Finally, the Cuisinart Griddler is off my wish list and sitting happily on my kitchen counter!
Just in time for me to use whip something up from my newest cookbook, (published by DK Publishing who put out some great cookbooks) ...Grilled Pizzas & Piadinas. I know what you're thinking...either she's moved or she's lost it completely. Afterall, I've been whining about the no barbecue here since August so what's with a grilled pizza cookbook?
First of all, this book understands me and all those out there who wish to grill but don't have a bbq sitting outside their door. There are the usual instructions for those lucky enough to do outdoor grilling and lots of photos and tips regarding charcoal and gas options, but more important (at least for me), is the conversion to indoor grilling with detailed options for cast iron skillets and grill pans, regular skillets, flat griddles, panini grills, contact grill presses (like George Forman's), open faced electric grills, Tuscan or fireplace grills, and if you're rich or just lucky...built in gas or electric grills. See what I mean about loving this book already and I haven't gotten to the great recipes yet.
But hold on...because I must mention the other thing I love about this book...detailed photos for every complex step plus the just plain gorgeous photos of pizzas and piadinas (soft flatbread sandwiches), salads (to accompany pizzas and piadinas) and there are desserts too. There's no stopping the creativity.
And did I mention that I really love the way the authors share options for actually making the dough or the sauces or how to combine everything for the perfect meal...YOUR way.
So on to the dough - the choices...stand mixer with dough hook, food processor with plastic blade (I chose this route) or hand kneading. The hands on part...less than 5 minutes and rising on the counter - 2 hours...then an hour or overnight (my choice) chilling time...grill time with my new Griddler - 3 minutes and a final (hardest part was choosing what to top it with) 3 minutes under the broiler to melt the cheese.
Since I couldn't decide I went with pepperoni, mushrooms & onions on one and shrimp with pesto, but not your average pesto...this one has pecans in it. One word...AWESOME!!
So rather than share the actual pizza toppings (because I used the book as a jumping off point for toppings) I'm sharing the secrets for any pizza - the dough, herbed grill oil, chunky no cook tomato basil sauce and basil pecan pesto. All three sauces will now be a staple in my fridge for pizzas, paninis, pastas and ....the list goes on. What can I say...no excuses, no whining any more about not having a bbq!