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I love traditional risotto. It's made with Arborio rice and is truly a labor of love. It takes 35-45 minutes and you need to stay near your stove the entire time to carefully stir in each cup of warm broth.
I’m not however a huge fan of restaurant risotto, which they par-boil the rice and finish later when it's ordered by you:). Although I LOVE risotto done right, I’m not a fan of thick, sticky par-cooked versions served at restaurants. SO I wanted something that had the creamy, cheesy rich flavor risotto is so known for, but wanted to create something more conducive to quick meals and of course entertaining.
Enter…Orzo “Risotto”. Orzo is a cute little rice shaped pasta. Replacing the rice with Orzo pasta, (Cervasi if you’re in KC:) made this dish way less labor intensive but still incredibly creamy, cheesy and oh so versatile. This is a perfect side-dish or paired with a salad it’s a meal on its own. It is also great when other ingredients are added to it, like roasted vegetables, chicken or really anything. This time of year I like to add a bit of butternut squash, omg…just.so.good.
So whip up a batch…and let me know what you think. I think you’re gonna love love love i
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Wanna know the one party my friends ask for over and over again??? Well…just scroll on down!
It’s the grilled pizza party…they just LOVE this night. I have so many funny stories and memories surrounding this annual event, but the one that sticks out is the very first pizza party I hosted. Our friends still talk about that night when it started pouring down rain, literally out of nowhere, and everyone ran inside but I was NOT going to leave my grill until my margherita pizza was done. #shocker:) Well, as I was rushing my finished pizza into the house, the pizza peel caught the doorframe and pizza went FLYING across the room. I remember someone shouting, “It’s ok Lauren…we’ll still eat it!” I’m like…ummm, no.(sigh) But everyone was laughing hysterically, and my beautiful dog River saw his chance to swoop in and take part in the gathering as well.
We laughed SO hard, created amazing memories, and enjoyed the food and each other’s company. This party is just so fun and simple, and I’m going to show you how to do it in 10 easy steps! I hope you try it…minus the pizza on the floor disaster:) HA!
I know grilling pizza may seem tricky at first but it’s really easy. And it’s a great party because it’s super easy to prep ahead, EVERYONE loves pizza, and there are endless topping combinations! (Hey…I’ll even give you a ton of ideas for delicious combos:)
HOW TO GRILL PIZZA IN 10 EASY STEPS!
1. Prepare a basic pizza dough.
Tip: Buy the dough from the grocery store or your favorite pizza restaurant to make it even easier.
2. The most important tip for grilled pizzas? Cook, slice, and grate whatever toppings you like ahead of time, and have them at the ready because the cooking goes fast. (See this link below for toppings ideas.)
3 .Take the dough and flatten with your fingertips into a circle. It doesn’t need to be a perfect circle—you want it to look rustic. Stretch the dough to your desired size and thickness and set it on a pan lined with parchment paper and dusted with cornmeal.
Tip: Don’t do what I did my first time: I stacked the crusts on top of each other with a bit of flour in between and when it came time to grill I just had one super-thick hunk of dough. I know, rookie mistake, but I don’t want that to happen to you. (I ran down to the pizza joint, grabbed more dough and we were back in business.)
4. Instead, don’t stack them, just set them on a tray along with the olive oil, brush, tongs, flat cookie sheet and pizza cutter.
5. Preheat the grill to medium-high.
Tip: A gas grill is a little easier to manage the temperature, but a charcoal grill gives even more flavor. Your choice, both are amazing!
6. Brush one side of dough with Cervasi olive oil to prevent sticking
7. Place oiled side down on the grill and brush the top with oil. Close the grill and cook for 2-5 minutes or until grill marks appear. Turn the dough over with tongs and grill the other side.
Tip: If the dough sticks to the grill grate, it’s not ready to turn over. Shut the grill, grab a glass of wine and let it go for a minute or two. It should turn over easily with tongs and have beautiful grill marks.
8. Slide the crust onto a flat cookie sheet or pizza peel and arrange your toppings, starting with sauce, then garlic and then mozzarella.
9. Place the pizza back on the grill over indirect heat and cover until the cheese is melted and delicious!
10, Remove the pizza from the grill with a pizza peel or flat cookie sheet, place it on the cutting board and garnish.
Tip: After the pizza is done, top it with the fresh basil (otherwise the basil will turn brown) and a drizzle of olive oil for that last bit of yumminess.
I host a shrimp boil every year...and it's always one of my favorite parties to host. It's super easy to prep ahead and that gives me all the time in the world to play with my friends:)Read More
The real pasta carbonara dish, easy, rich, and oh so satisfying! I can eat this for breakfast, lunch and dinner…and why not since its literally made of bacon and eggs!Read More