Grilled Pizza! Goat Cheese Chorizo Pizza.

   In my 35 years of existence, I have worked in a ton of pizza places.  I consider myself a master.  I do.  It’s the one thing I make and make well.  This week I decided to try making a grilled pizza.  I had read about this method before, but I always put it off in fear of making a big, doughy, shitty mess.  This time, I was going to go balls out.
    The recipe this idea originated from was called, “Sausage and Fig Pizza.”

My wife and I love goat cheese, so I decided to give this a shot (even though I’m not nuts about figs.)  I went to our local pretentious market for ingedients and immediately ran into the annoying problem of not being able to find fresh figs.  I was instantly pissed.  I grabbed some dried figs because I’m not the smartest when it comes to figs.  My wife told me when I returned home with them, that it would be terrible and not work.  That killed me. So I scrapped the figs (happily.)
    I changed the recipe.  We were no longer going to use figs, I was no longer using fontina cheese, and I was going to be using chorizo sausage.  These were the new ingredients I picked up.

Chorizo Sausage
Italian Blend Shredded Cheese
Goat Cheese
Red Onion
Minced Garlic
Pizza Dough

I never make my own pizza dough, there are too many places around that make decent dough to just buy and take home.  I grabbed a ball of white pizza dough and headed home to make this delicious pie.
 I had a few problems with the recipe, but basically, I still followed the beginning steps when starting the dough.

You want to take the dough and “pound it out” or if you aren’t skilled in the art of pizza, take your rolling pin and roll out your dough.  Normally when I pound out pizza dough, I use corn meal.  For this technique, you want to sprinkle flower down instead of corn meal.  Don’t go crazy, use just enough so your dough doesn’t stick and so that it slides around.  After your circle is made, you lather one side of the dough in olive oil.  I spruced it up by taking a little dish and mixing some minced garlic in with the olive oil and then brushing the dough until one side was totally coated.
    Next, you want to fire up your grill and let it get to about 300 degrees.  It helps if you have a grill with 4 burners.  I fired up 3 of the burners for this part of the recipe.  Now, the first part of the recipe is dead on.  When making pizza, you want to make sure you have enough flour on the spatula or cookie sheet so that your dough slides off easily.  You want to take your dough and place it on the hot side of the grill, oil side down.  Make sure the grates are oiled nicely as well.  You want to leave the dough on the grill for 4 minutes.  I found this to be the perfect time.  You can peel up the dough slightly to check on it, to make sure it’s not burning, but it should be fine.  While this side is cooking, I took my little dish of olive oil and garlic and used that to brush on the opposite side.  After the 4 minutes, you then flip the dough and cook the other side.  This side is to cook for only 2 minutes!  This will be the side that our toppings will go on.  After the 2 minutes are up, take the dough off the grill and place it on a rimless cookie sheet, or a pizza spatula if you have one.  Shut off the third burner.  We only want two burners cranking now and the other side of the grill we want off.

4 minutes on one side…

2 minutes on the other.  Look at that crust…”shit just got real.”

So now we have our pizza crust off the grill and ready to top.  This part is simple.  Take your chorizo sausages and squeeze out the meat from the casing.  break it down into tiny little chunks and sprinkle it all over the pizza.  I used two sausages.  Next, take your arugala, red onion, and goat cheese and spread it all over as well.  You then take your Italian cheese blend, and put your preferred amount over the top.  You really don’t need to go crazy, the goat cheese is what you want to taste here, the Italian cheese is just going to hold everything together.  Then do a drizzle of olive oil over the top of everything. Bring the pizza back out to the grill and place it on the “cool” side of the grill.  This is where the recipe is totally wrong.  The recipe says that it should finish cooking in about 4 minutes.  This is not true.  You are not going to get the sausage cooked in 4 minutes.  It ends up being more like 8-10 minutes.  Basically the pizza sits on the cool side of the grill, while the other half is cranked up, the lid is closed and the pizza bakes in the grill at about 380-400 degrees.  Check your pizza once in a while to make sure that the edge closest to the burners isn’t burning.  I’d rotate the pizza every few minutes as well to ensure a nice, even cook.  Once the sausage is cooked, the cheese should be melted as well, and you are finished!

Sprinkle on the final cheese and olive oil and bring it out to the grill.

Looking good…

…real good…

Slice it up and dish it out!  Order up!

This pizza was delicious and one of the best I’ve made.  Grilling pizza gives the pizza a taste that the pizza stones can’t cut.  I’m not sure if I can even go back to cooking pizzas in the oven.  Let me know how you made out!


Wednesday Recipe: Barbecue Portobella Quesadillas

Last night was tough, basically meaning that we didn’t feel like cooking. Instead of calling it off, we decided to make an easier recipe, and these Barbecue Portobella Quesadillas sounded pretty simple.  I used to work in a kitchen, so whipping up some Quesadillas is nothing for me.  We had a minor roadblock when Nicole was slicing up some onions and then almost lopped off her finger, it was pretty gross.  I’m surprised I handled it that well actually. 

    I may blog on here about how I love action movies and ass kicking, but if I see wounds or blood in real life, i usually get nauseous and need to sit down.  Not this time.  I was all man.

We changed one thing in this recipe out of pure laziness.  Instead of using the chipotle pepper, I just used cajun seasoning.  I think cajun seasoning and Barbecue blend better anyways.

Barbecue Portobello Quesadillas

From EatingWell:  March/April 2009
This smoky mushroom-filled quesadilla is reminiscent of pulled pork. A touch of chipotle chile pepper adds extra heat. Serve with coleslaw and guacamole.

4 servings | Active Time: 45 minutes | Total Time: 45 minutes


1/2 cup prepared barbecue sauce
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, (see Note), minced, or 1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons canola oil, divided
1 pound portobello mushroom caps, (about 5 medium), gills removed, diced
1 medium onion, finely diced
4 8- to 10-inch whole-wheat tortillas
3/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Combine barbecue sauce, tomato paste, vinegar and chipotle in a medium bowl.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add onion and cook, stirring, until the onion and mushrooms are beginning to brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to the bowl with the barbecue sauce; stir to combine. Wipe out the pan.
Place tortillas on a work surface. Spread 3 tablespoons cheese on half of each tortilla and top with one-fourth (about 1/2 cup) of the filling. Fold tortillas in half, pressing gently to flatten.
Heat 1 teaspoon oil in the pan over medium heat. Add 2 quesadillas and cook, turning once, until golden on both sides, 3 to 4 minutes total. Transfer to a cutting board and tent with foil to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining 1 teaspoon oil and quesadillas. Cut each quesadilla into wedges and serve.

Per serving : 311 Calories; 13 g Fat; 5 g Sat; 6 g Mono; 19 mg Cholesterol; 43 g Carbohydrates; 11 g Protein; 5 g Fiber; 710 mg Sodium; 771 mg Potassium

2 1/2 Carbohydrate Serving

Exchanges: 1 1/2 starch, 1 vegetable, 1 other carbohydrate, 1 high-fat meat, 1 fat

Tips & Notes

Ingredient note: Chipotle chiles in adobo sauce are smoked jalapeños packed in a flavorful sauce. Look for the small cans with the Mexican foods in large supermarkets. Once opened, they’ll keep up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator or 6 months in the freezer. Ground chipotle, made from dried smoked jalapeños, can be found in the specialty-spice section of most supermarkets or online at

One thing to note when cooking all of this in the pan is that the mushrooms and peppers are loaded with water so you will have some excess liquid.  I tried cranking the heat up in the final minutes to boil some off but I still had to drain some out before transferring this to a bowl.  

Even after draining the water, the Quesadillas dripped liquid after the initial first bite.  A messy meal.

    This meal was tasty, mainly because I’m a sucker for Barbecue anything, however it was a pretty messy ordeal and not worth the hassle.  I would change this up if we decided to do these again by using less mushrooms, a meat of sorts, and I’d scrap the Monterrey Jack and replace it with goat cheese.  Now that’s the


Dinner Recipe: Roast Chicken & Sweet Potatoes

   Nicole and I decided that during the week, we will be trying different recipes. We are doing this because dinner can sometimes get boring, and when it gets boring, we tend to eat shitty food thus getting into the habit of eating shitty food.  So we have a method down. Nicole finds 5 recipes a week, and I pick up the ingredients while doing the grocery shopping. I love getting the groceries so its something I do regularly. I find it oddly fun.  
   Tonight we made Roasted Chicken & Sweet Potatoes.

Roast Chicken & Sweet Potatoes

From EatingWell:  September/October 2012
Caramelized sweet potatoes and red onion are the bed for chicken thighs that cook up fast in a very hot oven—perfect for a quick healthy chicken dinner. Serve with a fall salad of mixed greens, sliced apples and blue cheese.

4 servings | Active Time: 15 minutes | Total Time: 45 minutes


2 tablespoons whole-grain or Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme or 2 teaspoons dried
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
1 1/2-2 pounds bone-in chicken thighs, skin removed
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 large red onion, cut into 1-inch wedges

Position rack in lower third of oven; preheat to 450°F. Place a large rimmed baking sheet in the oven to preheat.
Combine mustard, thyme, 1 tablespoon oil and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper in a small bowl; spread the mixture evenly on chicken.
Toss sweet potatoes and onion in a bowl with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Carefully remove the baking sheet from the oven and spread the vegetables on it. Place the chicken on top of the vegetables.
Return the pan to the oven and roast, stirring the vegetables once halfway through, until the vegetables are tender and beginning to brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted into a chicken thigh registers 165°F, 30 to 35 minutes.

Per serving : 408 Calories; 17 g Fat; 4 g Sat; 9 g Mono; 86 mg Cholesterol; 34 g Carbohydrates; 27 g Protein; 5 g Fiber; 554 mg Sodium; 636 mg Potassium

2 Carbohydrate Serving

        This meal was pretty tasty. Nicole isn’t normally a fan of sweet potatoes but shes trying to like them by having them served in different ways.  She enjoyed the way these turned out.  Cooking it all together really made everything taste great because all of the flavors and seasonings clicked with each other nicely. I’d definitely make this one again. Tomorrow we are making Portobello Mushroom quesadillas.

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