 30 minutes, preferably an hour.
  • Punch the dough down so it deflates a bit. Divide the dough in half. Form two round balls of dough. Place each in its own bowl, cover with plastic and let sit for 10 minutes.
  •  Working one ball of dough at a time, take one ball of dough and flatten it with your hands on a slightly floured work surface. Starting at the center and working outwards, use your fingertips to press the dough to 1/2-inch thick. Turn and stretch the dough until it will not stretch further. Let the dough relax 5 minutes and then continue to stretch it until it reaches the desired diameter – 10 to 12 inches. Use your palm to flatten the edge of the dough where it is thicker
  • Brush the top of the dough with olive oil. Use your finger tips to press down and make dents along the surface of the dough to prevent bubbling. Let rest another 5 minutes.
  • Repeat with the second ball of dough.
  • Lightly sprinkle your pizza peel (or flat baking sheet) with corn meal. Transfer one prepared flattened dough to the pizza peel.
  • Spoon on the tomato sauce, sprinkle with cheese, and place your desired toppings on the pizza.
  • Sprinkle some cornmeal on the baking stone in the oven
  • Gently shake the peel to see if the dough will easily slide, if not, gently lift up the edges of the pizza and add a bit more cornmeal. Slide the pizza off of the peel and on to the baking stone in the oven. Bake pizza one at a time until the crust is browned and the cheese is golden, about 10-15 minutes. If you want, toward the end of the cooking time you can sprinkle on a little more cheese.

Edward Scissorhands – Chicken, Zucchini, and Ricotta Sandwich

Edward Scissorhands is a 1990 American romantic fantasy film that shows the story of an artificial man named Edward, an unfinished creation, who has scissors for hands.

Tim Burton’s Edward Scissorhands opens as an eccentric inventor (Vincent Price) lovingly assembles a synthetic youth named Edward (Johnny Depp). Edward has all the essential ingredients for today’s standard body, with the exception of a pair of hands. For what is initially thought to be a temporary period, he is fitted with long, scissor-like extremities that, while able to trim a mean hedge, are hardly conducive to day-to-day life. When the kindly inventor dies, however, Edward is left lonely and cursed with some very heavy metal for hands. He is eventually taken in by Peg Boggs (Dianne Weist), an Avon lady who takes pity on him after seeing his bleak existence. Edward, in spite of his inherent ability to slay anyone he comes across, is a gentle soul whose only wish is to be loved. His impromptu family has, at best, a limited understanding of Edward, but he finds himself drawn to Peg’s weary but sympathetic daughter, Kim (Winona Ryder), who is dating Jim (Anthony Michael Hall), the neighborhood bully. Meanwhile, Edward finds himself a local celebrity after the town realizes that his talents include creative hedge trimming and an unrivaled ability to cut hair. His so-called friends are proven fair-weather when Edward is accused of a crime, after which his only supporters are Peg and Kim.

Dinner scene: When Peg invites Edward over for dinner, he struggles throughout the meal — having scissors for hands makes eating more than a little difficult. He fails to lift the silverware and can’t quite pick up his food, but the blades finally come in handy when he needs to butter his bread.

Let’s enjoy Chicken, Zucchini, and Ricotta Sandwich while watching this interesting movie. Even Peg can eat this with scissors for hands.

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium zucchini, shredded
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 15 ounces whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 4 5×4-inch pieces focaccia or ciabatta bread, halved horizontally
  • 2 large tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 2-4 roasted chicken breasts (about 1 pound), skinned, boned, thinly sliced crosswise

Method:

1 Mix zucchini and salt in medium bowl. Transfer to colander; set over bowl. Let stand 15 minutes to drain liquid from zucchini. Rinse and drain zucchini. Squeeze zucchini to remove liquid.

2 Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add zucchini and sauté 2 minutes. Remove pan to a bowl, cool slightly. Add ricotta, Parmesan and lemon peel to zucchini. Stir to blend. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

3 Preheat broiler. Arrange bread pieces cut side up on baking sheet. Broil bread just until lightly toasted. Spread ricotta mixture generously over 8 focaccia pieces. Broil until ricotta mixture is heated through and beginning to brown in spots, about 4 minutes.

4 Top 4 bread pieces with tomato slices, then with chicken slices, dividing equally. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover with remaining 4 bread pieces, ricotta-mixture side down. Cut sandwiches diagonally in half and serve.

 

 

 

Meet the Parents – Bagel

Meet the Parents is an American comedy records a series of unfortunate events that befall a good-hearted but miserable male nurse while visiting his girlfriend’s parents.

Ben Stiller plays a young man who endures a disastrous weekend at the home of his girlfriend’s parents. Greg Focker (Stiller) is completely in love with Pam Byrnes (Teri Polo), and views their upcoming trip to her parents’ house on Long Island (where her sister is to be married during the weekend) as a perfect opportunity to ask her to marry him. Once Greg is introduced to Pam’s parents, however, things stampede steadily downhill. Pam’s father, Jack (Robert De Niro), takes an instant and obvious dislike to his daughter’s boyfriend, lambasting him for his job as a nurse and generally making Greg painfully aware of the differences between him and Pam’s family. Where Greg is grubby, relatively unambitious, and Jewish, Pam comes from a long line of well-mannered, blue-blooded WASPs. Things go from bad to worse in less time than it takes to spin a dreidel, with Greg incurring the wrath of both Pam’s father — who, it turns out, worked for the CIA for 34 years — and the rest of her family, and almost single-handedly destroying their house and the wedding in the process.

Jewish characters at mealtime are explained as part of the broader movement started in the 1960s where filmmakers started producing work that explored the “Jewish self-definition.” The dinner table becomes an arena where Jewish characters are often and most pointedly put into “conflicts with their ethnic and sexual selves.” In this scene, Greg attempts to recite a prayer by improvising and, in doing so, launches into a recital of the song “Day by Day” from Act I of Godspell. This scene focuses on the establishment of the cultural distance between the Jewish Greg and the Christian Byrnes. The social gap is further widened next morning at breakfast when Greg is the last person to arrive at the breakfast table; he shows up to breakfast wearing pajamas while everyone else is fully clothed. Here Greg is shown as the only person eating a bagel, which is a clear signifier of Jewishness.

Awkward food scene: Gaylord Focker is definitely feeling the pressure during a dinner with his soon-to-be in-laws. When Jack, a former CIA agent, starts a serious interrogation, Gaylord bursts out with an awkward announcement: “I can milk anything with nipples.”

Bagel is one food that Greg loves to eat, let’s see the recipe best for breakfast or brunch:

Ingredients

  • 7g sachet dried yeast
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 450g bread flour
  • poppy, fennel and/or sesame seeds to sprinkle on top (optional)

Direction:

  1. Tip the yeast and 1 tbsp sugar into a large bowl, and pour over 100ml warm water. Leave for 10 mins until the mixture becomes frothy.
  2. Pour 200ml warm water into the bowl, then stir in the salt and half the flour. Keep adding the remaining flour (you may not have to use it all) and mixing with your hands until you have soft, but not sticky dough. Then knead for 10 mins until the dough feels smooth and elastic. Shape into a ball and put in a clean, lightly oiled bowl. Cover loosely with cling film and leave in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1hr.
  3. Heat oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. On a lightly floured surface, divide the dough into 10 pieces, each about 85g. Shape each piece into a flattish ball, then take a wooden spoon and use the handle to make a hole in the middle of each ball. Slip the spoon into the hole, and then twirl the bagel around the spoon to make a hole about 3cm wide. Cover the bagel loosely with cling film while you shape the remaining dough.
  4. Meanwhile, bring a large pan of water to the boil and tip in the remaining sugar. Slip the bagels into the boiling water – no more than four at a time. Cook for 1-2 mins, turning over in the water until the bagels have puffed slightly and a skin has formed. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain away any excess water. Sprinkle over your choice of topping and place on a baking tray lined with parchment. Bake in the oven for 25 mins until browned and crisp – the bases should sound hollow when tapped. Leave to cool on a wire rack and then serve with your favorite filling.

Super Size Me – Bean Burgers with Spicy Guacamole

Super Size Me is an American documentary film directed by and starring Morgan Spurlock. The film follows a 30-day period from February 1 to March 2, 2003 during which Morgan ate only McDonald’s food. At the same time he reduces the amount of exercise and walking to match that of the ‘average’ American to make for a fair experiment. After an initial bit of sickness he gets to enjoy the food and eats it three times per day. However after a week or two, his doctors begin to notice significant increases in body fat, cholesterol and blood pressure. Interspersed with this are interviews with experts on the nutritional value, marketing and impact of McDonalds and fast food generally.

Overall this was a very entertaining film that mixes its gimmick well with humor but also a good core of a documentary with interesting talking heads that don’t rant or rave but simply look to the figures in most cases. True, it only speaks about unhealthy food but nevertheless, when we think about McDonald’s the first thing that comes in our mind is Burger, so let’s make a healthy burger today and enjoy the taste without guilt.

Bean Burgers with Spicy Guacamole

Ingredients:

Burger

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup quinoa, rinsed (Quinoa is a delicately flavored, protein-rich grain. Rinsing removes any residue of saponin, quinoa’s natural, bitter protective covering. Find it in natural-foods stores and the natural-foods sections of many supermarkets.)
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 1/2 cups cooked pinto beans, well drained
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground toasted cumin seeds
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons cornmeal, plus 1/3 cup for coating burgers
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 6 whole-wheat hamburger buns, toasted
  • 6 lettuce leaves
  • 6 tomato slices

Guacamole

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped red onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or more to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Method:

  1. Bring water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add quinoa and return to a boil. Reduce to a low simmer, cover and cook until the water has been absorbed, about 10 minutes. Uncover and let stand.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add 1/2 cup onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add beans, paprika and ground cumin and mash the beans to a smooth paste with a potato masher or fork. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and let cool slightly. Add the quinoa, 3 tablespoons cilantro, 3 tablespoons cornmeal, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper; stir to combine.
  3. Form the bean mash into 6 patties. Coat them evenly with the remaining 1/3 cup cornmeal and transfer to a baking sheet. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
  4. To prepare guacamole: Mash avocado with a potato masher or fork. Stir in 2 tablespoons cilantro, lemon juice, 2 teaspoons onion, garlic, cayenne and 1/8 teaspoon salt.
  5. Preheat oven to 200°F.
  6. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large cast-iron (or similar heavy) skillet over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium and cook 3 burgers until heated through and brown and crisp on both sides, 2 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to the oven to keep warm. Cook the remaining 3 burgers with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, reducing the heat as necessary to prevent overbrowning. Serve the burgers on buns with lettuce, tomato and the guacamole.

 

Delicatessen – Meat Loaf

Delicatessen is a French post-apocalyptic black comedy.

The story is centered on a microcosm of a post-apocalyptic society where food is so rare it’s invaluable and is used as currency. The action takes place within a single apartment complex, which is owned by the same man that operates the downstairs butcher shop. It’s a particularly popular place to live, thanks to the butcher’s uncanny ability to find excellent cuts of meat despite the horrible living conditions outside. The newest building superintendent, a former circus clown, thinks he has found an ideal living.

Movie talks a lot about meat and meat products so how about enjoying some delicious and healthy Meat Loaf while watching the movie.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 8 ounces canned diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1/2 cup quick-cooking oats

Topping:

  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon prepared mustard

Directions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Mix all meatloaf ingredients well and place in a baking dish. Shape into a loaf.

Topping:

Mix ingredients for topping and spread on loaf. Bake for 1 hour.

The Back-Up Plan – Bruschetta

Zoe thought she’d be married by now. But due to her lack of trust in people (men especially) and the inability to “let people in” the former executive and present pet shop owner is living single in New York.

The Back Up Plan

The problem? Zoe desperately wants to start a family but hasn’t found the right guy. After months of contemplation she fears her time is running out and decides to be artificially inseminated. Shortly after the procedure she meets Stan, the cheese farmer and college student whom she immedi
ately connects with.

Reluctant at first, the two begin a relationship where Zoe is left with the dilemma of how to tell Stan she is pregnant. She was completely fine with her “back up plan” to be a single mother, but now with Stan in the picture things may get complicated.

Bruschetta Recipe

by Chef John Christenson

Brushetta

Share this delicious recipe:  

Ingredients:

  • 1 French Bread Loaf
  • Sheet of Aluminum Foil
  • 3 Tablespoons of finely crumbled Feta Cheese
  • 4 Vine Ripened Tomatoes
  • 6 Garlic Cloves
  • 6 Leaves Fresh Basil
  • 3 Sprigs of Fresh Thyme
  • Small Jar of marinated Artichoke Hearts
  • Small bag of Sun Dried Tomatoes
  • 2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
  • 6 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • Kosher Salt and fresh ground Black Pepper (to taste)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Place the garlic cloves and 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil into the Aluminum Foil. Fold up all side till you have a formed a leak-proof pouch. Place in the oven and roast for 15 minutes. While the Garlic is getting nice and cozy, slice the French Bread into 1” slices, cutting on the bias. Drizzle with 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil on one side of the bread. Dice the Tomatoes into medium cubes, as well as the Artichoke Hearts. Thinly slice the Sun Dried Tomatoes into strips. Chop the thyme and slice the Basil into a ribbon cut or Chiffonade; by placing the leaves on top of each other, rolling it into a tube and slicing length wise. Place all vegetables and herbs into a bowl, season with S&P, gently toss and let marinate as you prepare the Roasted Garlic Puree.
  2. Remove the Garlic from the oven, let cool slightly, place into a food-processor and puree smooth. If you are without a processor, smash and smooth out the garlic plus the oil in a bowl with a large spoon. Spread a nice coating of the Garlic puree onto the slices of the bread, Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. When the bread is done, let cool. Spoon out about a Tablespoon of the Bruschetta on each slice. Spinkle on some feta for richness…

Cooking time: 30 minutes.Servings: 4-8.Back to Top