RZ Cooking

The Best Cooking Resource in the Universe

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Sausage and Peppers

After the emails, letters, and the growing mob of disgruntled fans in my backyard, it is clear that this website must be updated. This recipe, like the countless others which we've graced you with, is awesome (don't let the above photo mislead you).

I could at this point go into detail about the various textures and flavors of this dish as I have done in the past, but I realize that this is a useless endeavor. Therefore, anyone who is actually reading this can try the recipe on his/her own and determine its culinary merit (To those of you who are actually reading this: find some other way to spend your time. Read a book.) Feel free to share your pathetic ideas in the comments section.

1 onion, chopped
1 lb sausage, casings removed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon each of dried parsley, oregano and basil
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 cups tomato puree

1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown the sausage with 1 tablespoon oil. Remove from pan and reserve for later.

2. Add remaining tablespoon of olive oil to the pan. Add the onion and cook for 5-7 minutes until onions are soft. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute.

3. Add the wine to the pan and scrape the browned sausage bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook for 3-5 minutes, or until the the wine has been reduced to about half.

4. Add the tomato puree along with 1 cup water. Bring to a simmer and add the browned sausage, the peppers, and herbs.

5. Cook for another 10 minutes or so over medium-low heat. Serve over pasta.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

These are not your everyday mashed potatoes. With roasted garlic and olive oil, you will find both the taste and texture to be flawless. They are great with just about any dish, and they include ingredients you probably have on hand.

4 medium potatoes (either russets or Yukon Golds)
8 cloves garlic
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup to 3/4 cup half and half, heated
2 tablespoons olive oil

1. Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with water. Bring the water to a boil, add some salt, and continue cooking until the potatoes are soft - about 40 minutes.

2. Brush garlic cloves with olive oil and wrap in tin foil. Roast in an oven preheated to 400 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes.

3. Once potatoes are cooked, drain the water and carefully remove the skin from the hot potatoes. Mash potatoes with a potato masher and then add the butter and roasted garlic. Continue mashing until smooth.

4. Slowly add the half and half while mashing until a thick, but smooth consistency is produced. Finish the potatoes off with a couple tablespoons of olive oil and serve.

Friday, April 27, 2007


These are no ordinary calzones. The typical calzone that you might find at a local pizzeria is filled only with mozzarella and ricotta cheese. These calzones are much more satisfying, however. They are stuffed with a lovely tomato & onion mixture, as well as just the right amount of mozzarella. The combination is superb, and I am sure you will enjoy them.

For the Filling:
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 tomatoes, diced
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons fresh basil, finely chopped
1 cup mozzarella cheese, grated

1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook for 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.

2. Add the tomatoes, oregano and basil and reduce the heat to medium low. Cook for 3-5 minutes more, then remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.

3. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Divide the dough into four pieces.

4. One a floured surface, roll out one piece of dough to 1/8 in. thick circle. Spoon 1/4 of the tomato mixture onto the flattened dough, and then top with 1/4 cup cheese. Brush or spoon olive oil around the edges of the circle. Fold one end of the dough over, covering the cheese and tomato mixture, and pinch the two edges of the dough together. With a sharp knife, cut a small slit on the top.

5. Repeat step four with the remain dough pieces and place calzones on a cookie sheet or pizza pan. Cook for 9-11 minutes until slightly brown on top.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Old Fashioned Doughnuts

Making homemade doughnuts is an experience I am sure you will enjoy. While the process is a little involved, the reward of freshly made doughnuts is well worth the hastle. Cutting out the doughnuts and creating different shapes is especially enjoyable. These donuts are rich and satisfying, as well as fun to make.

4 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
3/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons sugar
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup butter, melted

Cinnamon Sugar Topping - In a small bowl combine the following:
2 Tablespoons cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar

1. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
2. In a medium bowl, beat 2 eggs with an electric mixer. Slowly add the sugar until mixture is thick and has lightened in color.

3. On low speed, add milk and butter. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and mix just until combined. Cover and Refridgerate for at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours.
4. Roll the chilled dough to 1/2 an inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Cut doughnuts out with a doughnut cutter, or two different sized cookie cutters. Set cut doughnuts aside on a piece of wax paper and let rest 10-20 minutes before frying.

5. Using a deep fryer, or a pot filled with at least 3 inches of oil, heat oil to 375 degrees. Add 2-3 doughnuts and cook two minutes per side. Transfer cooked doughnuts to a cookie sheet lined with a double layer of paper towels.
6. Toss donuts in cinnamon sugar mixture if desired, or top with powdered sugar.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Banana Nut Pancakes

I'd first like to apologize for the infrequent posts. The both of us have been very busy as well as having technical difficulties with our camera. This recipe is based on the one in The Joy of Cooking, and I have to say it is one of the best. The delicate bananas and the crunch of the nuts make it even better. Feel free to add whatever toppings you want though.

1 1/2 cups flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons baking powder
l/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1 1/2 cups milk, at room temperature
2 eggs, at room temperature
3 tablespoons melted butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 bananas, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
vegetable oil

1. Mix together the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder in a large bowl.
2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, melted butter, and vanilla.
3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk vigorously, until combined. Do not overmix! The batter will have lumps, but this is okay.
4. Heat a frying pan over medium low heat. Dampen a paper towel with vegetable oil and quickly wipe the frying pan with it.
5. Add 1/4 cup batter for each pancake. Add a few slices of bananas and a sprinkle of nuts to each pancake. Cook for 2 minutes until brown. Flip with a spatula and cook for another minute.
6. Place cooked pancakes in a 200 degree oven to keep warm. Cook additional pancakes with remaining batter.
7. Serve with maple syrup and enjoy!

Makes 12 pancakes

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Tired of your typical, ordinary pumpkin pie? Try this wonderful pumpkin cheesecake. It has a luscious pumpkin taste with the smooth, rich texture of cheesecake. This festive dish is a perfect Thanksgiving dessert and can be served with a dollop whipped cream, or a dusting of confectionary sugar. Enjoy this delicious dish, and Happy Thanksgiving to all of our readers!

1 1/4 cup crushed ginger snaps
1 cup walnuts
6 tablespoons melted butter
2 pounds cream cheese
1 cup packed light brown sugar
6 eggs
1/2 cup half and half
1/2 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups of pumpkin puree

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a food processor or blender, crush the walnuts and cookies so they are a coarse powder. Put in a bowl and mix in the butter.
3. Press crumb mixture into a 10 inch spring-form pan, making sure the crumbs are evenly layed on the bottom. Bake for 7 minutes and let cool.
4. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer for 1 minute. Add the brown sugar and beat for another two minutes.
5. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the heavy cream.
6. Mix in the flour, salt and spices. Lastly, add the pumpkin and mix until well blended.
7. Pour the filling into the pan, and bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and with a knife loosen the sides from the pan. Allow to cool to room temperature, and store in the fridge until ready to serve.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

RZ Pizza

For weeks we have been discussing making pizza, but attempting this culinary marvel has always eluded us. Finally, we have succeeded in making a pizza that is amazing in taste and is 100% from scratch. With a simple, yet tasty sauce, and a delicious crust, this pizza is great any time. Also, feel free to put whatever toppings you want on it!

For the Dough:
1 1/4 teaspoon yeast
1/2 teaspooon sugar
2 tablespoons warm water
2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup cold water
1 tablespoon olive oil

1. In a small bowl mix yeast sugar and warm water.
2. In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt. add the yeast mixture, cold water and oil and form into a dough.
3. On a floured surface, knead the dough for 10 minutes. Place it in a large, oiled bowl and let rise for 1 hour at room temperature.
4. Punch down the dough and let it rest for another 30 minutes (if desired divide the dough to make individual portions).
5. Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Roll out the dough as thin as possible and top with sauce, mozzarella cheese and additional toppings. Place onto a greased pizza pan and cook for 10-12 minutes.

For the Sauce:
1 28oz can of whole peeled tomatoes
1 small onion
2 cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons oil
salt and pepper
pinch of sugar
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano

1. Heat oil in a 2 quart saucepan over medium high heat. Finely chop the onion and cook for 5-7 minutes. Finely chop the garlic and add to the onions. Cook for an additional minute.
2. Add the tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Stir in sugar, basil and oregano. Season with salt and pepper. Let simmer for 20 minutes.
3. Allow the sauce to cool and then pulse in a food processor until smooth. Use about 3/4 cup for the pizza and freeze the rest for future use.