The Elbert County Fire Chiefs Association decided to reduce the Elbert County burn restriction to “Stage 2.” The Elbert County Board of Commissioners made Ordinance 06-01 to approve this because conditions have improved with recent moisture levels. The restriction will run through September 30, 2011, when it will likely be renewed.
This does not mean that the threat of wildfire is gone, and caution is still required. But, just in time for summer, Stage 2 returns the ability to use charcoal grills and campfires by approval through your fire department. So make sure to get a permit FIRST or the fines could be hefty. Tell them you heard it from the Herald: if you invite them to your barbeque, you increase your chance of a permit!
Propane grills are legal to use without a permit, but for those loving the taste of wood, coal or other solid fuels, here’s some thing else in the news to think about. BBQ Pizza.
Backyard chefs in Australia are likely to lay claim to inventing this, or at least are the very first to publish their results on the internet and other locations of avant guarde culinary science debate. American chefs have been quick to pick it up, though, and now you can even buy frozen pizzas designed especially to fit on your barbeque. Check out Home Run Inn Pizza – they just developed this June 1, last week.
Beyond the size issue, there is nothing in particular very special about a barbeque pizza. It has all the same ingredients, but the manner of cooking it comes down to several fundamental choices. I’m not about to suggest which one is best for you, this is America, after all, and you are entitled to make bad choices.
Just as with oven pizzas, it is important to cook the dough ahead of the toppings. The key with barbeque pizza is to keep the lid CLOSED to emulate an oven. Flip the dough four times to give the crust beautiful cross-hatched grill marks. Some chefs do not like the char and will leave the pizza on a barbeque safe metal cooking pan or tray or paddle. It would also be appropriate to consider using barbeque safe pottery or baking stones: these make the pizza extra crispy and crusty. Paddles, trays, stones and pottery help cook the pizza more evenly
Removing the crust, apply your cheese and other toppings. While, again, it would be improper of me to suggest toppings, if you are considering putting barbeque chicken or barbeque sauce on your barbeque pizza it is important to stop: you need to seek psychiatric help IMMEDIATELY.
It is important to cook the pizza on very high heat and quickly – this is the magic of barbeque pizza – so make sure you cut all your toppings VERY fine. They’re not going to be in there long.
Serves 4 (makes 4 individual 7 inch pizzas or one large 13 inch pizza)
Pizza dough – homemade or premade crust
4 cups tomatoes, diced OR 1 can (12oz) tomato paste
1 teaspoon basil
1 1/2 teaspoon oregano
¼ to 1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon tarragon
1/2 teaspoon dill
1 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Chili powder or fresh chili peppers, chopped (optional)
Lemon or lime juice (optional)
6 oz fresh Mozzarella cheese, grated or sliced (or mix with other cheeses, like cheddar or Swiss)
2 to 3 cups mixed vegetables and fruits
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Make the dough: if homemade, follow directions until dough is rising. If premade, skip this step.
While the dough rises, prepare the vegetables and sauce: Clean and slice vegetables to 1/2 inch or less thickness. Steam crunchy vegetables such as carrots and broccoli for 5 to 15 minutes, or until they begin to soften.
Mix tomato paste with herbs and olive oil. To keep the sauce from being too spicy for you, taste as you go. Those who enjoy a lively pizza would do well to mix in some powdered chili pepper or pureed chili peppers to the sauce. For an interesting twist, try adding in a twist of lime or lemon juice to the sauce! If you have fresh herbs, try using them in the sauce instead of dried herbs, or just throw them on with the toppings!
If making your own pizza crust: when the dough is ready, punch it down and divide it into four sections for individual pizzas, or leave it whole for a large pizza. Prepare the pizza pan by oiling it with olive oil and dusting it with cornmeal. Stretch the dough evenly across the pizza pan(s). If desired, brush the dough with golden olive oil. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes, until the dough is mostly cooked but before it starts to brown. Remove from oven.
For either kind of crust: spread sauce on the crust, then cover with cheese and vegetables. Grill on the barbeque at high heat, or until the cheese is melted and the crust is golden.