Monday, September 28, 2009

The Party

About a month ago our next door neighbor started planning her husband's 40th birthday party... Kris offered my services. Really she offered everything from me preparing all of the food and billing them accordingly, to my advise, to anything in between. Our Neighbor said that she would appreciate the help would give us a call. A week before the party I she talked to Kris and said that she wanted me to make an appetizer, not just any appetizer but one that will go well with her main dish... Italian Beef Sandwiches. Ok, I thought, what goes well with Italian beef? I could come up with two things they are French Fries and Beer, this posed a little bit of a problem top that off with I would be out of town until 4 hours before the party began. My oldest daughter was going to her first Homecoming Dance and I had pictures to take.

So I began my plan, what really goes well with Italian Beef? Apart from fries and beer, a lot of people put hot or sweet peppers and mozzarella cheese on them, many sandwich places in the area also have the Italian Sausage and Beef Sandwich (heart attack on a bun) that are popular. That is almost the same a Pizza... well I think that you can see where I am going here. Giardiniera Pizza! The plan was simple I go to see my oldest girl dressed for the dance (take pictures) then spend an evening playing with my 10 year old. After a good night's sleep pick up some frozen Pizza Dough, let that proof in the trunk while I drive 3 hours home and I am ready to make pizza. Turns out that the small town that I went to didn't have Frozen Pizza Dough or French Bread Dough so I had to start from scratch it was the only way to go now. The pizza that I made had three parts to consider now; the dough, the sauce and the toppings...

The dough was simple once I got home I had to make a French Bread Dough, which I prefer for pizza anyway it consists of:

2 Cups All Purpose Flower
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp vinegar (I used Rice Wine Vinegar this time)
1 tsp dry active yeast
1/3 Cup water then up to 1/2 cup more

Start with 1/3 cup water that is about 105 degrees F add the Yeast to that and let it sit while you get everything else ready. Put the Flour and Salt in a mixing bowl then put the Water and Vinegar into a cup. After the Yeast/Water mixture starts to get a little foamy (about 5 minutes) poor it in with the Flour mixture, I used the dough hooks for my mixer while I did this, then add the water vinegar mixture to this. Once this is mixed well and pulls away from the side of the mixing bowl to form a ball you are done, give it a quick spray with vegetable oil, cover with a damp towel and set aside. Don't even look at it for an hour, it should double in size by then, when it has pound it down and let it sit for awhile longer. I was making two pizzas this day so I doubled the dough for this one.

The Second part of this recipe is the Sauce, because I was using Giardiniera for the main topping the sauce would have to balance the hot, tart mixture of peppers and vinegar. I decided to go with a Fire Roasted Tomato Sauce. On my way home I picked up a can of Fire Roasted Tomatoes (remember my time constraints) and a can of Tomato Paste I had the rest of the ingredients in my pantry the are:

1 15 oz can of Fire Roasted Tomatoes
2 TBLS Olive Oi
3 Cloves of Garlic Minced
1/4 tsp dried Oregano
1/4 tsp dried Basil
3/4 cup V-8 Juice
1/4 cup Red Wine
1/2 tsp Brown Sugar
Salt and Pepper to taste
about 1/3 of a can of Tomato Paste

Heat the Olive Oil in a 2 quart sauce pan until it starts to brown being careful not to burn it then add the tomatoes and let then hear up a little then add the rest of the ingredients. Keep on low for about an hour as they steep then set aside so that it is cool when it is time to make your pizza. I put this mixture into the blender for a couple of seconds to break it down some, you can if you like.

While the sauce is cooling I put 3 Italian Sausages (casings removed) in a skillet to cook. When they were almost done I put them into the blender (for only a few seconds) to chop them evenly. and set them aside.

Before I started preparing the pizzas I pored Giardinera into two Separate Strainers (one for Hot and one for Mild). While those were draining I rolled out my first Pizza Crust into about a 16 inch circle, it was pretty thin but easy to move, then I put in onto the charcoal grill and closed the lid, after about 6-7 minutes I turned the crust over and cooked on the other side (only for a couple of minutes the second time). While that was cooking I rolled out the other Crust and did the same. Once they are off the grill they are ready to top I put Olive Oil on the Hot crust then about 8-10 oz of sauce. The hot Pizza got about 1/3 of the Sausage and an entire Jar of Hot Giardinera then topped with cheese. The mild Pizza was topped with a little more sausage than the other and I only covered half of it with the mild Giardinera (apparently not everybody likes hot pickled vegetables). Then they were each topped with about 1/2 pound of Mozzarella Cheese and put back on the grill, it had cooled significantly by now so I added a little more charcoal and gave them some time to cook.

This was a good dish for the party that we went to, a sports themed Birthday party. This wasn't a dish for a black tie event by any means, but it was a lot of fun and I think enjoyed by all.

1 comment:

  1. Grilled pizza. What a novel idea! I would have never thought of that in a million years.