Thursday, 2 June 2011

Pizzi's Honor

4 Pizzi for a Brave New World
New Interpretations of an Age Old Favorite

It seems the whole world is crazy about making pizza on their grill this season. 
So do you think that I am going to miss-out on all the fun, just because I don't own one? 
I don't think so! 

With just my handy non-stick grill pan and my broiler at my disposal, I am about to give you grill-pit dwellers a run for your money! And this is one race I am determined to win!

Ok- first things first. I like my pizza to have a thin, crispy crust, I like it to have not too much topping but a lot of flavor... and I don't like it to be covered in lots of stretchy and fatty cheese. Gimme a break! It never ceases to amaze me that people actually enjoy that- I certainly don't! So I decided, there has to be a way to do things differently and still have lots of flavor. And I wanted to get away from the typical mainstream toppings. Feeling adventurous? Good!

I started off by browning off my ingredients in the grill pan. I started off with some spicy sausage in slices... as with many of my other recipes, I did without any extra oil and used the fat given off by the sausage to cook the other ingredients. When the sausage was done, I removed it and added the peppers and okra next, then the bacon, then the mushrooms and onion and then set all of these ingredients to one side. Now it was time for the pizza dough. I cut it into squares and laid it on the hot pan two at a time. After a minute or two, it began to puff up and bake on the underside. After 3-4 minutes I flipped it over to do the same on the other side. I repeated this until all 4 pieces were done and set them to one side. Time to get creative!

The first topping was a simple bacon and mushroom. The cheese I decided to use for all 4 pizzi was brie. An unusual choice... basically, it was all I had at the moment and at the same time, I knew it tasted wonderful with rosemary, so I decided to give it a go. I put the cheese on first as I wanted it to melt and hold down the other ingredients. I popped this under the broiler for 5 minutes- just long enough to get it back up to temperature, for the cheese to melt, the bacon to crisp up and the mushrooms to get a little more toasty. I decided to put the rosemary on fresh after taking it out of the oven as I didn't want for it to burn. I seasoned it with some of my Salt of the Earth and moved on to pizza number two... and had a glass of Corvo bianco to enjoy the first one with! I prefer white wine to red when it comes to pizza- that or a nice cold beer- mmm!

The second topping was a dice of tomato and some black olives, which I had seasoned with oregano, chili and a sprinkle of sugar. This went on first and then a few slices or yellow and green bell pepper. This version remained cheese-less! I just wanted the crunch of the crispy base and the juiciness of the vegetables this time around. Once again- 5 minutes under the broiler, then a light drizzle of olive oil, my herb and citrus Salt of the Earth... and another gulp of wine! At this point I was really having fun! Nevertheless, it was time to soldier on and try something really a little different. Okra and spicy sausage are important ingredients in gumbo, so I figured they would be a great combination here too. I added diced the same diced tomato, olive and pepper mix and again, some brie- basically to hold everything in place, but also because the mild flavor would combine nicely with the tangy pepper and spicy sausage.

 And last but not least- and also not just because I had just started another glass of wine and had no ingredients left... the final topping and the simplest of all: spicy sausage with spring onion, rosemary and lemon zest. There is just something wonderful and Summery about that combination. Again, the salt and again some wine and a wonderful evening of tasty alternative pizzas had come to an end. Somehow I am sure that if you were to do the same, your evening would be just as wonderful... if not even more so!

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