Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

Grilled Pizza

I love the idea of grilled pizza, especially in the summer when it’s way too hot to be running the oven at 500°.  But I’ve never been able to get the technique quite right.  Fortunately, ugly pizzas are still tasty pizzas, so I don’t mind doing lots of experimenting.

For the crust I used Peter Reinhart’s Pizza Napoletana recipe from The Bread Baker’s Apprentice, which is an amazing book for anyone really interested in bread and patient enough for extremely detailed instructions and explanations.

Whatever crust you use, the grilling method stays pretty much the same.  You’d probably be better off following the instructions at 101 cookbooks or Serious Eats, but here’s about how it went when I attempted it a few nights ago:

Stretch the dough into a nice even round, and assemble all your toppings and ingredients.

Clockwise from top: Spray bottle with water, toppings, olive oil with minced garlic, pizza dough

Toppings were sliced orange bell pepper, mozzarella, and shiitake mushrooms sauteed in a little butter with thyme.

Brush the round of dough with the garlic olive oil.

Attempt to flip the dough onto the hot side of the grill while maintaining the nice round shape.

Fail.  Curse.  Realize your pizza has caught fire, and curse more.  Forget about taking pictures and grab the spray bottle of water to put it out.   Brush the top side with the garlic olive oil.

Once the underside of the pizza is nice and browned (or charred, as the case may be), flip it over and place sliced mozzarella on the cooked side of the crust.  In my grilled pizza experience it’s necessary to put the cheese on first so it will melt.

Then put the rest of the toppings on, move the pizza over to the side of the grill with no burner on, and close the lid. 

Once the underside of the crust is crispy and the cheese is completely melted, slide the pizza off the grill and top with fresh basil.

Decide, hey, that’s a pretty decent pizza, even if it is a little homely.

Cook the second pizza pretty much the same way, messed-up shapes, cursing, flare-ups and all, but only get one picture of it like the less-loved second child pizza that it is.

I really like the flavor of the crust, although it ended up a little thinner than I would have liked in the middle.   I would chalk that up to user error though, since I didn’t give it the full resting time out of the fridge before baking which I think would have let it rise more, and I have a tendency to pile on the toppings.  I’ll definitely be trying this pizza dough again, along with working to refine my pizza grilling technique.

Have you made grilled pizza before?  Any tips?


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Green Curry Chicken

When I’ve been eating out too much and start to crave a home cooked meal, more often than not this meal is what I turn to.  It may not be authentically Thai and it’s definitely not fancy, but it’s one of those rare dinners that’s 1) delicious enough that I truly crave it, 2) healthy enough that it feels like a welcome reprieve from greasy happy hour fare, and 3) easy enough to function as a no-brainer weeknight meal.  It’s even relatively cheap once you invest in the curry paste and fish sauce.

So the next time you’re at the grocery store, pick up some of this:

Thai Kitchen Green Curry Paste

And some of this:

Thai Kitchen Fish Sauce

And if you are like me and keep ridiculous stocks of coconut milk you are all set for a fast and tasty meal.  I generally follow the recipe (similar to this one) on the back of the curry paste jar, substituting light coconut milk, whatever veggies I have on hand, and sometimes shrimp or tofu instead of chicken.  The fish sauce is key!  After adding it, the smell will make you think that you have made a horrible mistake and ruined your dinner, but it gives it a subtle fishy je ne sais quoi.

Green curry chicken with asparagus, spinach and onions

This iteration included brown rice (buried underneath!), asparagus and spinach.  Add in some roasted paprika and cumin-spiced cauliflower, and I almost feel like I made up my veggie deficit for the previous few days.  Almost.

Any suggestions for other meals that hit the delicious / healthy / easy trifecta?

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