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pizza

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Grilling Pizza + Rosé Wine

July 23, 2018

This post is sponsored by Olema Wines. Well, they didn’t pay me to write the post, but they did send me some yummy wine in hopes that I would love it enough to talk about it and guess what? It was awesome, so I’m sharing it with you today! Thanks for supporting the brands that support Espresso and Cream! 

Summer has gone so quickly this year! Anyone else? I think it’s due in large part to the fact that we have been working on our patio project ALL summer long and this weekend we finally got it finished! I guess saying “finished” is a little misleading because now our yard looks like a hot mess filled with dirt and piles of rock and we haven’t even started the landscaping around the patio, but the actual patio is finished and I am SO proud of Joe for all the hard work he put into making this possible. He worked alongside a friend who had some landscaping experience and helped with the technical parts of the patio, but the amount of dirt-moving and manual labor that Joe put into this patio is crazy. It also helped us save a LOT of money doing so much work ourselves. A full patio project recap is now in the works, but in the meantime., I’m going to talk about pizza and wine, mmmkay?

We christened our new patio by having a few friends over for grilled pizza + wine and every time I make grilled pizzas for a group I’m reminded why we need to do so more often. We’ve been grilling pizzas for years, and while it’s a little more hands-on than, say, grilling meat, it’s definitely fun to do something different outside of the typical burgers + brats + chicken, etc on the grill. By the end of the summer, we are ready for something fresh. Sitting under our patio table umbrella, drinking some really great rosé wine from Olema Wines, and eating grilled pizza, salad, fresh green beans and mixed berries felt almost like we were transported somewhere much fancier than our house, minus the giant dirt piles and general disarray of our yard. Ha!

While I’m typically a red wine drinker, the hottest months of the summer really do make chilled white and rosé wine my go-to when entertaining. Actually, I tend to think a rosé on the drier side, like this 2017 Olema Rosé, really are the perfect wines to serve at a party since they tend to be crowd-pleasing and ultra refreshing. Plus, the price point ($16/bottle) is about what Joe and I tend to spend on a bottle of wine – bridging the gap between price consciousness and the quality that we expect when drinking wine. I’m not the most knowledgable wine drinker but I do know what I like! 🙂

I will say that I have *no* idea if rosé wine is a good pairing with grilled pizza from an expert’s perspective, but I thought the entire meal was delicious! So let’s talk a bit about grilling pizza, shall we?

A few tips I’ve learned to help make grilling pizzas better + easier + tastier:

  1. Make sure your grill is HOT. Like 450°F – 500°F hot and that your grill grates are clean. Sometimes I’ll get the grill really hot first and then give the grates one more cleaning with a grill brush to make sure they are super clean. Dirty grill grates will stick to the pizza dough and leave you with a mess.
  2. Put together a “toppings tray” ahead of time. We’re talking everything you need to top your pizzas, including olive oil + pastry brush, pizza sauce, cheese + fresh basil and whatever else you want to use for pizza toppings. Grilling pizza at a high temp on the grill goes FAST so you need to be ready to top the pizzas quickly.
  3. Don’t top the pizzas too heavily. The thin dough doesn’t need a lot of sauce and toppings. In fact, it’s better if you use a light hand when topping with sauce, cheese and toppings as to not overwhelm the dough.
  4. Be sure to stretch the dough thin enough. You want to stretch it out as thin as you comfortably can without ripping holes in the dough. The grill is HOT meaning you can’t leave the dough on too long before it burns. A little char is good, too much isn’t, so you want the dough thin enough that it cooks through before you need to remove the pizza from the grill.

Perfect Grilled Pizza Dough
Serves: 4 personal pizzas
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup warm water
  • ½ teaspoon instant dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
Instructions
  1. Place warm water in a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle with the yeast and allow the yeast to dissolve for a minute. Whisk together to combine. (Important Note: You should see some bubbles in the water, which means that the yeast is active, if you don't see any bubbles you may have old yeast or the water was too warm and it killed the yeast.)
  2. Add the salt and 2½ cups of the all-purpose flour to the water mixture and use a rubber spatula to combine. Transfer mixture to a lightly-floured surface and gradually kneed in the remaining ½ cup flour over the course of a couple minutes, adding a little at a time. The dough should be smooth and elastic, and just the tiniest bit sticky but not so sticky that it easily sticks to your hands. Add additional flour if necessary, a tiny bit at a time.
  3. Transfer dough to a lightly greased mixing bowl and cover with a towel. Allow to sit in a draft-free location to rise for 2 to 3 hours, until dough is doubled in size.
  4. Punch down dough and cut into four pieces. Form each piece into a round. Stretch each round into a thin disc (see note above in the tips) using extra flour if you need to prevent sticking.
  5. To Grill:
  6. Heat grill to the hottest it will go - around 450°F to 500°F. Once grill grates are good and hot, brush dough lightly with olive oil. Place the oiled side on grill grates. Cover and cook 2 to 3 minutes until dough is charred and bubbly. Brush uncooked side of dough with olive oil and flip. Quickly top with sauce, cheese and desired toppings. Cover and cook 2 to 4 minutes more until cheese is melted and dough is cooked through. Transfer to a cutting board and top with fresh basil, grated Parmesan cheese and crushed red pepper, if desired. Cut into strips to serve.

Madison

Uncategorized

Peter Reinhart’s Gluten-Free Almond Flour Pizza Crust

May 28, 2013

Almond_Flour_Pizza_Crust_1

Happy Tuesday, friends! I hope you all had a wonderful long weekend. Perhaps you were blessed with prettier weather than we were in Minnesota? It pretty much drizzled all weekend and stayed in the 60s. Since my dad, step-mom and little sisters were visiting from Idaho, I was hoping to have a little bit better weather. But we made the best of the weather and gave them a great taste of Minneapolis. It was also so much fun showing them our house for the first time! We managed a full long weekend with six people in our house and it wasn’t all that bad. I would call that a success.

I’ll have photos of our weekend to share in a couple of days, but in the meantime let’s talk about pizza. A couple weeks ago, someone at work prepared this pizza recipe and immediately I knew I had to have the recipe. The recipe, created by master baker Peter Reinhart, was unlike any pizza recipe I’ve ever had before. It was made with almond flour, egg whites and was completely gluten-free. Crazy, right? How almond meal and egg whites could come together to make a pizza crust is beyond me, but after tasting it and then making my own batch, I’m totally a believer.

If you have friends who are gluten-free or looking to cut back on carbohydrates, this would be a great dish to share. It’s fun to make because it’s so unique and takes much less time than traditional dough. Additionally, Joe and I both found that it makes great leftovers because the almond meal keeps the dough from drying out. This dough doesn’t taste like wheat-based dough but it its own thing all together. Very delicious, slightly nutty with a little crunch. It’s incredibly delicious, hearty and a great change of pace for pizza lovers like us.

Almond_Meal_Pizza_Crust_3

Peter Reinhart’s Gluten-Free Almond Flour Pizza Crust
Ingredients
Dough (adapted slightly)
*3 cups almond meal
*1/4 teaspoon salt
*2 teaspoons baking powder
*1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
*4 egg whites
*1 cup chicken broth
*3/4 cup grated mozzarella, fontina or Monterey Jack cheese
Toppings
*Marinara sauce and shredded cheese

Directions
*Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with a nonstick baking mat, such as a Silpat. Set aside. You can also use parchment paper brushed with olive oil.
*In bowl, whisk together the almond meal, salt, baking powder, and xanthan gum. In a second bowl, use an electric mixer to beat egg whites until they develop stiff peaks.
*Add the broth to the dry ingredients and stir until it makes a smooth batter. Fold in the egg whites and the cheese.
*Pour mixture onto prepared pan with the nonstick baking mat. Spread into an even layer, using wet fingers if necessary to prevent sticking. Top lightly with marinara sauce and shredded cheese.
*Bake 25 to 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking, until the crust is puffed through and baked and filling is bubbly. Cool 10 minutes. Cut into squares to serve.

Happy Cooking!
Madison

Uncategorized

Recipes for the Final Four

April 5, 2013

Picture 1

Good morning and happy Friday, friends! I can’t believe that another week has already come and gone. Joe and I find ourselves asking “where did the time go?” at least once a week these days. I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that we’ve been enjoying our jobs so dang much. There are times throughout the week that I stop and just soak up the thankfulness I feel about my new gig and where God has placed us. But that’s a story for another day.

As part of my job as a food editor at General Mills, I’ve been working with various Pillsbury products developing recipes. Since there are some big college basketball games coming up this weekend, I visited our local Minneapolis NBC station, KARE 11, to share some recipes from the Pillsbury Kitchens that are prefect for game day. I promise, they really are super tasty recipes!

If you want to view the video of yesterday’s segment, you can do so HERE. Links to the recipes can also be found on the same page, including:

*Bourbon-Bacon Chex Mix
*Chipotle Chicken Pizza
*Crescent Jalapeno Poppers
*Salsa Guacamole

Picture 2

Happy cooking!
Madison

Salmon Salad Pizza

January 15, 2012

Hey everyone! How was your weekend? Joe and I had friends over on Saturday night to watch the Broncos game and eat chili. And as an added surprise, my mom joined us for the weekend. And although the Broncos lost, it helped to have company (and ice cream) around to keep us from feeling the pain of the loss too much.

And since my mom was around this weekend, we took advantage of having her snap a photo of us that wasn’t taken with my computer. All ready to head to church…

Almost every week, Joey and I have homemade pizza for a weekday meal. Typically, our pizzas are of the standard variety – pepperoni and green peppers for Joe and mozzarella and basil for me. But on Friday night we dressed things up (a lot) and made a pizza you can’t order from a standard take-out joint.

Inspired by our favorite dinner, salads topped with salmon and feta cheese, Salmon Salad Pizza was born. And boy is it mouthwatering. I cringed a bit at the idea of crumbling half a pound of wild Alaskan salmon atop a pizza, but the fact is it’s a really economical way to feed high-quality salmon to a group of people. Instead of needing a pound or more, you can give everyone big salmon flavor for much less.

I was a tad bit skeptical about serving this pizza to Joe. Since he’s pretty traditional when it comes to pizza, I wasn’t sure if he would jump on board with this unique pie. Turns out, he was just as excited about it as I was. Between the two of us, we came pretty close to finishing up this pizza, with just a couple slices leftover for the weekend.

Salmon Salad Pizza
Ingredients
*1/2 lb. filet wild Alaskan salmon
*1 tablespoon olive oil
*3/4 cup baby spinach leaves, stems removed
*Whole wheat pizza dough for one 12-inch pizza (locals – Gateway Market has the best pre-made dough in Des Moines)
*1/3 cup pesto
*1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
*1/2 of a medium tomato, thinly sliced
*1/2 tsp. dried oregano

Instructions
*Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly grease a pizza pan or dust cornmeal on a baking stone and preheat the stone in the oven. Set aside.
*In a nonstick skillet over medium high heat, heat oil. Cook salmon, about 4 minutes per side. Salmon will not be completely cooked through, which is okay. This will prevent the salmon from being dry once it is cooked on the pizza. Flake salmon into bite-sized pieces. Set aside.
*With the heat still on, cook spinach for 1 to 2 minutes in the remaining oil in the pan. Spinach should be slightly wilted. Remove from heat and set aside.
*Press pizza dough into a 12-inch circle and transfer to baking sheet. Spread dough with the pesto sauce and sprinkle with the feta cheese. Layer tomato slices atop the feta, followed by the flaked salmon. Top with the spinach and sprinkle with the dried oregano.
*Bake pizza for 15 to 18 minutes, or until cheese is melted and dough is golden brown and crisp around the edges. Remove from oven and cut into pieces. Makes 8 slices

Happy Cooking!
Madison

Greek Salad Pizza

September 24, 2010

J and I approach food in two completely different ways. It’s almost comical sometimes; the food editor who muses about all things culinary and savors every morsel and the former football player who has spent the last eight years of his life eating for fuel, wolfing down thousands of calories without much of a second thought about the actual taste of his food.

I’m working on him, going to places off his beaten path, encouraging him to slow down and taste what it is he’s eating. But truth be told, sometimes I need a lesson in slowing down and savoring each bite, too; because at the end of a long day, sometimes cooking a meal seems like the world’s most daunting task and a bowl of cereal never looked so good.

This Greek Salad Pizza is here to tell you, and me, that a dinner worth savoring isn’t out of reach. Trust me, I found myself with a bag of pitas and the fixings for Greek salad last week and ate this meal three days in a row. And while pita bread pizzas are hardly anything new or revolutionary, this dish was a fresh reminder of how deliciously easy a ten minute meal can be.

Greek Salad Pizza
(Printable Recipe)

Ingredients
*2 small whole pita bread rounds
*4 Tbsp. hummus
*4 Tbsp. roasted tomato pesto or other jarred pesto
*1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
*4 to 6 pepperoncini peppers, thinly sliced
*1/4 cup thinly sliced black olives
*2 cups romaine lettuce, thinly sliced or chopped
*2 to 4 Tbsp. Greek style salad dressing

Instructions
*Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil; set aside.
*Spread 2 tablespoons hummus on each of the pita breads, followed by 2 tablespoons of the pesto. Top each with a 1/4 cup feta cheese. Evenly divide the pepperoncini peppers and black olives between the two pitas.
*Place in the oven and bake for 7 to 10 minutes, until the pita is crispy and the toppings are heated through.
*Toss the romaine in the Greek style salad dressing. Top each pita with some of the lettuce mixture, or serve along side the pitas.

Happy Cooking!

Madison