Although the last thing we feel like doing in this ungodly heat is to turn on the oven and make a big meal in the kitchen, we have experimented with a few tasty treats over the last few weeks - here's the round up!
Homemade pizzas on the grill are nothing new to this household (check out this post here detailing our first foray). However, with our current living situation using the grill is not as easy as stepping out on the balcony. It's more like "take everything down three flights to the garage, drag the grill into the alley, get bemused looks from passers-by in the cars and bring everything back up to eat." So convenient it isn't. So when we hosted Bob's mom, aunt and grandmother for dinner a couple Fridays ago, we decided to try out the conventional oven instead of the grill.
We picked up 2 units of dough from Whole Foods at $3.99 a pop. Apparently up one dollar from the last time we purchased! We learned you can stick these in the freezer and just take them out a day or so ahead of time to thaw in the fridge. After rolling out the dough, you do realize how big a pizza it can make but we were held to the constraints of our pizza pan and our largest cookie sheet. To not waste the extra dough for the round pie, Bob created a stuffed crust by lining the circle with lotsa mozza and then folding over the extra crust. As you can tell, it certainly puffs up!
I had a bit of fun in the grocery store trying to come up with toppings, we ended up with 2 options:
- Blue cheese, mozzarella, basil, black olives and thin tomato slices
- Pepperoni, black olives, mushrooms and mozzarella
We cooked them for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees until golden brown, keeping a close eye and turning once. The homemade kind are never going to be quite as symmetrical as your restaurant offers, but the taste is something special. Yum-o!
We had paired the pizza with a caesar salad of Parmesan croutons and romaine lettuce. Extra romaine and leftover pizza ingredients meant an experimental salad the next night. Bob sliced up mango, mushrooms and tomato. We added in corn grilled earlier that week and shaved off the cobs and made a quick southwestern dressing out of ranch, barbecue sauce and honey. A great fresh offering for dinner that really did fill us up. And is there anything better than grilled corn?
Lastly, and this is going to be a less than gourmet offering, I wanted to use some of our extra pizza toppings for a meal, but didn't have any bread, bagels or pita to act as a crust. Instead I grabbed a plateful of tortilla chips and topped them with mozzarella, pepperoni and blue cheese crumbles. Microwave it for 30 seconds and dig in! I actually make nachos like this all the time, but usually just with shredded cheese over the chips. Keepin' it healthy.
I hope you are staying cool this summer, I can't believe we're already headed into the end of July. Bring on sweater weather!