September is about new beginnings, well, at least as far as the school year goes, so maybe that’s why OJ kicked off his new diet and exercise regimen now. Whatever it is, this new deal is already changing the way we eat (and I thought we were in a pretty good place to start with).
The main challenge? Everything is weighed separately – 100 g protein, 80 grams carbs, however many grams fat. But when I start to look at how I cook, how do you calculate vegetable soup or pot pie or a casserole of any kind? Everything is mixed in.
This first week there’s been a lot of grilling going on. Last night flank steak, over the weekend we grilled chicken. And it was that chicken that formed the basis for this chicken tikka pasta salad.
Today’s post comes courtesy of my handy recipe binder. I’ve been clipping and keeping recipes for 10+ years, and sure, it’d be easier to just bookmark them and go back to them online when I need them. But there’s something reassuring about just going to binder and knowing they’ll be there. I mean, what if you bookmarked some recipe that was on someone’s Angelfire Web site in 1997? It’s probably toast, long ago abandoned by someone who probably moved on to Blogger or hosting their own site. (Holy cow, I just googled it, Angelfire still exists and is part of Lycos. Lycos still exists? Really?)
Anyway, I clipped the recipes for the balsamic BBQ sauce and the chopped vegetable salad. They’re great for summer grilling, but luckily both are still available online.
Grilled pizza experiments this weekend, using Mark Bittman’s pizza dough recipe from How to Cook Everything. This one is just canned Romas (hand crushed), grated mozzarella cheese, prosciutto and arugula. The other one we did was nectarine, chopped Russian red kale, prosciutto and goat cheese. It tasted great, but did not photograph well, since the kale got a little, um, well done.
Learnings so far:
1. Par-grilling is key. Give the dough a minute or two on both sides before topping it. It seems obvious in retrospect, but made a huge difference in the final product. We had to throw the first one in the broiler to finish, defeating the purpose of not turning on the oven.
2. Have all your toppings ready. There‘s no time for, oops, forgot to grate the cheese.
3. Manage your heat. We cranked it up to 600F on our gas grill to start, but still haven’t quite gotten the perfect topping temp down, so far it’s between 300-400, but depends on the toppings.
4. Use a peel if you have one, or at the very least a large metal turner. In a panic, I flipped the first crust with tongs since the peel was on its way out with dough for the second pizza. Tongs = tearing.
Update 7/31, 2:50 pm: We put the tomatoes and mozzarella on while the crust was on the grill and gave it a couple of minutes to cook/melt. Added the prosciutto just before it came off and topped w/ arugula back in the kitchen.