Monday, July 4, 2011

As American as Pizza Pie


After a two day eatstravaganza in Manhattan, I'm headed to Long Island to celebrate the 4th with my parents. I'm not sure what's on the menu. Knowing my mom, we'll likely enjoy a fruit of the sea or perhaps some grilled wursts. But if we were home, we'd definitely be grilling, grilling pizzas.

Last summer we splurged. Our old faithful Weber grill bit the dust. We planned to replace it with another kettle until we met the Big Green Egg at a friend's home. Mike and I had once looked at the egg, covetously, but it's expensive. Given Chicago's truncated grilling season, I wasn't sure it was worth it.

But at my friend's party, a whole lamb cookout, I watched him grill lamb AND bake bread. Afterwards, on Labor Day weekend, we obsessively sought out out an Egg retailer. We picked it up Tuesday after it was suited up with baking stone.

The Big Green Egg is an American-made Japanese style kamodo barbecue. Big, green and ceramic, the egg can serve as a grill, smoker, and oven. It retains heat well, yet remains relatively cool on the exterior.


Not until this year did we experiment with pizzas, my new favorite item to grill. Hitting temperatures of 600 plus, the Egg replicates a wood or coal fired pizza oven easily. Lightly charred on the edges, crispy on the bottom, and chewy on the outside crusts, I was thrilled with the results. We made three: an Alsatian tarte flambé, a white pizza, and a cherry tomato-fresh mozzarella.


Tarte Flambee
Serves 2

1/3 pound thick cut bacon
1/3 cup creme fraiche
1/4 red onion thinly sliced
1/3 recipe pizza dough

Cook the bacon in a large skillet until cooked about halfway through. Roll out the dough to about 11-inches, the same size as your stone. Spread the creme fraiche on top. Dot with onions and bacon. Bake in a 450 F oven for 10 minutes or a Big Green Egg heated to 600 F for 5 minutes.

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