As part of the Memorial Day Holiday weekend we were happy to have Dave, My Year on the Grill and Inspired by eRecipe cards, and his wife Jackie spend some time with us at Lake Lure. They had driven all the way from Kansas to attend the Blogger Luau at Larry’s (Big Dude’s Eclectic Ramblings) so it only seemed fitting that they should drive a little further South and spend a couple of days with us.
I think Dave just wanted an excuse to grill pizzas in my fireplace. And grill pizzas he did. He made four different pizzas, all from ingredients I had on hand. The first was a Margherita pizza shown above. The second pizza was made with Parmesan, Scallops, olive oil and herbs from the garden. The third pizza utilized ingredients from a salad that I had made the night before.
I had made Ina Garten’s Guacamole Salad to go with the Benton’s bacon BLT’s (More about that later). The above picture was taken before I added the avocado, which should be done just before serving.
Viola! A salad turned into a pizza. Dave is very creative with his pizzas. The fourth pizza was supposed to be a traditional sausage pizza using leftover sausage from breakfast, but we were too full for that. Instead Dave turned the fourth pizza dough into a simple flatbread flavored with red onion and a special Raspberry Chipotle Sea Salt that he brought me as a hostess gift.
We served it that night before dinner cut into pieces with a homemade hummus that I had made from a recipe from Dorie Greenspan.
There was something very special about this flatbread. It was the combination of the wood smoke and the Raspberry Chipotle Sea Salt. The hummus was easy to make. I will include the recipe at the end of this post.
Now on to the Benton Bacon. Because Dave and Jackie had traveled so far to attend the Blogging Luau, Larry sent them home with two packages of the popular Tennessee Benton Bacon. This bacon is dry-cured, salty and full of intense flavor. It is favored by chef’s all over the country. It makes a killer BLT sandwich. It is amazing the things you can find on the internet. If you have a moment please read this obituary of Harry Stamps, a lover of Benton Bacon among other things. This has got to be a contender for the best obituary ever written. But I digress. I fried up the bacon. Dave made a spicy mayonnaise and we served it with heirloom tomatoes, sourdough bread and crispy lettuce. It was a taste sensation.
Here we are at Bouchon Creperie in Asheville for lunch. There were more meals and lots of laughter. I enjoyed cooking with Dave. Now I know one of the reasons that he does such a great job with his wonderful food. Jackie is the best pot washer and clean-up-artist around. We intense cooks need help. David and I enjoyed your visit Dave and Jackie.
HUMMUS (Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan)
1 can (about 16 ounces) chickpeas, drained (reserve the liquid), rinsed, and patted dry
2 garlic cloves, split, germ removed, and chopped
1/3 cup well-stirred tahini
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, or to taste
About 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin (optional)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Put the chickpeas, garlic, tahini, and lemon juice in a food processor and whir until smooth. With the machine running, add some of the reserved chickpea liquid a little at a time until the hummus is a nice thick, scoopable texture-you’ll probably need about 4 tablespoons of liquid. Add the cumin, if you’d like, tasting to get the amount you want, then season with salt and pepper and more lemon juice, if you think it need it.
Scoop the hummus into a bowl or refregerator container, press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface, and chill until serving time. (The hummus can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.)