Archive for pizza
Day 7. It began with the chicken and in a closing, circle of life kind of way, it should end with the chicken. The legs and thighs from Day One were topped with a bit of BBQ Rub and baked in the oven. The meat was then shredded and added to a from scratch pizza crust topped with the red sauce, fresh mozzerella and the rest of the brie cheese. As a picture is worth a thousand words, the previous week is recapped in photos. Food on a budget can be Delicious And nutritious; food from the heart is good for the heart.
And that brings us back to “
Do Re Me Fa So La Te Do” I mean Day 7: Start at the top!!
Today’s recipe is a twist on a basic; literally-it’s Stromboli! Start with the basic pizza dough recipe (page 278). From there the dough was stuffed with a little home made mozzarella and imported salami, but feel free to use whatever ingredients you like for a veggie version, add some sauce, different cheeses and the like. You can even incorporate items into the crust; although it is best to master the basic before attempting too many variations. The dough was then folded over into a “U” shape and topped with garlic and olive oil and baked until crispy golden brown. The basic pizza sauce (page 280) was served along side for dipping.
Pizza not need be limited to the traditional cheese and sauce. Utilizing a fresh, home made crust we made a nice variation with garden fresh tomatoes, wild caught Sockeye salmon and a dressing made with cucmber, dill, greek togurt, avocado and herbs. Use the ever changing summer time bounty to keep a new face on an old classic-and enjoy!
Here’s a little treat for thought. We took some fantastic duck breasts, stuffed them with herb and citrus flavors. Smoked them until perfectly juicy and done over applewood chips. Layered that on a home made Roman style pizza crust,with mixed greens and roasted grape tomatoes. Drizzle with excellent olive oil and a Port wine fig reduction sauce. Top with a whisp of fresh, shaved Parma. A little work, a lot of flavor and satisfaction!
Here’s another variation of toppings: Creamed Spinach with Grilled Lamb
Well Algernon may have his flowers, but for my friend Jason, it’s pizzas. Jason is our resident genius hospital pharmacist. While working the hospital health fair this weekend, I had the opportunity to meet Jason’s family; his lovely wife Amy and their two boys. We demonstrated pizza can be made to be both delicious and healthful. One item that I wish we had addressed a little better is a healthier crust choice. We (due to time, logistics and other concerns) had to use some pre-done crusts but we did find a whole wheat reasonable option. But what can elevate this concept from good hospital fare to great Grassroots Gourmet eating is the crust, as Jason and I spoke about. So here is a recipe for a great wood grill pizza crust. These rustic beauties cook up unbelievably delicious and light. Put any extra dough in the refrigerator before the second rise and you’ve got some pizza dough ready all the next week. Just bring out of the refrigerator, allow to come to room temperature and rise.
To create a topping to match the crust, I visited my good friends Nancy and Steve at Whitney’s. Knowledgeable and friendly fishmongers like these two are every chef’s best friend. So a few grilled lobsters later we had the topping: pesto with a little tarragon and roasted poblano, a dusting of Pecorino-Romano, fresh herbs, roasted sweet red pepper, fire roasted corn, Thai basil and a drizzle of truffle lemon butter. An untoppable topping.
Wood Grill Pizza Dough (makes 8 individual pizzas):
- 2 packets dry active yeast (5 tsp)
- 2 cups warm water
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1tsp salt
- ¼ cup stone ground white grits (not instant)
- 2 Tbs olive oil
- 6 Tbs whole wheat flour
- 6 cups AP flour
Using a stand mixer equipped with a dough hook, add the salt, grits, olive oil and whole wheat flour. In a separate bowl bloom the yeast with the sugar and water for 5 minutes. Add the yeast mixture and then add, a little at a time, the AP flour. Add the flour until the dough is no longer sticky. If you add to much flour, just add a little water to bring it back together. The dough should freely pull away from the sides as one big ball. Allow it to knead with the hook for another five minutes. Divide it into 2 balls and place each in an oiled container, oil the top of the dough lightly, cover with cling wrap and allow to rise for 2 hours (it will about double in size). Divide each of these into four and wrap with cling and allow to rise for another hour. On an oiled round plate, stretch each ball into an individual pizza (don’t worry about a perfect circle, rustic is good). Oil both sides lightly then place over a wood grill. In about two minutes the bottom will brown, turn over and add the toppings (I placed the pesto and cheese at this point to heat, then added the rest after the pizza came off the grill).