Grilled BBQ Pizza

Grilled BBQ Pizza

When most people think of October, they think of football, apples, cooler temperatures, fall foliage (New England), Halloween, comfort food, shorter days and more football.  When I think of October, I immediately think of “National Pizza Month”.

“Anyone in the business of serving pizza probably does not need to be reminded that October is National Pizza Month here in the United States. While the contribution of the first pizzerias in this country cannot be ignored, it was really the returning American soldiers who fought in Italy during World War II that brought a hunger for pizza home with them and pushed its popularity over the top. America’s love of pizza continued to grow and now October is the official National Pizza Month across most of North America.

First observed in the United States during 1984 (although many people incorrectly claim it was 1987), October was designated as National Pizza Month by Gerry Durnell, the founder of Pizza Today magazine, who chose that month because the first issue of his magazine debuted in October of that year. Durnell was a pizzeria owner in the small town of Santa Claus, Indiana when he realized there were no periodicals or tradeshow publications to support his growing pizza business or the industry in general. Creation of a national pizza-oriented magazine along with the introduction of a national pizza month served his purposes perfectly and solved the problem.

Today, National Pizza Month is observed each October across the USA and in much of Canada too. The designation might be a bit redundant in this country though, as nearly every month could be considered Pizza Month in the United States these days. People don’t really need a special month for pizza in a country where there are an estimated 63,000 pizzerias and 94% of Americans eat pizza at least once a month. The figures equal the consumption of about 45 slices of pizza per person in the U.S. each year and show that Americans definitely love their pizza as evidenced by devouring 100 acres of pizza per day, or 350 slices per second.”
– See more at: pizza.com

One of my favorite kind of pizza to create is Barbecue Pizza.  You can use either chicken or pork, and it is always great cooked outside on a grill, or on a preheated pizza stone in the oven, click on the link below for the recipe and grilling technique.

BBQ Pizza

I also thought I would share some of my favorite pizza photos with you.  I hope these photos encourage you to create your own pizza at home, once you do, it might be a while before you ever purchase pizza out again.

National Pizza Month

National Pizza Month

Bon Appetito!

Happy National Pizza Month – October


Tomato Basil Pie

Years ago, I started teaching cooking classes in my kitchen.  At that time I belonged to a welcoming group called “New Neighbors of Germantown”.  This group was a great way to  met new people in the community.   We had LOTS of different activities in this organization.

One of my “new neighbor” friends was traveling to Connecticut for a visit.  I asked her to bring me a couple bottles of faucet water, yes water (for my pizza, of course).  As a thank you I made her a pizza, brought it over to her home nice and hot.  Here reply was “you have to teach us how to make this”.  So, I became an activity for New Neighbors, “Cooking Adventures in Galena’s Cucina” (Gail’s Kitchen).  I had NO idea where that path would take me!

"Cooking Adventures in Galena's Cucina"

“Cooking Adventures in Galena’s Cucina”

Classes in my kitchen became out of control…I would have more than 25-30 ladies in attendance and not enough room for them.  Another friend from this group recommended me to the owner of a quaint gift store in Germantown (Gift Horse) that also hosted cooking classes.  I was so excited to teach there and having the opportunity to met so many wonderful people!

One recipe that really reminds me of that school is  “Tomato Basil Pie”.  I can remember teaching that class almost 10 years ago; people are still talking about it! This recipe is perfect for this time of the year.  Fresh garden tomatoes and basil, garlic, parmesan cheese, yum!  I hope you enjoy it as much as my “Gift Horse” class did!

Pie Crust  (You can also use a frozen store-bought crust or mini pie crusts)
4 tbsp. butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sour cream
4-5 basil leaves
couple dashes of salt

In food processor with knife blade process butter and basil leaves until smooth.
Add flour, salt and sour cream. Process until mixture balls up. Chill for 1/2 hour
for better handling of the dough. Place on floured pastry sheet or board and roll
out to fit a 9” pie pan. Place shield or wrap edges in foil to prevent over browning
during the baking of the pie. Cook in pre-heated 425° oven until slightly golden,
about 10 minutes.

Tomato Basil Pie

Filling
1 9” pie crust
2 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella
3 tbsp. fresh basil, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup freshly grated Romano, or Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise
10 Roma tomatoes, or garden tomatoes, skins removed*, chopped and drained
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive
Salt & Freshly ground Black Pepper to taste

While pie crust is warm, place 1 cup mozzarella on top of crust. Layer tomatoes
and sprinkle with, salt & pepper. In separate bowl mix basil, garlic, remaining
mozzarella, romano or parmesan cheese and mayonnaise. Place on top of tomatoes and drizzle with olive oil.  Bake in a preheated oven at  375° for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown on top.  Let pie cool at least 15 minutes for easier cutting.

*Cut an X on the bottom (pointy end) of the tomato and place in a pot of rapidly boiling
water.  The tomato skin will begin to peel, about 1 minute. Remove from heat
and place in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process.  Peel skin under running cold water.

You can always add wonderful ingredients to the filling, fresh sautéed mushrooms, some cooked bacon, black olives, red pepper flakes.  You are only limited by your imagination!

Tomato Basil Pie

Tomato Basil Pie

 

 

Mini Pie

Mini Pie

Recently I made this wonderful recipe for my “Live at 9” demonstration, here’s the link:

The only bad thing about being a member of New Neighbors is so many friends move away, but I guess that’s part of life!

New Neighbors Board Members 1998

New Neighbors Board Members 1998


Shaved Fennel & Orange Salad

A wonderful summer salad…enjoy…honey may be used in place of Lyle’s Golden Syrup.

Ingredients:

1 small fresh fennel bulb
1 1/2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice, about 1 lemon
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
½ tsp. dried parsley
2 large orange’s, peel & segmented
2 tbsp. freshly squeezed orange juice (about ½ orange)
2 tbsp. Lyle’s Golden Syrup
2 tbsp. finely chopped fresh mint
Fresh fennel sprigs for garnish

Directions:
Cut off the top of the fennel at the base of the stalk and remove the outer layer of the bulb. Slice the bottom portion off the base of the bulb, leaving the root end intact. Thinly slice the trimmed fennel bulb into paper-thin slices.
Attractively arrange the fennel slices on a serving platter. Sprinkle the lemon juice evenly over the fennel, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper and parsley.
Combine the orange segments, orange juice, Lyle’s Golden Syrup, chopped mint in a small mixing bowl. Toss to combine and place the mixture over the sliced fennel. Garnish with fennel sprigs and serve at room temperature.