So I promised that I would share my failures along with the successes I have in the kitchen. Today, I am living up to my word.
I had an "awesome" idea for a grilled pizza. Can we just talk about grilled pizza for a minute? I had never grilled pizza until last summer. I was a little bit intimidated. I was not confident I could flip it correctly and I was also pretty positive that it was going to burst into flames once I put it on the grill. It ended up flipping just fine (although I admit, it has become easier the more often I do it. I have mastered the pizza flip) and it did not turn into charcoal. The dough puffs up so nicely, the cheese melts just right, and the grill gives the pizza a bit of a smokey flavor.
I had the brilliant idea to do a grilled pizza with whipped goat cheese, crispy prosciutto, sweet strawberries and a tangy balsamic drizzle. Phil and I went strawberry picking at Russell Orchard in Ipswich last weekend to have a nice little outing to go along with our pizza post.
Fail #1 : It was insanely sunny. Like, not a cloud in sight, sapphire skies. Sounds lovely. It wasn't. As I have learned from living with a photographer, sunny days are not preferred. He tried to warn me, but I insisted "Come on, its almost sunset. How bad can the sun be?" Bad. The answer is bad.
Fail #2 : Strawberry season has ended…so theres that.
We decided that we would pick raspberries and currants instead. I thought that maybe we could do raspberries instead of strawberries, and I would think of some way to incorporate the currants too. When we got home, I decided to whip the goat cheese with the currants.
Fail #3 : Whipping goat cheese with currants. While it tasted good, and I would totally put it on a cracker for an appetizer, it did not really work on the pizza. It was a (kind of pretty) pink hue that did not look very appetizing in the pictures.
I had boiled down the raspberries and currents with a bit of sugar, then strained it to get rid of any seeds. It tasted really yummy. I thought it would work nicely with the tangy goat cheese, balsamic, and salty prosciutto. Honestly, all of the flavors worked really well together. I enjoyed having little bites of each, but combined on a pizza it looked terrible. The pink goat cheese, the fleshy prosciutto, the magenta raspberry reduction with the balsamic drizzled over it…it looked like a murder pizza. Tasted good, looked like death.
We were quick to waive the white flag on this one, cut our losses and find something new to do. I decided that after our long hot day out in the fields, after making an entire pizza only to laugh at how gross it looked (but we did eat it!) I was going to make myself a cocktail. And I had some yummy raspberry and current reduction to flavor it with! I muddled some basil with a few raspberries, filled a cup with some crushed ice, poured in a decent amount of gin and added some club soda. It was refreshing, and made me at least appreciate some of the work we did that day.
Moral of the story : When all else fails, make a cocktail.
Happy Friday friends!
• Muddled Basil and Raspberry-Currant Cocktail •
for the raspberry and currant reduction
makes about 8oz
• 2 cups raspberries
• 1 cup currants
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 1/4 cup water
Combine all of the ingredients in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Stir frequently until the fruit is soft and the sugar is dissolved. Once the fruit has started to bubble, and it is more of a liquid, strain through a sieve into a clean bowl or measuring cup. Store in the fridge.
for the cocktail
makes one 8oz cocktail
• 2 basil leaves
• 3 or 4 raspberries
• 1 tablespoon raspberry currant reduction (or drizzle as much as you would like!)
• 1/2 cup crushed ice
• 1 1/2 ounces gin (I used Hendricks)
• 4 ounces club soda
Muddle the basil and raspberries. Put the mixture into the bottom of a glass,
Add raspberry currant reduction, ice, gin and top with club soda. Stir gently. Add raspberries and basil for a garnish if you'd like. Enjoy!
listening to: Off to the Races by Lana Del Rey