Monday, October 04, 2010

P.A. Brown's Goodies for All to Try

Not only does reknown author P.A. Brown create unforgettable stories, she also concocts mouth-watering goodies. Below are two of P.A.'s recipes to entice you. We tried them and Studs couldn't get enough.

Berry Crunch Muffins

1/2 C Lowfat granola
1 C whole-wheat flour
1 C all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg
3/4 C orange, grape juice or cranberry
1/4, C vegetable oil (canola, corn, peanut, etc)
2/3 C light brown sugar
3 tbsp Dutch cocoa (at least 70% cocoa)
1 tsp grated lemon zest (or if using orange juice use orange zest)
1 1/2 C fresh or frozen blueberries or cranberries
1/4 C flaxseed
1 tsp Vanilla

Pre-heat oven to 400 F. Coat muffin pans – 12-16, or mini pans – with cooking spray. Crush granola to eliminate larger chunks.
Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, flax and salt in a large bowl.
In medium bowl whisk juice, egg, oil, vanilla, zest and sugar and blend until sugar dissolved.

Add liquid to dry mixture. Fold in until just moist, do not over blend. Fold in blueberries. Fill muffin cups about 2/3 full, sprinkle with enough granola to cover top of muffin. Pat down so granola adheres.

Bake until tops are golden brown and center comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes. Remove from pan, cool and cover.

Added note from P.A.: These are great warm. they’re crunchier when fresh, but still taste great the next day. Word of warning, these are very crumbly. I don’t advise eating over a keyboard. :)

While these tasty muffins are baking, it's a perfect time to read a few chapters from FOREST OF CORPSES. If you don't have a copy yet, you can purchase one at MLR Press

Another great recipe for a fun Sunday night is P.A.'s Pizza.

Pat’s Pizza

1 28 oz can of whole tomatoes
3-4 cloves of garlic, chopped fine
½ small white onion, chopped fine
6-8 large basil leaves, chopped fine
Large bunch of fresh oregano, chopped fine or 2 tbsp dried oregano

You can even slip in things like finely grated carrots, or flaxseed into the sauce.

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose white
1 tsp salt
¼ cup virgin olive oil
1 cup warm water
1 pkg yeast
1tsp sugar
¼ cup corn meal

TOPPINGS (some possiblities)
Fresh mushrooms, chopped
Pepperoni, sliced thin
Peppers (green, yellow, red)
Fresh tomatoes
Basil leaves
Roast peppers or tomatoes
Anything else you can think of

½ - ¾ cup Mozzarella cheese, grated
¼ cup Parmigiana cheese, grated fine


For the best results, make the sauce the day before. Blend tomatoes, garlic, onion, basil and oregano. I use a food processor or blender. A hand held blender will work, too. Do not over blend. There should be some texture to the sauce. Cover and refrigerate at least overnight to blend flavors. DO NOT COOK.

For dough, add yeast and sugar to warm water. The best temperature is just warm to the touch. Let stand for 10 minutes in warm place. Add flour and salt to large bowl. Blend well. Add water and yeast. Add oil and mix well. Turn dough out onto a dry, floured surface, knead for at least 10 minutes. Add flour as needed until dough is no longer sticky. Form into a ball and place in a clean, oiled bowl. Cover with damp cloth and put in warm, draft free place. (I put it in the oven with the oven light on) Let rise for at least 2 hours or until dough has doubled in size.

Heat oven to 450 F. If you have a pizza stone, put it in the oven now.

Divide the dough into 3 even pieces. Roll into balls. On floured surface, knead dough into a disk. I use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a 14” circle. It can also be stretched by hand. (I’ve never mastered the art of throwing dough) On a 14” pizza pan, spray with non-stick cooking spray or oil. Dust with corn meal. Fold dough in half, place it on pizza pan and make sure it goes to the edges. Let sit for fifteen minutes. Using a fork poke holes in dough so it doesn’t puff up in oven.

Precook dough for 5 minutes (this helps ensure it doesn’t get soggy from the sauce). Remove from oven. Do this with each piece of dough. Three 14” pizzas can be made (thin crust) or two thick crust or several pie pan individual pizzas. Bake each one for 5 minutes.

Using small ladle or large spoon, spread at least half a cup of sauce on dough (you can use less if you want. I like a lot of sauce with my pizzas). Top with ½ cup of cheese. Layer ingredients over top of cheese. Add another ½ cup of cheese. Sprinkle a couple of teaspoons of parmigiana.

Either using a pizza paddle, or a pizza pan, slide the pizza on the stone. Let cook for 10 minutes, check and rotate. Cook until cheese bubbles and begins to brown. Remove from oven and put on pizza pan sprinkled with corn meal. Let sit for 5 minutes, slice as desired.

A few notes from P.A.:
*Whole canned tomatoes are freshest – they only undergo 1 cooking, whereas chopped, pureed or crushed are all cooked a second time.
**All whole wheat can be used though the texture will be slightly heavier. Non-bleached white, or all white flour can also be used.
***Sauce can be frozen and kept for up to four months. Sauce can also be used with panzarotti, lasagna, as a dip for mozzarella sticks, pizza rolls, or anything a good tomato sauce can be put on. English muffins, crusty rolls, pita bread, tortillas, and flat bread can be substituted for the home made crust.
****A variety of cheeses can be used – including, but not limited to goat, asiago, Monterey Jack, cheddar, feta, blue cheese. Several types of cheese can be blended.
**** Good quality fresh Parmigiana is worth the higher price. At all costs, avoid the canned Parmesan. It’s flavorless.

One pie feeds 2-4 people. Wrap leftovers with Saran Wrap. Will keep a day or two in the fridge, but frankly, it’s not as good the next day. This is one meal that tastes best fresh.

P.A. Also says: My favorite pizza pans are the ones with holes. Other equipment to have if you make pizza regularly include a pizza wheel, pizza stone and pizza paddle. The stone and paddle can also be used to bake bread as well.

With a pizza stone this could also be cooked on a barbecue.

Now's a good time to read P.A.'s hit book GEOGRAPHY OF MURDER. Click HERE to learn more. You can also catch up with P.A. Brown on her website.

I'll be back on Wednesday with the popular Ginger Simpson. Until then...

Happy Writing!

Sloane Taylor
Sweet as Honey...Hotter than Hell

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