Grilled Meat Leftover’s – Make Pizza!

I am a huge of fan of reinventing leftovers. Having made a good dinner I will not let leftovers go to waste. Sometimes it’s a repeat of dinner the night before. Other times it takes on the guise of a frittata or a new tasty pasta dish.

But tonight…ah tonight we had the optimum conditions. See we have had windy days and nights for the last 8 days. Last night I was able to smoke a turkey which was a succulent dish all on it’s own. I prepared the breast meat in small packages for lunch meat at a later date. The leg meat however…oh my but they became a pizza worthy of my dear friend Jean Denham – A Chef’s Journey

Pause – While many of you don’t know Jean, I do and must say I have her Pizza, Pizza, Pizza book and love it! She has inspired me to experiment and branch out.

Tonight’s morsel –

Grilled Smoked Turkey Pizza

Grilled Smoked Turkey Pizza

One round of pizza dough (recipe to follow)
1/2 red onion sliced very thin
Your favorite BBQ Sauce – Big fan of Mr. Stubbs
1/2 lb of smoked turkey meat
1/2 cup of shredded cheese – I did Manchego such a wonderful flavor that went very well with the smokiness of the turkey and BBQ sauce
1 avocado sliced

Pizza Dough –

Note – We like our pizza’s very thin and with a slight crunch. We want authentic Italian dough, and this recipe I got from a great pizza maker in Rome Italy. I think we ate our weight in pizza while there. His name was Marco and he’s been cooking pizza’s for 30 years in his brick oven. The dough recipe below will give you enough for 4 pizza’s. While we only ate one pizza, I freeze the other 3 for use later. Just take them out of the freezer the night before and let them thaw. 2-3 hours before cooking take them out of the freezer and let them come to room temp and rise. Also I do recommend using bottled water, or filtered water IF you live in an area where you water has a lot chlorine.

1 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups Semolina flour, plus extra as needed
1/2 tsp kosher salt (if using table salt use 1/4 tsp)
2 TBS extra virgin olive oil

To make the dough, in a small bowl stir the yeast with about 2 Tbs lukewarm water and let it stand about 5 minutes. It will get creamy and a bit foamy.

The next part is doable on a work surface, or in a kitchen aid mixer. If doing in a mixer sift flours into the bowl and then put all ingredients into mixer and slowly add 1/4 cup lukewarm water. With a dough hook keep mixer on low and add another 1 cup of water, slowly. You may not need to add the whole cup depending on the humidity where you are. Once it’s all incorporated mix on a medium speed for about 10 minutes. Dough will be smooth and springy. You’ll know it’s ready when you cut off a small piece with kitchen scissors and it’s riddled with small air holes. If doing this on a work surface sift the flours on the work surface, add salt, make a well and add yeast mixture, oil and 1/4 cup of lukewarm water, incorporate with your hands while adding the additional cup. Again slowly as you may not need all the water. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes and test for air holes.

Allow the dough to rest for 5 minutes, cover with slightly damp towel. Then divide dough into 4 equal pieces. I use a kitchen scale to make sure they all the same size. Form into small balls, cover and allow to rise for about 2 hours or double in size. This may take longer if your house is cool. After one hour of rising preheat your oven to 500 degrees and put your pizza stone on the very bottom rack.

Time to make pizza’s!

Sprinkle work surface with some semolina flour and roll out one of the dough balls. You may need to add semolina to the top of the dough to keep it from sticking to the rolling pin. Roll it out thin, your pizza will be about 14″ in diameter. Take a couple of forks and stab little holes all over the dough. Take about 1/4 of the BBQ sauce and smear it all over the dough. Now slide the dough onto the hot pizza stone. Wait don’t panic I didn’t forget the toppings. Let the dough cook for about 5 minutes. This really lets the dough get crispy. If you add everything at once the dough, especially towards the middle, steams and stays soft. Once you remove the dough add your cheese, meat and onions. If you do other pizza’s and add fresh basil you want to put the cheese on top to keep the basil from burning. Now slide the pizza back into the oven for 5 more minutes top with fresh avocado slices. Let it cool about 1 minute before slicing. Time to enjoy!



Tri Tip Debacle

So…just so you all learn from my mistake. When one buys a 15 pound whole, and I quote WHOLE, bottom sirloin tri -tip, do not assume it’s one hunk of meat. Had I known when I bought it, that it was 4 individual tri-tips, I would have removed them and packaged them separately and cooked them one at a time over the summer. Why they said “whole” I will never know. I like to buy primal cuts and fabricate them myself. Now that I have thawed this “whole 15 lb. bottom sirloin tri-tip” I have to cooked up 4 tri-tips tomorrow. One is in a liquid marinade and will be done directly on the grill and the other 3 will each have different rubs and grilled. And that is how you make the most out of a beef mistake. At least when we go camping I’ll have some great beef already ready to go.

Well the reviews are in and the recipes below. Derek and I had different opinions.

Tri-Trips ready for the grill!

Tri-Tips ready for the grill!

Beef Tri-tips look FaBu!

Beef Tri-tips look FaBu!

Here is what I did. Three were covered with a dry rub and one was marinated. All four were done on the grill, seared and then cooked at 300 degrees for about 40 minutes, rested for 10 minutes to medium/medium rare in the thicker areas.

Rub # 1

1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt

Rub # 2

1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
2 teaspoons garlic salt
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

Rub # 3

1 Tbsp Kosher salt
1 Tbsp finely ground black pepper
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp onion powder
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 Tbsp dried oregano
1 teaspoon dry rosemary (or fresh, finely minced)
1/2 teaspoon dry sage

The marinaded tri tip was –

1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 1/2 cups apple juice
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 ½ tablespoons lime juice
3 tablespoons dark corn syrup
3 tablespoons seasoned salt
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon cayenne (red) pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

Prior to cooking, removed from marinade and 2 bullion cubes were crushed and rubbed all over the outside.

Reviews – In order of what we liked best. Rub #3 won hands down as the favorite over the other 3 flavor profiles. It was well balanced and the char had such great flavor. You couldn’t pick out one distinct flavor over the others which is exactly as I like a rub to be.

Now for # 2 Derek like the marinated one next. I preferred rub # 2. Derek like the flavor of that the soy and lime  juice imparted. I loved the simplicity of flavors of rub #2. I think I might add a skosh more of the mustard.

For our 3rd favorite Derek liked Rub #2 and I liked the marinaded one. I find soy can be over powering in some dishes, but was very happy with the balance of flavors. I think next time I would add maybe 1-2 TBS of brown sugar to help with the caramelization of the apple juice.

For out 4th favorite both of us picked rub # 1. While it has potential it just was lacking in flavor.

And there you have what to do when you have far too many tri tips to grill 😀


Say Hello to My New Friend

I am so excited. For those that don’t know it, I am a huge grilling freak. It doesn’t matter if it’s beef, chicken, fish, pork, asparagus, peaches, lamb, pineapple or onions. Even if it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner. The grill isn’t just for meat, it’s for pizza’s, desserts, side dishes and everything in between.  I present to you my new best friend. The Weber Genesis E-310.

BBQ, Weber

Weber Genesis E-310

Oh but wait, there is more. So much more that makes me weak in the knees. There is a gourmet bbq system for this grill. I can add so many options I don’t think I’ll spend one day in the kitchen when the weather gets nice.

Thank you Weber, Thank you!

Thank you Weber, Thank you!

I have never had a grill like this. We got this as an anniversary present to each other. I love to grill and hubby loves to eat grilled food. Win!

So I say let warm spring days come forth. It’s time to “Come on baby light my fire!”

Blackberry Season Part Yum…err 2.

Most folks make pies, jam and jellies. As seen by my first post regarding blackberries, I’m not that conventional. That does not mean I won’t be making pies, jams and jellies with all the berries I plan to harvest.

So my next project? Blackberry BBQ Sauce – it’s sweet and a slight tangy with a little baby kick at the finish. This is such a great sauce to use on duck, chicken or pork. (Full Recipe at the bottom)

Start with a big batch of berries – about 8 cups worth.

Fresh and warm from the vines.

Fresh and warm from the vines.

Be sure to rinse them very well. The last thing you want is for extra protein the form of spiders or ants making their way into your sauce.

Next add some chicken stock. Homemade is always best but if none available get the low sodium kind.

Time to cook it all up.

Time to cook it all up.

Let this cook for about 15 minutes to let the berries break down and release their juices.

Is the color not gorgeous or what?

Is the color not gorgeous or what?

After this stage add all the other ingredients and cook till thick. Ladle into hot jars leaving about 1/2″ head space and process in a water bath for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes remove the lid from the water bath and let jars cool for 10 minutes before removing to a towel to completely cool.

And your results will eleven 1/2 pints of a BBQ sauce folks will be clamoring for.

All jarred up and ready to be used.

All jarred up and ready to be used.

I hope you enjoy! Let me know how yours comes out.

Blackberry BBQ Sauce Recipe

8 cups fresh blackberries
4 cups homemade or low sodium chicken stock
2 cups ketchup (see notes)
1 cup dark brown sugar slightly packed
1/2 cup cider vinegar
juice from 2 lemons (about 4-6 Tbs)
2 1/2- 3 Tbs chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp dried mustard
2 tsp kosher salt
1 large onion diced
6-8 Tbs honey
1/4-1 tsp red pepper flakes (see notes)

Wash and rinse berries very well and allow to drain.

Dice onion and place in separate pan with a 2 TBS of olive oil and allow to cook down, but do not brown. Cover and let them sweat till they are translucent. About 20 minutes.

Add berries to large stock pot along with chicken stock and let cook over medium heat for 15 minutes. Mash the berries in the pot with the back of a large spoon*. Once onions are done add them to the berry mixture along with all other ingredients. Cook over medium heat for about an hour till mixture is thick.

Next ladle hot mixture into hot jars and process for 20 minutes. For those not familiar with canning please follow the instructions on the Ball Canning site for safety. Canning is not hard but there certain steps that must be adhered to for safe canning.

Notes – With regards to the ketchup. I highly recommend getting a good quality ketchup. Some of the cheaper brands are thinned down with water. This will make your BBQ sauce very runny once that ketchup is heated up and starts to break down. Adding its additional water to your mixture. The red pepper flakes is a guideline. If you don’t want it spicy stick with the 1/4 tsp as it only offers a hint of heat. Insofar as the mashing of the berries, I like my sauce with character so I mash with a spoon. If you want a smooth sauce, after the berries are cooked and before you add the additional ingredients, run it through a food processor and then thru a sieve to remove the seeds. In doing this you may only get eight 1/2 pints vs 11.