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A few blogs back, I mentioned that you could do many things with just one recipe. I talked about how to make a pizza dough recipe into a mix and said that it can also be used as a recipe to make warm gooey garlic stuffed cheese sticks...but I have not yet told you how.
This is what you do to make it into garlic stuffed cheese twists:
Make your pizza dough mix. While the dough is rising, go rummage in the ‘fridge a bit and find yourself some Ranch style dressing. If you don't have any, make some. Use the following 1:1 ratio to make the base: equal amounts of mayonnaise and sour cream. For each cup of base that you make add 1/2 teaspoon of dill weed (chopped fresh or dried - it doesn’t matter). Next, add a bit of mustard paste or powder. Remember that the flavor will intensify as the dressing cures (ages) so don’t use more than just a little bit the first time you try this unless you need to clean out your sinuses. Add a sprinkle of salt and mix it all very well. That’s it for a basic Ranch Dressing to get you started. If you like it plain that's fine, but if you want more flavor, you can do all sorts of variations. You might like to add some garlic or a bit of green onion to it. The only limit is your own tastebuds and the ingredients you have available to work with.
Next, get yourself lots of fresh garlic. If you are a garlic lover like me, get yourself LOTS and LOTS of garlic. Peel all the garlic cloves (a hint how to easily peel lots of garlic cloves: if you have any of the foam type shelf liner that is for cushioning glassware that you’re not using, cut a piece of it about 3-6” square. Place a few garlic cloves in the center of the middle of one square. Place the second square over the garlic and the first square - sorta a garlic sandwich. Firmly, but not too firmly, roll the garlic cloves around a bit between the two pieces of foam. As they rub against each other and the foam, the skins will loosen and be much easier to remove). Get a cutting board and a sharp knife. Note: Many people feel that sharp knifes can be dangerous. In the kitchen, it's the dull knifes that cause the most knife related accidents. They slip out of control much more easily than sharp ones because you have to exert more pressure on them to get them to cut. However, I digress. Chop up the garlic cloves. Reheat your oven if necessary so that your dough can finish rising.
In a small sauté pan, heat some EVOO (extra-virgin olive oil). When the oil is warm enough that you think the garlic will sizzle a bit, put the garlic in oil and stir them around a bit. Cook them at about medium until you can smell the garlic aroma coming up and out of the oil. Take them off the heat and set them aside to cool down.
Find yourself some pecorino romano or manchego cheese. Grate it using the largest holes your grater has. Toss some of it into a food processor. Chop it further in the processor for a few seconds...pulsing it off and on works best. Now you have two different coarseness of the cheese. Set it aside. Start your oven preheating to the same temperature that you would use if you were making pizza.
When your dough has finished rising, oil your hands with some olive oil and remove the dough from the bowl. Divide the dough into two equal portions. Hint: so that you don’t end up pulling the dough either separate one piece from another with a twisting motion or cut it with a sharp knife. Next, roll out one piece of dough to the same thickness you would if you were going to make it into a pizza. Brush it or smear it well with some EVOO. Sprinkle it with some basil or other Italian seasoning(s) if you didn’t add any of them to the dough already. Next, evenly sprinkle the oil with the chopped garlic. Then add the cheese that is the powder-like texture. Set it out of your way. Roll out the second piece of dough, brush it with the oil as well, and set it on top of the first one. Pinch the edges together. Cut the dough in half. Cut each half into strips that are about ¾” to 1” wide. Being careful not to let all of the cheese and garlic come out from between the two pieces of dough, twist each strip and place it on a baking sheet as close together as possible. After all of the twists have been made, sprinkle them with a little bit of the courser grated cheese. Bake them as if they are a pizza.
When they are finished cooking and still very hot, sprinkle them with the remaining cheese. Let the cheese melt for awhile. When they have cooled enough to handle, serve the twists with the Ranch Dressing as a dipping sauce. You could also use some leftover tomato sauce if you have any you want to use up.
Please notice how I have played around with just one recipe so that now you have four uses for it (fresh pizza dough, dough mix, frozen crust, and now cheese sticks). For this last one, I did not give you any specific quantities. That was not by mistake. I don’t know how much garlic you would like to use. I don’t know how much cheese you would like. Please do not be afraid of recipes or changing them to suit your own preferences and needs. Recipes are just suggestions of how you might like to try combining foods that will, hopefully, be pleasing to your tastebuds. The Recipe Police will NOT come and take you away if you substitute one or more ingredients in a recipe. If the substitutes come from your food lists and are used to replace avoids, the chances are VERY good that you will actually improve the flavor of the recipe (at least in your own fellow blood types opinions). The Food Police that share your blood type (and hence your food lists) may actually come and join you and ask YOU for YOUR recipe.