Remember when we made pizza right before I left for China? Yesterday, we reached new pizza heights, creating pizza that could rival any crispy thin-crust pizzeria pizza (try saying that five times fast. Go on. I’ll wait.). … How, you ask? With this little device here:
Yep, that would be a Big Green Egg, a ceramic charcoal grill that has a certain distinctive shape. You may have seen it in this post by
Pet my subconscious a few weeks ago. Here it is again in case you missed it.
This grill can get up to super-high temperatures, allowing pizza crust to obtain that crispy pizzeria texture only obtained in massive bread ovens. Pretty awesome. We could, of course, not finish all this pizza ourselves, so we invited our friends Rebecca and Henry over for a sampling (hi, guys!). Peter started with a half whole-wheat flour, half white flour Peter Reinhart pizza dough:
Yes, I always photograph my pizza dough in glaring overhead light that would otherwise only be found in a prison line-up.
Caramelizing onions for our caramelized onion and goat cheese pizza.
Meanwhile, Peter starts up the grill.
Time to prepare the red pepper! I learned a trick for slicing red peppers on the day when I was slicing red peppers for what felt like hours.
Cut off the top of the pepper:
Use your fingers to pull out the insides (e.g. white ribs or any little baby peppers – wow, that sounds really cruel).
Slice ‘er up!
Meanwhile, here I am preparing dessert: grilled peaches with balsamic vinegar. Since this is lunch “dessert”, I like to keep it on the lighter side.
Remove the skins by dropping the peaches in boiling water for ten seconds …
… then dropping them in ice water to stop the cooking process.
Once the peaches have cooled slightly, you can remove the skins easily with your fingers.
Not the most attractive picture, I know.
Let’s get those pizzas on the grill!
BBQ chicken and blue cheese pizza:
Sausage and veggie pizza:
Where’s that caramelized onion and goat cheese pizza I mentioned earlier? I forgot to take a picture of the pizza, but check out a trio of slices on my plate.
I sprinkled a pinch of rosemary on the onion and goat cheese pizza because the ingredients taste wonderful together. As for the crust, well … I don’t have a craving for any pizzeria pizzas :) My mind must have been somewhere else yesterday because I also forgot to take a picture of the grilled peaches drizzled with sweet balsamic. Whoops. They were tasty. If you don’t have an aged sweet balsamic lying around, you can simmer a bottle of cheap balsamic over very low heat until it thickens into a syrup. Try it.
On a final note, my BIL Dave asked me a Q about olive oil about a month ago and I got around to answering it a couple of days ago (a good SIL, I am not). I thought the question was great, so I include it here:
Hey Jessie, I’ve been reading a bit about the health benefits of olive oil and am wondering if I should try to make it a daily thing. I eat a ton of peanut butter, so am thinking of subbing the olive oil for it at appropriate times (on bread, some mashed veggies, like the acorn squash and banana mash I just ate). I always shied away from it due to a belief in its high caloric value (not that peanut butter isn’t the same) but actually measured just how much a tablespoon of it is compared to the amount I usually eat of it (olive oil) and was quite surprised. Any thoughts?
First of all, Dave, please don’t make me acorn squash and banana mash next time we’re over … KIDDING! You make great food :)
Olive oil is a great source of healthy fats because it’s very high in monounsaturated fats, which is the best kind of fat out there along with the omega-3 unsaturated fats. In terms of having it every day – nutritionally, there’s no food that anyone NEEDS to eat every day. In fact, it’s better if you have more variety in your diet. Olive oil and peanut butter are both great healthy fat sources, but they are not 1:1 interchangeable because they have different healthy fat profiles in them, not to mention other good-for-you compounds (some of which we don’t even know about yet!). If you like eating them both (and it seems like you do), then incorporating both into your diet is a great move. I understand the urge to shy away from olive oil due to its high calorie content, but I think your idea of measuring it out a few times to see how big a portion size is is fantastic. Back when we used to live in Cambridge, I went through a period of eating whole grain toast drizzled with a tablespoon of olive oil every morning for breakfast (with fruit). I always measured because it’s easy to overdo oils. There was nothing like a hit of healthy fats in the morning to fill me up for a loooong time :) Now I tend to go for PB because it contains a lot of filling protein (which oils do not), and because I just plain like PB better. However, I think switching it up between the two, or even incorporating other healthy fats like avocado, is a great idea. Besides, you can always add a hard-boiled egg or similar for some extra protein if the rest of your meal is lacking.
Check out this link for a great summary on dietary fats from the MayoClinic.
Q: How do you incorporate healthy fats into your diet? Share your tips! Bonus points if you can include an eggy pun in your answer :D