Chicken Alfredo Pizza Ring

img_20180304_172411_9221031382317.jpgEating can be so much fun and I consider this wonderful snack Exhibit A to make my case. It is just so tasty and thus the ideal food for watching a game, as a party snack or just because you deserve a treat. If you make everything from scratch, this dish requires about 30 minutes of prep time. If you use ready-made Alfredo sauce, I’d say it can be done in 20 minutes.

Ingredients

  • Fresh, ready-made pizza dough (1 package for 1 large pizza)
  • 5 cups of shredded, roasted chicken
  • 10 strips of bacon
  • 1 cup of shredded mozzarella
  • ½ a cup of grated parmesan
  • ½ a handful of fresh basil leaves
  • ½ a teaspoon of pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ a cup of Alfredo sauce (either ready-made or look up my recipe on this blog)
  • A bit of butter to grease the bundt cake baking mold
  • Aioli sauce (again, you can buy this ready-made to save yourself a bit of prep hassle)

Preheat the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit/205 degrees Celsius. Cut the pizza dough into 1 inch squares (ca 2.5 centimeters). Roll the squares into little balls and place them on a baking tray. Let the balls bake in the oven for 10 minutes. By pre-baking the dough balls separately, you ensure the final pizza ring is uniformly cooked.

In the meantime, fry the bacon in a pan until crispy. Make sure you place it in a cold pan and then let the temperature rise to a medium heat. Thereby you make sure the bacon is less greasy and much crispier than frying it in an already-hot pan. Once that’s done, drizzle maple syrup over the bacon and let it crystalize for about a minute. This adds a nice sweet flavor to the bacon and an interesting twist to our otherwise very savory dish. Cut the bacon into small chunks for the next step. Afterwards, chop the basil leaves and place them in a big bowl, together with the pre-baked pizza dough balls. Add the shredded chicken, bacon bits, mozzarella and parmesan, as well as the spices. I use garlic powder rather than chopping up a garlic clove, as this ensures that the garlic can really fully infuse the entire food mix while being less intense in terms of taste.

Grease a bundt cake form with butter and then add the mix. Bake in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit/205 degrees Celsius for approximately 25 minutes, until golden. Turn the baking mold upside down onto a plate. Ideally, the pizza ring should gently slide out by itself; if not, give it a little bit of extra help with a spatula.

Pour the aioli into a small bowl and voilà – your party snack is ready to make a bunch of people very happy.

Enjoy!

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Halloumi fries – Golden rays of edible sunshine

Who doesn’t love fries? I don’t think it’s a coincidence that they look like rays of sunshine. But who said that fries have to be made out of potatoes or their equally tasty relative – the sweet potato? That’s why this recipe uses halloumi. Don’t let their innocent appearance fool you though. If you thought that normal fries are filling, you haven’t encountered halloumi fries yet. They can easily make you feel very stuffed – but are sooo delicious at the same time. Hence, this recipe serves 2 (or 4 if served alongside another dish).

Ingredients

Halloumi_fries

  • ½ lb (250 grams) of halloumi
  • 1 cup of flour
  • ½ teaspoon of ground pepper
  • ½ teaspoon of paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon of granulated garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon of nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • Lots, and I mean lots of sunflower oil

Quick and easy dip

  • ½ cup of mayonnaise
  • 2 garlic cloves

Start with the dip. For that, pour the mayonnaise into a small bowl and add the garlic by using a garlic press, as this allows for the liquid from your cloves to already dissolve a bit. Then place the dip in the fridge until the fries are ready.

As for the fries: Cut the halloumi into sticks. They should be about the size of your ring finger. Not too thick, otherwise the frying will leave you with a “raw” core, but not too thin either, as the fries would then break very easily and most likely not survive their bath in the oil.

The secret star of this recipe is the coating, as halloumi in and of itself does not have a distinct flavor. So, the taste is pretty much defined by the spices that are used. Mix the flour with the spices in a flat bowl or soup plate. Coat your fries in it evenly. The beauty of halloumi is its inherent moisture, which means that the flour easily sticks to them.

Take a small or smallish pot and fill it approx. 1 inch/2.5 centimeters with the sunflower oil. This fits the theme, as sunflowers are the suns of the plant world. But I digress… Bring the oil up to a high temperature (try NOT to boil it, as oil burns can be truly nasty) and carefully immerse your fries in the pot. The frying should take approx. 2-4 minutes, depending on how golden you would want the sticks to be. The one in the picture was in the oil for 3 minutes.

Enjoy!