BBQ Blackberry Chicken Flatbread Pizza

BBQ Blackberry Chicken Flatbread Pizza | The Spicy Bee

Summer is coming. In Portland, OR, we’ve already clocked more than a dozen days above 80 (which, if you’re a Portlander, you know is out of character. It’s supposed to be cold and rain until the 4th of July). With the good weather comes grilling season, and for a surprise I snagged us a new (used) grill off a neighbor who was upgrading to maximize our grilling potential for the summer. What did I end up with you ask? A combo grill/smoker that has more space for things like GRILLED PIZZA. Could I do a pizza on my old grill? Yes, but not a nice big pizza, it would have had to have been little dinky things. I decided to celebrate by creating a fun summery spread in partnership with the Oregon Berry Commission, who challenged me to make a savory berry recipe to share.

Challenge Accepted.

I decided on a grilled blackberry BBQ chicken pizza flatbread because it captures the essence of summer and utilizes a recipe style I’m always hungry for: grilled pizza!

This is not a recipe for a beginner–sorry about that. I liked making this recipe in 2 major steps. The first is the day prior to your grill fest; I suggest starting with the BBQ Blackberry sauce (this will refrigerate for up to 5 days), and pizza dough start (I’ve linked below to the one we use, which involves a bit of quick prep, overnight gestation, and next day processing), but you can always go with your go-to crust recipe or even pre-made. I’m no got going to judge. For the berries, I use frozen for the sauce and fresh for on top, but you could easily use fresh for both portions, simply add an extra 3/4 cup water when cooking the sauce.

When it comes time to build your pizza, heat up the grill and take the temperature to ensure you’re good to go (magic number is 450°F by the way). You can choose to make your pizza on a stone, a cast iron, or directly on the grill, if you like to be a risk taker. The point of this recipe is to have some fun with it–the result will be delicious and the rewards sweet–especially with berries in season!

BBQ Blackberry Chicken Flatbread PizzaBBQ Blackberry Chicken Flatbread Pizza | Sponsored by Oregon Berry Commission

Ingredients

The below portions are to make two 12-inch pizzas

Blackberry BBQ Sauce

  • 1 c Ketchup
  • 1 T Apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 c Molasses
  • 10 oz Frozen blackberries, thawed
  • 1 T Worcestershire sauce
  • 3-4 Chipotle chilis en adobo sauce (start with 3, add a 4th if you can handle heat), chopped
  • 1/4 t salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • 2 t cornstarch

Flatbread/Crust

The recipe I used was Alton Brown’s overnight pizza dough–why re-invent the wheel, am I right?

Pizza

  • 1/2-1 c BBQ sauce
  • 1 c Smoked Gouda, grated
  • 1 c Goat cheese, broken up
  • 1.5 lb chicken thighs, grilled, chopped, and tossed with a few tablespoons of the Blackberry BBQ Sauce
  • 1 White onion, chopped
  • 1 c fresh blackberries, cut in half 
  • 1/2 c Fresh basil, chopped
  • Additional basil may be cut up and reserved for topping once the pizza comes off the grill

Method

Start by making the sauce–this will be best spooned on to your crust after it’s had some time to acquaint itself with your fridge. in a medium sized pot, combine thawed  berries (if fresh, chop berries and add with 3/4 c water), ketchup, vinegar, Worcestershire, molasses, and chilis. bring to a boil then simmer for 20 min, allowing the sauce to thicken but don’t let it burn! Once simmering is complete, taste, salt and pepper, and maybe throw in another chopped chili, or if you’re nervous, just another teaspoon of the adobo sauce. This sauce is all about your comfort with the taste. It should be a little vinegary, but now it’s time to balance the acidity–prep the cornstarch by combining with 2 t ice water to form a paste. Add the mixture to the sauce, it’s going to bubble! keep stirring and the heat will activate the cornstarch and thicken it up. Taste it again, the vinegar will have mellowed and the sweetness will be more forward, heat on the back end.

Prep your dough if you’re doing Alton’s recipe, if you’re planning on making some day of dough, he’s got a great grill dough recipe I’m a fan of as well, but it’s going to end up with a different texture than the overnight dough I linked to above. Roll out the dough to the desired pizza size. The crust should be evenly rolled out and thin– prep it on a cutting board that you’ll be transferring straight to the grill.

Prep the pizza toppings and have them ready to build.

When you’re ready to combine and cook, get the fire on the grill going–Preheat your stone, cast iron pan, or whatever you’d like to put the pizza on. Check the temperature before you put the crust down, then toss it on– FOR 2 MINUTES. Pull it from the grill, flip, and dress the cooked side with your sauce (don’t go overboard, just a thin layer), cheese, onion, berries, and chicken. If you want to level up the grill flavor, wide cut your onions and grill them when you do the chicken. You may prefer to leave the basil off to the end–that is just fine.

Once the pizza is dressed, place it back on the grill and cover–cook for 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and allow to set for about 10 minutes–then top with your basil (if you’ve kept it off to this point), and enjoy!

BBQ Blackberry Chicken Flatbread Pizza | Sponsored by Oregon Berry Commission

BBQ Blackberry Chicken Flatbread Pizza | Sponsored by Oregon Berry Commission

This post was sponsored by the Oregon Berry Commission. Love blackberries? Check out my recipe for a Lemon Cake with Blackberry Glaze. If you would like to check out more recipes head over to their recipe archive.

Mole Lava Cakes | Recipe Thowback

Mole Lava Cakes | The Spicy Bee

Over the next month I’ll be sharing some throwbacks to 2014-ish when my friend Aubrie (of PDXFoodPhotos) and I were teaming up on shoots for the online publication Incomplete Magazine. Since then, the magazine has sold off, and I thought our recipes and photos were lost to the web. I found them in my computer’s archive recently and decided it’s time to re-post for all to enjoy. I’m kicking things off by sharing my Mole Lava Cakes made with lots of chocolate and served up with ice cream.

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I always love throwing together something that I can pop into the oven toward the end of dinner and serve topped with ice cream and perhaps some chocolate shavings or even fresh strawberries! This recipe for Mole Lava Cakes makes four beautiful, individual-sized pots of intense chocolate flavors, best balanced by a scoop of vanilla ice cream—or why not homemade ice cream!? This recipe is pretty easy to get right so long as you keep the chocolate mixture from getting to hot when on the stove. Keep the heat lower, and be patient. Mole adds a decadent depth to the typical chocolate cake, and the pots can be filled to your discretion, as I find they look good both half full or filled to the top! Just know your ice cream might not sit if the pot is already full. No dairy? Try topping the cakes with powdered sugar.

Mole Lava Cakes

Ingredients

  • 8 oz dark chocolate, chopped
  • 8 oz butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/4 c mole, jarred or homemade
  • 3/4 c brown sugar, packed
  • 2 t ground cinnamon
  • 2 t espresso powder
  • 1/2 t vanilla extract
  • 3 T all-purpose flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 1-2 scoops ice cream (vanilla, coffee,
  • Salt

Method

In a small saucepan over low heat, bring a few cups of water to a boil and nest a heat safe bowl on top of the pot. Fill the bowl with chocolate, mole, and butter, and melt together, stirring (or whisking) often. Once fully melted together, integrate the sugar, cinnamon, espresso powder, salt )about ¼ t) and vanilla. Using hot pads, remove the bowl from the stove and prepare your hand mixer (if using stand mixer, carefully transfer to your mixing bowl). Slowly add flour and beat on low until fully mixed. Incorporate the eggs one at a time and beat well after each egg. Once everything’s in, beat until the color lightens.

Transfer mixture into your ramekins (I like the classic deep variety), filling halfway-3/4 full. From here you can cover the ramekins, and refrigerate anywhere from 1 hour up to 24 hours.

Preheat oven to 375° F, remove plastic wrap, and place cold pots into the oven for 10-12 minutes. Toothpick should still come out covered with chocolate. You really cannot go wrong with when you pull out the pots as they are meant to be a bit molten. If you leave them in long enough, however, they will also bake most of the way if you leave them in until the toothpick comes out mostly clean. Serve warm (not hot!) with a lovely scoop of ice cream or even gelato! Yum!

Serves 4

Looking for more throwback recipes? Check out my Maple Habanero Cocktail!

Salmon: Everything You Need to Know

Cookbook Review: Salmon Cookbook Everything You Need to Know by Diane Morgan | TheSpicyBee

Sometimes when you review cookbooks, you find your favorite recipe is not the most photogenic–I mean, I can readily admit that my skills are not honed nearly to that of Leigh Beisch, the photographer for Diane Morgan’s most recent book, Salmon. I spent weeks pulling my hair and attempting to fix my favorite recipe’s pictures, leaving things unfinished, and more unfortunate yet, keeping the secret of this book to myself. Many don’t realize this, but I work full-time in addition to my blog and event-attending life. Many of my recipes are (as embarrassed as I am to admit it), shot long after my light has disappeared for the day. That said, my blog has never stood solely on its images, but on its content (oh God, or so I hope and strive!), so I hope you’ll forgive the images in this post. They are simply reality, and well, what happens when you mix beautiful pink salmon with soy sauce.

Cookbook Review: Salmon Cookbook Everything You Need to Know by Diane Morgan | TheSpicyBee

The truth is, Salmon by Diane Morgan is a delectable read. It’s a light book, yet dense in its knowledge of salmon, from prep to labeling notes; like did you know that you should not be fooled by “certified organic” label on salmon? The USDA has yet to set standards for seafood, including salmon. I was also introduced to how to freeze salmon, which I plan on doing as soon as I can get my hands on a large amount of salmon–tools you would ideally want for the process are a vacuum sealer and a deep freeze (I’m a big fan of my GE upright deep freezer) to keep the salmon under 0°F. You can freeze either whole sides or 1-2lb fillets, and be sure to wrap up as tightly as possible in several layers of plastic wrap and keep fully sealed. Salmon will keep in a deep freezer for up to nine months, and in the freezer compartment of a refrigerator for up to one month.

The images are saturated and rich, highlighting the salmon’s pink hue, and the recipes cover every season–from salmon baked in parchment with tomatoes and corn (yum August) to a delectable salmon chowder that I know I’ll be eating again and again this winter. Now is the perfect time to get your hands on the book as grilling season (she has an entire chapter devoted to grilling the fish).

Shanghai-Style Poached Salmon
Cookbook Review: Salmon Cookbook Everything You Need to Know by Diane Morgan | TheSpicyBee

Ingredients

  • 4 Salmon fillets, about 6o each, skin and pin bones removed
  • Sweet Vinegar Sauce
    • 1/2 c Soy sauce
    • 1/4 c Distilled white vinegar
    • 1/4 c Sugar
  • 4 Green onions, including tops, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 4 Thin slices of ginger, peeled and julienned
  • 3 c Water
  • 3 Additional Green onions, including tops, cut into 1-inch lengths
  • 5 Additional thin slices of fresh ginger, peeled

Method

Remove the salmon from the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking to bring to room temperature. To make the sauce: In a small bowl, stir together the soy sauce, vinegar, and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Stir in the 4 green onions and julienned ginger. Set aside.

[Start making your favorite rice around the start of this recipe.]

In a sauté pan just large enough to hold the salmon fillets in a single layer, combine the water, 3 green onions, and sliced ginger Bring to a boil over medium heat, turn the heat to carefully slip the salmon into the pan. (The salmon should be completely submerged in the poaching liquid. If it isn’t, add a bit more water.) Cover the pan and poach the salmon for 5 minutes. Again using a spatula, lift the salmon to a plate. Carefully drain off almost all the poaching liquid from the pan, leaving only 1/4 cup in the pan. Remove and discard the green onions and ginger from the pan. Return the pan from medium-low heat and add the vinegar sauce. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Slip the salmon back into the pan and baste with the sauce. Continue to braise the salmon, basting frequently, until almost opaque throughout, or an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers 125°F (52°C) or a little above, about 8 minutes. The sauce will have reduced and thickened a little.

Transfer the salmon to warmed dinner plates or shallow pasta bowls. Spoon sauce around the fillets, dividing evenly. Serve immediately.

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Looking to learn more about cooking salmon? Beyond Diane’s book, I really enjoy the NY Times article, How to Cook Salmon and Bon Appetit’s 6 Biggest Mistakes People Make When Cooking Salmon.