Chef Char is back from Kitchen 242 at the Muskegon Farmers Market! With the holiday's coming up quick, there's always a question of what to bring to the family gathering or the office pot luck that will be different and fun, but easy to make and add a splash to the event!
Fear not! Chef Char has an awesome idea for you that handles all of the above and it absolutely delicious! Today, from Kitchen 242 she's showing us how to make a cheesy pull-a-part bread with a delicious pesto center and garnished with a little marinara sauce for that added holiday touch!
Chef Char hosts the show here on The Muskegon Channel, but she also hosts classes at Kitchen 242 which you can join. There are classes designed for kids, some are set up for a "girls night out" and others are great ways to add to your skills and menu options! You can find a list of all her upcoming classes at her website which you'll find linked under her picture to the right...you know the picture with the outcome of today's delicious recipe.
Kitchen 242 is located at the Muskegon Farmers Market and is open to culinary types who want to start a business but work in an incubator type facility. It's a complete and fully functional facility and designed to help people build and launch business based on food. CLICK HERE to learn more about kitchen 242.
You'll find the complete recipe below the video for today's pull-a-part bread!
For now, let's get cookin' - Here comes Chef Char!
It's a piece of cake to make and so delicious! If you'd like to know more about a fun time at one of Chef Char's cooking classes, click on her picture above for the link to her website! The full recipe is below! Happy Holidays from all of us at The Muskegon Channel!!
Christmas Tree Pull Apart Pesto and Cheese Bread
A festive recipe from Chef Char Morse of Kitchen 242
1 tube pizza dough (you can use thin crust or regular)
¾ cup pesto (pesto recipe below)
4 mozzarella cheese sticks
1 cup shredded mozzarella or shredded Italian cheese blend
Garnish: dried parsley, pizza sauce of choice, sliced provolone cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Unroll pizza dough from tube. Using a rolling pin, shape the crust into a rectangle. Cut one large triangle out of the crust. Save the two small triangles created with the cut out and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Press the two small triangles together to make one large triangle for the bottom crust. Generously coat the crust with pesto. Line the center of the triangle, from the top all the way to the bottom, with mozzarella cheese sticks. Generously cover the remaining pesto with shredded cheese. Place the large triangle-shaped pizza dough over top of the cheese and pesto combination. Lightly press the dough to seal and cut slits into the dough, across the tree on each side of the cheese sticks, about one inch apart, avoiding cutting into the center of the tree where the cheese sticks are lined up. Cover any cheese stick at the bottom with dough from bottom crust to make a tree trunk. Twist each cut section of sliced dough on the sides to look like twisted cheese breadstick branches. Coat entire tree with Italian herb oil and bake for 20 minutes. Allow tree to cool slightly after baking and garnish with extra parsley (sprinkle all over for more green). Make stripes on the tree with pizza sauce to look like garland. Using a star cookie cutter, cut out a star-shape from the sliced provolone cheese and place on top of the tree. Serve while still warm.
Italian Herb Oil:
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning mix (oregano, basil, thyme, parsley,)
2 cloves garlic, minced
Fresh ground black pepper to taste
Herb Oil Directions:
Place olive oil in a small bowl and add the salt, Italian seasoning, garlic and fresh ground pepper. Stir before using.
1 cup raw walnuts or pine nuts or almonds
3 tablespoons peeled, chopped garlic (about 9 cloves)
3 oz. fresh basil, large or woody stems removed
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Juice of one freshly squeezed lemon
1 1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Place the walnuts and garlic in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Process for 15 seconds. Add the basil, salt, pepper and lemon juice. With the processor running, slowly pour the extra virgin olive oil into the bowl through the feed tube and process until the pesto is thoroughly pureed. Add the Parmesan and puree for a minute. Use right away or store the pesto in the refrigerator or freezer with a thin film of olive oil on top. This recipe makes about 3 cups of pesto.
Notes: Air is the enemy of pesto. For freezing, pack it in containers with a film of oil or plastic wrap directly on top with the air pressed out.
To clean basil, remove the leaves, swirl them in a bowl of water, and then spin them very dry in a salad spinner. Store them in a closed plastic bag with a slightly damp paper towel. As long as the leaves are dry they will stay green for several days.