Buffalo Chicken Blue Cheese Pizza

Right now, my best friend Lauren is lying on my sofa and “Modern Family” is playing on TV. Actually, at this precise moment a Purina commercial is playing on TV, but you get the picture. Lauren and I are in this quasi comatose state because of what we did this afternoon. Or, I should say, what we ate this afternoon. Not only did I make buffalo chicken pizza covered in nuggets of mouth watering blue cheese, but I also made my favorite chocolate chip cookies, which we ate while watching the Hillary Duff-Heather Locklear classic, “The Perfect Man”. (If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it. It’s one of those perfect late 90’s meets early 2000’s romcoms).

It’s been a couple of hours since the credits rolled on that and our cookie eating, so we just ordered Chinese. But don’t be too worried for our health; we kept it light, only ordering wanton soup and egg rolls… That’s light for us.

IMG_1567

Buffalo chicken with blue cheese is one of my favorite flavor combinations, and I absolutely LOVE buff chick pizza, especially from the pizza parlor Rosa’s out in Huntington. Their sauce is tangy and spicy enough to make you cough and down a glass of water. Sadly, they’re not handing out the recipe, so I used Sweet Baby Ray’s, which is still tangy but not quite as tear inducing.

Update: Lauren is now fully asleep on my sofa. She’s probably enduring some horrible heartburn. I’m sure the wanton soup will fix that…

IMG_1540

Makes 1, 12-14 inch pie. Serves 2 people.

INGREDIENTS:

1 bag Trader Joe’s pizza dough

1/2 cup Sweet Baby Ray’s buffalo sauce, plus 2 tbsp.

Scant 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese

1/4 cup chopped red onions

1/4 cup sliced celery

1-2 cooked chicken breasts, chopped in 1/2 inch cubes

1/4 blue cheese dressing, if desired

IMG_1549

DIRECTIONS:

Let the pizza dough sit on the counter for 20 minutes in the bag.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Lightly grease a baking sheet, or cover it in parchment paper. On a separate, floured work surface, roll out the dough using a rolling pin. It wouldn’t stretch as far as I wanted it to, so I picked it up and rotated it through my hands in order to help the process along. Once it’s the size and shape you want it to be, relocate it to the baking sheet.

IMG_1575

Toss the chicken in the 2 tbsp of buffalo sauce. Set aside.

Pour the buffalo sauce on the center of the dough and spread around, leaving about an inch of the circumference bare for the crust. Sprinkle the mozzarella on the sauce covered portion. Pour the chicken on top and spread evenly. Cover with onion, celery, and blue cheese chunks.

IMG_1556

Bake for 10-14 minutes, depending on the strength of your oven. Make sure that the cheese is melted fully before taking it out. The crust should spring back when you poke it. Drizzle blue cheese dressing on top if desired.

IMG_1561

Enjoy!

Leslie

Mouthwatering Macaroni and Cheese

If you are lactose intolerant, stay away from this post at all costs.

I love macaroni and cheese. When made with quality dairy it’s tangy, buttery, and can be eaten in a wide variety of circumstances (i.e. at weddings, in bathrooms on paper plates during dreadful dinner parties, water parks, you name it). I make this particular recipe, which comes from marthastewart.com, once a year. Do I want to make it more frequently? Yes. Should I? No. Why? Because I value my arteries.

IMG_9345

This recipe uses three types of cheese: gruyere, fontina, and cheddar, and you can taste each one individually. This is part of what makes it so good; who wants a homogeneous bowl of cheesy pasta? (ME! I DO! But this way is even more delectable).

IMG_9350

Though it takes significantly longer to make this recipe than it does to crack open a box of Kraft mac and cheese, it’s definitely worth it. I refuse to say anything bad about Kraft macaroni since it has played such a large role in my life, for better or for worse. However, Martha knows what she’s doing… I’ll leave it at that.

Original Recipe: http://www.marthastewart.com/853632/three-cheese-macaroni

IMG_9372

INGREDIENTS:

1 stick unsalted butter, plus more for baking dish

1 cup panko breadcrumbs

5 cups whole milk

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

4 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese (10 ounces)

1 1/2 cups grated Gruyere cheese (4 ounces)

1 1/2 cups grated fontina cheese (4 ounces) << fontina always reminds me of the character Fantine from Les Miserables… 

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 pound shell pasta

Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

IMG_9389

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Liberally butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add breadcrumbs, and toast, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 5 minutes.

Warm milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once the milk has started to warm, melt remaining 6 tablespoons butter in a large (no really, the largest one you have) high-sided skillet over medium heat. Cook until butter is bubbling (but not burning!). Add flour. Cook, stirring gently with a whisk, for 1 minute.

Gradually pour warm milk into butter mixture, whisking constantly. Cook, whisking constantly, until mixture bubbles and thickens, about 5-6 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in 3 cups cheddar, 1 cup Gruyere, 1 cup fontina, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, the nutmeg, paprika, and cayenne pepper.

IMG_9395

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta until al dente according to box instructions. Drain, and transfer pasta to cheese sauce. Stir to coat.

IMG_9404

IMG_9409

IMG_9412

Divide mixture among mini pie plates or transfer to baking dish. Scatter remaining cup cheddar, 1/2 cup Gruyere, and 1/2 cup fontina over top, and sprinkle with toasted breadcrumbs.

IMG_9427

Bake until cheese is melted and pasta is warmed through, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool for 5-10 minutes before serving- don’t want to burn your mouth on that tangy cheese!

IMG_9437

IMG_9455

Enjoy!

Leslie