Pizza on the grill… Quick. Easy and too good for words!

Grilled Pizza
Grilled Pizza

A friend and I were walking one morning and she was telling me about how they made grilled pizza… Grilled pizza? I had heard of it, but dough on a grill? Seems like a sticky nightmare. I’m here to tell you it is LIFE CHANGING! Seriously. It’s so quick and easy and you can change it up with different toppings! I found a website that gave direction on how to grill a pizza (SimplyRecipes.com) – I’m telling you… this is one you want to try! Check out the link I provided for details, but here is what I did:

HOW TO GRILL PIZZA

I bought pizza dough at the grocery store. Many stores now have it in their bakery section. You can also make it yourself, either way works!

Turn your grill on high.

Get your toppings ready, because once the pizza comes off the grill you work swiftly to get it back on, so it’s important to have everything ready to use… The top pizza I used pizza sauce, cheese, fresh mushrooms* and fresh basil. I had posted this photo on Facebook and mentioned that it was beyond fabulous, but the mushrooms made it a little watery, and I received a comment back from a master pizza maker… the secret? Sauté the mushrooms first! Tada! That did the trick!! You can make it traditional with pizza sauce or step out of the box and try just olive oil, cheese, red onion and olives – that was nice too…

Ok… next step… let the dough sit in a olive oil coated (lightly) bowl with a clean towel over it for about 30 minutes.

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Then shape the dough, first by flattening with hands, then pick up and let it hang to stretch. I find this approach works best. You can use a light dusting of flour to keep it from sticking to the counter/your hands, etc. I cut the dough in half first and I make two pizzas with one package of pie dough, it seems easier to handle that way.

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Shape them how you like, they don’t have to be round… I like my funky shapes… Place them on a rimless baking sheet or an upside down cookie sheet. If the dough seems sticky, dust with a little cornmeal or flour…

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Once the grill is hot, oil the grates with olive oil. We used paper towels dipped in olive oil and used tongs…

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Slide the crust on to the grill (or sometimes it’s easier to pick it up and plop it on the grill, whatever works for you)…

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Then IMMEDIATELY CLOSE THE GRILL… cook approximately 2 minutes, check it if you smell burning. It’s ok for the crust to get charred a bit. You can check it part way through to see if its browning evenly, if not rotate it a bit if you can. Ours has never taken more than 2 minutes.

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Now remove the dough from the grill, and place on the rimless baking sheet COOKED SIDE UP.

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Make a mad dash to wherever your toppings are located, hopefully nearby… place the toppings on the cooked side of the dough. Add sauce or olive oil, then cheese, veggies, meat, but go lightly on top or it will be soggy and heavy. This one was made with olive oil instead of sauce, asiago cheese (Trader Joe’s!), red onion (next time I would sauté first) and olives.

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Time to get it back on the grill!

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and… CLOSE. THE. LID. Wait about 2-3 minutes until cheese is bubbly and bottom starts to char.

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Then sit back and enjoy! Have you ever tasted crust like that? So heavenly light and crispy… just like it was made with a wood burning oven. Out of this world!!

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F L A S H B A C K

O N E   Y E A R   A G O…       Winslow Homer – The Veteran in a New Field

T W O   Y E A R S   A G O…   Live Oak Beauty on the Water in Meggett, SC

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Have you made Roasted Asparagus? Too easy and way too good to be a veggie!

RoastedAsparagus MyRecipes

Roasted Asparagus – Image: MyRecipes.com

Photo: Leigh Beisch; Styling: Merilee Bordin

I like asparagus. Actually I LOVE asparagus. Of all cooking methods, roasting is hands down the most flavorful cooking method. The taste is out of this world and it is so easy you won’t believe it!

Sometimes I sprinkle a little parmesan, sometimes I don’t. Same with the lemon. It works either way. It doesn’t need it, but it’s a nice twist.  You can also just use however much asparagus you like (if you don’t need six servings), toss in olive oil, sprinkle with a little salt and pop in the oven!

Yield: Makes 6 servings

Roasted Asparagus

  • 2 bunches asparagus (about 2 lbs.)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup packed freshly shredded parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 475°. Hold the end of an asparagus stalk and bend until it snaps off. Repeat with remaining stalks and discard woody ends.

2. Toss asparagus with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and toss well. Arrange asparagus in an even layer in a shallow baking dish. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and bake until asparagus is crisp-tender and cheese is browned, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with lemon juice. Serve hot or warm.

Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.

Nutritional Information/per serving

  • Calories: 84
  • Calories from fat: 49%
  • Protein: 7.6g
  • Fat: 4.6g
  • Saturated fat: 2.1g
  • Carbohydrate: 5g
  • Fiber: 1.2g
  • Sodium: 274mg
  • Cholesterol: 7.5mg

Catch you back here tomorrow!

CHILI RECIPE: How to make a great pot of chili!

Best Chili Ever!

This is one fast and easy recipe. This chili is so tasty you absolutely won’t believe it, especially when you see how quickly it comes together… Not too many ingredients:

CHILI

1 pound ground sirloin (or whatever hamburger meat you prefer, I find whatever I can that has no antibiotics, etc.)

1 onion, diced

2- 28oz cans of diced tomatoes

2- 16oz cans of chili beans (I use Bush’s Chili Beans, whatever heat level you desire. Today I used Medium)

Chili Powder (to your taste, I use about 1-2 Tablespoons)

Crackers to crinkle on top when served… can also top with cheese, sour cream and any other topping. I just use crackers, oyster crackers are best!

Step One:

Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large saucepan or dutch oven. Add onion. Cook until translucent.

Add hamburger and break up with spoon while it cooks. Cook until meat is no longer pink.

Step Two:

Add two cans of tomatoes and two cans of chili beans WITH the juice. Now take each can that you used (tomatoes and chili beans) and fill each can about 1/3 of the way with water. Add the water to the pot (this also gets the extra juice from tomato cans/bean cans).

Now add the chili powder, you can also add pepper… if you used no sodium tomatoes/beans you can also add salt at this time. (I don’t use it because I buy regular tomatoes and chili beans, so there’s plenty of salt).

Bring to a boil. Then reduce heat and simmer for about an hour. Add more water if it needs it. You can make it as thick or as runny as you like! As it simmers it will reduce over time.

Serve in a bowl. Can top with saltines, oyster crackers, cheese, sour cream, green onions or whatever sounds good to you!

NOTE: Last time I made chili I didn’t have chili beans and didn’t want to run to the store. What I did have is cannellini beans, so I DRAINED those beans and added two cans and I doubled the chili powder. I think I also tossed in a tablespoon or two of diced jalepeno’s… I buy them in the pickle section, that way you don’t have to cut them up… good time saver! This chili was awesome. You can use whatever beans you like. Most common are red kidney beans or whatever you’ve got on hand!

ENJOY!

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Homemade BBQ sauce, easy and so much better than store bought!

BBQ Sauce ready for the chicken on the grill!

This is a quick and easy BBQ Sauce that is so delicious you simply will not believe it! Recipe from Cooks.com!

These are the ingredients that I used:

I found this recipe on Cooks.com, and I pretty much used it as it was written, omitting one evil ingredient… Worcestershire Sauce. (I had to avoid soy (one alias is ‘natural flavors’) it was so good without it that I still don’t add it… Here’s the link to the BBQ SAUCE recipe on cooks.com (as shown below) so that it’s quick and easy to print (or read below):

BBQ SAUCE 
2 tbsp. butter
1 c. water
1 c. ketchup
2 tbsp. vinegar
1 tsp. salt (optional)
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 c. onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp. lemon juice
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. dry mustard powder
Melt butter. Saute onion until soft. Add remaining 9 ingredients. Simmer for 20 minutes. Makes about 2 cups of BBQ sauce.

I make this recipe, then I split into smaller batches (1/3 cup is about how much we use on two chicken breasts). I freeze each serving in a labeled freezer bag, then flatten out and refrigerate. Once cold pop into the freezer. Then next time you need it you can set it out for a few minutes and it will thaw, then snip the corner and squeeze contents into a dish. Too easy!

Here is the final result… let me tell you, Fred cooked this chicken on the grill to perfection. It was awesome! There is nothing like barbecue chicken on the grill, fresh corn on the cob and a nice crispy salad!

What are YOU making for dinner? Catch you back here tomorrow!

A summer salad for dinner… quick, easy and waaaay too good!

You know when the temps heat up and cooking just doesn’t sound so great anymore? Well… the time has come… already! We’re looking for quick and easy meals that don’t involve turning on a gas stove or oven and heating up the house! We are very fortunate in Charleston to have a top notch Farmer’s Market… I encourage all of you who live within driving distance to go… it’s more than a place to get fruits and veggies, it’s an event all in itself. There are so many people, so much going on, and so much wonderful produce, YA-HOO! For this salad that I made for the two of us, I bought a bag of Butter Lettuce at Whole Foods… at the Farmer’s Market I got THE BEST radishes, cucumber, tomato and green onions… give those all a chop and toss them in the salad, however much (or little) that you prefer. I tossed it with dressing in a large stainless bowl (neither of us like much dressing, so this is the easiest way to do it). I boiled a few eggs and cooked 2 pieces of bacon to add to the top.. whoa, is that sweet! Also, added 1/2 avocado to each salad on top…

Served with Naan bread and olive oil… but you could serve with a baguette, or pita, or whatever makes you smile!

Catch you back here tomorrow!