[ed-Seth: Thanks again to Matt Gase, Michigan grad and CEO of Eat Well Embrace Life, for contributing the chips and hummus and pop to our tailgate last week:
— Seth M. Fisher (@Misopogon) October 1, 2016
If Joe ever lets me do a recipe I’ll share the details, but this week I sautéed beef tips, mushrooms, onions, garlic and peppers, put them in a bowl with half a tub of the yellow lentil hummus, and then cut a pita into wedges we used to scoop it. Unbelievably good!]
[Joe is new at this so go easy on him despite his un-American use of vertical framing]
When I think of Rutgers, I think of tow things. First off, the greatness of The Sopranos. Man, I miss that show! Did Tony get it in the end or did he live happily ever after? The second thing is the pizza. I love brick oven, thin crust pizza. Is that just a New York thing or a New Jersey thing as well? Anyway, I’ve been hankerin’ for a thin crust pie and this week is a perfect time to toss one on the stone and use up some of my leftover smoked meats for toppings.
- Pizza Dough – Store bought or Pizza shop
- BBQ Sauce – Lane’s “Kinda Sweet” Sauce
- Chopped or Pulled Brisket or Barbacoa from last week
- Mozzarella Cheese or Mozzarella and cheddar mix
- Corn Meal or Semolina Flour
[After the JUMP: Fun for the whole tailgate]
The key here is a hot pizza stone. While the grill can say 500 degrees, the pizza stone could be at a much lower temp if not warmed long enough. Fire up your Egg or Weber Kettle grill to 500 -600 degrees. You can also use your gas grill for this, just make sure the stone heats up for a good 45 minutes or so. Once the grill gets up to about 300, toss on your pizza stone and let it come up to 500 - 600 degrees. I love the FOGO lump charcoal for this as it burns SUPER hot!!! Get some and tell them you are a Michigan fan. I smell a discount.
I like to let my pizza stone warm for at least 45 minutes. If I can give it an hour, even better. I like to set my stone up off the grate to allow for better air flow. The higher you can get it near the dome, the better browning you’ll have on that gooey cheese.
While I love homemade dough, it’s a pain in the nation’s best tight end to make. I’ll just pick some up from my local pizzeria or buy it at Trader Joe’s. Typically, your local pizza shop will sell you some dough on the cheap if you ask them. As the grill and stone are heating up, take your store bought dough and place it on a floured surface. Start by pressing down in the middle of the dough and forming an outer edge. Rotate the dough as you continue to press outwardly. You want to keep that thicker outer edge to ensure a bubbly crust.
I like a thin and crispy crust, so I made this one extremely thin in the middle. Once you get it to the size you like, it’s ready to transfer to your pizza peel or cutting board. Prior to transfer, dust your board with a few tablespoons of corn meal or semolina flour. We want to make sure the pizza dough doesn’t stick.
After you place the dough on the dusted board, give it a few shakes to make sure it’s not sticking. Now it’s time for the sauce. I love a traditional pizza with tomato sauce, cheese and basil, but this one is a little different. I had some leftover pulled brisket in the freezer and wanted to use it up. I spread some Lane’s “Kinda Sweet” BBQ sauce on the dough and then added some mozzarella cheese. Since this is a thin crust pizza, you don’t want to go heavy on the toppings. The crust will burn before the toppings finish if it’s too much.
This Lane’s Kinda Sweet sauce has a nice sweet flavor and pairs well with the salty cheese and brisket combo. Ryan Lane makes a great assortment of sauces. Check em out. The left over barbacoa from last week would go nice on this as well.
Once the pie is ready to go and the pizza stone has been on a hot 500 degree surface for at least 45 minutes, dust the hot stone with more corn meal and toss on your pie. As long as the temps are between 400 and 700 degrees, you are fine. I have found that 500 – 600 works best for me. At 500 degrees, this will cook for about 6-7 minutes total. While the pizza is cooking, take a few of your leftover toppings (meat, veggies, cheese) and dip them in your favorite Eat Well Embrace Life Hummus. I really haven’t found a flavor that I don’t like. They all pair well with a chip, cheese, meat, veggie and a beer with some BBQ smoke flying around. See what I did there?
After three minutes, give the pizza a twist. You will notice that some of the outer crust has started to char and bubble a little. Move it around so it doesn’t get burned. After 6 minutes, give it another look. Once the cheese and crust are done to your liking, remove from the stone with your peel or cutting board. The crust should be crunchy and have that brick over char on it. You can brush the crust with some garlic butter or oil at the end to put it over the top.
Go at it with your pizza cutter, end enjoy. This is a fun tailgate activity as everyone can make their own pie and have it done in under 10 minutes. Take a bunch of dough and toppings and let everyone pitch in.
Speaking of tailgating fun, I will be competing at EGGTOBERFEST in Stone Mountain, Georgia, tomorrow (Saturday, Oct 8). If you are in the area, come see me on TEAM “Big Green Craig”. I will have some free hummus coupons to give away and always love talking Michigan Football,