Posts Tagged pizza

BBQ Chicken Pizza

If you were to ask Kyle what his favourite pizza is, I would bet that hands down he would say BBQ Chicken Pizza. For nearly as long as I have known him, this is the pizza that Kyle gravitates towards on any menu, regardless of whether it’s a place that primarily serves pizza or not. He’s tried this pizza nearly everywhere he can. However, on our recent trip to Hawaii, we all went to dinner to California Pizza Kitchen and Kyle did not order the BBQ Chicken Pizza here…where it was invented (or so it says on their menu). This was not an easy decision for Kyle. He was swayed by the Habanero Carnitas pizza when his eyes gravitated to the words “pulled pork” – another weakness of his. He hummed & hawed for quite some time. I swore I could see the sweat beads starting on his forehead when the stress of making a decision almost became too much…until the last minute when I quickly said: “I’ll make you a BBQ chicken pizza when we get home.”

So, the first weekend since we’ve returned from our vacation, I kept my promise to my husband. I turned up the oven and got to some pizza making. I made some No Knead Pizza Dough a la Jim Lahey (the method in his book, not the 12-24 hour version that is out on the internet & in Bon Appetit mag – although this one is tasty as well); I fried up some applewood smoked bacon (since there was a version at California Pizza Kitchen with bacon on it); and I used the leftovers from our recent Buffalo Chicken Wraps to add some heat to our pie. While this wouldn’t be a necessary way to cook your chicken for this pizza, if you love the flavour of hot sauce as much as we do, then I’m sure you’d be just as delighted to taste it here as well. Go ahead and make this pizza without it, but I hereby take zero responsibility for your sub-par pizza.

BBQ Chicken Pizza

pizza dough for 1 12″ pizza
olive oil
1/3 cup BBQ sauce (your favourite. We used a Guinness BBQ Sauce)
1/3 cup cooked buffalo chicken breast, cut into small, bite-sized pieces
3 sliced bacon, cooked and crumbled
150g mozzarella, shredded
4 green onions, sliced – the white & green parts separated
1 Tbsp cilantro, chopped

Preheat oven to 425ºF (500ºF if you’re using the No Knead Bread).

Lightly coat a 12″ round pizza pan with olive oil. Spread your dough onto the pan and top with the BBQ sauce, mozzarella, chicken, bacon, and the white parts of the green onion. Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until your crust has started to turn golden, the cheese is melted, and the toppings have some colour to them.

Top with the green parts of the green onion and the cilantro. Slice into 8 pieces and serve.

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Barbequed Pizza – Prosciutto, Artichoke, & Tomato

Hello Hello. It’s been a little while. This time I don’t have the excuse that I am spending time with my husband before he leaves on a 3-week trip for work (1 more week left to go!). No, I can only blame it on the weather. It’s been too nice out to sit in front of a computer. I’m enjoying soaking up the sun on my balcony, on my bike, and outdoors with family and friends. Summer has finally arrived for good! The herbs in the pots on my balcony are happy. They’ve been liking the long sunny days as well. The mint is looking a little scraggly though – it may have been raided last night for strawberry mojitos! Good thing I always grow multiple pots of the gloriously versatile herb in the summer.

I also haven’t wanted to cook much due to the heat. Who wants to turn on the stove or stand in front of a hot barbeque when the mercury is rising? All I care to do is open up the fridge, chop up some lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes & mint and drizzle over lemon juice and olive oil. Then lazily sit outside and eat. But this isn’t much of an excuse either. Because I have lots of recipes saved up to share with you. So I’m taking advantage of the smoke from a nearby forest fire diffusing the light from the sun to sit outside and type.

For those of you dying for homemade pizza, but refusing to turn on the oven, here’s a gem for you. If you haven’t tried barbequing pizza, DO IT NOW. Make some dough yourself. Go buy some pre-made dough. Or hell, buy a pizza shell. Just start grilling your pies. I’m sharing our favourite pizza with you today, but try this method with the toppings you like best if you prefer. I’m sure you’ll be making this again and again, so you’ll get to our pizza soon enough. We BBQ’d this the first time because we were craving pizza, but it was hot outside. And now, when it’s 40 below out, I’ll be wrestling with the cold and the BBQ to keep cooking pizzas like this. The char on the pizza was the closest thing I’ve made that resembles those cooked in traditional wood ovens. It was magnificent.

I definitely recommend making this with raw pizza dough; however, the last time Kyle’s mom was in town she BBQ’d a pizza using a pre-made shell and it still tasted great. But to get that traditional wood-fired taste go with raw dough. The first time we tried this, we grilled one side of the dough, then took the pie off the grill. I put the toppings on the grilled side, then placed the pizza back on the BBQ to grill the raw side. I was curious if it was worth the extra step to grill both sides. So the other day I performed an experiment: I split the dough in half and made 2 8″ pizzas instead of one 12″. One pizza was topped and placed on the BBQ – so only one side got grilled. The other was BBQ’d the way I had the first time. The result: the toppings on the pizza placed directly on the grill were a bit more cooked, but the pizza was soggy. The other pizza was crispy and perfect – even if the toppings didn’t get as much time to cook. I will continue to use the double-sided grilling method.

By-the-way, the pizza that I had made the other day during the “experiment” won’t be shared. I made a ricotta based pizza topped with zucchini and asparagus. Seemed like a good idea, but it was bland. I think drizzling it with balsamic would have helped….maybe even more salt. And definitely covering the asparagus with cheese so the buggers didn’t roll off the pie would have been a good idea. It was edible, but it wasn’t great. So I apologize, but you won’t be seeing it on here.

Now go forth: get your dough rising and fire up your grill. And Happy Father’s Day to all the incredible Dad’s out there!

Proscuitto, Artichoke, & Tomato Pizza – Barbequed

The steps may seem long here. Skips steps if you like – trust your instincts and grill the way you want to. But this is how I made my pizza, and the method is here for you in order to get the same result. Don’t be intimidated – it’s really just a lot of chatter, not a lot of work. 

dough for 12″ pizza (your own or store-bought)*
1/4 cup pesto
5-6 slices prosciutto salami or regular salami
2-3 slices prosciutto, cut into strips
2-3 canned artichokes, thinly sliced (because I’m not messing with raw ones for pizza)
1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup mozzarella, shredded
1 small tomato, thinly sliced

Prepare BBQ. You’re going to do some semi-indirect grilling here. One side will be on med-high to keep the temperature inside the grill with the lid down hot. But you’re going to want the side you put the pizza on to be on low to med-low (depending on how hot your grill gets). If it’s too hot, your dough will burn before it’s cooked through. Don’t be afraid. Pizza dough is cheap if you mess this up. But you won’t. Plus a Pizza Place is just a phone call away.

Roll out your dough to 12″ (I use a mat that someone gave me as a gift for this…because if I don’t, then my crust ends up at a massive 16″ and I wonder why it won’t fit on my pizza stone). Sprinkle corn meal on a pizza peel or rimless baking sheet. With a fork, poke holes all over the dough – this will prevent your crust from bubbling up too much when you grill the first side. Now brush olive oil all over the top side. Place the oiled side down on the pizza peel/baking sheet. Oil the top side (and maybe poke a few more holes…to be on the safe side).

Slide the pizza onto the cooler side of the BBQ, and close the lid. Grill the first side for approximately 3-5 minutes – until the pizza is puffing up and you can easily lift it up and see that there are grill marks on the bottom. If your pizza is stuck on – leave it on for a minute or two longer. **While the pizza is grilling on the first side, sprinkle your pizza peel/baking sheet with more cornmeal** With tongs or a flipper, place the uncooked side of the crust down on the pizza peel/baking sheet. Top the pizza with the toppings – your favourite, or the ones in the recipe in the order listed. Place the pizza back on the BBQ and close the lid. Grill for 6-10 minutes more until the bottom is getting slightly charred and the cheese is melted.

Let your pizza rest for a few minutes so the cheese can set (otherwise you’ll lose all your toppings to the middle of the pizza…or worse, to the cutting board). Slice the pizza as you wish: 8 slices, 6, 4, 2…

Serves ? How can I say how many this serves? I don’t know how much pizza you like or what you’re going to eat it with. How about: serves 4 people if they eat salad with it. But trust me – Kyle & I could have polished this one off all on our own.

* You can find pizza dough in the freezer section of your grocery. If using a Pre-made Pizza Shell, you will only need to grill one side. So put your toppings on, place the pizza on the cooler side of the BBQ and grill for approximately 10-15 minutes.

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BBQ Pork Calzone

I had a grand idea to make fresh pasta a couple weeks ago in order to use up left over pulled pork. My plan was to create beautiful little pulled pork-filled pasta purses, and serve them in a sage brown-butter sauce. Sounds yummy right? I was so hell-bent on this plan that I decided to go through with it even though almost every recipe for home-made pasta mentioned the use of a pasta roller. While I have coveted the pasta attachment for my Kitchen Aid Mixer (hint hint) for quite some time, I do not own said attachment. But I put my faith in Jamie Oliver, who mentions I could just use my brute strength and patience in order to mix and hand roll my fresh pasta dough.

Jamie, how could you lead me astray? I thought we had a good thing going…you’ve always been there for me when I wanted to make a lamb curry, stout meat pie, tomato braised sausages, spinach risotto … and on-and-on. Plus you aren’t too hard on the eyes. But this day you tarnished our relationship. I trusted your ratio of eggs to flour. I trusted you when you said I just needed to use my strength to work that dough into a glistening smooth mass. And I trusted you when you said all I needed was time. But all I ended up with was a scraggly mess of what looked like beige, floury play-dough. Damn you.

I should mention this was a weeknight. Who the hell attempts making pasta for the first time on a weeknight? Apparently this girl. I didn’t say I was completely sane. This was the same pork that gave me trouble a few days earlier…maybe the pork was out to get me, and it wasn’t the pasta dough recipe after all. I was not to be defeated. A sane person would have ordered pizza at this point – however, I just told you I’m not…so I quickly changed plans and made homemade pizza dough.

I was determined to stuff these leftovers into something. So while the pizza dough was rising, I fried up some barely carmelized onions, shredded some mozzarella & pecorino cheeses, and brought my leftover pork and BBQ sauce up to room temperature. With the dough ready – I quartered it, rolled out each quarter, and stuffed them full of delicious saucy pork, salty cheese, and sweet onions. Then, just to show that pork who was boss, I fried some fresh sage leaves in browned butter, and brushed this over the top of my lovely little waiting calzones before throwing them into a hot oven.

This recipe doesn’t have to be so involved. Use store-bought pizza dough (you can usually find this in the freezer section – let it thaw overnight). The brown-butter used to brush over the dough can be replaced with extra-virgin olive oil, or even oil spray. And the onions don’t even need to be fried/caramelized, just thinly slice them and throw them in raw. Weeknight dinner done the sane way.

BBQ Pork Calzone

If you don’t have Pecorino Romano cheese handy, or can’t find it, you can substitute with Parmesan or use all Mozzarella cheese. You can also make this into a pizza using a pre-made pizza crust if you can’t find store-bought dough & don’t feel like making dough yourself. Just top the pizza as the calzones are stuffed, and bake as per the directions on the pizza crust. 

pizza dough – homemade or store-bought (enough for 12″ pizza)
1 – 1 1/3 cups leftover pulled pork
1/2 cup leftover homemade BBQ sauce or your favourite BBQ sauce
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup butter, divided
1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/4 cup pecorino romano cheese, shredded
8 fresh sage leaves – 4 finely chopped & 4 left whole

If you want to brown/caramelize your onions, fry them up while you’re waiting for your dough to rise or come to room temperature: melt 2 Tbsp of the butter over medium heat. Add the sliced onions and fry them until very soft and browned, stirring often. This will take approximately 15-20 min. Let the onions cool slightly.

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. (I like to use a pizza stone to bake pizza, so if you have one, throw it into the oven while it’s pre-heating)

Divide your dough into 4 quarters. Working with one quarter at a time, roll the dough into 8″ rounds.  Once you have one dough rolled out, start by topping it with 2 Tbsp of the BBQ sauce, ensuring that you put it on one half of the dough and leave at least 1/2″ so you can fold the other half of the dough over. Then top the sauce with the pork, onion, mozzarella and percorino, and chopped sage (only using approximately 1/4 of each). Fold dough over and crimp the edges with a fork. Repeat with remaining three portions of dough.

Meanwhile, if you’re going to brush the tops with the sage brown butter, melt the remaining 2 Tbsp of butter over medium heat. Keep on eye on it, stirring it often. When the butter turns slightly brown and has a nutty scent, throw in the 4 whole sage leaves and lightly fry for 30 seconds. Take the butter off the heat.

Brush the tops of the calzones with the brown butter or with extra virgin olive oil. Make a few small slits in the top of the calzones so that steam can escape from the inside. Place the calzones on a pizza pan or put them on your pre-heated pizza stone. Bake for 15 minutes until the tops are golden brown.

Serves 4 – 6, depending on how hungry you are and what you’re having with dinner.

We ate these with a chopped veggie salad.

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