Friday, January 28, 2011

The Betty Crocker Project : The Homemade Mediterranean Happy Hour featuring The Pita Pizza

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Tabbouleh Salad and Lemon Garlic Hummus
So right now I should be telling you all about the food writer and photographer coming over to have dinner with us this weekend. I could be telling you about the dream I had last night about Lobster Killer or how I've been sick all week. But I am finding myself completely distracted. See I just found out Season 3 & 4 of Ghost Adventures is available to watch instantly through our Xbox.

Now as you may remember, I love the show Ghost Adventures. I love when they role played being Union soldiers in Gettysburg, wore Top Gun flight suits on a haunted air craft carrier and swing billy-clubs in condemned prisons to get a rise from the "ghost inmates". I really like trying to follow their "chains of evidence" and how excited they get when there's a draft. Most of all - I love their "tools of the trade". They are pure Dr.Igon Spengler Gold!

So here's what you  need to watch hours and hours of Zac, Aaron and Nick shaking their fists into the night and yelling "Bro - Did you hear that?" or maybe some big Super Bowl type of thing if you can even find something like that happening somewhere. It's the kind of spread that is perfect for marathon TV watching or a new take on The Homemade Happy Hour. This spread makes a lot of food quickly and is so super easy  that anyone can make them - even if they aren't feeling 100%.  In fact, they're so easy I feel a little guilty posting them but instead I'm just going to focus on how much I love eating these pita pizzas... really you should too. Of course, Betty's Tabbouleh and Hummus were already vegan, so we just needed to meddle with the recipes a little to make the pizzas just right. I think you'll love these.

I know we usually have Mexican Food on Friday night... but we might have to make an exception & make these again.

You're going to need to stock up on your pita bread.

Betty's Tabbouleh (kinda)
  • 3/4 Cup Uncooked Bulgur
  • 1 1/2 Cups Fresh Parsley (chopped) 
  • 3 Roma Tomatoes (diced) 
  • 4 Green Onions (diced) 
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Mint Leaves (chopped) 
  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil 
  • 1/2 Cup Lemon Juice
  • 1 Clove garlic (minced) 
  • 1 Teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Cumin 
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Lemon Zest
The first step is preparing your Bulgur. We buy ours in bulk so we followed Betty's instructions on how to prepare the Bulgur. We covered the Bulgur with cold water in a mixing bowl and let it stand for 30 minutes. Then we pressed out the water with a water towel. I noticed though that some of the packaged Bulgur instruct you to soak in hot water or even boil. I recommend  following the instructions on your package.

In a glass bowl, mix your cooked Bulgur, Parsley, Tomatoes, Green Onions and Mint.

In a container that closes tightly, add the remaining ingredients and shake well. Pour over the Bulgur Mix and toss in your glass bowl. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for around 1 hour. I will tell you the longer you let the flavors mix - the better it is.

 Lemon Garlic Hummus
  • 1 Can Garbanzo Beans (rinsed and drained) 
  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil (you'll need another 1-2 Tablespoons to pour over the top) 
  • 2 Cloves Garlic (minced) 
  • 3 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
  • 2 Teaspoons Lemon Zest
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Braggs 
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Tahini
Put all your ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend/puree on the highest speed. You'll want to stop the machine to scrap the sides and then blend some more a few times. You're going to want to mix the ingredients till they make a nice smooth paste.

Spoon into a serving dish and pour 1or 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil over the top.

Now these 2 dishes are pretty awesome on their own but they are also the foundation for one of Betty's best creations... The Pita Pizza.

Betty's Pita Pizza
  • 8 Whole Wheat Pitas (one for each "pizza")
  • 1 Batch of the Lemon Garlic Hummus (you may have noticed it above)
  • 1 Batch of the Tabbouleh Salad (also up there towards the top of this post) 
  • 1/3 of a package of Sheese Smoked Cheddar or Sheese Blue Cheese if you want a stronger flavor (diced into small cubes)
  • 1/4 Cup Kalamata Olives
  • Few Diced Pepperoncinis if you like things a little spicy
Heat oven to 400.

Spread Hummus on each Pita and place on an greased cookie sheet. Sprinkle with the diced Sheese.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven when the edges of the Pitas and the Sheese brown. Top each Pita Pizza with some Tabbouleh Salad, Kalamata Olives and Pepperoncinis.

Oh and if you're trying to figure out what drinks to serve with a Mediterranean Happy Hour ... I'd recommend trying out some Pomegranate Cocktails or checking out one of the many remarkable wines from Greece. Of course, if you're just trying to get in the mood to watch more Ghost Adventures... you're going to need some J├Ągerbombs and some energy drink chasers.

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