California Pizza Kitchen, known within the food industry as CPK, is a casual dining restaurant chain that specializes in California-style pizza. The restaurant was started in 1985 by attorneys Rick Rosenfield and Larry Flax in Beverly Hills, California. The chain is widely known for its innovative and non traditional pizzas, such as the "Original BBQ Chicken Pizza", BLT, Thai Chicken, and Jamaican Jerk Chicken pizzas. They also serve various kinds of pasta, salads, soups, sandwiches and desserts. They have an extensive children's menu for children ages 10 and under which includes a variety of different pizzas, pastas, salad, and chicken.


The chain has over 230 locations in 32 US states and eleven other countries, including 26 California Pizza Kitchen ASAP kiosks designed to serve passengers at airports and shopping malls. The company licensed its name to Kraft Foods to distribute a line of premium frozen pizzas, in 2000.; Nestlé purchased Kraft's pizza lines in 2010.

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Roasted Vegetable Salad


ROASTED VEGETABLE SALAD
CPK Restaurant Copycat Recipe

6 stalks asparagus
2 cups eggplant cut into 1 inch cubes
1 cup red bell pepper cut into 1 inch pieces
2 artichoke hearts packed in water, drained, halved lengthwise
1 (3 oz.) raw boneless skinless chicken breast cutlet, pounded to 1/2 inch thickness
dash each salt and black pepper
2 tablespoons frozen sweet corn kernels, thawed
2 tablespoons bagged sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil), chopped
3 cups chopped romaine lettuce
2 tablespoons diced avocado
2 tablespoons balsamic vinaigrette
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray. Lay asparagus, eggplant, bell pepper, and artichoke hearts on the baking sheet. Bake until softened, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a grill pan (or skillet) sprayed with nonstick spray to medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and black pepper and place in the pan. Cook for about 3 minutes per side, until cooked through. Roughly chop asparagus and artichoke hearts. Transfer all cooked veggies to a medium bowl. Add corn and sun-dried tomatoes, and toss to mix.

Place lettuce in a large bowl (or on a large plate) and top with veggie mixture and avocado. Slice chicken and lay it on top. In a small bowl, thoroughly whisk vinaigrette with mustard. Pour mixture over salad or serve on the side.

Roasted Garlic Chicken Pizza


ROASTED GARLIC CHICKEN PIZZA
California Pizza Kitchen Copycat Recipe

Dough: (Makes 2 pizzas)
1 1/2 teaspoons fast rising yeast
1/2 cup warm water, plus
2 tablespoons warm water (The hottest it needs to be is 110 degrees)
1 1/2 cups bread flour, only
3 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon olive oil, plus additional for coating
1 teaspoon salt
flour, for dusting

Roasted Garlic Paste:
3/4 cup minced garlic
2 teaspoons olive oil
3 tablespoons cold water

Garlic Shallot Butter with Lemon:
4 minced shallots
3 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 tablespoons of minced garlic
4 small fresh thyme sprigs, minced
1 dash white pepper
1/4 cup Chardonnay wine
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 chicken bouillon cube

Toppings:
1 3/4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, per pizza
1/4 cup fresh romano cheese, grated
3 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley, per pizza
1 rotisserie-cooked chicken

To Make The Dough: Preheat the oven to the lowest setting possible only warm. Dissolve the yeast in the water and set aside for approx 5 minutes. Do not use water that is hotter than 120 degrees because it will kill your yeast. Use hot sink water. In about five minutes there will be a little froth on the bowl of yeast. This shows that it is working. (Note: Check the expiration date on your yeast before you use it).

Get out a big mixing bowl, and add your flour, salt, and sugar. Mix well and make a little well in the center. Slowly add your yeast water mix in the well and mix in the flour with a spoon. Mix well. The dough will be sticky. Do not over mix because this will ruin your dough. Make a dough ball and leave in the bowl.

Get out 2 sheets of foil and lay them out on your counter. Sprinkle a little flour on the foil, and then place your dough ball in the center. Lightly oil your hands and then start kneading for a couple minutes. Get out another bowl and lightly oil the bowl just to coat. Place your dough ball in the bowl and turn once to coat the dough with the oil. Secure airtight with plastic wrap. Place in the oven just to warm. Let sit for 2 hours in the oven to rise. A warm oven is extremely important. Room temperature will not rise your dough properly.

After 2 hours punch the dough down and separate it into two pieces. Form 2 nice balls. (If you are not making the pizza this same day than you can stick it in the refrigerator covered and sealed for only 1 day. ) (Then let it rise when you are ready to make it in a warm oven for 2 hours).

If you are making it the same day than place one ball back in the same bowl, and get out another bowl and lightly coat it with olive oil. Seal both very well with plastic wrap- air tight. Place back in the oven to warm for another 1 1/2 hours.

After your time has passed- than you take your dough balls and roll them one by one into a 9 inch pizza. 1/2 inch thick. Heat your oven to 350.At this point you are ready to dress your pizza. The original recipe calls for you to bake your pizza on a pizza stone. If you decide to use a pizza stone you need to heat it in the oven for one hour to get nice and hot before use.

Roasted Garlic Paste: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. In a small bowl add the garlic with the olive oil and mix well. Spread on the bottom of a baking pan and roast approx 30 minutes until browned. After the time has passed stir the garlic well and cook another 12 minutes. Let this cool to the touch and add it to a food processor along with the water and mix till it looks like a fine peanut butter. This makes about 1/4 cup.

Garlic Shallot Butter with Lemon: Turn your burner on medium and add your 1 Tablespoon of butter to the pan. Next add the minced garlic, thyme, and minced shallots. Continue to cook till the onions start to turn brown. Turn your burner to high heat, and add the sprinkle of white pepper, fresh lemon juice, chicken cube, and wine. Continue to stir , and cook until the mixture is reduced. Once it is reduced add your remainder 2 Tablespoons of butter, and keep on low until your pizza is ready. If you are making this pizza later- than place in an airtight container and keep refrigerated until ready to use.

Assembling your pizza: Now is the easy part. All we do is assemble the pizza. Your oven needs to be preheating now if it is not already. Your dough should be rolled out and ready for the topping. First place a thin layer of the garlic paste on your 9 inch pizza. Sprinkle your mozzarella cheese on the pizza. Then with a slotted spoon, scoop your onions on the pizza.

Next you want to add your shredded chicken to the pizza, Romano cheese, and sprinkle parsley on the pizza. Place your pizza in the middle rack of the oven.( If you are using the pizza stone, you want to transfer the pizza over to the warm stone to bake). You want to bake the pizza till the crust is crisp and the cheese is melted. This takes approx 8 minutes. Repeat the same steps for the second pizza.

Tiramisu



TIRAMISU
California Pizza Kitchen Recipe

Serves 6

Sabayon Mascarpone Mixture:
12 ounces mascarpone cheese
5 large egg yolks
6 tablespoons granulated sugar, ,divided
2 tablespoons Marsala wine
2/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Sabayon Topping Sauce:
2 tablespoons marsala wine

Espresso Rum Mixture:
1 1/2 cups coffee
1 1/2 cups dark rum

Whipped Cream:
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Additional Ingredients:
20 ladyfingers
2 tablespoons shaved chocolate

Sabayon Mascarpone Mixture: In a medium mixing bowl, beat Mascarpone with a spatula until smooth and creamy. Set aside and allow Mascarpone to warm up to room temperature (up to 1 hour).

In another medium mixing bowl, combine the egg yolks, 4 tablespoons of the sugar and the Marsala and whisk until blended. Transfer the mixture to the top half of a double boiler and place it over simmering water over medium high heat. With a whisk, beat the mixture until it triples in volume (5 minutes). Remove from heat, cover, and chill thoroughly in the refrigerator.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the cream, remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and vanilla extract. Beat with an electric beater until peaks form. Using a spatula fold whipped cream mixture into Mascarpone. Gently fold the egg mixture into the whipped cream-mascarpone mixture. Cover and refrigerate.

Sabayon Topping Sauce: In a mixing bowl, stir 1 cup of the Sabayon-Mascarpone mixture and the Marsala. Cover and refrigerate.

Espresso Rum Mixture: In a small bowl, mix the rum and espresso. Cover and refrigerate.

Whipped Cream: In a mixing bowl, combine the cream, sugar and vanilla extract. Beat with a beater until soft peaks form.

Tiramisu Assembly: In a mixing bowl, fold 1 cup of the Sabayon-Mascarpone mixture into 1/2 cup of the whipped cream. Spread a small amount of this mixture into the bottom of a 10 x 6 inch baking dish, forming a 1/8 inch deep layer.

Dip 10 of the ladyfingers into the espresso mixture (for only 2 seconds). Transfer to a dry surface. Gently press the soaked ladyfingers into the layer of sabayon whipped cream. Spread the remaining sabayon whipped cream over the soaked ladyfingers and gently tap the pan to release any air bubbles. Smooth the surface with a spatula. In the same way, soak the remaining ladyfingers and arrange them in the baking dish. Spread the remaining Sabayon Mascarpone mixture over the second layer of ladyfingers. Smooth the surface with a spatula. Cover and refrigerate for at least 12 hours.

Avocado Egg Rolls



AVOCADO CLUB EGG ROLLS with Ranchito Sauce
California Pizza Kitchen Recipe

Makes 8 egg rolls (4 to 8 appetizer servings)

Egg Rolls
8 egg roll wrappers (6 inch square)
1 grilled chicken breast, diced 3/8 inch
2 large Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced 1/4 inch
1/4 cup cooked bacon, chopped (1 to 2 strips)
2 ounces Monterey jack cheese, grated
1 medium ripe hass avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons cold water
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 to 3 cups vegetable oil
4 large sprigs Italian (flat-leaf) parsley

Ranchito Sauce
1/4 cup ranch dressing
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons hot sauce

Place the egg roll wrappers on a flat, dry surface with one corner of each pointing toward you (i.e., as a diamond, not a square). Distribute the chicken, tomatoes, bacon, and cheese on the wrappers in a row that is 1 1/2 to 2 inches wide and 5 inches long. Make sure that the filling is never less than 1 inch from the edge of the wrapper. Divide the avocado slices among the egg rolls, placing them on top of the cheese with the longer (skin) side toward you.

Stir the eggs in a small bowl to lightly liquefy. Add 2 tablespoons of cold water and beat with a fork until evenly mixed.

Working with one egg roll at a time, lightly brush egg wash over 1/2 inch of each side of the wrapper. Fold the corner closest to you over the filling, pressing down and pulling tight toward the center. Press the left and right corners down to seal the edge. Lightly coat the 2 bottom corners with egg wash, then fold right and left corners inwards over the filling, pressing down to seal the edge. Add additional egg wash to the top corner creases and press down to seal. Continue rolling into a compact roll, pressing lightly to seal all edges.

Line a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with waxed or parchment paper. Sift half the cornstarch over the paper, and place the finished egg rolls in the dish, making sure they do not touch one another. If you’re going to fry the egg rolls later, sift the remaining cornstarch over the egg rolls, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.

Heat the oil to 375 degrees in a deep 10 inch skillet. Fry the egg rolls, making sure that they are not touching (you may have to do this in 2 batches), for about 1 1/2 minutes. Turn with tongs, and fry for another 1 to 1 1/2 minutes, or until the egg rolls are golden brown all over. Remove with tongs and drain completely on paper towels. Cut each egg roll in half diagonally and garnish each pair with a sprig of parsley.

Make Ranchito Sauce by whisking 1/2 cup of ranch dressing with the mayonnaise and hot sauce.

Serve the egg rolls with the Ranchito Sauce in one bowl and the remaining 3/4 cup ranch dressing in another bowl on the side for dipping.

Consumers Favorite Casual Dining Restaurants


Consumers named Cheesecake Factory their favorite casual dining restaurant in a survey that Market Force, the customer intelligence solutions firm, released last month. Market Force polled more than 1,600 consumers to learn their takes on casual restaurants in five different categories: breakfast, steak, Italian, seafood, and general menu.

Survey respondents ranked chains by considering service, food quality, and value. Cracker Barrel topped the ranks on service, while consumers pointed to Red Robin as the most kid friendly restaurant. Other runners up to Cheesecake Factory in the general menu category were Ruby Tuesday, Buffalo Wild Wings, and Chili's.

Offering good value and having good specials also piqued consumers' interest. TGI Friday's topped the chart for presenting good value for the money, while survey takers nodded to Chili's as the best casual dining restaurant when it comes to value, promotions, and coupons.

Rounding out the favorites were

Maggiano's (Italian restaurant)
The Capital Grille (favorite steakhouse)
Pappadeux (favorite seafood restaurant)
Mimi's (favorite breakfast restaurant)

Chicken Piccata



CHICKEN PICCATA
California Pizza Kitchen Recipe

Makes 4 dinner or 8 lunch servings

1 1/2 tablespoons plus 1/3 cup light-tasting olive oil, divided
6 tablespoons minced shallots
1 to 2 tablespoons minced garlic
3/4 cup dry white wine
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
kosher salt
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons seasoned salt
1/4 teaspoon dried basil leaves, crushed
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper or to taste
1 cup heavy (whipping) cream
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
1/4 cup ( 1/2 stick) butter
4 to 6 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley, plus extra sprigs for garnish
1 to 1 1/2 pounds spaghettini
1 large lemon, cut into 1/4-inch slices

Start the sauce. Place a heavy nonstick pan over medium heat; add 1 1/2 tablespoons oil. When hot, add shallots and garlic, stirring to prevent scorching; cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Stir in wine; simmer about 5 minutes. Stir in stock, lemon juice and 2 to 3 teaspoons salt to taste, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Pour sauce through a strainer and discard solids. Return liquid to the pot, set aside and keep warm.

Prepare chicken. Place chicken breasts between sheets of plastic wrap; pound to about 1/2 inch. In a shallow plate, stir together flour, seasoned salt, basil and white pepper. Dredge chicken in seasoned flour, shaking off excess. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat half of the remaining 1/3 cup oil. Add half the chicken and cook until golden brown on one side, about 1 1/2 minutes. Turn and cook on the second side until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Remove to a platter and keep warm. Repeat with remaining oil and chicken.

Whisk the cream into the sauce. Stir into the skillet, scraping the bottom of the pan to deglaze. Stir in black pepper, butter, capers and chopped parsley; cook and stir over medium heat for a minute or two, just until heated through. Taste; add salt if necessary. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in boiling water until al dente.

Drain pasta and return to pot. Stir sauce and lemon slices into pasta; toss well to coat. To serve, arrange chicken on serving plates, mound pasta alongside, and drizzle any remaining sauce over chicken. Garnish with parsley sprigs and serve immediately.

Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake



PUMPKIN PIE CHEESECAKE
California Pizza Kitchen Copycat Recipe

Serves 8

Crust
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 22 sheets, finely crushed with a rolling pin)
3 tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter melted

Filling
3 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese
1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar, firmly packed
1 tablespoon all purpose flour plus
2 teaspoons all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 cup sour cream plus
2 tablespoon sour cream
3 large eggs
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups canned pumpkin puree


To make the crust: Put the graham cracker crumbs in a food processor fitted with the steel blade and process until they have a uniformly fine texture. Add the sugar and pulse to combine. With the machine running, pour the melted butter through the feed tube and continue processing just until the mixture forms a soft mass. Remove from the processor and firmly press the mixture into the base of a 9-inch spring form pan, spreading it evenly.

To make the filling: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater attachment, beat the cream cheese until soft, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the brown sugar and continue beating until thoroughly incorporated and creamy.

In a separate small bowl, stir together the flour, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg. Add the flour mixture to the cream cheese mixture and beat until thoroughly combined, stopping occasionally to scrape down the bowl. In the same way, beat in the sour cream and then, one at a time, the eggs, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla and pumpkin and beat until thoroughly combined.

Pour the filling into the prepared spring form pan and place on the center rack of the oven. Bake for 1 hour, test for doneness by gently moving the pan to see if the center of the cheesecake has firmed up - a sign of doneness - or is still slightly fluid (alternatively, check the cheesecake's internal temperature with an instant read thermometer, which should register 180 degrees). The cheesecake may require up to 20 minutes more baking time.

When it is done, let it cool to room temperature and then refrigerate it overnight before removing the side of the pan. Cut the cheesecake into wedges with a sharp knife.

New Flatbread Appetizers



California Pizza Kitchen has introduced a line of appetizer sized pizzas called California Flatbreads as permanent additions to its menu, priced at an average $5.95 each.


  • The Bianco is a white pizza topped with whipped truffle cream, Gorgonzola cheese, mozzarella cheese and fresh sage. 
  • The Shaved Mushroom + Spinach is topped with cremini mushrooms, sautĂ©ed spinach, California olive oil and Romano and Parmesan cheeses. 
  • The Spicy Fennel Sausage + Poblano is made with sausage, fresh mozzarella, fire-roasted chiles, Greek oregano and spicy marinara sauce.