Monday, October 24, 2011

More Pizza

The other night, MBH said the magic words that are music to my ears "Can you cook tonight?"  Of course the answer to this question is always yes and then she said the second greatest words I had heard all day. "I'm craving pizza."  I love making pizza and actually just got a new rolling pin especially for pizza cooking.  I have been trying to get my pizzas thinner recently so I was excited for my first rolling experience.  I got a dough ball and some other ingredients from Publix and headed home to prep.

A problem I have had in the past with Publix's dough is getting it to stretch thin without bouncing back to a thicker, ball-shape (this could just be because I am using cheap dough from Publix but I have been too lazy to make my own recently).  One possible solution I have read is letting the dough get to room temperature before stretching.  As soon as I got home from Publix I cut the dough in half and left it out to rise and warm.  However, I was only able to wait an hour and a half before I was too hungry to wait any longer and the dough was still cool.  My room temperature experiment will have to wait til next time.  I stretched the dough as well as I could, rolled it out, and added the toppings.  On one I spread wing sauce, cheddar cheese, and cubed chicken.  On the other was store-bought pizza sauce, mozzarella, oregano, and basil.

These were the best looking pies I have stretched but I know I can do better.
Lookin good.

I used my standard pizza setup and got the egg up to 600º.  I threw one pizza on at a time for about 12 minutes each.  I started the za's on parchment paper and moved them directly to pizza stone to crisp the crust.  I kept an eye on the pizzas through the top of the egg.

Keeping an eye on the buffalo chicken pizza.

The pizzas were good as normal but these had their issues.  In the process of rolling these pizzas out, I used all purpose flour to avoid sticking.  However when I went to cook these they did not brown as expected due to the flour on the crust.  Also the crust had a flour taste when eating.  I also got a bit excited and did not let the crust get as crisp as I usually do.  My timing was consistent with past cooks but I think the extra flour contributed to this issue. Besides for this, the pizza was good, not my best, but good. 

I drizzled some ranch on the buffalo pizza. mmmmmmmm
Not the best crust.
I am going to have to up my game for the next pizza cook.

Bonus picture of where I spent the weekend, be jealous.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Fish Tacos

I have an odd obsession with fish tacos.  I am always intrigued about how such a simple concept could lead to such a tasty meal.  I had never made my own fish tacos and came up with a very simple recipe I wanted to try out.  My goal setting out was to make my tacos as simple as possible.  I picked up some huge talapia fillets (each was a half pound) and set off to make some magic.

I used a purchased blackening season to liberally cover both sides of the fillets.  MBH prepped some Asian slaw and I made a chipotle mayo by combining peppercorn olive oil based mayo with some chipotle garlic hot sauce and set it all off to the side.

My plan was to cook the fish on the pan to avoid losing any part of the fillets in the grill.

I set the egg up for direct cooking at 400º with the grill extender to raise the cooking level away from the lump and threw on a halved onion and red pepper lightly sprayed with olive oil.  I let them cook for about 20 minutes before adding the fish to the mix.

I love grilled onions and peppers.

I let the fish get in on the action too.
I let the fish cook 7 minutes before flipping it and doing the same for the other side.  I left the onion and pepper on during this time as well. After the fish was done, I warmed up some tortillas on the egg.

The tacos consisted of the blackened fish, Asian slaw, grilled onions and peppers, and a little of the chiptole mayo.  The tacos were very good.  They we quite spicy which is preffered by MBH and me.  The cook was very quick and simple.  The tacos were excellent.  The thing I liked most about this cook were the endless possibilities for toppings with the fish tacos.  I will have to come up with something creative for the next attempt.  All in all a very good weeknight meal.

The finished fish had quite the kick and melted in your mouth.
I love me some tacos!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Sunday Funday

Had a few friends that happened to be in town last weekend and wanted to do a little eggin' for the Falcons away game.  Sadly the Falcons lost but we did not.  I planned on making some wings and sausage and a friend brought some fresh corn to throw on the grill as a side.  I got a pack of wings and drumsticks from Publix and set off to watch some football.

I covered the drumsticks and wings in DP Swamp Venom and set them up using 2 wing racks. 

I placed the wing racks on the grate for direct cooking at 350º.  I let them cook for about an hour before brushing on some Louisiana Wing Sauce.  I let them cook for another 10 minutes before pulling them off and serving.

After pulling the wings off I threw on the shucked corn, chicken breasts, and kielbasa sausage.  The sausage took about 15 minutes until it was done and the corn took about 30 minutes. I cooked the chicken until it reached 160º internal which took about 40 minutes.

I have only done wings a couple times but these were the best I have made.  They had the perfect amount of heat and nice crisp skin.  I will definitely do wings like this in the future.  Everything else was delicious but the wings were the star of the show in my opinion.

One little guy got a little more done than the others per MBH's request.

The corn was  fresh and tasty.

The chicken was reserved mostly for lunches and the chicken
tortilla soup we planned on making later. (more on that to come)