All posts by Ed

Rustic Pizza

Just because we love cooking meat with fire, doesn’t mean that’s the only thing we can cook over fire. Pizza is great on the grill, and this rustic style of pizza, with the crust folded back over makes it almost like a calzone. It’s a family favourite that is tasty and prety easy to make.

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 I have to thank my wife and daughter for sharing their secrets on this one – usually it is a big mystery until they hand me the pans and tell me to cook them!

Ingredients (okay, pretty much everything is optional here, it’s whatever you like, but this is what we use):

  • pizza dough (most grocery stores sell packages of premade dough)
  • 1 jar bruschetta
  • 1 ripe tomato – I like to use plum tomatoes because they contain less liquid
  • 1 red pepper, diced or sliced into strips
  • Mozzarella cheese – fresh mozzarella, aka bocconcini, is best, but any will do.
  • another cheese – ricotta, feta, or goat cheese, something a little salty is good.
  • sliced, sautéed mushrooms
  • sprinkling of basil

You will also need a pizza pan, and of course a grill.

Start by rolling out the pizza dough flat and round, and large enough so that it overhangs the pizza pan by 2-3 inches (5-8cm) all around. If you don’t have a rolling pin, an empty wine bottle works fine. It helps to spray the pan first with no-stick spray, or spread a thin layer of oil on the pan. Place the dough on the pan.
Dump about 1/2 cup  of the bruschetta on the dough, enough so that it just covers the area of the pan (ie, not onto the overhang parts). Lay out slices of tomato, the peppers, and the cheeses. Sprinkle the basil leaves on top, and then fold the overhanging dough over top, so that it covers half way or so to the middle.

Turn on the burner at one end of the grill, if you are using a gas grill, or use a deflector plate on a charcoal grill for indirect cooking. You want the temperature up around 400-425°F, which is hot enough that the crust will cook nicely, but not so hot that it chars the crust before the middle is cooked. You may need to rotate the pan to let it brown evenly. On my grill it takes surprisingly long – typically 40 minutes, but keep an eye on it, as the time will probably be different in your setup. It is done when nicely browned all over.

 

You can, of course play with the recipe. Add fresh basil leaves, or pitted kalamata olives, or (like me) leave out the mushrooms. Instead of bruschetta, you can sautée some onions and tomatoes in a little olive oil and garlic. Or heck, you can use a jar of pizza sauce, but I find the bruschetta just works a lot better with this type of pizza.
Enjoy!

 

Defining Beer

In some places, people refer to “Beer and Ale”. In others, they refer to “Beer and Lager”. And, sadly, in some they refer to “Beer and Malt liquor”. So what is beer? Apart from wonderful I mean.

At it’s simplest, beer is a fermented beverage made from grain. Under this definition, many things (including Sake) count. But for purposes of not getting way off track, let’s call beer “a fermented beverage made from grain, primarily barley but also wheat and other adjuncts, and usually flavoured with hops, but may contain other herbs or spices.”

Beer comes in many, many styles, not simply lager and ale. There is also porter, stout, wit, lambic, abbey, weiss, alt, kolsch, schwarz, Saison, bière de garde, barley wine, bock, maerzen, and a host of other styles, with brewers adding new styles all the time.

I could ramble on about these styles, but it will be much more fun for you if you just go out and try some to see what they are like for yourself. As this site grows, I will post my own thoughts and reviews of beers, brewers, and styles, so check back to learn more.