Hey guys, long time no see!!! I'm so sorry for the lack of posting recently. It's not that I haven't been cooking, I definitely have, but I guess I've been lacking the drive to sit at the computer. I'm going to blame the heat the last few weeks... easy excuse, right? Anyway, I thought that tonight I'd post one of the delicious recipes I've made lately from my new favorite cookbook- Gourmet Today. I've found so many great recipes so far, and I'm dying to make many many more. There are seriously hundreds of recipes that jumped out at me when I read through the cookbook. I am going on vacation tomorrow, down to Virginia, but when I get back I am hoping that my relaxing vacation reinspires me to jump back into blogging.
As you know from the title, this is a recipe for grilled pizza. Before I made these, I'd never made any kind of pizza, but after seeing how awesome these came out I've been dreaming up many more pizza combos I'd love to try out. I used the basic dough recipe from Gourmet Today, but obviously cooked it on the grill instead of the oven, and while I'd describe it more as "flatbready" I suppose, it was super-awesome. I made 4 mini-pizza with 2 types of toppings- the first, a caramelized onion and mushroom pizza was amazing, and the second, a BLT pizza was just as good, but more of a summery pizza. The caramelized onion and mushroom I'd consider a year-round pizza. Both were incredible.
Basic Pizza Dough
from Gourmet Today
1 (1/4-ounce) package (2 1/4 tsp) active dry yeast
About 1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading and dredging
3/4 cup warm water (105-115 degrees)
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp olive oil
1. In a measuring cup, stir together the yeast, 1 tbsp flour, and 1/4 cup warm water. Let sit about 5 minutes, until the surface appears creamy- if this doesn't happen, discard and try again with new yeast.)
2. In a large bowl, mix together 1 1/4 cup flour and salt. Add the yeast mixture, olive oil, and remaining 1/2 cup warm water. Stir until smooth. Stir in enough of the remaining 1/2 cup flour so that the dough comes away from the side of the bowl.
3. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface, with lightly floured hands, for about 8 minutes, until the dough is smooth, soft and elastic. If the surface, or your hands become sticky, add more flour. Form the kneaded dough into a ball, place in a lightly floured large bowl, dust the dough with flour, and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Leave to rise in a warm, draft free place for 1 1/4 hours, until the dough doubles its size.
4. Once the dough is risen, carefully dredge in flour to coat, and transfer to a lightly floured work surface. **Do not punch the dough down**
5. At this point, you can either make one large 14-inch pizza, or smaller individual ones- I made 4 mini-pizzas. Either way, carefully hold the dough with the bottom surface touching your work surface, and move the dough around with both hands as if holding a steering wheel, letting the weight of the dough stretch into a round. Once to your desired size, place the round on a lightly floured surface, and work the edges with your fingers to get it to the desired size.
6. Once formed, your dough is ready to top, bake or grill, depending on which recipe you are using for toppings.
** To grill, heat grill to medium-high heat. Oil the grates well! Brush the pizzas with olive oil on each side. Place on grill over indirect heat (not over the coals- they'll burn fast!). Cook about 3 minutes, covered, until the dough begins to have large bubbles on the surface, and the underside is cooked. If you are going to be putting on a topping that will warm up/melt cheese, remove the dough round to a clean surface with the cooked side facing up, and place your cheese/toppings on. Return to grill and cook, covered for 4-6 minutes, until the dough is cooked, and the toppings/cheese are ready. If you are putting a topping on that does not need to be cooked (like the BLT pizza), just flip the dough round over, and cook, covered for about 4 minutes.** (Grilled pizza instructions adapted from Annie's Eats)
- You can leave the dough to rise up to a day, covered and refridgerated. Bring it to room temperature before you shape it.
- After rising, the dough can be frozen up to 1 month. Thaw and bring to room temperature before shaping.
- My pizzas were definitely not round, but they were still tasty- this is a recipe where only practice will make perfect!
- Watch your dough closely, as it can burn quickly. My pizzas had a little char to them, but the smokiness just added some more delicious flavor. Too much though, and it would probably overwhelm.
Mushroom and Caramelized Onion Pizza
from Gourmet Today
Makes one 14-inch pizza, or 4 individual pizzas
5 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound yellow onions, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced lengthwise
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound white mushrooms, or mixed wild mushrooms (such as shitake, cremini and oyster), trimmed if necessary and sliced
1 tsp red wine vinegar
2 3/4 cups coarsely grated Swiss Emmental cheese, or Gruyere (about 8 ounces)
1/2 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
Basic Pizza Dough (recipe above)
1. In a 12-inch heavy skillet heat 3 tbsp olive oil over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Add the onions, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/8 tsp pepper. Cover directly with a round of parchment paper. Cook until the onions are softened and golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 18-20 minutes. Transfer the onions to a bowl.
2. To the same skillet, add the remaining 2 tbsp olive oil, and heat until hot but not smoking. Add the mushrooms, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, and red wine vinegar, and cook about 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are browned and any liquid is evaporated. Remove the mushrooms from the heat.
3. Cook one side of your pizza dough on a grill preheated over medium high heat (as detailed above). When done, remove to a clean surface. Top the cooked side of the dough with the Emmental or gruyere cheese. Scatter onions and mushrooms on top, and sprinkle with Parmesan.
4. Place back on the grill over indirect heat, and cook, covered, 4-6 minutes, until the dough is cooked, and the cheese is melted. Sprinkle with fresh thyme.
- The original recipe calls for Swiss Emmental cheese, but I had some gruyere left over so I used that instead, and it turned out wonderful. Any type of Swiss cheese would probably do just fine, depending on how strong or mild you like it.
- I omitted the thyme because I thought I had some, but when I went to make the pizzas realized I didn't, but I didn't miss it at all. I'm sure it would've been good, but I don't think it's necessary.
- I halved this recipe to make 2 individual pizzas.
Makes 4 individual pizzas
Basic pizza dough (recipe above)
For salad topping:
4 cups green leaf lettuce, or mixed greens
1 tomato, seeded and diced
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled (drippings from cooking reserved for dressing)
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
For bacon vinaigrette:
1 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tbsp bacon drippings
1 1/2 tsp brown sugar (preferably dark)
1 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1. Combine the ingredients for the bacon vinaigrette in a small bowl, or salad dressing bottle, and whisk (or use handy emulsification device) to combine.
2. Combine the lettuce, tomato and onion in a large bowl, and toss to combine. Add 1/4 cup of dressing to the salad, and toss gently to coat. Add the bacon and feta to the salad, and toss gently to combine.
3. Make your grilled pizzas (recipe above), cooking both sides. Top your cooked pizza dough with some of the salad mixture, and serve!
- This salad is great on it's own, so if you don't want to make pizza, or if there is leftover, eat it plain!
- You can also use the vinaigrette to dress any salad.... In Alton Brown's original recipe he uses basically double the amount, and tops 2 quartered heads of radicchio. For quantities for his recipe go here!
- This is one of the most refreshing summery pizzas I've ever had, and although topping a pizza with salad may seem a bit unusual, I can't wait to make some other summery salad pizzas.