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Friday Night Un “chained”

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Breaking free of chain restaurants. Something we did when Iron Bridge opened, years after JK’s closed. For quite a while, we were in that chain restaurant limbo, meeting friends or just going out on Fridays after a long tiring work week. Nothing but the circuit of places like Macaroni Grill, TGIF, Outback, Carrabas, Bertucci’s, whatever.

Sometimes I wonder if anyone in Columbia or Ellicott City ever cooks on Friday nights. There were nights with beepers for 60-90 minutes.

When we moved out here, we tried to break that cycle. We still headed to Iron Bridge early, or El Azteca.

These days, though, grilling at home has replaced eating out. This year, I have been working at making grilled flatbreads. Trying techniques. Experimenting with dough.

I think I found a winner in Harris Teeter’s pizza dough.

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Ready to go on the grill. As for toppings, all sorts of CSA and home made goodies, and a few special items.

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Top right. Tomato paste, mushrooms, olives and Italian seasonings. Below it, my homemade pesto and some goat cheese from Roots. The left pizza. All of the toppings including some roasted sweet peppers and my roasted garlic.

Seriously, this is one awesome flatbread.

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Served with a Linden Rose wine. 2012. All told, less than half the cost of going out to dinner. Well worth it.

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About AnnieRie

Retired, I am following my dream of living in quiet west Howard County, a rural oasis, not far from the urban chaos, but just far enough. I love to cook, bake, garden, and travel. I volunteer at Howard County Conservancy. I lead nature hikes, manage programs and show children all the wonders of nature, and the agricultural connection to their food.

5 responses »

  1. duane st.clair

    How do you not burn the bottoms before the top is cooked?

    • Put the plain flatbreads, with olive oil brushed on them, on a smoking hot grill, closed, for two or three minutes. 450° minimum.

      Take them off. Brush oil on the “undone” side and turn them over on the parchment covered baking sheets, so they don’t stick. Then, add toppings to the “done ” side.

      In the meantime, turn off burners, to get an indirect heat side of the grill. You now want the temperature around 350°, to finish them. The picture above shows them after I returned them to the grill. You can see the char marks under the toppings.

      About three or four minutes, with the grill closed, and no direct flame under them. They will crisp up and the toppings bubble.

      For flatbreads, my toppings are “pre-cooked”. The peppers roasted already and in the fridge. So was my garlic. I mixed the garlic, tomato paste, peppers ahead of time. Sliced the mushrooms. Had a container with shredded cheese. One with pesto.

      Then, just slathered them on whatever pieces we wanted. My preferences. My husband’s. Custom flatbreads this way. We have one large one left over. Will be lunch tomorrow.

  2. Oh, thank you for this. My son and I have done some grilling this summer, but pizza scared me since it would be topped so differently than my usual Friday night pizzas, so I’ve held off.
    Your photos help though!

  3. Yummy! Grilled pizzas with veggies…I’m in 🙂

    Thanks for sharing and linking up.


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