Friday, May 3, 2013

Pioneer Woman Cooks: Food From My Frontier - Ree Drummond

I've been hearing about the Pioneer Women forever, you guys.  So many of you out there have reviewed her books and cookbooks, and I guess she has a cooking show on now.  I have been feeling all left out and stuff.  

Granted, I've heard she is all gooey about her Marlboro Man husband, her idyllic life on the farm, having his young 'uns, and blessings and all that.  Gooey usually gets an eyeroll out of me, but I'm willing to suspend my cynicism if she helps me make good food!

So Heather (Raging Bibliomania) decided I had gone long enough without Pioneer Woman in my life so she loaned me this cookbook as well as one of her books.  If I had been organized and reading in a spritely fashion, I would have posted back-to-back reviews of the two, but that didn't happen.  It didn't take me long to dig into this cookbook however.

This is not one of those cookbooks that have a recipe for every day of the year (There are a little over a hundred recipes ranging from breakfast, appetizers, soups, supper, sides, desserts and canning).    It is more of a visual treat, with bright, beautiful pictures of every dish, step-by-step through the preparation.  Amazing.  I've never seen that and I love it.  No way you can screw up.  Plus the recipes are simple but hearty, for hungry cowboys.  And she also includes pictures of her kids, the hubby, the animals and the farm.  It really is a warm, friendly cookbook, which I guess is Ree's persona.

I had some leftover grilled flank steak in my fridge, so I knew immediately that my tester recipe would be Steakhouse Pizza.  Yeah baby!  

1 Skirt steak or flank steak, 1 1/2 to 2 pounds
Salt and black pepper to taste
2 red onions, halved and thinly sliced
1 TBL olive oil, plus more for drizzling
4 TBL balsamic vinegar
2 cups good marinara sauce (store-bought is fine)
1 recipe Pizza Dough
12 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
Steak sauce
Shaved Parmesan cheese

1.  Preheat oven to 500 degrees and arrange the oven rack to the very bottom position.

2.  Season the steak with salt and pepper.  Truth be told, you could put this on a plate in front of some dudes and just call it dinner.  Men like meat.

3.  Grill both sides of the steak over medium heat until medium rare, just about 2 minutes per side.  You want the steak to be nice and pinkish red in the middle, so don't overdo it!

4.  Remove it from the heat and set it aside.

5.  In a large skillet over medium heat, saute the red onion slices in 1 TBL olive oil and 2 TBL balsamic vinegar until soft, about 10 minutes.

6.  Mix the marinara sauce with the remaining 2 TBL balsamic vinegar.

7.  Roll out the pizza dough into a large oval and place it on a baking sheet.  

8.  Spread the sauce mixture all over the surface of the crust.

9.  Arrange the onion slices all over the sauce.

10.  Lay the mozzarella slices over the onions, then place the pan in the oven on the lower rack.  Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the crust is golden and the cheese is bubbly and hot.

11.  While the pizza is baking, slice the grilled steak very thin.

12.  Pull the pizza from the oven and immediately lay the steak slices over the top.

13.  Transfer the pizza to a cutting board.

14.  Then grab some steak sauce...

15.  And drizzle it all over the steak.

16.  Sprinkle with the Parmesan shavings, then serve it with a big, green salad.  You and whatever dude's sitting at the table with you will love every bite.

The picture shown here to the left is Ree's picture.  As soon as my pizza was sliced up, it was gone.  There was no time for pictures.  So here are some changes I made to the recipe, to fit my needs.  

No onions.  Kids won't eat them.

My flank steak wasn't warm off the grill like Ree's was, so once I put it over the top of the pizza, I popped it back in the oven for another five to 7 minutes.

Not only did I sprinkle Parmesan on the pizza, but also a little blue cheese and a Balsamic Vinegar glaze (you can buy it in a little bottle at the grocery store).  

I didn't include the recipe for pizza dough because it is the same as any pizza dough.  

This pizza was so good.  So, SO good.  My son grabbed the one piece that was left and declared it for his lunch the next day.  Apparently the kids were distracting him and stealing pieces of steak.

I'm going to work my way through this cookbook.  Not all the recipes are things my family would eat, and some look like they have more calories than I could afford on a school night.  But I like what I am seeing!


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rhapsodyinbooks said...

You are so funny - such a meat person! LOL I would have wanted that pizza with just spinach, onions, mushrooms and cheese! (Jim and I always have to get two separate pizzas!)

Nicole (Linus's Blanket) said...

Yum! The pictures on her blog are amazing. I eat vicariously there every chance I get. Love this recipe.

caite said...

PW is so very popular...
I check out her blog, mostly for her photographs, which are quite nice.

bermudaonion said...

I like her recipes because they are for things most families would eat but they aren't low fat or low calorie, that's for sure.

By the way, I'd share Jill's pizza with her!

Alyce said...

That sounds like the perfect cookbook for me! I need photos and step-by-step instructions (basically cooking for dummies). Don't get me wrong, intellectually I know a lot about cooking, but in practice it all seems to go south. My husband does about half of the cooking now - the good meals that could be from a restaurant. I make traditional stuff and frozen food. It's a bit embarrassing and frustrating all at once. I rock the desserts though!

Heidenkind said...

I've been hearing about The Pioneer Woman forever, too. I even lived in Oklahoma for a while so I feel bad about never reading any of her books.

JoAnn said...

So I must be the last holdout... it's time to check out Pioneer Woman!

Laurie C said...

I never would have thought of piling grilled steak on an onion pizza. I guess that's why I'm not a cookbook author! (It sounds tasty but looks a little messy to eat...)

Carole said...

That's quite some pizza!

(Diane) bookchickdi said...

I'm making her marinated flank steak for dinner tonight, this is perfect timing. If I have leftovers, I know what's for dinner tomorrow.

Heather said...

hubby ordered pizza on Wednesday and the guy taking the order had to confirm three times that he was truly ordering pizza with no cheese on half of one of them. Daughter and i are both lactose intolerant. it was quite good and will try a different assortment of toppings next time.

Beth F said...

Her recipes definitely work, but she eats way more hearty and fatty than we do. I have the cookbook, but I'm not sure I ever really cooked out it.

We always go for vegetarian pizza (boring, I know!)

Sue Jackson said...

I've enjoyed watching her show once in a while, in part because we also have boys and enjoy spending time outdoors, but a lot of her cooking is a bit too unhealthy for us! I once saw her demonstrate her "special technique" for frying eggs, where she put an inch of oil in the pan and basically deep-fried them - ew!

But this recipe you've included here sounds pretty good - hope you enjoyed it!


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Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

I've read quite a few of her blog posts and I've been wanting to read her cookbook.

Meg @ write meg! said...

I love Ree, though I absolutely couldn't make it through her memoir (so unbelievably sappy and eyeroll-inducing, I swear. I don't like to be a hater, but really). I do love her cookbooks though! :) And Kathy's right: her recipes are definitely not "healthy" by any stretch, but they are pure deliciousness. That pizza looks NOM.

Anonymous said...

What?! Pictures so you can't mess up?! Why did no one tell me this before? Now I have to break down and check it out. That pizza looks so good :)

Julie P. said...

That sounds delicious! I would have skipped the onions too!