Pizza. I once heard it is the perfect pregnancy food. All the food groups can be added and it’s hard to despise the taste. For us, it satisfies every child too. A favorite pastime for us is to ask ultimate questions like, “If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?” 99% of the time, we settle on pizza. The toppings are so versatile and now, with cauliflower crust, almond flour crust, coconut flour crust or even zucchini crust (yes, I’ve made this), the crust can be versatile too.
Hopefully, with the recipe I have for you today, you have some tomatoes you’ve preserved from last year’s harvest, because you’ll want to make tomato sauce and pick up some mozzarella. As for extra toppings, think Italian sausage or brats. My boys love these thin sliced and placed on top.
We currently have a sale on for some tasty, local meat too. Check out our recent email newsletter: Click here! Or browse what we currently have available: Click here!
Today I want to share our favorite crust. We’ve been using this for years. You can substitute some or all of the flour for freshly ground or whole wheat too and it still works great. Add some extra olive oil to a bar pan with raised sides and it makes great deep dish. Roll it thin and it also makes an excellent thin crust. I’ve even used this for calzones.
Best part? Mix it up and, after getting all the toppings ready, it’s ready to be put in the oven just twenty minutes later. If you don’t have a favorite pizza crust, give it a try. I think you’ll like this one!
Favorite Pizza Crust
- 2 1/2 cups flour, additional if needed
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 Tablespoon yeast
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 teaspoon or more olive oil, to seal finished dough
- In a bowl, combine the flour, salt, sugar and yeast.
- Add the water and knead for about ten-fifteen minutes or eight minutes in a mixer. Use the stretch test to see if the dough is ready to rest. Simply stretch the dough and if it can become thin without breaking, it has been kneaded enough.
- Pour a bit of olive oil over the dough, sealing it, cover and let rise for 20 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 450 Fahrenheit.
- After the dough has risen, knead it a bit and place it on a pizza pan. Roll it as thin or as thick as you like.
- Add all the seasonings, toppings, and cheese you prefer.
- Bake for 11 – 15 minutes at 450 Fahrenheit.
Minnesota winters require a good soup. They not only warm, but they nourish our bodies too. What is your favorite soup? Do you even like soup? Me? I love soup, but I have to convince my boys. They’re not so easily won. As long as it’s a good cream soup, they’ll devour it though. I tried this one on them the other night and they really enjoyed the smell of the sesame oil. I’ve found that many good side pork recipes have sesame oil in them.
My love for cabbage soup started with The Joy of Cooking after receiving the book as a wedding present. Basic cookbooks like that and Betty Crocker’s Cookbook are a great place to start when learning to cook and bake. You’ll learn the basics, what you like and don’t like, and then be able to expand from there. I like to learn as I do things, but maybe you like all the knowledge before you jump in. If so, I’d recommend finding a chef you really enjoy and watching his/her videos on youtube.com or from the library. You can gain some excellent knowledge this way.
With recipes, I often get ideas online and then just make up my own way to do it according to the skills I’ve learned along the way. Most recipes don’t have you sear the meats and veggies or grill them before adding to soup or slow cooker recipes, but I’ve found this to enhance the texture and flavors so much I almost always do it unless I forgot to take it out the night before and it’s still frozen.
The nice thing about side pork is that it’s typically a smaller portioned package and so it will thaw within the day. That and soups don’t take a whole lot of time if you have all the ingredients available in your pantry or freezer. I love modern technology and don’t know where I’d be without a fridge and freezer. Also, buying in bulk (especially meats like half a hog, frozen whole chickens or a quarter beef) ensures I don’t have to go to the grocery store more than once a month except for milk or fruits, saving me a lot of time, energy and money from impulse buys.
Now this soup may not be for everyone. I’ve found many just don’t crave the rich fat that accompanies side pork. Many of us crave carbs. This is not a high-carb soup, in fact this would be considered more of a keto or paleo soup in modern diet language. Perfect for low-carbohydrate diets, pastured side pork gives high quality fats that our bodies need to thrive. From previous blog posts you may remember it’s a great source of natural vitamin D.
I hope you like soup because here’s my first side pork installment. I hope to have many more in the coming months, so tell me your favorite things to do with side pork and your favorite soups too. I’m also looking for excellent ideas for beef! We also have 3 and 3/4 beef available still this fall, so share! What are your favorite beef and pork recipes?
Enough from me. Now go enjoy some soup on these cold winter nights!
Side Pork Cabbage Soup
- 1.5 lb. side pork a.k.a. pork belly
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 teaspoon + Chinese five spice powder
- 1 teaspoon + garlic, chopped or 1/2 teaspoon + granulated
- 5 cups or more chicken stock/broth
- 1 small head of cabbage or 2-3 bok choy
- 1-2 Tablespoon roasted sesame oil
- optional excellent veggies: 1-2 leeks, chopped; 3-5 carrots, long sliced; 3-4 Tablespoons of tomato paste for a more minestrone-type taste
- salt and pepper to taste
Heat a large saucepan or cast iron skillet on medium heat. Pour 1 – 2 Tablespoons of olive oil or lard into heated pan and spread evenly. Place chopped onion and any other veggies (such as leeks and carrots) into pan to sauté for about 5-7 minutes until onions are “clear” rather than white all the way through. Place sautéd veggies into an unheated stockpot that you will finish the soup in.
In the saucepan, heat the pork belly until browned, about 7 minutes. Place pork belly into stockpot. Add five spice powder and garlic to stockpot.
Pour one – two cups of chicken stock into saucepan to get all the good veggie and pork juices into the liquid, about two minutes. Pour this liquid into the unheated stockpot with the remaining chicken stock and heat all to boiling.
Once boiling, turn heat to medium-low and add the cabbage. Cook until cabbage is soft. Add salt and pepper to taste. Turn off heat, let cool for five to ten minutes and then add sesame oil.