Toasted Bagel Basics

Toasted Bagel Basics


I like bagels. Bagels from a bagel store are very exciting. I can freeze day old bagels to eat later. Here are two ideas for preparing a bagel without cream cheese.  I use the microwave to melt cheese on bagels.

Bagel With Mustard And Cheddar


Bagel With Melted Butter



Chef John’s Chicago Deep Dish Pizza, Baking Bread In A Dutch Oven, And A Simple Quesadilla

Chef John’s Chicago Deep Dish Pizza, Baking Bread In A Dutch Oven, And A Simple Quesadilla


Chef John makes great food! This recipe for making pizza has the best ideas for making pizza. I am going to use these ideas for making pizza in the future. The flavors are very exciting. Putting shredded parmesan on the top was great. The pizza sauce was exciting. The crust was flavorful. The pizza was even better the next day. I suggest baking this pizza at 400°F/204°C for 10 minutes and then at 350°F/177°C for 30 or more minutes.

Baking bread in a Dutch oven is exciting! The bread browns perfectly. This sourdough includes (is enriched with) eggs and olive oil. The flavor is very exciting. I am going to reduce the temperature since the bottom of the bread started to burn. I am planning to bake this bread at 400°F/204°C for 10 minutes and then at 350°F/177°C for 30 or more minutes.

This quesadilla was made with extra-sharp cheddar, sour cream, and hot sauce. The extra-sharp cheddar has great flavor. I also like to put sour cream and guacamole on quesadillas. I like to pour cheese that melts on the panini press over top of the quesadilla.

Chef John’s Chicago Deep Dish Pizza


Baking Bread In A Dutch Oven


A Simple Quesadilla


Download The Recipe:

Chef John’s Chicago Deep Dish Pizza

Chicago Deep Dish Pizza, or “Pizza” As We Call It In New York

Amazing Navajo Tacos

Amazing Navajo Tacos


Note: 1) when making beans, consider substituting poblanos with jalapenos, and in general, consider substituting any chilies with jalapenos, 2) see notes in blog post for fried scones

These Navajo Tacos were the very best. They were so exciting! The recipes for the taco meat and the refried beans are from The Best Mexican Recipes: Kitchen-Tested Recipes Put the Real Flavors of Mexico Within Reach by the America’s Test Kitchen. These recipes are amazing. I made Navajo tacos last year. These tacos are a big improvement. I used my caliente especial recipe for making taco sauce. The tacos with taco sauce and sour cream are very different than the tacos without these things. Both were exciting.

Since I cut the scones in half, someone may want to roll the dough to make a 20 x 20 inch (50.8 x 50.8 cm) sheet. The best way I have found for cutting shredded lettuce or cabbage for sandwiches or coleslaw is by making lettuce or cabbage chiffonade. Chiffonade is created by stacking and rolling leaves to make a cigar or cigarette. The ends of the cylinder are cut to make shreds. Since condiments should be room temperature to have the best flavor, using the defrost feature of a microwave makes this possible without being inconvenienced.




Taco Sauce


Refried Beans


Taco Meat


Navajo Tacos


Iceberg Lettuce Chiffonade, Make Condiments Room Temp With Microwave Using Defrost

Download The Recipes:


Taco Sauce

1. The Best Mexican Recipes: Kitchen-Tested Recipes Put the Real Flavors of Mexico Within Reach (Kindle Location 2488). America’s Test Kitchen. Kindle Edition.

2. The Best Mexican Recipes: Kitchen-Tested Recipes Put the Real Flavors of Mexico Within Reach (Kindle Location 8247). America’s Test Kitchen. Kindle Edition.

American Sourdough & Crackers And Cheese

American Sourdough & Crackers And Cheese


This is my new recipe that I baked in my new convection oven. I am calling this bread American sourdough because it is moist, soft, chewy, perfectly browned, flavorful, and exciting to eat! This is good bread. I added olive oil to the bread and changed the proportions of some of the ingredients in my old sourdough recipe. My new convection oven is made with shiny steel. Shiny steel browns food very well. This oven does not have “true convection.” True convection probably has no exposed heating elements. The heat is created by blowing hot air into the oven. The elements are in a separate compartment. The fan in the oven eliminates hot or cold spots.

Ovens similar to this are available at hardware stores or at Amazon. Since the oven is small, it cannot brown the top of the bread. The toast function uses the broiler and oven heating elements simultaneously. To bake the bread, I toasted it for about 10 minutes, and then I baked it for 20 minutes.  Specifically, I toasted the bread at 450°F/232°C for 8 minutes, I baked it at 450°F/232°C for 2 additional minutes, and then I baked the bread for 20 more minutes at 350°F/177°C. I put ramekins of water in the bottom of the oven to create humidity inside the oven.

When I have cheese and crackers, I like the temperature of the cheese to be at room temperature. To make this possible without waiting, I defrost cheese for 10 second intervals. I microwaved the cheese slices in these pictures for 20 seconds.

First Attempt Baking In Small Convection Oven


Second Attempt Baking In A Small Convection Oven


Crackers And Cheese



Download The Recipe:

American Sourdough

Gyro Meatloaf For A Gyro!

Gyro Meatloaf For A Gyro!


Note: 1) inexpensive ingredients appear to work well when they are made 24 hours in advance, the Tzatziki Sauce was good after 24 hours, 2) put the condiments and sauce out to be room temperature

This gyro meatloaf was exciting. I put my first attempt at seasoning the meat in my recipe that appears below. I made a great gyro in my blog post Gyros On Freshly Baked Pita And Lemon Rice. The gyro meat in the previous blog post was grilled similarly to a hamburger. I was excited to make the meat loaf because it is similar to the meat for gyros at a restaurant! Seasoning the gyro with only pepper and oregano is sufficient. Since I microwaved a piece of the loaf after adding new spices, I tasted several variations.


Tastemade Will it Waffle?   Mine (First Attempt)
1 t dried oregano 1 teaspoon dried oregano 2 teaspoons oregano
1 t cumin 1 teaspoon ground cumin 1 1/4 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon dried thyme 1 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon Italian Seasoning (sage, savory)
1 teaspoon ground fenugreek
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon salt 3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper 1 teaspoon black pepper


  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 1 pound ground hamburger
  • Spices (above)
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs (panko)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil


  • Mix the bread crumbs and olive oil
  • Mix the ingredients using a mixer and the paddle attachment until the mixture is similar to paste
  • Put the mixture in a loaf shaped baking pan
  • Bake the loaf at 325°F/163°C for 40 min or until the internal temperature is 160°F/71 °C (I had 8 degrees Fahrenheit of carry over cooking)
  • Remove the loaf from the pan because there will be fat in the pan
  • If the loaf contains nutmeg or cinnamon, the flavor will not be strong after cooling the gyro loaf


Making The Gyro

Download The Recipes:

Gyro Meatloaf


Lemon Rice

Gyro (Tzatziki Sauce)

1. “Homemade Gyro,” Tastemade, accessed December 10, 2017,
2. “Gyros On Freshly Baked Pita And Lemon Rice,” Snap’s Blog, accessed December 10, 2017,
3. Daniel Shumski: Will it Waffle? (New York: Workman Publishing, 2014), 48.

Deep Dish Pizza – Summary

Deep Dish Pizza – Summary


Note: 1) I used 4 cups of mozzarella cheese

One year ago I wanted to make a deep dish pizza. I had very little cooking experience. After making less than 10 pizzas, while struggling to find the best information, this is my creation. I created the recipe for the deep dish pizza crust several months ago. I like to put melted butter in the dough, but someone can use corn oil. I added a note to my summary on making pizza sauce. The note recommended pureeing diced tomatoes from a can after reducing them in a saucepan. I do not put salt in the tomatoes because the other ingredients contain salt. This pizza is very simple and it was exciting. My recipe from Pizzacraft for making a marinara sauce may be a good guide for making a sauce with more ingredients. I baked the pizza for approximately 18 minutes at 400°F/205°C.



Perfecting My Pizza Recipe – Summary

Perfecting My Pizza Recipe – Summary


Note: 1) the calzone uses reduced diced tomatoes, this is very rich, consider pureeing reduced tomatoes and using a very thin layer of sauce on a pizza or calzone, 2) alternatively, use tomato sauce in a can

To make pizza sauce, reduce a can of domestic tomatoes, strain domestic tomatoes, or puree domestic stewed tomatoes without the juice from the can. Using Italian tomatoes may be different. Do not add salt to the tomatoes because the cheese and dough for the crust usually contain a lot of salt. The calzone in this blog post was made with sourdough. My sourdough recipe makes 3 or 4 crusts. Someone probably must use a rolling pin to make a crust with my sourdough recipe. My pizza dough recipe makes very slack (soft and sticky) dough that must be rolled in flour. This pizza dough recipe is very soft and someone can make a crust by hand very easily.

Slack dough may be similar to dough made with Italian flour. Supposedly the flour that people prefer to use in Italy has less gluten. My pizza dough recipe uses all-purpose flour, but someone could try using pastry flour with a different recipe. A calzone should probably be baked in the middle of the oven for about 20-30 minutes, and a pizza should probably be baked in the bottom of the oven for 15-20 minutes. I use a stone or a piece of steel at the highest temperature of my oven. Pizza or calzones can be put on a stone or steel with parchment paper. European delis or butcher shops may have sausages, meats, or bacon with great flavor.