Chargrilled Pizza Recipe with Olive Salad

If you haven’t experienced Chargrilled Pizza, you are truly missing out! Yesterday’s was one of the best Pizzas I have ever eaten. This is my favorite meal in the world: Chargrilled Pizza, chunks of Fontinella cheese, and Red Wine.
I finished the pizzas with a little of my Muffuletta Olive Salad from the other day, what a gorgeous flavor compliment. Not too much though, otherwise it will take over the flavor of the whole pizza.
If you’ve never thrown a pizza on a grill, it sounds like it could be a disaster, which couldn’t be further from the truth. It cooks in only a few minutes, and the dough is crisp and blistered with fantastic grill marks. You just need a good pizza dough recipe, mine is below. The thing that really makes this pizza special is a light smoky flavor. I use a gas grill with a wood chip tray; apple wood chips. The sauce recipe below is a must for this, and it also must have smoke. Yesterday my toppings were Grilled Chicken (marinated just as the Romas), thinly julienned red onion, and bell pepper, fresh basil, and a touch of the Olive Salad. This pizza is also great with just cheese. Here is how I make it:

Basic Pizza Dough Recipe

1 Package Active Dry Yeast (2 1/4 tsp.)
1 1/3 Cups Water (105 d-115d F)
1 Tbsp Honey
3 1/2 – 3 3/4 Cups A.P. Flour
2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Sea Salt

Combine the Yeast, Water, and Honey and let stand about 5 minutes, or until the yeast starts to bloom. I use a kitchen aid with a dough hook, gradually start adding your flour with the motor on low speed. After 1 Cup is added, add the salt. Continue adding the flour until you add about 3 1/4 cups. At this point I always turn my dough on to a lightly floured bench, bread dough is a touch thing for me. Knead the dough, adding more flour if necessary, until smooth and elastic.
Let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk.

Smoky Roma Tomato Sauce Recipe

1 lb. Nicely Ripe Roma Tomatoes, cored and halved
3 Cloves Fresh garlic, put through a press
1/4 Cup Chopped Fresh Basil
10 Turns of Black Pepper
1 tsp. Crushed Red Pepper

Toss these ingredients together (no salt yet please, you don’t want all of the liquid escaping), let stand for 1 hour. Heat a Gas Grill with some wood chips. Once the grill is hot and the chips are smoldering, put the tomatoes on the grill (save the bowl), round side down. Grill them until soft, about 10 minutes. Put them back in the bowl, which probably has some basil and garlic in the bottom. I use an immersion blender to puree this, leaving it just a little chunky. Add a little honey, about 2 Tbsp Chopped Basil, and salt to taste.

Grilling the Pizza

Punch your dough down and divide into balls, about the size of a racquet ball. Put these onto a baking sheet with about 1/2 cup of olive oil (you want quite a bit). When your grill is hot and smoky, flatten out a ball in the oil, very thin, don’t sweat a few little holes. In my opinion, the more oddly shaped each pizza is the better. Throw this on the grill without letting the dough bunch up. When you check underneath, and there are nice grill marks, flip it over. Add a thin layer of sauce, Cheese (I used a mixture of Fontina, Asiago, Parmesan, and Mozzarella), and any additional toppings you like. When the dough is cooked, transfer the pizza to the top rack, this allows time for crisping, melting, and absorption of smoke. If you don’t have a top rack, keep one side of the grill on low. Top with chopped Basil.

Related links:

Muffuletta Olive Salad Recipe

Check out my ever growing Index of Creole & Cajun recipes!

Drago’s Style Charbroiled Oysters Recipe

From

I just made Drago’s Style Charbroiled Oysters, and I have to say again that this is simply the best damned way to eat an Oyster known to man. I didn’t use the official recipe, generously shared by Drago’s Chef Tommy Cvitanovich here, but altered it a little, because that is just what I do.

By the way, I hope you all know that the “official” recipes, never contain ALL of the ingredients that make the dish what you know and love. I wouldn’t respect them if they told you ALL of their secrets! Just in case you’re wondering why you made it at home and it doesn’t taste the same? Because they (not just Drago’s, all restaurants!) aren’t telling you the whole story. They want your hungry butt in a seat in their dining room, with question marks swirling around your head about why their’s tastes so much better than the one you tried to make at home. God love ’em for it, that’s business.

Personally, I’m not a secret recipe guy. I have a few that I won’t share with you because someone else let me have their secret recipe and made me swear that I wouldn’t tell a soul (and I never will.) I have a Praline recipe that unfortunately will never see the light of day on Nola Cuisine and it’s a damned good one.

Anyway, back to the ersters. The only problem I found with my version here is that I only made half a dozen.

From November 21, 2011

Drago’s Style Charbroiled Oysters Recipe

The Sauce:

1 Stick Unsalted Butter, very soft
1 Pinch Kosher Salt
1 tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1 Tbsp Minced Garlic
4 Tbsp Pecorino Romano
1 pinch Cayenne
1 pinch White Pepper
1 Spritz Lemon Juice
1 tsp Minced Italian Parsley

Whisk together all ingredients.

For the Oysters:

1 Dozen Large freshly shucked Oysters on the half shell (preferrably Louisiana) Watch my quicktime video on How to Shuck an Oyster
1 Recipe of the Sauce, above
Pecorino Romano to finish
Minced Italian Parsley for garnish
Fresh Bread
Lemon wedges

Mix together all of the ingredients.

Heat a charcoal or gas grill until very, very hot. Place the oysters on the hottest spot on the grill and let them cook in their own juices for a few minutes, just until they start to bubble and the edges curl.

From November 21, 2011

Top each with a generous portion of the sauce, enough to fill up the shell. When the sauce starts to bubble and sizzle sprinkle each oyster with about a Tbsp of Pecorino Romano. Let the Oysters go until the sauce on the edges of the shells gets nice and brown. Garnish with minced Parsley.

Serve while still sizzling with Lemon wedges and fresh bread.

Note: The more sauce that oozes onto the plate the better for mopping up with the bread. Also, don’t be as foolish as me and just make half a dozen, 3 dozen is more like it.

**Update**

My picture from this post was chosen as the cover of The Louisiana Seafood Bible: Oysters! Here is the image from the cover!

From Louisiana Seafood Bible – Oysters

Drago’s Seafood Restaurant is located at:

3232 N Arnoult Rd
Metairie, LA 70002-4738
(504) 888-9254

Some pics of the real deal from my most recent trip, at the New Orleans Oyster Festival 2011:

From July 21, 2011

Tommy Cvitanovich at the New Orleans Oyster Festival 2011:

From July 21, 2011

Drago’s Char-broiled
Oysters at Egullet

The Perlow’s latest trip to Drago’s at Off the Broiler

More Oyster recipes on Nola Cuisine:

Chargrilled Oysters with Artichoke Garlic Cream Sauce
Oysters Bienville Recipe
Oysters on the half shell

Be sure and check out my ever growing Index of Creole & Cajun Recipes!

Eggs Sardou Recipe

Eggs Sardou was created at Antoine’s, named after French playwright Victorien Sardou, and remains one of the grandest of the grand New Orleans egg dishes, of which there are many.
I boiled fresh artichokes for this recipe, but it would certainly be alright to use good quality canned Artichoke bottoms, in fact, I wish I had, it wasn’t worth the extra effort and cost.

Eggs Sardou Recipe

4 Poached Eggs (See below)
1 Recipe Creamed Spinach (see below)
1 Recipe Hollandaise Sauce (see below)
4 Artichoke bottoms
Paprika for sprinkling

Divide the creamed spinach in the center of two heated plates, nest two artichoke bottoms per plate on the spinach. Place a poached egg on each artichoke bottom then top with a generous portion of Hollandaise sauce. Sprinkle with Paprika. Serve.

Serves 2.

Poached Eggs Recipe

Fill a dutch oven with 1″ of water, heat until just below a simmer. Add a few dashes of white vinegar. Crack the eggs and gently drop them into the water, keeping the shell as close to the water as possible when dropping them in. With a slotted spoon, gently move the ghost like strands of white back to the yolk. The eggs are done when the whites are no longer transparent, and the yolks are still runny. Remove with a slotted spoon and gently dry off with a towel.

Creamed Spinach Recipe

1 Cup Cooked and chopped Spinach, squeezed in a kitchen towel to remove excess water
1 Pint Heavy Cream, reduced by 3/4 of its volume
A pinch Freshly Grated Nutmeg
A pinch of Cayenne
1 tsp Crystal hot sauce
A few drops of Worcestershire sauce
Kosher salt to taste

Hollandaise Sauce Recipe

2 tsp Red Wine Vinegar
2 tsp Fresh Lemon Juice
3 Egg Yolks
1/2 Cup Clarified Butter, warm
Kosher Salt & Cayenne Pepper
1 Dash Crystal Hot Sauce
A few drops Worcestershire Sauce

Place the vinegar, lemon juice, and egg yolks in the top deck of a double boiler. The water in the lower deck should be hot but not boiling.
Whisk slowly until you see the yolks start to coagulate on the sides. If the pan gets too hot, remove it from the heat for a minute, whisking constantly.
Whisk while cooking, minding the bowl temperature, until the yolks are lighter in color and do not leave yellow streaks when the whisk goes through them. If you see any signs of scrambling, remove the bowl from the heat.
When the yolk/acid mixture is good and thick, remove from the heat and slowly drizzle in the clarified butter, whisking constantly, until incorporated.
Add the hot and worcestershire sauces, and season to taste with the salt & cayenne.

If the sauce is a little too thick, you can thin it down with a few splashes of hot water.

Makes about 2/3 Cup.

For more recipes check out my Index of Creole & Cajun Recipes!

Grillades with Andouille Cheese Grit Cakes Recipe

I’m finally getting around to posting the Grillades recipe from last Sunday that went with my Andouille Cheese Grit Cakes. For more info and another recipe for Grillades and Grits, go to my earlier post on the topic here:

Grillades & Grits Recipe

For this recipe I dotted each Grillade with a little Persillade (garlic & parsley), kind of like a Gremolata on Osso Bucco. Here is last Sundays recipe:

Grillades & Andouille Cheese Grit Cakes Recipe

2 lbs Round Steak
2 teaspoons Kosher Salt
¼ teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
½ Cup All Purpose Flour
2 Tablespoons Creole Seasoning
3 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
3 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
2 Medium Onions, Chopped
1 Red Bell Pepper, Chopped
2 Ribs Celery, Chopped
3 Cloves Garlic, Minced
2 Cups Chicken Stock
3 Tbsp Homemade Worcestershire Sauce
2 Cups Tomatoes, Chopped
1 sprig Fresh Thyme
2 Fresh Bay Leaves
Crystal Hot Sauce to taste
2 Tbsp Minced Italian Parsley
1/4 cup Green Onions, thinly sliced
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 Recipe Andouille Cheese Grit Cakes

Persillade:
Minced Garlic & Italian Parsley chiffonade

Pound the Round Steak on both sides to about ½ inch thickness, then cut into 4 inch squares. Season the Grillades with the salt & cayenne pepper. Combine the flour and Creole Seasoning, dip the Grillades one at a time into the seasoned flour and shake off any excess. In a cast iron dutch oven, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat until very hot, but not smoking. Brown the Grillades well on both sides without burning. Transfer the Grillades to a plate. Drain off the vegetable oil and melt the butter over medium heat. Add the Onions, Bell Pepper, Celery, and Garlic and, stirring frequently, cook until the vegetables are soft but not brown. Stir in the Stock, Worcestershire, Tomatoes, Thyme and Bay Leaves; bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Return the Grillades and the accumulated juice from the plate back to the pot. Submerge the Grillades in the sauce, cover and simmer for about 1 ½-2 hours or until very tender. When the Grillades are tender remove them to a plate, remove the thyme stems and bring the sauce to a boil. Reduce until the sauce is slightly thickened. Stir in the parsley, green onions, hot sauce, and salt & pepper. Place the Grit Cakes on 4 heated plates and divide the Grillades among the plates. Pour the sauce over the Grillades, dot each with a little persillade and serve immediately.

Serves 4.

Check out my Index of Creole & Cajun Recipes