Category Archives: FOOD

Scugnizzi – A Delicious Discovery on Instagram

A ton of my non-professional hours are spent thinking about food; I read my food magazines, dream of what I want to make, drool over the dishes being posted on Instagram, borrow a ton of cookbooks from the library…..the list goes on and on. Today, at the magical hour when my brain started thinking about dinner options, there popped a picture of Scugnizzi. Posted by one of my favorite Italian food bloggers under the handle @giuliaeats, the dish was described as fried pizza dough served with fresh tomatoes, basil, extra virgin olive oil, and grated cheese. I responded saying I had to try these immediately.

Fortunately for me, I not only had one ball of pizza dough leftover in the fridge (home made from Marc Vetri’s book on Mastering Pizza), but the rest of the ingredients were on hand as well. I was on my way to recreating Giulia’s picture of the Italian dish that is named after street kids.

It is so easy and as I write this, I am watching with contentment, as my daughter literally is trying to get every last morsel off her plate.

Here’s how you can quickly create this dish at home.

Scugnizzi – An easy plate of heaven

If you like bruschetta, you will be in heaven with this fried pizza dough dish.

Course Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Italian, Pizza Dough, Vegetarian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 1 Ball Pizza Dough Store bought is fine
  • 4 Medium tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 5 Fresh basil leaves, torn into smaller pieces
  • .25 cup Shaved parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt To taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper To taste
  • 1 cup Cooking oil For frying

Instructions

  1. Roll the pizza dough into an 8 inch round.  With a knife, score and cut the dough into 1 to 1.5-inch pieces.

  2. Heat oil in a small pan (I used a 6 inch round one).  When the oil is hot (test by dropping a little piece of dough and seeing if it comes right up), fry the pizza dough pieces in batches till golden brown.

  3. Remove the fried dough and place in a single layer on a plate covered with a paper towel.

  4. Now you are ready to assemble your Scugnizzi.  Divide the fried dough onto four plates.  Top with the tomatoes, basil leaves, parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper.  Pour a bit of olive oil over each serving.  

  5. Serve hot!

Recipe Notes

I am neither an Italian nor an expert on this dish.  I simply recreated the dish based on a picture and description.  Would love any corrections/thoughts from those closer to the origin of this dish!

A Twist to Poha with Quinoa and the Instant Pot

Poha is a quintessential savory breakfast/snack food served in homes and restaurants in Mumbai and the state of Maharashtra in Western India. It is essentially flattened, flaked rice cooked with onions, potatoes, and spices. It is not only a super easy dish to create, but it is economical and yummy.

With my newly acquired Instant Pot beckoning me to be creative, I embarked on the idea of creating the taste of poha, with my favorite powerhouse food – qunioa.

Despite it being an experiment, I was so overjoyed to see the results; quinoa elevated to the taste of poha in just a few minutes, thanks to the Instant Pot. Here’s how I made this easy dish.

Quinoa Poha using an Instant Pot

A quintessential Indian breakfast food gets transformed with quinoa

Course Breakfast
Cuisine Indian
Keyword Quinoa, Poha, Indian, Instant Pot
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 people

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsps Cooking oil
  • 1 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp Cumin seeds
  • 1 Green chili, finely chopped
  • .5 Red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 Potato, medium sized, cubed
  • .5 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1 cup Quinoa
  • 1.5 cup Water
  • 2 tbsp Finely grated coconut
  • 1 tsp Fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 1 Lime, sliced

Instructions

  1. Press the saute button on the Instant Pot. When it displays hot, add the oil, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, green chili.

  2. When the mustard seeds pop, add the onions and saute till they brown.

  3. Add the potatoes, turmeric powder, kosher salt and saute for two minutes.

  4. Add the quinoa and water, mix well

  5. Cook on high pressure for five minutes, with the valve in the sealing position. Release the pressure manually by switching the valve from the sealing to the venting position.

  6. When pressure has been released completely, slowly open the pot, add the coconut and cilantro leaves and toss once.

  7. Serve quinoa poha with a slice of lime.

Recipe Notes

If you don’t have an Instant Pot, you can cook the recipe over the stove.  

A Zhougy egg salad with toast

I’m really sorry if I am going overboard with my enthusiasm for Zhoug (or Schug) across social media. Yes, this Yemeni condiment made with cilantro, peppers and spices now comes ready made at Trader Joe’s and my universe has been transformed with possibilities. So this morning, we had an easy but superbly yummy Zhougy egg salad with toast and you might want to give it a try!

Zhougy Egg Salad with Toast

A yummy twist on traditional egg salad

Course Breakfast
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 2

Ingredients

  • 1 Hard boiled egg
  • .5 Large avocado
  • 1 tbsp Zhoug
  • 1 Hot chili
  • 1 sprig Cilantro

Instructions

  1. Peel and chop the egg into small pieces.  Do the same with the avocado.

  2. Finely chop the green chilly.

  3. Mix the egg, avocado, Zhoug, chopped chili.

  4. Garnish with cilantro and serve with toast.

Recipe Notes

If you don’t have access to ready-made Zhoug, you can try a recipe inspired by Mike Solomonov here.

https://www.tastingtable.com/cook/recipes/schug-secret-weapon-recipe