Sunday, December 20, 2015

Chicken Cacciatore Pronto for a Last Minute Holiday Recipes #SundaySupper

Chicken Cacciatore Pronto for a Last Minute Holiday Recipes #SundaySupper

If I could be candid for a moment. I was going to publish this dish separately until I saw this week's #SundaySupper theme of Last Minute Holiday Meals, hosted by T.R. of Gluten Free Crumbley and Wendy of Wholistic Woman. I think it fits in nicely with the theme because it's a braised dish which is perfect for the weather, but it's chicken so it's not simmering for hours which means it can be prepared quickly.

Inspiration Behind the Dish

I have become very familiar with this dish over the years. If memory serves me correctly, the first time I prepared it was for a dinner party I hosted. At the time, I was still a novice cook that only knew to follow recipe instructions, but kept coming back to it once I realized how well thought out the dish is. It ended up having a profound influence on the direction of my cooking style.

Dish Details

I have adapted it over time but the source recipe can be found on page 166 of Michael Chiarello's Casual Cooking By Michael Chiarello with Janet Fletcher.


1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
1 cup hot water
4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
2 tablespoons plus 1 tablespoon Italian parsley, chopped
1 cup tomato purée
1 cup chicken stock


1. Finish the mise en place. Place the dried porcini in a small bowl and pour the hot water over them and set aside for 30 minutes so the mushrooms rehydrate. While you're waiting, I recommend puréeing the tomatoes, mincing garlic and chopping parsley. Once the mushrooms are rehydrated lift them out of the water with a slotted spoon and chop, then set aside to reserve. Pass the water in which the mushrooms were soaked through a double layer of paper towels, then set aside and reserve.

2. Sear the chicken. Coat the bottom of a large skillet with a thin layer of olive oil (approximately 1 teaspoon) and place over medium-high heat. Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper, then place in the skillet, skin side down, to sear once the olive oil starts to smoke until well browned, approximately eight to ten minutes. Turn and sear on the second side, approximately two minutes, then remove from the skillet and set aside.

3. Layer flavor and simmer. Drain all but one tablespoon of the oil from the skillet and return to the stovetop over medium heat. Add the garlic and stir until it starts to color, then two tablespoons parsley and reserved porcini, stirring until fragrant. Add the tomato purée, chicken stock and reserved mushroom broth, scraping the bottom of the skillet to loosen any fond. Return the chicken to the skillet, skin side up and bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat, cover the skillet and simmer until the chicken is fully cooked through, approximately thirty minutes. Remove the chicken from the skillet, then raise the temperature to high, boiling the sauce to reduce and thicken, approximately five minutes. To serve spoon the sauce on the plate and top with chicken and garnish with the remaining parsley.

Final Thoughts

The word cacciatore is Italian for hunter and is considered a rustic dish out of central Italy that is commonly made with onions, tomatoes mushrooms and bell peppers, as I've previously demonstrated, however I like this version for extracting such incredible flavor from basic ingredients and, as I said above, it cooks quickly. Possibly the only ingredient that might seem exotic is the dried mushrooms, however I have found that they are readily available at most supermarkets. Chef Chiarello notes in his book that thighs are the part of the chicken that is best for braising because they're moister and, therefore, don't dry out as easily as say breast meat, for example. This dish taught me how to layer flavors and opened my mind to the concept of a mirepoix. I also find the utilization of the water used to soak the dried porcini in the braising fluid quite innovative.

I've prepared an entrée here, but don't miss the many other last minute holiday recipes of varying courses prepared for this week's #SundaySupper, which are below.

Main Dishes
Side Dishes
Quick and Easy Holiday Recipes #SundaySupper by Sunday Supper Movement

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It's easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Butternut Squash Risotto with Crème Fraîche and Fried Sage Leaves for a #SundaySupper Where We Use Veggies As A Main

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For those of you in the United States, I hope you had a wonderful holiday this past Thursday. As I stated in my preview, I find this week's #SundaySupper theme of Veggies As A Main refreshing because it could have easily contributed to the noise of Thanksgiving leftover ideas.

I last made a point of addressing the topic of vegetarian dishes earlier this year when I had the opportunity to work with Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg to promote their most recent book, The Vegetarian Flavor Bible. In it, Ms. Page makes a strong case for those that have chosen to eat a plant-based diet be it environmental, medical or ethical reasons and I highly recommend it even for meat eaters because it is helpful in dish composition.

Inspiration Behind the Dish

As I looked over my previous posts, I have found many vegetarian dishes here. Many are salads but I would estimate more are Italian primi dishes, which is the case here. I actually find it difficult to incorporate meat into pasta dishes unless we're discussing fillings. Costs aside, flavor is considered first when choosing the ingredients to use in a dish, then whether or not the dish is in season before science (i.e. yeast to make bread, deglazing with fluid, etc.). Since butternut squash is in season, I decided to use it in a risotto dish. The Vegetarian Flavor Bible listed butternut squash as pairing well with risottos, sage and nutmeg which is how I composed this dish.

Dish Details

I adapted Ree's recipe to the fried sage leaves found on epicurious.


Vegetable oil for frying
1 bunch fresh sage leaves
Kosher salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into a 1/2-inch dice
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 cup Arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine
5 to 7 cups chicken stock, brought to a low simmer in a saucepan
1/4 cup crème fraîche
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons nutmeg


1. Fry the sage. In a small saucepan or small skillet, add enough vegetable oil to achieve a depth of 1/2-inch and place over medium high heat. Once the oil is hot, fry the sage in batches, 3 to 4 leaves at a time for 5 seconds each, removing them with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate, then season with kosher salt. Set aside to cool. This can be done a day ahead. Once cool, store the leaves in an airtight container.

2. Prepare the squash. Melt the butter over medium heat in a large skillet. Add in the squash cubes, then season with salt and pepper. Sweat the squash until lightly browned and tender but not falling apart. Remove the squash from the skillet to a bowl, set aside and reserve.

3. Apply the risotto method in the same skillet where the butternut squash was prepared by following the method in step two of a risotto I published previously.

4. Finish the dish. Once the rice is al dente, stir in the reserved butternut squash, crème fraîche, parmesan and nutmeg using more or less crème fraîche until the desired consistency has been achieved. Adjust the seasoning as needed with salt and pepper. Serve in warmed bowls garnished with the sage leaves.

Final Thoughts

With the holiday this week, I didn't get the opportunity to perfect the dish because the night I prepared it, I added too much crème fraîche. Mrs. Stuntman also thought the dish was too sweet so I'll need to play around with spices to balance out the flavors.

Meanwhile, please view these other dishes offered for this week's #SundaySupper:

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It's easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

A #SundaySupper Preview Where We Use Veggies as a Main Dish

With the most well known foodie holiday occurring later this week, it would have been easy for the team at #SundaySupper Movement to contribute to the thousands of posts dedicated to the topic. It decided to go in a different direction, with all dishes published this upcoming weekend centering around produce. The theme this week is Veggies as a Main Dish.

For those of you in the United States, I wish you a wonderful holiday filled with family, friends, football and food. Until then, I offer this preview of dishes that will be published this Sunday.

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It's easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Chocolate Indulgence Cake with White Chocolate Sauce and Candied Pecans #ChocolateforJoan

Chocolate Indulgence Cake with White Chocolate Sauce and Candied Pecans #ChocolateforJoan

I make an effort to try to avoid clichés, but every now and then you realize that life is short and people need to make the most out of each day.

When I started this website more than three years ago, I didn't anticipate that I would form real life friendships with other food bloggers I met through social media, however over time that is exactly what occurred. So couple of weeks ago when I learned that my friend Joan of Chocolate Chocolate and More passed away in her sleep, I felt a strong sense of loss.

I had seen Joan online for years and I was fortunate enough to meet her a handful of times in the last year. The only picture I have of the two of us was taken the first time we met when she was in town for IFBC in 2014, however. I had just moved into the area less than a month before and was unable to attend the conference considering I hadn't completely unpacked everything but I was able to sneak over to the host hotel to meet some friends for a few hours for lunch on the Friday before official conference activities began. We instantly connected. I remember at one point that afternoon, nature was calling so I asked her to watch my phone while I was in the men's room. She teased that there might be additional pictures in my phone's gallery when I returned that Mrs. Stuntman might find questionable. I returned a couple of days later on Sunday afternoon. I was only able to see her in passing but she was thoughtful enough to leave me a gift bag of some of the items she collected during the weekend.

(From left to right: Bobbi of Bobbi's Kozy Kitchen, me, Kim of Cravings of a Lunatic and Kiss My Smoke, Joan)

The second time I met Joan in person was at the Food and Wine Conference this past summer. She was invited to speak because more than two million people have 'Liked' the Chocolate Chocolate and More Facebook page. To put that in perspective, Joan has more Facebook 'Likes' than Giada De Laurentiis, Bobby Flay and Alton Brown combined. My memories of Joan on that trip are surrounded by my lunch at Shubee's Coastal Grill and Bar because she was one of the ladies who I was lucky enough to join on that occasion. Something as mundane as transportation to the restaurant stood out because Joan was kind enough to give me a ride in her son's new car, where I returned the favor of teasing her by suggesting she baptize the vehicle by giving the car in front of us a love tap.

The last time I met Joan in person was a couple of months ago at IFBC. Unfortunately, we only met in passing because we mostly attended different sessions and I couldn't attend many of the after hour social gatherings because I opted for my own bed over a hotel room which meant I was driving and couldn't enjoy any cocktails.

Each time I met her, I found her to be incredibly kind, thoughtful and sincere.

Inspiration Behind the Dish

For this dessert, I used Joan's website name for inspiration. The dish had to contain at least three components, two of which had to contain chocolate. The Flavor Bible didn't yield any surprises with items such as nuts, cream, mint and sugar pairing well with both chocolate and white chocolate. Berries were also common between the two but I decided to omit them from the dish because they are not in season.

Dish Details

I'd imagine you could find this dish on any restaurant dessert menu. For it, I paired adaptations of a chocolate cake found on with a sauce found on epicurious and the pecans on


Cooking spray
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 2 1/4-ounce package pecan halves
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup (approximately 6 ounces) white chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Mint leaves for garnish


1. Complete the mise en place. Preheat the oven to 400° Fahrenheit. Coat four ramekins with cooking spray and set aside.

2. Candy the pecans. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat, then add the pecans and toss to coat. Add the brown sugar and salt and stir until caramelized. Transfer the pecans to wax paper in a single layer to cool and set aside.

3. Prepare the sauce. Place the white chocolate chips in a heat safe bowl, then slowly bring the whipping cream to a boil in a medium saucepan. Once a boil has been reached, pour the cream over the chocolate and whisk to combine and melt the chocolate.

4. Bake the cake and finish the dish. Set up a double boiler by filling a medium saucepan with enough water so that the water level is just shy of a heatproof bowl placed over the saucepan. Bring the water to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a simmer. Place the heatproof bowl over the simmering water and add the semi-sweet chocolate chips and stir until melted. Add the butter and sugar and stir until melted then whisk in the two eggs until well combined. Add in the flour and stir until just combined but do not overmix. Remove the chocolate from the heat, then spoon an equal portion of the batter into each of the prepared ramekins. Place the ramekins on a baking sheet, then place into the oven for ten to twelve minutes. To present, invert a ramekin onto a warmed plate, spoon some sauce around the cake, then garnish with the pecans and mint leaves.

Final Thoughts

Mrs. Stuntman enjoyed the dish, however she thought the cake was a little rich. She did ask for more pecans.

Since Joan's passing, there have been a number of tributes that have been published but I wanted to highlight a Go Fund Me page to support the three teenage children that have survived her. Please contribute to it if you can.

Other loving tributes include:

Joan does have contributors, so her blog in addition to her social media pages remain active so please be sure to catch her on Facebook, G+, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.

Rest in peace, my friend. You're genuinely missed.

November 11, 2015 update:

Robin of Simply Southern Baking saw this and shared a few of her pictures that were taken at Shubee's. Thanks, Robin!

(From left to right: Lisa of Jersey Girl Cooks, Robin, Melissa of Serendipity and Spice, Marlene of Nosh My Way, Joan, Wendy of The Weekend Gourmet, KC of Chat 'n Dish, me, Faith of An Edible Mosaic and Healthy Sweet Eats)

Monday, October 26, 2015

Guest Post at Simply Healthy Family: Pan-Seared Sea Scallops, Carrot Purée, Sautéed Ham and Mushrooms

Pan-Seared Sea Scallops, Carrot Purée, Sautéed Ham and Mushrooms

Right around Labor Day, my friend Gwen of Simple Healthy Family put out a request for guest posts for her blog because her family recently purchased a home and her life was going to get rather busy with a full time job in addition to moving, but she didn't want to neglect her blog. Having moved several times in the last decade, I could empathize so I volunteered. Unfortunately, my life also got busy and I only recently prepared the dish I promised her, so I offer my apologies to her for the delay.

From the standpoint of the dish itself I've prepared for Gwen, I'll just note that it's not my first time preparing scallops for the website. I wasn't satisfied with my first attempt primarily because I used inferior scallops and didn't achieve the sear I wanted. Last year, I had to severely alter the preparation of a Martha Stewart scallop appetizer because I had a different professional opinion regarding the techniques utilized and I also prepared a scallops entrée that used seasonal ingredients but the best scallops dish, in my opinion, is the one I prepared for #SundaySupper in February of 2014.

Before I send you to Simply Healthy Family for the recipe, please add her to your G+ circles, follow her on Pinterest, Instagram and twitter in addition to giving her Facebook page a Like.

So have I surpassed the #SundaySupper dish I prepared? Click here to go to Simply Healthy Family to find out.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Eating Out at the 2015 International Food Bloggers Conference #IFBC

As I noted in a preview couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend the International Food Bloggers Conference which was held on September 18th through the 20th here in Seattle so I thought I'd report back on my experiences.

The official conference activities didn't start until the evening of the 18th but I drove in early in the day to meet a bunch of attendees at Loulay for a mid-morning breakfast.

Later on that evening, a registration reception was held. At the beginning of it, sponsors gave away some swag.

It also provided an opportunity to network, not only with other attendees but with sponsors too. There were a couple who stood out. I was able to connect with Chef John Severson of Skillet Street Food. They served a kale Caesar salad with rockfish. Unfortunately, I failed to get a picture of it but the dish can be found on the recipes section on their website.

Another sponsor that stood out was Wild Ginger Asian Restaurant & Satay Bar primarily because they served samples of their seven element broth. It looked like nothing but it packed a flavor punch so well balanced between sweet, salt, savory, sour and spice that it took me by surprise.

Inspired by the sample, my friends who also attended the conference, Bobbi of Bobbi's Kozy Kitchen and Dionne of Try Anything Once, and I went over to the Seattle location for dinner. When we arrived, we were disappointed to learn that they only serve the seven element broth for lunch service so we ordered Buddha Rolls, Mediterranean Mussels with Rayong and Seven Flavor Beef

Buddha Rolls

Mediterranean Mussels with Rayong. Photo courtesy of Dionne of Try Anything Once

Seven Flavor Beef. Photo courtesy of Bobbi of Bobbi's Kozy Kitchen

Probably the highlight of the meal was the mussels dish. Our server described it as a little spicy and I remembered telling Bobbi and Dionne that I didn't want to eat anything too spicy however when it was served, the broth did have a little spice to it but it was very well balanced by other flavors and was hardly noticeable. There was an issue with the beef served that evening, however I was impressed by their response: re-preparing not only that dish but the mussels too, then removing those items from our tab.

In addition to the informative sessions on Saturday, probably the highlight of my day taking a picture with Chef Thierry Rautureau, owner of Loulay and Luc who also competed on seasons 2 and 4 of Top Chef Masters in addition to other media appearances.

Chef Rautureau was able to affirm his position as a celebrity chef, as his hors d'oeuvres of braised short rib, parsnip and bacon foam was the best things I ate all evening.

Final Thoughts

Unfortunately, I was unable to attend Sunday because I could barely move when I got home Saturday evening. Overall, International Food Blogger's Conference was well worth the time and energy I spend making new local contacts I didn't know existed.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Light Stunt: Cacio e Pepe

Light Stunt: Cacio e Pepe

My sister-in-law recently celebrated her one year anniversary by taking a European vacation that took her and her husband through Rome. Before she left, I asked her to bring me back some dried pasta from Italy and she did!

Inspiration Behind the Dish

While she was in Europe, I attended the International Food Bloggers Conference where I met Sara Rosso who currently resides in Italy. Somehow we started to discuss Italian food when she asked what I knew about authentic Italian food. I replied that I was surprised to find the cuisine is so simple. To that end, I thought I'd demonstrate it using ingredients from Italy.

Dish Details

Cacio e pepe is Italian for cheese and pepper and refers to the sauce that accompanies this simple pasta dish I adapted from bon appétit.


Kosher salt
1 pound dried spaghetti
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 teaspoon black pepper, cracked
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
1/3 cup Pecorino cheese, shredded
1 tablespoon fresh Italian parsley, chopped


1. Boil the pasta. Bring a large pot of well salted water to a boil over high heat. Drop the pasta into the water and return to a boil, stirring occasionally for two minutes less than the instructions on the package directs. Drain the pasta, reserving about 1 cup of the pasta water and set aside.

2. Prepare the sauce. While the pasta cooks, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the pepper to toast and becomes fragrant, approximately one to two minutes. Add about half of the pasta water to the pan and bring to a simmer. Add the pasta with the remaining tablespoon of butter, stirring until melted. Remove from heat and toss with the two cheeses and serve in warmed bowls garnished with parsley.

Final Thoughts

I like this dish for several reasons. First and foremost, despite it's simplicity, it yielded incredible flavor. Second, there's some techniques demonstrated in this dish that might be missed if not highlighted. 1) Add salt to the pasta water. Pasta acts like a sponge and will add incredible flavor to the dish. 2) Undercook the pasta in the boiling water because 3) the pasta will finish cooking in the sauce in order to blend the flavors of the sauce and the pasta. 4) Reserve some of the pasta water to use in the sauce. The starchy water will bind and thicken the sauce, and in the case of this dish, can also act as an emulsifier.

Speaking of the International Food Bloggers Conference, I'll have a fuller review of my experiences hopefully next week.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Balsamic Steak and Arugula Pizza for a National Pizza Month #SundaySupper with #GalloFamily

Balsamic Steak and Arugula Pizza for a National Pizza Month #SundaySupper with #GalloFamily

I suppose you could cross this off my culinary bucket list. I must admit that pizza seems like a rather pedestrian dish to be placed there, given my style, but I had a rather unusual version. There are few factors preventing me from preparing it but chief among them is the fact that, according to the recipe developer, the entire pie weighs in at ten to twelve pounds which is excessive for three people in my family. Possibly next February for a Super Bowl party...

For this dish, I decided to place the focus onto the flavor profile.

Inspiration Behind the Dish

Gallo Family Vineyards has decided to use this opportunity to challenge the team at #SundaySupper to pair its wines with pizza toppings in celebration of National Pizza Month, which is October in the United States. For it, each participant was able to select two wines to pair so I chose chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon, primarily because I'm most familiar with them, so it would theoretically result in better pairings, but also because they are my favorite wines to drink. Not familiar with Gallo Family Vineyards? Well, they have provided a store locator so you can find their wines. Also, please consider giving them a 'Like' on Facebook, following them on twitter and instagram in addition to subscribing to their YouTube channel. Compensation was provided by Gallo Family Vineyards via Sunday Supper, LLC. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author, and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Gallo Family Vineyards.

When I was conceptualizing the dish, I thought I might pair the chardonnay with French flavors that complement chicken but it looked like many of my peers were also preparing chicken pizzas so I thought I'd pair the cabernet sauvignon. My favorite way to pair it is with beef so, per what has become my standard operating procedure, I consulted The Flavor Bible and was reminded of a flavor pairing I used a couple of years ago with a New York steak dish. It suggested to pair steak with arugula, Parmesan and balsamic vinegar. It has become one of my favorite flavor profiles and I knew it would pair nicely with the cabernet sauvignon so I used it again.

Dish Details

I adapted a number of different sources to create this dish. I used the pizza dough recipe found on page 31 of Fabio's Italian Kitchen by Fabio Viviani with Melanie Rehak with the pizza sauce found on For the toppings, I used the balsamic marinade found at and paired it with Ina Garten's arugula topping found on


For the balsamic steak:
1 3/4-to-1 pound flank steak
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
1 clove garlic, smashed with the side of a knife
Freshly ground black pepper

For the pizza dough:
1/4-ounce (1 packet) dry active yeast
1 1/2 cups water at a temperature of 100° Fahrenheit to 110° Fahrenheit
1 teaspoon sugar
4 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon olive oil

For the pizza sauce:
1 28-ounce can whole or diced tomatoes
6 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
Olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Shredded mozzarella and parmesan cheese

For the arugula:
5 ounces arugula
Juice from 1 lemon
Olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper


1. Prepare the flank steak. Place the steak in a resealable plastic bag, then combine the garlic, balsamic vinegar, 1/4 cup olive oil in a small bowl and season with pepper. Pour the marinade over the steak and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Remove the steaks from the marinade 30 minutes before searing it and discard the marinade. Pat the steak dry and heat the remaining oil in a large skillet. Once it starts to smoke, sear the steak, approximately 4 to 5 minutes on each side. Remove from the pan and let it rest for 5 minutes, then slice the steak into thin strips. It may also be necessary to cut each strip into bite size pieces. Set aside while you prepare the pizza dough.

2. Prepare the pizza dough and pizza sauce. Using a mixer with the dough hook attachments, combine the yeast, water and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add the flour in small amounts, mixing well in between each addition until the dough is tacky but not sticky. Remove the dough from the bowl using olive oil if necessary and place on a lightly floured a flat surface. Cover the dough with a dry towel and let it rise for 30 minutes. While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 425° Fahrenheit then combine the first three ingredients in a blender and drizzle in approximately 1 tablespoon olive oil. Blend the sauce, then season with salt and pepper to taste.

3. Assemble the pizza. Once the dough has risen, Roll the dough, shape it and transfer it to a sheet pan or pizza pan. Spoon some pizza sauce onto the dough, leaving three quarters of an inch space from the edge of the dough. Shower the pizza sauce evenly with the cheeses then top the cheese with the balsamic steak. Bake in the preheated oven until the crust is crispy and the cheese has melted, approximately 9 to 10 minutes.

4. Prepare the arugula and finish the dish. While the pizza bakes, combine the lemon juice and olive oil in equal parts in a small bowl, then season with salt and pepper. Toss the arugula with just enough to dampen, a scant couple of teaspoons. Once the pizza is finished in the oven, top it with the dressed arugula, slice and serve with your favorite Gallo Family Vineyard wine.

Final Thoughts

There are a couple of execution issues I'd like to discuss. First, my source recipe for the instructs to marinate the steak for only 30 minutes to 1 hour but I actually let it sit in the marinade overnight for a stronger balsamic flavor. Secondly, I wanted to specify here that my first attempt at pizza dough failed because I didn't measure the flour. Furthermore I had trouble mixing the flour after a few additions so I might add it all in at once the next time I attempt it. Overall, I was fairly satisfied with the dough because it was comparable to some pizzas I have had delivered. Honestly, pairing wine with pizza initially seemed unnatural to me, however the cabernet did pair with the flavors of the pizza exceptionally well so I will probably do so again the next time I make pizza at home.

Lastly, I'm not the only National Pizza Month celebrant, so be sure to review the others listed below.

Sweet Pizzas
Savory Pizzas
Also Featured: Simple Tips for Wine Cheese Pairings plus Pizza Recipes #SundaySupper with Gallo Family Vineyards.
Need more ideas for celebrating National Pizza Month? Check out Gallo Family Vineyards’ blog.

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.
Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It's easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.