Friday, July 06, 2012

BBQ Chicken Pizza

UPDATE: also lost in the great labeling disaster of 2012, so am reposting it here.

The inspiration for this is from James McNair's New Pizzas, but I have streamlined his process for cooking the chicken which seemed unnecessarily long and drawn out.

Basically follow the recipe for Garlic-Glazed Chicken Pizza but substitute this for the Garlic-Glazed Chicken in the recipe:

  1. Cut 1-1/2 pounds of chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces.
  2. Saute them in some oil.
  3. Mix them with 1 cup of barbecue sauce, either of your own making or your favorite tomato-based kind from the store.

Nothing could be simpler and this is very similar to the California Pizza Kitchen's BBQ Chicken Pizza.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Garlic-Glazed Chicken Pizza

UPDATE: What happens when you think you are simply labelling a recipe and instead delete it by accident? You wind up revisiting something that you published way back in 2005 and have forgotten to make since then. I'm going to make this over the weekend for sure. I am so happy that Google had it cached so I could pull it out of the ether and back into the here and now.

Purely delicious and even the pickiest eater in the family had three pieces. Be sure to leave yourself plenty of time for this. It is simple, especially if you have any experience making bread but it does take a while. From James McNair's New Pizza. If the idea of making pizza dough is intimidating, I can assure you that it is very easy. And nothing is stopping you from trying the pizza using a premade dough or shell.

(Foodo del Mundo took pictures when they made this pizza ... scrumptious.)

Standard Pizza Crust
From Pizza California Style, by Norman Kolpas

The following recipe produces a thin, golden California-style pizza crust. Parmesan cheese mixed into the dough adds an extra dimension of flavor, and olive oil contributes to its crispness. I have rewritten the recipe to work a little better.

Ingredients:

1 packet (or 1 tablespoon) active dry yeast
2 teaspoons sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1-1/2 cups lukewarm water

Instructions:

Put the dry ingredients in a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Turning the machine on and off rapidly, pulse several times to blend them. With the machine running, pour in the oil and 1 cup water through the feed tube. Then gradually add enough of the remaining water to form a smooth dough. Continue processing until the dough forms a ball that rides around the work bowl on the blade; the dough at this point will be sufficiently kneaded.

For mixing dough by hand, stir together the dry ingredients in a large bowl and make a well in the center. Add the oil and 1 cup of water and gradually stir from the center outward. Add additional water as needed to make dough hold together in a shaggy mass. When the ingredients are well combined, remove the dough from the bowl and knead it vigorously on a floured work surface for 5 to 7 minutes or until it is smooth and elastic.

Transfer the dough to a large bowl that has been oiled or coated with nonstick spray. Cover the bowl with a damp kitchen towel and let the dough rise for 30 to 45 minutes or until it has doubled in bulk. If it is more convenient, you can let the dough rise in the refrigerator for several hours instead.

Remove the dough from the bowl and cut it into four equal portions weighing about 6 ounces each, one per pizza. The dough is ready to shape and bake.

To freeze the dough, wrap each ball securely in plastic wrap and place in the freezer. The dough will keep well for several weeks. Defrost it at room temperature for 2 to 3 hours, or all day in the refrigerator, before making the pizzas.

Yield: Makes about 1-1/2 pounds dough; serves 4

Garlic-Glazed Chicken Pizza

Step 1:
1 recipe of California-Style pizza dough

Set up for first rise then proceed with rest of recipe.
=========
Step 2:
2 garlic heads, separated into cloves, peeled, and coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons crushed dried chile
1/2 cup soy sauce
5 tablespoons honey
1-1/2 cups unseasoned rice vinegar

Combine all in a bowl, mix well, and set aside.
==========
Step 3:
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1-1/2 pounds boned and skinned chicken breast halves (about 4), cut into bite-sized pieces

In a large sauté pan or skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook, stirring frequently, until opaque on all sides, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted utensil, transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.

Pour the garlic mixture into the skillet and cook, stirring frequently, until the sauce is reduced to the consistency of syrup, about 15 minutes. Return the chicken pieces to the pan and cook, stirring constantly, until the chicken is lightly glazed, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate until needed; return to room temperature before adding to pizza.

About 30 minutes before baking the pizza, preheat oven to 500°. If using a pizza screen or ventilated pan, brush it with vegetable oil or coat with spray and set aside. If baking directly on a stone or tiles, sprinkle a pizza peel with cornmeal and set aside. [I use the stone and peel method. However, much superior to the cornmeal is to prep the dough on a piece of parchment paper. Slide the peel under it and then slide the whole thing onto the stone. After about 3-4 minutes, the dough is cooked enough that you can easily pull the paper out from under the pizza, using a quick, short jerk.]
==========
Step 4:
2 cups shredded Gruyere cheese (about 8 ounces)
1 cup shredded mozzarella (about 3 ounces)

In a bowl combine the cheeses [I used all mozzarella]. Set aside.
=========
Step 5:
On a lightly floured surface, roll out or stretch the dough and shape it as desired. Place the dough on the prepared screen, pan or peel [or parchment paper]. Top with cheese mixture, leaving a 1/2" border around the edges. Distribute the chicken over the cheese. If using a pizza peel, give it a quick, short jerk to be sure that the bottom of the crust has not stuck to it.

Transfer pizza to the preheated oven and bake until crust is golden, about 10 minutes.
========
Step 6:
1/4 cups finely chopped green onion [I forgot all about this but it would have been quite tasty]

Remove the pizza to a wire rack and let stand about 2 minutes, then transfer to a cutting tray or board. Sprinkle with green onion. Slice and serve immediately. Serves 8.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Summertime and Corn Salad is Easy

Full disclosure: I haven't made this recipe.

However, my mother did and everyone she shared it with is complimenting it to high heaven. Her palate (not to mention all those others) is good enough for me. I will be making this one soon.

Mom really liked the unusual cooking method for the corn and highly recommends it. She also shocked the corn in ice water after cooking, and used whole tomatoes which she blanched, peeled and chopped.
This is from Mel's Kitchen Cafe which I somehow have not encountered before but definitely will be exploring, especially since I came across this Mexican Tomato and Corn Salad which looks like something I'm definitely going to try also (mmm, cilantro!).

Summer Corn Salad
Serves 4

6 ears of corn, shucked
1/2 cup finely diced red onion
1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
3 tablespoons cider or red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup julienned* fresh basil leaves

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. When boiling, add one tablespoon sugar and one tablespoon vinegar. Add the cobs of corn to the pot of water and bring to a rolling boil. Cover the pot, remove from the heat and let the corn sit for 10 minutes. Remove the corn from the pot. When the corn is cool, cut the kernels off the cob, cutting close to the cob.

Toss the kernels in a medium bowl with the red onions, tomatoes, vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Just before serving, toss in the fresh basil. Add additional salt and pepper to taste, if desired. Serve cold or at room temperature.

*Note: To julienne the fresh basil, stack 4-5 basil leaves on top of each other and roll them up to make a long tube of basil. Slice every 1/8-inch down the length of the basil roll and as the basil unfurls, it will be sliced into thin long strips. The corn could also be grilled to turn this simple salad into a grilled version. This salad is very adaptable - you can increase the corn, add a few cloves of finely minced garlic, flat leaf parsley, and/or julienned baby spinach (in place of the basil). Go crazy!