Why You Need to Try Grilled Pizza

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I love pizza. I also have grown to love making it at home. Frozen pizza is good and a cheaper alternative to take away or delivery. My homemade efforts are improving with each pie that slides off the pizza peel. Now that summer has arrived, I fire up my Weber for grilled pizza. The charcoal heat gives it a smokey, charred touch you just can’t get via other methods.

Grilled Pizza Basics

The dough will require a bit of advanced planning if you make it from scratch (video here and another recipe here) OR you can get pre-made dough from groceries like Trader Joe’s (if you get it from TJ’s, add a bit of salt to the dough).

The better the ingredients, the better the results. Seems intuitive, but I’m usually (almost always) super cheap. Get some good meats like hot capicola if you like spicy food and fresh veggies. Rather than pay pizzeria prices for a smattering of toppings you can truly make it a meat lovers pizza for $3. Continue reading Why You Need to Try Grilled Pizza

How You're Cooking Chicken Wrong

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If you aren’t smoking your meats this summer you’re wasting your time and taste buds. I’ve written about my love affair with turning my Weber grill into a smoking machine and have educated many friends on the setup.

The flavor rewards of smoking are huge. Grilling chicken often leads to tough and dry substances, while cooking low-and-slow produces moist, tender and flavorful meats.

This feast used a smoked fryer chicken (backbone removed) as the protein for a huge salad. I brined the bird (no name given) in beer and line juice before sliding it on the cool side of the grill for 90 minutes. The result was an incredibly crispy skin with a deep red hue.

The salad was romaine, arugula, carrots, cucumber and red and green onions. All topped with my patent-pending BB-ANCH!

Plus, the special treat were homemade tortilla crisps dusted with herbs and spices to add another crunch to the salad.
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Squashin’ It: Zucchini Boats

As promised, here is the photo-heavy walk through of how to make your very own stuffed zucchini boat, or stuffed zucchini. I find the maritime reference appeals to the spam pirates that follow my every post.

Typically I prefer my food delivery vessel to be a tortilla or carb, but I received a 5-pound zucchini from a co-worker. I heard rumors that he gave a wandering boy some seeds for bean stalks. I’ve never been a huge fan of the green veggie that aspires to be a cucumber. The best uses I’ve found are ones that mask or overpower the non-flavor. This recipe combines spicy sausage and fresh vegetables to create a fresh dish high in nutrients (A, B-6, C, fiber)  and relatively low in fat.

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First, I cut the mammoth zucchini in half lengthwise and used an ice cream scoop to hull out the seeds. I transferred these to a bowl. I rubbed the half zuke with olive oil and sprinkled salt. Then I put it on the grill for about 10 mins. Continue reading Squashin’ It: Zucchini Boats

5:38 AM – A Morning Smoke

Smoked Chicken

Some people wake up and fumble for the snooze button. Part gift, part curse, I never set, or need, an alarm. I wake up around the same time every day, regardless of when I went to bed. My circadian rhythm is more steadfast than Edward Snowden looking for his next passport stamp. Continue reading 5:38 AM – A Morning Smoke

Learning to Lose

16 men. 10 sports. 3 days. 2 bathrooms. 1 house.

“If you ain’t first, you’re last.” -Reese Bobby

For the past dozen years, a group of friends has gotten together to celebrate camaraderie and competition. In those years, the Pseudo Decathlon has evolved into a 3-day-weekend extravaganza with brackets, a clipboard, a trip to Costco and memory cards full of pictures.

Continue reading Learning to Lose

Skinny Chef Gains 3 Pounds. Blogs About It.

I did something.

Something I’m not proud of.

At some point during the past 3 weeks I gained 3-4 pounds. And no, I didn’t just eat a delicious Chipotle barbacoa burrito.

This is my life.

For those who have yet to meet me, I was recently described as “ridiculously skinny.” Was it comments from family on the multitude of my food pictures? Or a subliminal seed planted by med student friends who warned that my metabolism will slow as I age and that the “Burrito-a-day” plan isn’t “healthy”?

Am I going through the change?! If I continue at this rate, how long do I have before my BMI surpasses my age? Continue reading Skinny Chef Gains 3 Pounds. Blogs About It.

Smoked Chicken Orzo Salad

 

My summer project has been smoking meats. I’m not sure if the cave dwellers figured this out, but this is the ideal way to cook. Minimal setup, minimal effort, minimal cleanup and exceptional flavor!

I put a dry rub on some chicken thighs and leg quarters. Soaked some cherry wood chunks. Fired up the coals. Setup the water/beer tray. Then let the grill do the rest.

Adding the orzo salad took a little extra time but it ended up being a week’s worth of food and bait for my coworkers to perform some of my office duties.

Make the orzo as directed–just like pasta. 10 mins of cook time once the water is boiling. Total time: 15-20 mins.

Chop up some veggies. I used red onion, kalamata olives, roasted green pepper, grilled zucchini.

Add some olive oil and lemon juice. Salt & pepper.

Once the chicken is at 170 degrees (about an hour), let it cool. Chop up and add to the party.