Pizza on the grill

We love pizza here in the Hawkes household. Like, really love it. Like, so much that I’m seriously considering building a wood fired pizza oven.

Until then, we’ve started experimenting with  making dough, and various ways to cook it. Our tried and true marinara sauce is a real champion here.

Before I broke the pizza stone (boo!) we did it on the gas grill. It turned out great!

Pizza on the stone.
Pizza on the stone. We used cornmeal to stop it from sticking to the peel, but I didn’t like the taste of crunchiness of the corn meal on the bottom of the cooked crust. So, I’m looking for alternatives
Cooked Pizza
Voila! Alfresco pizza, fresh from the grill.
Chef's aide
Chef’s aide

 

Cedar Plank Salmon with Teriyaki marinade

I had done this before, but this time I did it on the Charcoal grill.

Salmon fillets on the plank.
Salmon fillets on the plank.

I wasn’t sure where to place the board, to get enough smoke without burning it too fast. The board had been soaked, but that might not do much good it turns out. In the end, I aligned the board edges to hang over the coal baskets by about 2 cm, which might have been too much…

The finished product.
The finished product.

It was so good. Almost too good. The extra smoke from the charcoal, plus the burning plank, resulted in smoked salmon, instead of baked salmon with a slight cedar taste.

Everyone agreed it was excellent, but one couldn’t have too much of it, or too often.

Chicken Parmesan – Pub Comfort Food.

Homemade marinara sauce, good provolone and mozzorella cheese, fresh basil and panic crumb. Served pub style, with a cold beer. Yum.

Chicken Parmesan 1
Chicken Parmesan. Chicken has been panic breaded, and lightly fried. Top with marinara and cheese and bake.
Chicken Parmesan 2
Chicken Parmesan out of the oven. Next time, go heavier on the fresh basil. It got lost in all the cheese.
Chicken Parmesan 3
Chicken Parmesan has to be served with fries. These are oven baked from frozen. One day, I’ll have a fryer….

 

Reverse Sear BBQ Steaks

Super hot pile of coals and indirect cooking.
Super hot pile of coals and indirect cooking.

Start the steaks somewhere other than directly over the coals. When the internal temp is about 10 degrees below your target, move the steak directly over the coals. This “reverse sear” technique allows you to cook the whole thing to the desired “done-ness”. The result is a uniform colour from edge to edge, and then a super crispy and caramelized exterior.

Served with simple parmesan spaghetti and butter lettuce salad.
Served with simple parmesan spaghetti and butter lettuce salad.

Yum.

Weber Style Chicken, In the Oven

I’ve been reading Amazing Ribs for some time, and have a great success with his recipes.  In preparation for Thanksgiving, he updated his Turkey recipe and other articles including things like:

After reading the Ultimate Turkey Recipe, and lamenting that the blowing snow meant I wouldn`t be firing up the Weber, I decided to apply the lessons learnt inside.

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barbecue turkey in pan

Meathead says:

Dr. Greg Blonder measured the temps at different levels above the liquid in a 3″ tall pan of water.

Even though the oven was 325°F, the liquid never reached boiling temp in the time it took to cook a turkey. That’s because air is a lousy conductor of heat. Because the evaporation of water from the surface cools the liquid in the same way sweat cools us on a hot day, the temp of the gravy may never get above 175°F.

As you can see from the illustration, if the bird is below the lip of the pan and about 2″ above the gravy, the bottom of the bird is in 240°F high humidity air, 85°F cooler than the top of the bird which is chugging away nicely in dry heat. That’s why turkey backs are so often as flabby as an elephant’s.

Even if you lace the bird on a grate on the lip of the pan, the bottom will still be much cooler than the top and will almost certainly be undercooked.

The result is the mose tender and moist breast meat, and perfectly done dark meat.  The gravy was fantastic after we reduced it down.  The suggestion to pour some of it over the breast meat after carving is totally something to remember – as it moistens the meat.

Drill Beater

Hand beater in a drill

What to do when you have power tools and a need to whip cream.