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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Becca's Red Potato Salad With Bacon

Potato salad + bacon = no duh.



I followed my husband's recipe protocol when coming up with this one: read all you can about one food, then cobble together your favorite ideas. I knew I wanted to use sliced (instead of chopped) red potatoes, and knew I wanted big chunks of bacon . . . the rest followed.



Sometimes I use horseradish mustard instead of Dijon--it is delectable.  The best thing about potato salad is that you can add lots of different seasonings in different amounts and it'll still be yummy.  Sometimes I sprinkle it with paprika, sometimes I add 12 hard-boiled eggs instead of six, and I usually use less mayo and sour cream than I wrote on the recipe card.  You can really experiment and not go wrong.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Grilled Pizza

My sister Bonnie first told me about cooking pizza on the grill.  Then my husband got interested and looked up a bunch of methods on the Internet.  His first attempts were "blackened" more than "grilled" . . . which is the nice way to say that they were burnt to the point of inedibility.  Even our chickens turned up their beaks at those carbonized scraps . . .

So, I gave it a go and mine have never looked black I have never looked back.



Nothing makes me feel more like a chef than grilling pizza outside.  The best part is that it's actually really easy and super delicious.  Your pizza will have a crispy thin crust, and your cheese and toppings get a smoky, brick-oven flavor that can't be beat.  Right now we are seeing record-breaking temperatures and I have zero desire to turn on my oven, so the grill is my best friend.

I use my regular pizza crust and homemade sauce recipes for grilled pizza.  The only difference is that because you roll the crust so thin before placing it on the grill, the dough recipe actually goes a lot farther!  I usually make 5-6 twelve-inch pizzas with one dough recipe.




The main trick to grilled pizza is to be FAST.  You want to preheat your grill on it's highest temperature with the lid closed so it will simulate an oven, then you turn the burners all the way down to low before putting your dough on the grill (so it doesn't burn).  Have your toppings ready to go right by the grill.


After you make your dough, shape it into 5-6 balls and let them
rise for a half hour, then roll out each ball on cornmeal into a thin crust

Turn your preheated grill all the way down to low, then place
your thin crust DIRECTLY on the grating of your grill.  You do
not need to spray with nonstick or otherwise oil your grill---it will
not stick.  Close the lid and let one side of your dough cook for 2-3
minutes The first crusts sometimes puff up because the grill is so hot.  

Turn over crusts with tongs or pizza piel.  Now comes the most
essential part of grilled pizza: you need to quickly spread your
sauce, cheese, and toppings on the cooked side of the crust, then close
the lid so that the cheese will melt and the toppings will cook before
the bottom of the crust burns.



Sausage needs to be pre-cooked, I also saute my mushrooms or
onions so they will be pre-cooked, too.  Ham and pepperoni are
already pre-cooked and can be placed directly on the pizza.
ALWAYS use fresh mozzarella (it comes in a one-pound, shrink-
wrapped ball), it melts better and tastes a thousand times better.
I also never make any pizza without chopped, fresh, basil, and
I cannot recommend it strongly enough.

Hawaiian and pepperoni before the lid is closed . . . 

Let your cheese and toppings slowly grill for 5-7 minutes, until
cheese is melted all the way.  Use a pizza piel to slide the cooked
pizzas onto a platter or stone, then cut and serve.

Sausage and basil grilled pizza

Hawaiian is my favorite kind of pizza . . . and if you serve it with a
yummy summer salad from your own garden, you have officially
reached a state of Summer Zen.