Flatout Flatbread Pizzas

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Flatout Flatbread Artisan Thin Pizza Crust

 

As a dual income family with a 3.5 year old, we’re always looking for quick ways to get dinner on the table that The Boy will eat. One thing we make pretty regularly is our New York style pizza. Mix the dough up a few days ahead of time, let it sit in the fridge, pull out a dough ball a few hours ahead of time and you are off to the races. Usually I make the dough on Sunday for later in the week, but I didn’t have time this week.

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This is what they look like

While at the grocery store, making my weekly run, I spotted these. Figured why not give it a shot. Quick and easy? Perfect!!

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Duke’s attempt. Cheese and pepperoni.

The directs on the back say to pre-bake the crust at 375 for 2 minutes. Pull out of the oven and top, bake for another 4 minutes or until cheese is melted. Since, it was our first attempt. That’s what we did. Except it took more like 5 1/2 minutes.

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Dad’s attempt. Pepperoni, salami, peppadew peppers and banana peppers

While this qualified as a fast cook and the The Boy ate more than half of his. I wasn’t completely satisfied. The “crust” was not crispy, nor was it chewy, it was more along the lines of soggy. I blame part of that on the directions and part of it on us. I feel the “crust” either needs to be pre-cooked a bit longer or at a higher temperature to get crispy. Definitely needs a higher temp to “brown” the cheese, not just melt it. As for it being soggy, that could be on me. I realized after they were done cooking, that I was probably a little heavy handed on the toppings. This being a flatbread pizza and not a normal pizza, toppings probably should have been kept to a minimum.

So we ate two of the six flatbreads that came in the package. That leaves four more attempts to see if we can get this dialed in. We’ll try pre-baking the flatbreads a bit longer to get them crispier. We’ll also cook them at a higher temperature and go lighter on the toppings. One other thing I’d like to do, and I have to check to see if they will fit, but I’d like to try and cook them on the Egg. Watch for updates to see if we can cook them better.

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Dietz & Watson Polska Kielbasa

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Hotdog and Kielbasa on the Mini Egg

There are a some foods that I can count on that I know Duke will eat. I think most parents will agree on these foods. Hotdogs, corn dogs, chicken nuggets, pizza, hamburgers, mac n cheese. I think these foods are universally liked by all kids. Needing a quick Sunday cook, I decided on hot dogs for The Boy, but I didn’t really want a hot dog. I did find these Polska Kielbasa in the deli section of my grocery store. I think I might have had them before, but I can’t remember, so I decided to give them a shot.

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This is what they look like.

Dietz and Watson Polska Kielbasa, handcrafted, made in the USA, no MSG added and gluten-free if you care about those things. Not fancy food, but a little bit more sophisticated than a hotdog. I was surprised to find when I opened the package that all the links were still connected. Had I been using a larger grill, I would have kept them that way, but since I was using my Mini and space was limited, I used a knife to separate the links.

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Almost ready

To cook these, I fired up the Mini BGE to around 400 direct and turned them every 3 or 4 minutes for about as long as it took to drink a beer. The sausage was fully cooked, so all I was doing was reheating it and adding some char. Don’t let your grill get too hot. You don’t want the casings to burst as you will lose all the juices and your sausage will be dry.

 

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Dinner is served, nothing fancy here

 

After I had finished my beer, and they sausages were cooked to my liking, I served them up on some hot dog buns with some course ground mustard, a little salad and some collard greens my wife had cooked up for her dinner.

The sausage was pretty good. Way better than Hillshire Farms or some of the other mas produced kielbasa. The casing had a nice snap to it. They were pretty mild in my opinion. Not spicy, not really smokey that I could discern. Pretty mild. The texture of the meat kind of surprised me. They were pretty emulsified and reminded me of a hot dog. All in all, a pretty decent sausage and great for a quick dinner.

Amazing Ribs 2018 Pitmaster Awards

pitmaster-awardThe great folks at Amazing Ribs have released their Pitmaster Awards for 2018 for best charcoal grills, gas grills, backyard smokers, combo cooker and portable grills. If you are in the market for a new grill go check it out HERE. I know I wouldn’t mid replacing the old smoker at the ranch that just rusted out with the Pit Barrel Cooker.  Are you in the market for a new grill or smoker? What’s your dream grill or smoker?

 

River Rat Beer

Fermenting away almost 48 hours later and already a good krausen forming on top

Our annual summer river trip is fast approaching. Could it hurry up and get here sooner? I asked the ladies what they wanted me to brew up for it this year (I already brewed my Haus Pale Ale for the guys), and they asked for a Blue Moon Clone which Mrs. G has named River Rat Beer.

 

I did some research and found a guy named Wayne on HomeBrewTalk who claims he’s an ex-employee of Coor’s and helped to develop the original Blue Moon. I have no reason to doubt him and it sounded like a solid recipe, so I thought I’d give it a try.

According to Wayne, Blue Moon is an Americanized Witbier, not a Belgium Witbier. The difference being that sweet orange peels are used instead of bitter orange peels and a yeast like US-05 or US-04 instead of a more traditional Belgium yeast

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Boiling the wort on my Blichman Burner

Recipe for 2.5 Gallon Batch

SG: 1.037

OG: 1.050

FG: 1.010

ABV: 5.34%

Efficiency: 75%

Grains

  • 2.5lb American Pale 2-Row
  • 2lb American Wheat
  • 0.5lb Flaked Oats

Hops

  • 15.31g Hallertau Mittlefruh 4.1AA 60min boil (IBU 17.2)

Other Ingredients (last10  minutes of the boil)

  • 14.17g McCormick’s Valencia Orange Peel
  • 9.92g McCormick’s Ground Coriander
  • 1/2 tsp yeast nutrient

Yeast

7.7g US-05, rehydrated

Mash one hour at 154F

Boil one hour

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Sweet orange peel, ground coriander and yeast nutrient added for the last 10 minutes of the boil

The mash and the boil all went as planned

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Chilling the wort

Before the can pitch the yeast, you must chill the wort. I used to just use an immersion chiller, but the ground water here in Texas can become pretty warm. Last summer, I purchased a submersible pond pump from Harbor Freight. Now I chill the wort down to about 100F, collecting the warm water to use for cleaning my equipment or to water the lawn. When it reaches about 100F, I switch the line over to the pump and recirculate the water through the ice chest filled with ice and cold water. Doing this I was able to get my wort down to 67F in no time.

Brew day went pretty smoothly. Instead of a SG of 1.037, I hit 1.038 and instead of a OF of 1.050, I hit 1.051. You couldn’t get any closer. The beer might be a tad higher than 5.34% ABV, but I think the girls won’t care. Or notice.

It’s fermenting away now at 63F. In a few days, once its calmed down a bit, I’ll bump it to 65, then slowly raise it to 70. I generally let it ferment for about 3 weeks so the yeast can do their job and clean up after themselves. After it’s done fermenting, I’ll bottle it up. Still trying to figure out how many volumes of CO2 to prime it to. Blegium Witbiers generally are 2.5-3.0, so I’ll probably just aim for middle of the road and go 2.75.

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Fermenting away almost 48 hours later. You can see the yeast has formed a nice krausen, or foamy layer, on the top, indicating that fermentation is going well.

 

I’ll make sure and update you in about 6 weeks and let you know how it turns out.

Cheers!!