Monday, September 23, 2013

Paleo diet pizza recipe

Paleo Pizza Recipe
By: Chef Cristian Feher

If you've never heard the term "Paleo", you may be wondering what this recipe is all about. The "Paleo", or Paleolithic Diet, is is a modern eating plan based on an ancient diet of wild plants and animals that various people habitually consumed during the Paleolithic era—a period of about 2.5 million years which ended around 10,000 years ago with the development of  and grain-based diets. It's basically a diet free of processed foods.

With this recipe I'll show you how to make a gluten-free, low-carb, Paleo pizza using a meat crust, fresh vegetables and whole milk mozzarella. You can find the recipe below. You can also watch this recipe on the latest episode of The Hot Skillet on Food Chain TV.

How to make Paleo Pizza

Yields: 8 servings


- 1 Lb of Ground Beef (grass-fed, organic)
  • - 1 Lb of Ground Pork
    - 1/2 Cup chopped parsley, fresh
    - 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
    - 5 cloves of garlic, minced
    - 1 egg
    - 1/3 cup of Almond Flour
    - Salt and pepper to taste
    - 15oz can of organic tomato puree
    - 1 lb of whole milk mozzarella cheese
    - Assorted vegetables for topping
  1. Prepare all of your ingredients and put them in plates and/or containers ready to use. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. To mix the "crust", mix the ground pork, ground beef, minced garlic, minced thyme, minced parsley, almond flour, one egg, and salt to taste.
     Mix well by hand.
  3. Transfer the meat "crust" to a non-stick baking sheet and spread out thin (1/2 inch thick layer).
  4. Season the tomato puree with sea salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Spred a layer of tomato puree on top of the meat "crust".
  6. Top the "crust" with chopped vegetables of choice, such as: mushrooms, peppers, squash, etc.
  7. Sprinkle a pound of shredded mozzarella cheese over the pizza.
  8. Roast in oven at 450 for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the meat is cooked through. Enjoy!

Monday, September 16, 2013

How to make pot roast in one hour!

How to Make Pot Roast in One Hour
By: Chef Cristian Feher

Beef pot roast in one hour!
Pot roast is one of my favorite home-style comfort foods. Fork tender beef that falls apart as you pick it up, nestled in a bowl with creamy red potatoes, aromatic carrots and a thin, flavorful stock. The only bad thing about pot roast is how long it takes to make. The usual method involves either cooking it for several hours in a Dutch oven, or waiting 6 or more hours for your crock pot to break down the beef. Well, the wait is over! With my method, you can have fork-tender pot roast in one hour, with the help of a pressure cooker.

Cuisinart Electric Pressure Cooker
 Conventional pressure cookers require a little know-how and supervision so that the pressure valve doesn't pop and spray hot food all over your kitchen. I believe that this is what turns a lot of people off from owning or using one. What I recommend is to start out with an electric pressure cooker that has a timer, seven-way safety functions, and regulates its own heat. I use a Cuisinart electric pressure cooker for recipes like this.

Beef Chuck Roast

 Notice the nice fat marbling on a beef chuck roast!
For pot roasts, I like to use shoulder chuck roasts because they're tough enough to keep together, and fatty enough to be moist and tender at the end of the cooking process. And fortunately, it's a cheap cut of meat. A basic rule of meat cookery, fortunately, is that the harder it is to cook, the cheaper it costs.

Yields: 4 servings

- 2 lb beef chuck roast
- 1 large onion
- 3 celery ribs
- 8 carrots, peeled
- 6-8 red potatoes, whole
- 3 cloves of garlic
- Flavorful beef stock made from bullion
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Olive oil


1. Dice the onion, cut the carrots and celery into large chunks and mince the garlic.

Sauteeing the carrots, garlic and onions.
2.  With a little olive oil and the lid off, use the pressure cooker in "sautee" mode and cook the onions until they are translucent. Then add the carrots,celery, and garlic.

Cut roast into smaller pieces.
3. If your piece of beef is large, cut it into three large chunks and put on top of the vegetables in the pressure cooker.

4. Put the potatoes on top of the beef.

Beef stock made from bullion
Put beef on top of vegeteables.
Put potatoes on top of beef.

5. Add enough beef stock to just barely cover the beef.

6. Put the lid on and set the pressure cooker to cook the dish for 1 hour on high pressure.

7. Once the cooking is done, and the pressure has settled for a few minutes, let the steam out through the pressure valve (by following the pressure cooker instruction manual). Remove the vegetables and beef into a bowl or holding pot.  Season the remaining liquid in the pressure cooker with salt and pepper to taste.

8. Serve the beef, potatoes, and carrots in soup bowls with some of the beef liquid and enjoy!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

How to make deep dish pizza

How to Make Deep-Dish Pizza
By: Chef Cristian Feher

Deep dish pizza is an American favorite. If you have ever waited 45 minutes at Pizza Uno on a windy Chicago day, you know it was worth every minute!

Some say deep-dish is the best kind of pizza there is. Others claim it's not pizza at all. I've even heard it described as a "casserole", which I suppose, is technically correct. But everyone can agree, that a deep-dish Chicago-style pizza is something you have to experience.

A traditional deep-dish pizza has two endearing qualities: it's thick as heck, and it's partly fried. You see, in order to get that dough really nice and crispy, you have to bake it in a well-oiled cast iron skillet. The cheese and fillings are baked into the fried dough shell. You can also sprinkle the crust with cornmeal to give it another dimension of crispiness, but it's not always necessary. 

Below is my recipe for deep dish pizza.

- A cash iron skillet or shallow casserole.
- An oven capable of baking at 400 degrees.

- 1 ball of store-bought pizza dough (or you can make your own)
- 1 Lb Italian shredded cheese blend (with mozzarella)
- Your favorite tomato sauce
- Cashew basil pesto (recipe here)
- Chopped cooked sausage, or diced ham
- 1 diced red pepper
- Sliced black olives
- Chopped white mushrooms
- Olive oil


 1. Heat your oven to 400 bake (I used 400 convection bake)

2. Roll out your pizza dough, or shape it by hand, or toss it in the air! As long as you can get a flat disc of pizza dough, 2 to 3 inches wider than the skillet, you're good.

3. Swirl some olive oil on the bottom of the pan and rub it into the sides with your hands or a brush. How much olive oil? Three swirls around the skillet should do it! 

4. place the dough on the skillet. I like to make sure that I carefully tuck the pizza dough into it, and then I let an inch or two hang over the sides.

5. Spread some cashew basil pesto on the bottom and sides of the pizza.

6. Spread a generous amount of sauce on the bottom and sides of the pizza.

7. In a bowl, combine half the cheese, the sausage/ham, olives, peppers, and mushrooms. Mix them up, mix in some tomato sauce 1/2 to 1 cup. Pour into the pizza. Sprinkle remaining cheese over top.  Pinch the remaining dough to make a ring around the inside of the skillet.

8. Bake at 400 for 45 minutes - In my oven, since it's a pretty nice Kenmore convection oven, it only took 30 minutes. 

9. Enjoy with an ice-cold beer or Coke! Also, you will need some hungry friends. I can eat like a champion, but have never been able to finish off a deep dish pizza by myself.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

best way to cook vegetables

How to Eat Your Vegetables
By: Chef Cristian Feher

© Cristian Feher 2012 - Coconut Oil Roasted Vegetables
The title of this article may seem a bit childish, but what I want to do here is break down why we need vegetables in the first place, and explain how the different forms of vegetables compare. This may change the way you eat vegetables, and for some of you, it may actually tempt you to eat more!

Why do you need vegetables?

According to your mom, you have to eat your vegetables. But did she ever tell you why? Is it simply because starving children in Africa don't have any? Or, is there more to it? 

Put simply, vegetables provide you with four things: vitamins, enzymes, minerals and fiber. These are things your body needs in order to be healthy. 

Vitamins and enzymes are the molecular tools and raw materials that your body (which is a big chemical laboratory) uses to make, burn, build, and destroy other chemicals and compounds. Look at your body as a big factory. In one end goes in the raw materials, and at the other end you get a finished product. If a car factory is missing their weekly shipment of metal, for example, the factory shuts down. If they don't get their weekly shipment of screw drivers and wrenches (enzymes), they can't put the metal pieces together. I hope you get the analogy here. 

Minerals help to build and replenish bones. They also help to carry nerve impulses (electrolytes), and do a host of other things.

Fiber is also very important, and a lot of people do not get enough of it. Besides keeping you regular by helping to push soft foods through your digestive system, fiber also has another very important function. Fiber absorbs liquid - a lot of liquid! And in the case of the human body, some of the liquids that fiber absorbs are toxins. You can get rid of excess water and toxins by eating a lot of vegetable fiber. 

Is there a proper way to eat vegetables?

Well yes, and there are also different ways you can get them. I'll give you some examples below. But the first thing that you should know is that over-cooking can destroy those vitamins and enzymes. So, slightly cooked, or raw vegetables, will give you vitamins, enzymes, fiber and minerals. Whereas, veggies cooked all the way through will only provide you with minerals and fiber. 

Canned Vegetables 
They are overly cooked at the factory inside of the can at high heat.
Vitamins? Vit C, Vit A, Thiamine, Riboflavin destroyed. B-12 may be destroyed if it came in contact with iron or copper at the factory.
Enzymes? I don't think any are left.
Fiber? Yes.
Minerals? Yes.

Frozen Vegetables
Frozen vegetables, when thawed, have relatively the same vitamins, minerals, enzymes and fiber as fresh raw vegetables. The trick is not to over-cook them.
Vitamins? Yes, except for vitamin C which goes first when heated.
Enzymes? Some.
Fiber? Yes.
Minerals? Yes.

Raw Vegetables
Washed in cold water and served without heating. Can be cut, diced, sliced, etc.
Vitamins? Yes.
Enzymes? Yes.
Fiber? Yes.
Minerals? Yes.

Fresh, Cooked Vegetables
I generally blanch (quickly boil in salted water) my vegetables for no more than about 1 to 2 minutes. Green vegetables, like broccoli, will turn bright green after a few seconds in boiling water. This is a chemical reaction inside the vegetable that tells you to stop cooking them at this point. They are best eaten at this bright green point with most vitamins and enzymes intact, or cooled under cold water to stop the cooking process and stored. 
Vitamins? Most are retained.
Ezymes? Some are retained.
Fiber? Yes.
Minerals? Yes.

You can blanch, fry, sear, broil, roast and grill many different types of vegetables. Just remember to do it for a short period of time so that the internal temperature of the vegetable doesn't get too hot. As a general rule of thumb, if the vegetables are still crunchy they will have much more nutritional value than if they have been cooked soft.