Friday, September 9, 2011

Pizza & Beer a Summertime Friday Night Ritual

Pizza and Beer....Pizza and Beer...say it with me:)

When I was younger my parents owned and operated two Pizzerias, so I know and love pizza. We kept up a Friday Night ritual of Pizza for many years long after they sold the restaurants. Being a Gluten free girl never deterred me from our families Friday night ritual. I have eaten all kinds of gluten free pizza brands and there is only one that I would ever pay money for anymore. Now, I usually make my own crust but during the summer I buy frozen because it is too hot to do that much prep and cooking. So over the years I have picked up a few tricks to making the best doctored up pizza from a frozen pre-made ever!! The brand is called Conte's All Natural Gluten Free and Wheat Free Pizza. I like the Mushroom Florentine Pizza with Garlic and Olive Oil the best.

 Tools and seasonings you must have to get the best tasting pizza. You need a pizza pan with wholes in it. This is crucial for gluten free pizzas so the crust gets crisp even if you do not add sauce and use a regular pizza pan you are going to get a soggy pie for sure. Some instructions say to put them on the wrack but that is too messy to and too hot to try to move off the oven wrack for sure. I like this type because it is easy to deconstruct and add other things. So what i do is let the pizza sit on the counter for about five minutes then un-wrap it with a cuting board under neath you peel off as much of the cheese and toppings as you can.
You need some olive oil and a brush. Red pepper flakes(not as hot as you think give it a try) and Tony Chachere's Original Creole Seasoning! I contacted the company and they say it uses no gluten or wheat in their manufacturing process. Now this is key because it adds a punch to the tomatoes and the pizza in general without it the pizza falls flat in taste in my opinion. Place the doping-less pizza on the pizza pan and drizzle some olive oil on it then sprinkle with the Creole Seasoning and brush all over and set aside. Turn you oven to 400degrees(once the sun goes down I do this in the summer never before).

Now the next step is up to you. I like to chop up about a big handful of mushrooms, a half of a red onion and a whole tomato to add to the pizza. This is a trick I learned from some Pizza pros that if you do not have a wood fire pizza oven you should pre-cook the toppings first to get the flavors to meld together and make the pizza taste better. So I grabbed a big pan and added a little oil and put my chopped onion in first and let it sweat a bit then my mushrooms and tomatoes. I saute till softened and then add to my pizza crust. I usually ad some more Creole Seasoning and the red pepper flakes again in the Sauteing step. I am a big Oregano fan to, so I generously sprinkle about 1/2 tablespoon on the veggies while I saute them. Then I add back the cheese and the few toppings that came with the pizza. Pop in the oven for 30 minutes and bam!!! Great bubbly, crispy goodness.

Now you see I did not mention putting Tomato sauce on the pizza. I find sauteing whole tomatoes is much better then a sauce. The sauce for sure will make the crust soggy no mater what, but if you love sauce I actually make a great blender sauce and then let it cook on the stove for about 20 minutes and serve it as a side and I can just dip my pizza in it or add it to the top of the pizza as I eat it. This way people that love sauce can get as much as they want and people that don't like sauce can have it totally with out. I also like to chop up fresh basil and top my pizza with that to.

Now for the Beer! I am not a huge beer person. I worked at a Microbrew Pizzeria when I was 18 and I could not drink any of it even if I was of drinking age or course, but I got really good at smelling it and knowing if it was good or not. I know crazy, but if someone ask you to recommend a beer and you cannot taste it you have to figure out a way to know what is good from bad. I did well never had a complaint with my recommendations. So as the story goes the Gluten Free beer market like the bread and pizza market was slim to none for a long time. Just in the last few years Beer makers have put some money into researching how to make a great Gluten free beer. Finally, after my trial and error I found a great brand out of Belgium. They make a Dark Ale, Triple Blond and a Amber Ale. All of them are wonderful!! I usually have red wine like a Zin, Cab, Barbara with Pizza durning the winter but Beer is a must in the hot months for me. The brand of the beer is called Green's made from Rice, Buckwheat, Millet and Sorghum. Green's is also vegan as well. You can get it at Wholefoods. If they don't carry it at your local Wholefoods or specialty market ask them to order it for you. I would order a case. Totally worth it and you may get a case price break to boot:)


Hearts & Anchors said...

This post makes me so happy! Matt and I do love pizza and beer, and I'm inspired to try your gluten-free recommendations. Woohoo!

Shara said...

So glad to hear from you Sarah! Hope you and Matt are doing great:) The gluten free beer is out of this world you will love it:)