Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Grilled Pizza

Mmm... charred crunchy cheesy goodness. My mom started making homemade pizza when I was in high school, and for Cut Bank, it was gourmet. These few pizzas incorporate ideas of hers, as well as some of my own. Enjoy!

Let's start with the crust. If you are lucky enough to live in Missoula, the way to go for pizza dough is Le Petit Outre. I'm not sure if they sell their pizza dough in the actual shop, but I know that they have it at The Good Food Store and Orange Street Food Farm. It's such a great product. I bought four packages today and froze two for later. Follow the instructions on the bag and you'll be good to go. The other option for crust is what my mom used to use - Pillsbury Hot Roll Mix.
The side of the box has instructions for pizza dough. I honestly couldn't tell too much of a difference when I made the two side by side. I believe the Hot Roll Mix yields about two crusts the size of one Le Petit crust. So it's a tad more economical.

Anyway, once you have your dough stretched out to the size you want (mine was about the size of a dinner plate), you can start building your pizza. I made three today: Black bean and chipotle with caramelized onions and asparagus, Pepperoni with fire roasted tomatoes and caramelized onions and then my version of a Roman pizza.

Start by heating up your grill - I set mine to medium heat. You don't want it too high, or the crust will burn before the toppings heat through. You'll want to brush your dough with olive oil and then flip it over so the oil is on the bottom. You don't want your pizza sticking to the grill. If you are using the oven, you can skip this step. Then, simply start adding ingredients. Once you have all of your ingredients on the pizza, transport it out to the grill - I used an upside down cookie sheet, so the pizza would slide right off onto the grill. If you have a pizza peel, even better.

Here are the ingredients I used for each of my pizzas:

Black Bean/Chipotle Pizza

Chopped chipotles in adobo sauce
Canned black beans
Blanched asparagus
Fire-roasted canned tomatoes
Caramelized onions
Parmesan cheese
Mozzarella cheese

Pepperoni Pizza

Fire-roasted canned tomatoes (reduced with garlic to a sauce)
Caramelized onions
Mozzarella cheese

Roman Pizza
Olive Oil
Mozzarella Cheese
-After the pizza cooks, top with either prosciutto or cooked bacon, fresh baby arugula, shaved Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, more olive oil, salt and pepper. It's almost like a salad-pizza!


The pizzas should cook in about 15-20 minutes. Check them often to make sure the crust doesn't burn. If the bottoms start to get too dark, you can turn off the grill, close the lid and wait for the cheese to melt. Or you can move the pizza to a cooler spot on the grill. That is the challenge when cooking over an open flame - controlling your heat! One of my crusts was totally black tonight, and it didn't really matter. It was still tasty!

One Helluva Week...

This week has been quite a crazy one. Since the last post on Tuesday, here's what has happened: I played piano for Bastille Day out at Missoula Winery (ate LOTS of great cheese), tried to make sweet potato tots and failed, did a show in P-Burg, sighted in my rifle, went with Caenaan to Whitefish to see Alpine Theatre Project's production of Hair, spent the night in Whitefish and partied with the cast, drove all the way back to P-Burg to do another show, worked at Next Step Prep, made grilled pizza. Whew! It has gone by SO fast. But I will elaborate on what Caenaan and I did together, since that is what this blog is supposed to be about.

On Saturday, we had tickets to see Hair at the Alpine Theatre Project in Whitefish. First, however, we went out to Deep Creek Rifle Range to sight in my rifle. Caenaan got it for me this year, and I will be going deer hunting with him int he fall. I'd never shot a rifle before, and was quite nervous. When you sit away from the gun and someone else is shooting it, it's freaky, because you actually feel the percussion from the shot. It made the hair on my arms stand up. It's also VERY loud. Caenaan sighted it in for me, and then I had to shoot it. I was very nervous, expecting it be loud and to kick hard and hurt my shoulder. It wasn't too bad though. When you're actually shooting the gun, it's not as loud and you don't feel that same percussion blast as when you sit farther away. I managed to shoot four shots within an inch and a half of one another at 100 yards. Pretty good for a girl. I forgot to take pictures, but I'm sure we will go again.

Then, we headed off for Whitefish. One of my favorite sights on the way up to Flathead is when you come over the hill at St. Ignatius and see the Mission Mountains. They are just so beautiful.

When we got to Whitefish, our friend Brendan (who plays trumpet in the band) took us to a great Mexican restaurant called La Hacienda. I would highly recommend eating there if you are in town. The fish tacos were to DIE for! We had a few pitchers at the adjoining bar, then headed to the show.

For those of you who aren't familiar with Alpine Theatre Project, go check out their website. They are a professional theatre in Whitefish that put on top notch productions. I am music directing Hair at the University in the fall, so I was very excited to see it and get a feel for the show. Caenaan was nervous and thought he wouldn't like it. However, he was blown away by the quality. The cast was absolutely amazing, as was the band, and overall, it was a great show. After the show, we went with Brendan and picked up beer for what would be an awesome night. The cast was having a taco party up at their condos, and we were lucky enough to be invited. Their living quarters are amazing, since Whitefish is quite a rich community and certain benefactors donate their condos to the cast for housing. It was so fun to get to meet the cast... it's weird hanging out with people who have done Broadway and national tours of shows and find that they are so down to earth. Here is Brendan's gnome, hanging out in the VORTEX...

The band has been playing tricks on each other using this gnome... he randomly shows up in people's cars, their beds, in the bathroom. It's fun.

So we stayed up far too late, drinking Miller Lite (VORTEX!) and eating tacos at the most amazing condo on Big Mountain. Then we had to get up at the crack of dawn and drive all the way back to Missoula, then I had to get in the car and drive to Philipsburg to do a show. That's life when you do summer theater.

The last few days have been spent recovering from our whirlwind weekend... Caenaan worked super hard today, so I made him grilled pizza for dinner. Recipe to follow!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie and Crust Recipe

I've adapted both of these recipes from ones I found online. The crust is honestly the best recipe I have ever made. I prefer crust with shortening... it's just my thang, but if you like a butter-crust, well... go find your own damn recipe. Hehe. Seriously, though, everyone has their own taste for pie crust, and I'm a firm believer in trying as many recipes as you can. Flour, salt and butter/shortening are super cheap, and I love experimenting. This crust melts in your mouth, but is still flaky and is very easy to work with. Other crusts that I have made are too flaky and hard to work with or are too tough. The filling holds together nicely if you use enough cornstarch. When I say heaping tablespoon, I MEAN heaping tablespoon. I ran out last night after just four tablespoons, and my filling was quite runny. Have fun with these recipes... I have found that people are so surprised when someone makes a pie from scratch, and honestly, they're not that hard at all!

Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie

One 9-inch double pie crust
2 ½ C chopped red rhubarb, fresh
1 ½ C (or about 1 ½ pounds) de-stemmed, washed and halved strawberries
1 ¼ C sugar
6 heaping TB cornstarch
1 heaping TB all-purpose flour
½ Tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp lemon zest, ½ tsp lemon juice (optional – I tasted no difference with this addition)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, mix all filling ingredients. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes, stirring a few times. Pour into prepared pie shell. Cover with top crust, sealing edges with fingers. Cut plenty of holes in the top to let steam escape (or use a pie bird, but who the hell has one of those?). Cover edges with foil or pie crust shield. Place on parchment or foil lined baking sheet (this is important, as fruit pies tend to overflow) and bake for 15 minutes at 425 degrees, and then reduce heat to 375 degrees and bake for another 40-50 minutes or until golden brown. In the last 10-15 minutes of cooking, remove foil or pie shield. Let cool completely before devouring.

9-inch Double Pie Crust

2 ½ C all-purpose flour
½ Tsp salt
1 C shortening (chilled, or not. Mine works fine at room temp)
Glass of ice water
Waxed paper

Mix together flour and salt in a large bowl. Add shortening, and smush into flour with a fork (or a pastry blender… my pastry blender sucks, so a fork works better for me). Stop when the mixture has pieces no larger than peas - some bits will be more the size of oatmeal, while others will be smaller… lots of recipes say “resembles course meal” but since when have you ever looked at course meal? Yeah. That’s what I thought. Next, sprinkle the ice water over the flour mixture, starting with about 3 tablespoons. Then stir with the fork. Keep adding ice water, one tablespoon at a time, until the dough just holds together when you press it with your hands. You’re looking for a dough much dryer than bread dough, but you don’t want it flaking off when you try to work with it. Shape into a disk and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Cut dough in half, and form one half into a ball, smoothing out any cracks. Place on a floured piece of waxed paper large enough to cover your pie plate. Sprinkle flour on top of dough and cover with another piece of waxed paper. Roll out dough until it extends about ½ inch beyond the edge of your pie plate. Remove waxed paper and gently place dough into pie plate. Roll out the other half of the dough exactly the same, and after you have filled your pie, cover it with this piece of dough. Pinch the edges together, and if you want, you can flute the edges to make it look pretty.

I know that seems like a very long pie crust recipe... but honestly, when I was first starting out, I had no clue what "course meal" or "add iced water until crust just barely holds together" meant. I ended up with lots of pie crusts that fell apart, or didn't flake at all. I figured I'd try to take out the guesswork for those of you who haven't ever made a pie crust! Let me know what you think, or if you have any recipes that you think I should try! (Caenaan just told me that he would LOVE to taste any new recipes)

Mrs. Hatfield :)

The only thing better than steak for dinner...

...Is pie for breakfast. And lunch. We definitely didn't both eat pie for breakfast and lunch today. Nope. Not us. Caenaan claims that his lunchpie was more of an afternoon snack. I call bullshit.

We devirginized our grill yesterday evening. I went to Safeway and bought what I later found out to be sub-par grilling steaks... Caenaan educated me that top round is not as tender as sirloin or tenderloin. I just bought something that looked pretty and was fairly cheap (I buy wine the same way), but I guess that's not the way to buy steaks. But they just LOOKED so pretty! Check out these awesome grill marks...

Anyway, Caenaan also made some garlicky asparagus and mushrooms that were DA BOMB (thank you, 90's cathphrase). He tossed the asparagus and button mushrooms with olive oil, minced garlic, salt and pepper, then made a tray out of tin foil and put that on the grill. He covered it with another piece of tinfoil so they would steam on the grill. I don't even like mushrooms, but they were awesome.

Note that I am drinking PBR, while Caenaan enjoys a classy glass of red wine. Psh.

Earlier in the day, I showed what a fantastically domestic housewife I am and made a strawberry-rhubarb pie. Last month, Caenaan brought me HUGE stalks of rhubarb from a lady at work, and we made a pie for the company at OHTC. However, Caenaan had to leave town early and couldn't try it. It was AMAZING. The filling didn't run and the crust was perfectly flaky. I tried to recreate it yesterday, and while the crust was once again perfect, the filling was a bit runny. Altitude difference? Or maybe I used less cornstarch. I'm not sure. Here is the pie from start to finish:

Ready for the oven, with my pie-shield from Pampered Chef:

And finally, a beautiful slice before I devoured it:

After dinner, we cleaned up and then went to take the garbage cans to the street for pickup on Tuesday morning. I wanted the one with the wheels, but Caenaan told me it was heavier, so he would carry it. He slung it over his shoulder, took about four steps, then said, "Oh shit, what just dripped down my back?" It was nasty, stinky, putrid garbage juice. He ran inside, stripping his clothes as he went, and jumped immediately into the shower. I laughed hysterically on the lawn for a few minutes, and then came inside to help... by taking pictures of him crouched in the bathtub, washing garbage juice off his legs and back. Those pictures have since been deleted (trust me, you wouldn't want to see it). I did make up a song, though... "Caaaeeee-naaan, the garbage-juice maaaann!" It's catchy. I think he liked it.

Look for more posts about our grilling adventures, hopefully on nights where the wind doesn't try to blow our food away, and when we have some friends over.

Even though this post was written through the perspective of Mrs. Hatfield, Mr. Hatfield contributed greatly :)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Goodbye Giftcards....

I've been carrying around massive amounts of giftcards with me since the wedding... which, I realize, probably isn't a good idea. If I lose them, I'm effed. But I just can't help it, knowing that if I happen to find myself wandering through Bed Bath and Beyond, I could buy something without spending any real money. Ha. The Target cards have been the worst, though, as I tend to spend them (even though they're Caenaan's too... shhh, don't tell). Well, today, those Target gift cards were put to DAMN good use.

The day started off... weird. I left Caenaan in bed to go watch my friends Shelley and AJ finish the half marathon. When I came home, Caenaan had made me a beautiful omelet with bacon, asparagus, mushrooms, garlic and Parmesan cheese... om nom nom. But since I haven't learned the "ways of the wife" and/or how to be grateful... well, we got into a fight. Let's just leave it at that. After crying, pouting and throwing my glasses onto the sidewalk, we got over it and both drove back downtown to watch my other friend Emily finish the full marathon. (On a side note, how LAZY do you have to be to DRIVE to watch your friend finish a friggen' marathon? Maybe soon you'll be seeing posts about our gluttonous butts trying to get into shape. Maybe.)

Here's Emily, right before crossing the finish line

We then started this blog, went to eat at Stone of Accord, bought some ant killer at Lowes, and then stopped at Target to print some wedding photos for an upcoming project of mine (I'm sure you'll hear about it soon). While I was cursing the touch-screen photo kiosk, Caenaan wandered off into Target. He came back having found some awesome deals on patio furniture and grills - both of which we promised to buy with our gift cards from the wedding, because our patio furniture looks like this:

It was my parent's table growing up... sorry Mom. So we ran home, killed some ants, grabbed the gift cards and went back to Target. Here are our purchases, NONE of which we payed for out of pocket! I think we saved about $300 total...

THE MAN GRILL with side burner... Caenaan is SO excited!

Metal table and four folding wrought iron chairs

We spent the evening putting all of our purchases together, laughing over the stupid sissy tools they include for you to use, sweating our balls off and cursing far less than I expected. Then we sat outside and drank the ChocoVine that Caenaan has been dying to try since they got it into the warehouse a few months ago.

ChocoVine is from Holland, and is a red wine blended with real chocolate and cream. I didn't know what to expect, and turned my nose up at the idea of it when he told me about it, but it was actually quite good. It tasted a lot like a mudslide, but it left a fruity taste in your mouth. We went to three different stores trying to find it (you would think as the manager of the wine room at Summit, Caenaan would know which stores carry it) and finally found it at Pattee Creek Market. We each drank about a third of a glass, but honestly, a cordial glass would suit this wine better. However, we have plenty left over for the inevitable barbecue we will have in the next few weeks, so Caenaan can show off his MAN GRILL and I can show off all of the great projects you will be hearing about on here (I hope). With that, I'll leave you with a picture of the sunset tonight, as seen from our ant-free backyard.

Mrs. Hatfield :)

The Hatfields at a Glance

Now that we're married and don't have to plan a wedding every day, we have been looking for ways to spend more time together... Weird. We've chosen this blog. It will be a way for us to tell everyone what we've been doing, and in the process, hopefully we will find more fun and creative things to do together. We'll see. It may just end up a blog about us watching Sunday night programming on HBO (riveting). Let's start with some background about us as a couple.

We met in college, both being music students (band geeks). We dated for four and half years before getting married on May 1st.

After our honeymoon in Hawaii,

we returned to Montana, and are living, working and trying to enjoy our summer in Missoula. Lizzie is constantly off to Philipsburg, playing piano for The Operahouse Theatre Company and Caenaan manages the wine warehouse for Summit Beverage in Missoula.

We live in a tiny, very old rental house...

but it's surrounded by green trees, a big yard, fields and the river. Almost as if we don't live in the middle of town. Our cat, Boo, loves it.

So, in the future, expect to see blogs about wine, food, our cat (and the possibility of a kitten... we'll see), music, theatre, home projects, trips we take, our friends, family and everything else that we could possibly experience together. Enjoy!