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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Grilled Pizza

Quickly add the ingredients - cheese first!  Then close the lid and allow the heat to melt the topping and glue it all together while the bottom is cooking.  You have to have it all lined up and act quickly on this.
Then Presto!
This has been on my to-do list for quite a while now.  I've run past this grilled pizza in Steven Raichlen's How to Grill recipe so many times and have wanted to try it.  I'm very glad we did... it was awesome.  But let's just say it's probably not going to make it to your quick and easy weeknight menu. 

Grilled Pizza

There is nothing hard about this recipe, but it is quite a multi-step process.  Just make sure to have all of your toppings prepped before hand.  The pizza will need to be assembled out on the grill, you everything has to be ready, transported outside, and arranged quickly at the end of the process. 


For the dough:
1 envelope active dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
1 1/4 cups warm water
3 1/2 cups white flour, plus more for kneading
1 1/2 tsp course salt
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus more for later

For the Topping:
1 bunch fresh basil, chopped into ribbons
2 - 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp butter
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 lg sweet onion, thinly sliced
Stips of red and orange bell peppers
1/2 pound  sweet Italian sausage
Course salt and black pepper
4 large ripe cherry tomatoes, cut into 1/4 inch thick slices  (or 2 medium sized tomatoes)
6 oz fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced

Extra virgin olive oil for grilling the dough
Non-stick spray for the grill


Topping Prep

I keep frozen onion and pepper stips in the freezer.  This speeds up my dinner prep and the frozen strips break down in the cooking process faster than the fresh ones. 

Mix extra virgin olive oil and butter for sauteeing the veggies.


3 large cloves of fresh garlic

minced well


To remove extra moisture from the sliced tomatoes, sprinkle with sea salt first.  This will draw out the water.

Then add another couple of layers of paper towels and weigh down with something (I used a cutting board).  You don't want the pizza to be soggy with all of that water that comes from the fresh tomatoes.

Saute the veggies until soft and slightly caramelized.

Add the chopped garlic towards the last couple of minutes as you don't want it to burn.

Remove casings from Italian sausage first.
Crumble and brown in a nonstick pan.
 
Drain on paper towels.

Sliced fresh mozzarella

Quickly fry the tomatoes in a skillet front and back in a little extra virgin olive oil.  Season simply with course salt and pepper.

Chop fresh basil
Dough prep:

Knead the dough about 5 minutes, turning a quarter turn and stretching as you go.  Will become lovely and silky.

Add to an oiled pan and turn to coat.  Cover and let rest in a warm place until it doubles in size (about an hour).  *To save time, you can put in the microwave for 2 minutes on Power 1, let rest 10 min.  Repeat two more times.  Should leave an imprint when you poke your finger into it and not bounce back.

Cut the dough ball in half.  With half at a time, stretch out into a free form rectangle about 9"x13" in an oiled sheet pan.  The olive oil will help the dough to blister and get crunchy on the grill.  Don't worry about the shape.  It doesn't matter.  That's the beauty of it.

Pizza Cooking:

Spray the grill with non-stick spray.  Turn down the very hot grill to medium just before adding the dough.  After about 3-5 minutes, it will blister and brown on the bottom and get stiff.  Turn with tongs and/or large spatula.


The cooked bottom becomes the top.  Doesn't it look yummy?!

Brush the crust with olive oil.

Quickly add the ingredients - cheese first!  Then close the lid and allow the heat to melt the topping and glue it all together while the bottom is cooking.  You have to have it all lined up and act quickly on this.
Then Presto!

All you need is a nice glass of something to drink and someone to help you eat this beautiful pizza pie!
Cheers!!

Would you like to see more recipes?  Please visit my Recipe Index for tons of ideas that you can make with/for you family.
Here are a few to pique your curiosity:

 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Meatballs Stroganoff


Beef Stroganoff is a Russian dish of sauteed pieces of beef served in a sauce with sour cream. From its origins in 19th-century Russia, it has become popular around the world, with considerable variation from the original recipe.  Well MY kids like it with Italian style meatballs.  Yes, it usually has mushrooms, too... but I don't like them.  So mine does not.

My friend E reminded me that I had passed along this recipe to her as a quick weeknight meal for her family; and I realized how long it's been since we've had it here. All the kids (plus a neighbor kid) coming back for seconds reaffirmed this as one of our quick, easy, flavorful favorites.

Click for Printable Recipe

Click on this link for a full length video of this recipe:
I shot this video for Ingles Markets.  You may be familiar with Ingles if you live in GA, NC, SC, TN, VA, AL.


Ingredients:
I'm giving you fair warning, this is NOT a 'measure everything out' recipe.  Instead, its one of those things you throw together after work on a busy day because it works and its delicious and your kids love it, and its super fast.
  • Frozen Italian style meatballs (1/2 oz each) 
    • generally, enough to cover the bottom of the pan.  Depends on who is home.
  • Extra virgin olive oil 
    • 1+ Tbsp - just enough to brown up the meatballs.  
  • 2 cups beef broth 
    • use more for more meatballs... just go with this recipe.  Don't over think it.
  • Seasoning
    • kosher salt and black pepper to taste
    • dried herbs (probably at least 1 - 1 1/2 tsp each) - parsley, oregano, basil
    • it will look like a lot of seasoning, but in the end, it will be great!
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 4 oz reduced fat cream cheese (optional)
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
    • or a slurry of whole milk + a bit of corn starch
  • Wide egg noodles
    • enough for whomever is there
  • optional garnishes - fresh oregano leaves, Italian seasoning
Step-by-step:
A little EVOO.  I don't even really measure.  Maybe a tablespoon or so.




Add the meatballs when the oil and pan are HOT! 
Frozen Italian style meatballs (1/2 ounce size)
brown them.
That looks about right now.

Deglaze with 2 cups beef broth.
 * If you don't have beef broth in a can or box, you can use hot water and a beef flavored bouillon or flavor booster.  
  You'll see lots of steam.  That's what makes it pick up all those great flavors.
Season it up liberally!
dried basil
dried oregano
a generous pinch of kosher salt
black pepper



Let it just simmer away.   All the flavors are coming together.
 Don't forget to start the noodles!
I am using "No Yolks" egg noodles.
Add the heavy cream.
   *If you don't have any heavy cream, you can use plain milk.... Add a heaping teaspoon of cornstarch to the cold milk to make a slurry, then add it.
You'll see all of those great seasoning start to float around.  Bring to a full boil so the thickeners can work.
 Add the sour cream.  I'm using a reduced fat sour cream.  If using cream cheese as well, add it now.
 Yum.
Now add in the cooked, drained noodles.  And you are done!  Turn off the heat and serve.  

If you will not be serving this immediately, consider leaving it soupier.  The pasta will soak up a lot of the juice, and you don't want it to be dry.
This looks suspiciously like a frozen dinner dish that my little kids like.  But much healthier because I made it and I know what's in there!

The real way it looks.... without any fancy photography.  Just kiddos and juice pouches on a busy evening...
 God our Father, ... we thank you... for our many blessings... Amen.
 Kid tested and approved!
 Oh come on now... doesn't everyone's kid drink Kool-Aid and stuff for dinner?
Chipmunk cheeks full of meatballs.
It's making him THIS strong!
The 20 minute version! Down home comfort food.  Fast.  Yummy.
Now, if you are serving to people who care about such things, you can garnish with some fresh oregano leaves.  And a sprinkling of Parmesan would be lovely as well.

 

I hope you've enjoyed this quick and easy recipe! 

Order the MenuMusings Cookbook!

Also, Please be sure to visit my YouTube Channel for short video tutorials on selected videos.  Watch me explain the steps of the recipes in just a few minutes!  Just one more way that I'm giving you the tools to get in that kitchen!!! Aren't you curious?  Click and see how many there are!  :)

Here's just one delicious example -  Mahogany Glazed Chicken!  Yum!!

Looking for more yummy and super fast weeknight pasta recipes?  Check these out....
Creamy chicken piccata 
Tiger tail pasta (crawfish)
Crawfish Monica

Or.... how about something fun to do with the extra meatballs?
Meatball Stuffed Buns  or Cook WITH me in this Video recipe for Meatball Stuffed Buns.
Have you signed up to be a Subscriber to MenuMusings?  NO?  Then you should do that now so you won't miss a thing!  Click Here to Subscribe!

Written Method:
I start off with our favorite brand of frozen Italian style meatballs (my kids LOVE the Rosina brand).  I brown them in a little olive oil in a black iron skillet.  This is where you get all the good flavors - from the fond (the brown bits that stick on the bottom) that gets stuck in the skillet.  [I don't think this would work as well in a non-stick skillet b/c it releases too much of that goodness.]

After they are browned up nicely, deglaze the pan with about 2 cups of beef broth (I like Swanson's brand).  Bring to a boil.  Season generously with salt and pepper, dried herbs (parsley, oregano, basil).  When it starts reducing, add about 2/3 cup sour cream (I use Daisy light) and about a cup of heavy whipping cream.  These will make the sauce creamy and silky and also act as a thickener.

Meanwhile, boil water in a separate pot and add the wide egg noodles (I use No Yolks).  Boil until they are still just a bit al dente, drain briefly and add to the simmering sauce.  They will finish cooking in the sauce and also soak up a lot of that goodness.

The result is a nice, creamy sauce - slightly tangy from the sour cream, a little herbaceous from the nice green herbs, a little beefy from the stock.  Yum! 

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