Well sports fans (as they say apparently for I have never been accused of being a sports fans but somehow the metaphors just pop into my feeble mind) another month has passed by and it is time for me to gather around the table of the Cooking Light Supper Club. Believe me when I say that there isn't a better gang to hang out with and enjoy a meal.
This month's theme was an Alfresco meal which is perfect for the summer weather we've been having around here. I decided to make an appetizer to bring to the party and made the Grilled Pizza with Prosciutto, Arugula, and Lemon that was featured in the June 2011 Cooking Light Magazine.
Over the years I have made many grilled pizzas - I love how crisp the crust gets and how you can pull everything together in a short period of time. I had visions of making the dough in advance (it calls for it to be made 24 hours prior to using it) and then sitting down to a delicious, light pizza in no time.
What I didn't envision was the hellacious time I had with the dough. In all my years of making pizza dough I have never had a disaster like this. The dough was easy to make - it smelled wonderful. When I put it in the fridge for the 24 hour resting period it seemed moist but I assumed that it would get a wee bit more dry while it rested. Yes, I am a fool.
After 24 hours you're to let it come to room temperature and punch it down. This was my first mistake - my fist became wedged in the quicksand-like dough. My blood pressure rose.
Once I had scrapped my hands clean I used a spatula to thump it onto a floured surface. I tried to knead in more flour in a vain attempt to make a dough that could be worked with. The dough stuck to all it touched like flypaper - in fact, I could have used some of this hanging from the kitchen ceiling to capture the fruit flies that arrived on a load of strawberries last week.
I became very frustrated. Paul came over to see if he could help out. One look at the crisis at hand(and my expression) and he dashed form the kitchen to hide. He is a wise lad.
Finally, after much stress and anger, I managed to knead in 3/4 cup of flour. The dough was a mess. The consistency looked horrid. I warned Paul that we might be heading out for dinner. Finally the dough seemed dry enough to be worked.
When I tried to shape it into rounds the *&$@ stuff ripped!
Finally, after losing a year or two off of my lifespan I had four shapes (to call them rounds would be exaggerating the word round similar to saying Jessica Simpson is an academy award worthy actress).
Anyhooooo . . . I tossed them on the BBQ and followed the rest of the recipe.
They didn't taste nearly as horrid as I expected given my chaos with the dough. They were NOT pretty to look at. Paul thought that they tasted good. He might have been lying but to be honest he is the most truthful person I have ever met (how he got stuck with ME is a mystery to all) so I doubt it. The concept was great - crisp flatbreads with grated fontina cheese melted atop. Prosciutto. Lemony arugula. MMM
Take my advice - you should try these - but where it says 'or you could use store bought dough and start at step three' - follow the advice.
Please. Your sanity depends upon it! It's too late to save me but you can save yourself!
Grilled Pizza with Prosciutto, Arugula, and Lemon
10 ounce bread flour (about 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons)
1 cup warm water (100° to 110°), divided
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 package dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons cornmeal
1 1/4 cups (5 ounces) shredded fontina cheese
4 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice
3 cups packed baby arugula
4 lemon wedges
Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups and spoons; level with a knife. Combine flour, 3/4 cup warm water, thyme, oregano, and garlic in the bowl of a stand mixer with dough hook attached; mix until combined. Cover and let stand for 20 minutes.
Dissolve yeast in the remaining 1/4 cup warm water in a small bowl; let stand 5 minutes or until bubbly. Add yeast mixture and salt to flour mixture; beat at low speed 5 minutes or until a soft dough forms. Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray; cover dough with plastic wrap coated with cooking spray. Refrigerate 24 hours.
Remove the dough from refrigerator. Let stand, covered, for 1 hour or until the dough comes to room temperature. Punch dough down. Divide dough into 4 equal portions. Press each portion into a 7-inch circle on a baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal. Cover loosely with plastic wrap.
Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
Place pizza dough rounds, cornmeal side up, on grill rack coated with cooking spray, and grill for 3 minutes or until blistered. Turn dough over; grill for 3 minutes. Remove from grill.
Sprinkle about 5 tablespoons fontina over each pizza. Top evenly with prosciutto and pepper. Combine oil and lemon juice in a bowl; add arugula, and toss gently. Divide arugula mixture evenly among pizzas. Serve immediately with lemon wedges.
You can check out what everyone brought to the party:
Mary Ann of Meet Me in the Kitchen showed up with a Summer Lemon-Vegetable Risotto.
Jamie of Mom's Cooking Club brings along a Summer Peach and Tomato Salad.
Val provided the entree of Poached Salmon with Creamy Herb Sauce.
Roz of La Bella Vita 's Chocolate-Amaretti Peaches!
Sandi of The Whistlestop Cafe accompanied dessert with Peach Ice Cream.