BBQ Chicken Pizza

BBQ Chicken PizzaWhen you live in North Carolina you start to realize people have some very strong opinions about BBQ. Growing up in the south, but not this far south I had BBQ as a child, but I had really only had one type. Looking back I believe it would have been considered Eastern NC style BBQ – a shredded pork with a vinegar based sauce, no tomato.  BBQ was not something we ate often, but I did enjoy it and I still do.  To be honest I am not a tried or true BBQ purest. I like both Eastern and Lexington style, which apparently there are bills regarding the BBQ in North Carolina.  I may not be a BBQ purest, but I do know that North Carolina reigns in BBQ.  Don’t get me wrong other areas in the South claim to know BBQ, but throwing something on the grill is not the same as pork barbecue slow cooked, covered in just the right amount of sauce and served along side cole slaw and hush puppies.  That is called grilling and I love that to, with just about any type of meat, fish, vegetable; but to me that is not BBQ.

Here is where I allow my own opinions and taste to enter.  Barbecue sauce, which typically when I think of BBQ sauce I am looking for that tomato influenced sauce that tends to be served with Lexington style BBQ or the wet ribs of Memphis style BBQ can add a nice flavor to meats other than pork.  I enjoy chicken tossed on the grill and basted with bbq sauce, or ribs done well and served with bbq sauce on the side.  So for this recipe, I meld my opinions together and create my own BBQ chicken Pizza.  These days you can find a bbq pizza on a lot of menus, but that was not always the case.  California Pizza Kitchen was one of the first restaurants known to have added a pizza like this to their menu.  It was an instant success.  I don’t remember when I had my first taste of BBQ pizza, but I have been making a version of my own since the early 2000’s.  It has changed some over the years as I have realized I prefer to keep it simple in flavor using Mozzarella and a small amount of cheddar or gouda, but only as an additional flavor.IMG_3947

BBQ Chicken Pizza

1 Pizza Dough ( my go to is trader joe’s pre made dough)

1 Chicken breast, cooked and chopped*

1/4 cup red onion, diced

1/2 cup pineapple, chopped (fresh, frozen in small pieces)

1/4 cup red onion, diced (optional)

1/2 cup Barbecue sauce of choice, divided

3/4 cup shredded or sliced mozzerella cheese

1/4 cup shredded or sliced cheddar or gouda

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

* I find it easiest to plan ahead for this pizza and cook an extra chicken breast a day or so ahead. I prefer to grill chicken and use what we do not eat or plan by cooking an extra breastPreparing the Pizza Dough

Preparing the Dough

Allow dough to sit out for at least 30 minutes to become room temperature. This will make rolling the dough out easier. I did not say it would roll into a perfect circle as that takes skill which I don’t focus on, I just roll and go. Preheat oven to 425 degrees and allow to heat for 30 minutes with pizza stone. Remove hot pizza stone from oven and pour 1 Tbsp olive oil over the stone. Spread it around if you want or the quick and easy way just toss the dough on top. I always try and roll a little more once the dough is on the stone to thin it out and reach the edges of my stone.

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IMG_3943Preparing the toppings

In a small bowl toss together chopped chicken, red onion, pineapple, and red pepper.  Add 3 Tbsp. barbecue sauce.

Assembling the pizza

Remove the pre baked dough from the oven when it begins to turn golden brown in some spots.  If there is an air bubble in your dough allow some steam to escape.  Spread the remaining barbecue sauce on the dough then spread the toppings evenly around the pizza.  Cover with cheese and return to preheated 425 degree oven.  Bake for 10-15 minutes or until cheese melts and begins to bubble an turn brown.

Remove from oven sprinkle fresh cilantro over the pizza.  Slice and serve.

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A couple of our favorite pizza recipes

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Traditional Turkey Pepperoni & Veggie Pizza

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Shrimp Pesto Pizza

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Naan Bread Pizza

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Homemade Pizza in Take Out Time

IMG_3822I love pizza. I am not sure where my love for this food comes from. As a teenager, I remember Friday night was generally pizza night but this was because we were a busy rushed family heading to football games. We were a family of two girls, but when you are on the dance team your Friday nights are just as busy. And what father would complain when the game he sat through to see his girls perform at halftime just happened to have the Barber twins playing for the same team.

Pizza night in high school was take out and it was around the time the “lovers line” became popular. Well in my mind pizza has come a long way since then.  I grew up in the south, so I know a lot of naysayers will claim I know nothing about pizza, but in my mind I do.

What you like when it comes to food is personal and when it comes to pizza, I like flavor. So whether it is traditional New York Style pizza, Deep Dish Chicago style, brick oven, or a flatbread if the flavor is there I enjoy it.

Today’s post is not a unique pizza but the type of pizza I make if we want a traditional flavor pizza.  So often you think homemade pizza takes forever, and yes it can.  If you make your own dough, you have to plan ahead.  If you make your own sauce, you have to plan and make it ahead, but this is your quick and easy homemade as in put the toppings on, make it what you want, and cook it at home.

This pizza takes a little bit of preparation as you cannot walk in from an afternoon of activities and have it on the table in 30 minutes, unless you plan ahead.  When I say plan ahead you need to have your dough room temperature for best results.  The Trader Joe dough recommends sitting out for 30 minutes.  I also find having a hot oven and pizza stone help ensure the crust cooks evenly.

Jamey’s Better than Take Out Traditional Pizza 

1 recipe pizza dough (I like Trader Joe’s pizza dough – you roll your own)

1 cup Marinara Sauce**

8 oz Mushrooms, washed, sliced

1/2 Red Pepper, chopped

1/2  Green Pepper, chopped

1/4 cup onion, chopped

2 cups Spinach

1/2 cup fresh pineapple, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 1/2 cups cheese, mozzarella (Occasionally I use a combination of any of the following: Mozzarella, fontina, parmesan, and cheddar)

20 slices pepperoni (optional)*

3 Tbsp. Olive OilIMG_3818

Preparing the Pizza Dough

Allow dough to sit out for at least 30 minutes to become room temperature.  This will make rolling the dough out easier.  I did not say it would roll into a perfect circle as that takes skill which I don’t focus on, I just roll and go.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees and allow to heat for 30 minutes with pizza stone.  Remove hot pizza stone from oven and pour 1 Tbsp olive oil over the stone.  Spread it around if you want or the quick and easy way just toss the dough on top.  I always try and roll a little more once the dough is on the stone to thin it out and reach the edges of my stone.

Place pizza stone with dough in oven for about 8-10 minutes to pre bake.

Preparing the Toppings

In a skillet over medium high heat, pour 2 Tbsp olive oil and minced garlic and heat for 2 minutes.  Add peppers, mushrooms, onions, and spinach and cook until lightly sautéed.IMG_3808IMG_3817

Assembling the Pizza

Remove the pre baked pizza dough from the oven and spread the marinara sauce over top.  Spread your sautéed vegetables, pineapple, and pepperoni evenly over the marinara.  Top with cheese.  Return to the 425 degree oven and bake for 10-15 minutes or until cheese melts and begins to bubble and brown.  Slice and enjoy.

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* perfect Meatless Monday recipe if the pepperoni is omitted

** I tend to use marinara sauce for my pizza base as I think it is lighter and more flavorful than pizza sauce.  This is just a preference as any sauce will work.IMG_3824

Corn, Squash, and Green Onion Flatbread

IMG_3768It has been a busy week, and I was wrong about having more time to write.  With the start of school and my wanting to catch up on some errands and get ready for a busy weekend of parties, I feel as if the days have gotten away from me.  Of course we have been eating and I have been in the kitchen, but I have not found the time to sit down and write about our meals.  I know as we settle in to our new school schedule this will change.  In the meantime, I thought I would share a recipe off our must try list that I finally got around to making, per the instructions.  Well almost.

Several weeks ago I wrote about a chard naan pizza that I made.  The flatbread came about as I did not have all the necessary ingredients for this recipe for a corn, squash, and green onion flatbread that Little Miss Mixture had placed on our must try list.  This past weekend, I decided to try the recipe that helped to create those chard pizzas.  The reviews online at cookinglight.com were slightly mixed, but I read the recipe and a couple reviews and decided to give it a go.

I love pizza and these individual type flatbread, naan bread pizzas are great for an easy meal during the week.  I find this especially true during the school year when on occasion we eat in shifts.  As I stated I followed the recipe sort of.  I felt the need to make a few changes that would enhance the flavor.  The recipe is very basic in that it calls for yellow squash.  I love most vegetables and prefer many of them raw, but I just could not imagine raw squash with cheese melted on it.  The recipe does not indicate cooking the squash, but I chose to sauté it with some garlic as I knew the green onions would add some crunch.  I also chose to leave out the black pepper, salt, and thyme the original recipe called for.  I rarely add salt to anything as I find it is not necessary with most recipes and having sautéed the squash I wanted that sweetness of that to shine rather than thyme or black pepper.

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Corn, Sautéed Squash, and Green Onion Flatbread

1 Frozen Naan Bread per serving

1-2 pieces yellow squash, cut into chunks

1 clove garlic, minced

1 ear of corn

2 green onions, cut into 1/4″ pieces

1 cup Fontina cheese

3 Tbsp. Butter

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Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees with pizza stone in it.

In a medium skillet heat 1-2 Tbsp butter over medium high heat.  Add the garlic and squash and sauté until browned and soft.  Meanwhile cut the corn from the cob.  I chose to use grilled corn as I had some extra for meals such as this, but you can boil it if you prefer.  Remove the squash from the skillet and add another 1 Tbsp butter.  Heat each of the naan breads to lightly coat each side with some butter.

On your heated pizza stone place the naan bread.  Top with corn, squash, and the green onions.  Lightly cover with cheese and heat in the 400 degree oven until the cheese melts.  Cut into small pieces and enjoy.

Okay so as I am writing my version of Corn, Squash, and Green onion Flatbread, I am realizing that once again I really did not follow the recipe.  However the idea was based on this cooking light recipe and the meal turned out well.  I consider that a win and another type of pizza has been added to our list of dinner ideas.

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Yellow Squash & Chard Naan Bread Pizza

 Do you eat naan bread?  Are you familiar with it?

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I had the experience of trying naan bread for the first time at a wedding for some friends.  At the time I had never eaten Indian food and I do not think I ate it again for several years.  I liked it. In fact I really enjoyed it, but I was a little intimidated to go to an Indian restaurant and order.  I was happy going to a buffet style restaurant where I could pick and choose, but even that was slightly overwhelming.  A couple years later I again had naan bread, but this time it was far more memorable.  The naan bread was being prepared fresh outside in a oven type contraption.  This is one of those food memories I will never forget.  The naan bread was hot and delicious and the garlic naan was even better.

Not long after this experience we got a Trader Joe’s in the area.  Other grocery stores may have sold naan bread, but I never noticed.  I began purchasing naan bread as I liked to heat it slightly and dip in in hummus.  One evening I was home alone and wanted something warm and comfort like to accompany a salad.  Being that I love pizza, I decided to melt cheese on naan bread.  Oh my goodness.  Naan bread pizza as it is called in our home was born.  This is now a routinely requested item for an easy dinner or a warm weekend lunch.

Several years went by before I ever saw a recipe posted in a magazine or on the internet for a similar type item.  Obviously I kicked myself as to why I did not think to make my new found food known.  Have people been making something like this for yard now or is it a new discovery that blends different traditional foods?

One evening, I noticed that our recipe must make list included a flatbread that used naan bread as a base.  The recipe also incorporated several seasonal summer ingredients.  I planned to try corn, squash, and green onion flatbread from the April 2014 Cooking Light.  However on the evening I went to make the meal, I realized I had already used all but 1 green onion and all the corn had been grilled.  As I browsed the contents of the refrigerator, I noticed a 1/2 bunch of chard that needed to be used.  Though I still want to try the original recipe one day, the result from what I hand on hand was a perfect summer pizza.

Yellow Squash & Chard Naan Bread Pizza       

1/2 bunch of chard, washed and chopped

1 yellow squash, washed and chopped

1/2 onion, sliced (I had 1 green sliced as in as well)

2 Tbsp Olive Oil

1 cup Mozzerella cheese, sliced or shredded

1 piece of Naan bread per person

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I used the frozen Trader Joe naan bread, so as my chard, onion, and yellow squash were sautéing in a skillet, I heated some olive oil and lightly heated the naan bread as well.  Doing this helped to make a crispier base for the pizza.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  In a skillet over medium high heat, sauté chard, onions, and yellow squash until chard is lightly wilted and yellow squash is soft and starting to brown.  Transfer naan bread to a pizza stone or baking sheet and cover with the green mixture.  Top with mozzarella cheese and place in oven until cheese melts to desired doneness.

Though the flavors of this naan bread pizza are not Indian.  I enjoy naan bread and it makes a great quick and easy pizza dough.  Luckily I am no longer intimidated by Indian restaurants and am able to enjoy Indian style food at home and out.

Enjoy.

Printable Recipe here IMG_3085IMG_3086

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grilled Peach, Goat Cheese, & Arugula Salad Pizza

IMG_3528The other night I had some friends over and I seem to always over think the food thing, but that is just who I am.  I knew it would be a small crowd, but I find often this is the only chance I get to try what may be considered more girly type foods or appetizers and desserts.  Don’t get me wrong Mr. Mixture is typically game for trying most things, but I know there are certain foods that I enjoy more than he would.  I could easily make a dinner out of cheese, crackers, and other pick me up type things.  Add a glass of wine and a sweet bite and I am a happy girl.

To make myself happy, I put out some food and decided I would make a simple dinner for the family that I could use for my guest as well.  I had thought about making a basic pizza as we love pizza and really have not had one in awhile, but then I got creative and things got more appropriate for a ladies night.  I had some grilled peaches that I had planned to use for a salad, but then our menu got moved around a bit, so I decided a pizza with peaches would go perfect with some good friends and wine.  I figured Little Miss Mixture would enjoy it as her dinner as well.

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Grilled Peaches, Goat Cheese and Arugula Salad Pizza

1 Pizza dough (I used Trader Joe’s)

2 oz. Arugula Pesto (optional – this could be substituted with olive oil)

3 Grilled Peaches, Halved and sliced

2 oz. Goat Cheese

2 oz Mozzarella Cheese

6 oz Arugula

1 Tbsp. Balsamic Dressing

1 tsp. Olive Oil

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Prepare pizza dough as per package directions.  I always allow dough to set out in order to get to room temperature so it is easier to roll.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees and allow to heat for 15-30 minutes with pizza stone.  This will help to cook the dough thoroughly in a shorter time when it is placed on a hot pizza stone.

Roll out pizza dough and transfer to hot pizza stone that has been prepped with about 1 tsp. olive oil.  Place pizza dough in preheated oven until it begins to rise and start to turn golden.

Remove pizza dough and brush with arugula pesto.  Dollop the goat cheese around the pizza dough and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese as well.  Place grilled peaches around the pizza dough and return to oven.  Cook for about 15 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Meanwhile toss arugula and balsamic dressing together.

Remove pizza from oven and top with arugula salad.  Slice and serve.

IMG_3530IMG_3523IMG_3526Well the pizza was a success.  Everyone enjoyed it including Mr. Mixture who arrived home late and was hungry.  Lucky for me since I have way too many peaches from our family adventure peach picking this weekend.  Looks like we may be seeing this again soon.  Might be perfect for our next meatless monday meal.