Friday, September 24, 2010

I Can't Live Without...

For my second installment of "I Can't Live Without..."  I bring you, the Pampered Chef Stoneware Bar Pan.

Oh.  My.  God.

My Pampered Chef bar pan!!  Words cannot even begin to describe how much this has changed my cooking life. (An interesting concept for a blogger - but I'll give it a try...)  Like my last post regarding "I Can't Live Without..." this one was a gift as well, from my mother in law for mine and Jon's second wedding anniversary.  It was definitely something that's been on my list for a while and I'm so grateful for mom in law getting this for us.  I've been using it basically every day for everything from brownies to a pork roast, and our favorite thing so far... the California chicken pizza.  Delish!!!  (Recipe below.)

The key to the bar pan is that you really have to "season" these bar pans, similar to a cast iron skillet that needs to be seasoned first to make them non-stick, and really pull out their full potential which does make some people shy away from them.  Ohhh, but it's soo worth it when you do season it.  Another trick to get around seasoning it is to simply bake something very high in fat the first two or three times on it - like bacon, or what I did first - bacon wrapped scallops!  YUM!!

To season:  Spray entire stoneware OVERLY generously with cooking spray such as Pam, or grease with oil, so there is a nice thick coat all over the pan - tops and bottom.  Bake alone in the oven for 3 - 4 hours at 400° Fahrenheit.  Then let the pan cool completely in the oven.

The cooling is the most important part - because as the pan cools the pores of the stone will close up and lock the hydration and moisture from the oils in the stone which will eventually make it a GORGEOUS non-stick pan.  (First indication you're relishing your role of housewife a little too much - you refer to non-stick pans as gorgeous in all caps.)  I did this three times with mine and then made the bacon wrapped scallops before using for drier things like pizza and lean roasts.

Recipe For California Chicken Pizza 
  • 1   tsp evoo
  •  1   package of Pilsbury refrigerated pizza crust 
  •  2   cups shredded  cooked chicken  - We used bbq chicken. 
  •  2   cups shredded cheddar  and Monterey Jack or marble cheese 
  •  2  plum tomatoes 
  •  ¼  medium red onion 
  •  1  medium avocado 
  •  1   lemon - completely squeezed for juice OR about 2 tablespoons of lemon juice from the bottle
  •  6   slices bacon, thinly sliced, cooked and drained 

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Lightly brush Bar Pan with oil.  (You can skip this step if your pan is VERY heavily seasoned, mine was not yet, so I oiled.) Unroll dough onto bottom of pan, gently stretching and pressing dough to cover bottom. Top crust with chicken and sprinkle with cheese.  
  2. Bake 16-18 minutes or until crust is golden brown; remove from oven. 
  3. Meanwhile dice tomatoes. Slice onion.
  4. Dice avocado and place into a large bowl.  Add tomatoes, lemon juice and onion.  Mix well. 
  5. Distribute tomato mixture evenly over pizza. Sprinkle with bacon, if desired. Cut pizza into squares with Pizza Cutter.

Vegetarian Note:  Growing up in a vegetarian household I always try to think of alternatives to meat and this could easily be a vegetarian pizza by subbing out the chicken for some more veggies like green and red bell peppers and some zucchini, and skip the bacon - or use imitation bacon.


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