Barkley loves to go for a walk or simply lay out in the yard on his little tether line when I get off work and will stay out with him. Lately it's been less than enticing to either of us and he sat out for about 20 seconds before wanting to come in. I wasn't far behind him, making sure he didn't get too hot.
There's a tiny spot of grass behind the porch area that is still green where what little rain we've got this summer has run off the garage but the rest of it is pretty sorry. The rain has gone north and south of us for the last five or six weeks and temps have been in the 90's and 100's. There's a total ban on watering anything in most counties. My lush green yard now looks like Donald King's hair.and the local corn (this photo taken a couple of blocks from home) looks to be a total loss (frankly, this was the best looking of all the corn I'd seen.)
In an effort to keep the homestead cool, I'm not cooking with the oven when it gets over 100. When I've been home, which hasn't been much lately, I've done some stir fries and smoothies, salads and grilled stuff, but the other night I was having a serious hankering for pizza. Why not. I'll start with a sauce that's got an undertone of barbecue to it and a hefty zing of Thai Chili Sauce.
Sriracha Pizza Sauce
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
3 cloves of garlic (minced)
2 Tablespoons finely chopped sweet onion
3 fresh basil leaves chopped
2 Tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons Sciracha sauce
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 small can diced tomatoes
3/4 to 1 teaspoon salt (to taste)
1 teaspoon wild honey
2 Tablespoons of your favorite barbecue sauce
a pinch of Oregano or Penzey's Tuscan Sunset Italian blend
1 Tablespoon heavy cream
Heat oil and saute garlic and onion until soft, adding in a small pat of butter if it starts to dry out. Add in everything but the cream and simmer about 30-40 minutes, crushing the tomatoes with your spoon as it cooks(you can also use tomato puree if you want a smoother sauce).
Remove from heat, add cream, stirring thoroughly. Spread on your favorite homemade Pizza Dough and top with Canadian bacon, finely diced pineapple bits, mozzarella and smoked cheddar. (depending on the size of your crust you can half or double the batch, it does freeze well).
But I don't want to cook it in the oven. The crock pot wouldn't work, and the blender is definitely a bad idea. How about pizza on the barbecue?
Yes. It's easier than you think. The method I used mimicked the heat of an oven. It's preferable to cook it on a small thin pan to evenly distribute the heat. I used a little disposable one left I use to take cookies into work.. There are recipes out there for grilling the dough, flipping to grill it the other side and adding topping then, but my goal was simply to cook it with a minimum of fuss and oven like results. But without heating up my house so sleeping would be cool and enjoyable later.
Start by rolling out your dough about 1/4 inch thick and try to keep it pretty even. (there's pizza dough recipes in the sidebar) You don't need to go find the calipers for this one, but it shouldn't be too thick. You also don't want the toppings too thick so they cook through and evenly
I have a charcoal Style BBQ that's about 28 inches x 28 inches. This will take a fair number of briquettes, I probably used about 60. After they are lit and covered with ash (about 10-20 minutes) you need to arrange them around the edges of where the pizza will be, so they surround the cooking area, but don't actually rest a big pile directly under it.
Place the grill part of the barbecue back in place and close the lid , making sure the little vents are open to ensure the most efficient heating. Your goal is a barbecue temperature of about 425 - 450 degrees before putting the pizza on the grill. This mimics the effect of an oven and the edges of the crust will rise up, staying crisp on the outside and chewy in the middle while the center of the dough, rolled thin, stays tender to the bite. (If you want the thin, crisp style of pizza, forget the little pan and cook directly on a rack but that's a whole different set of instructions).
Use a little cooking thermometer on the center of the grill if you have one. When it's good and hot, place the pizza on the small pan in the center of the barbecue and CLOSE THE LID. For mine, it cooked for about 16 minutes. Do NOT peek until you are at about 13 minutes. Remove, let cool a few minutes than serve out on the deck with a frosty beer that's the color of your grass.