I’ve long since given up on the idea of controlling how dinner parties progress. Usually something I make bombs terribly, or guests arrive late, or it rains on our cook out, or someone puts a cooler of beer on my landlord’s plants and they die. At the very least the smoke detector goes off. It’s all mostly outside of my control, so it’s best if I just let it go and let it happen.
Where this food blog is considered, dinner parties are both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, they’re the perfect opportunity to make and photograph a month’s worth of recipes without actually having to eat all the food myself (I get asked all the time why Dan and I aren’t morbidly obese. Or even if we are actually morbidly obese. We’re not. We don’t eat all the food by ourselves. Also, I’ve recently been told that I’m taller than I look online. I am tall. Dan is taller). The problem is, unless you cook all the food you want to showcase before the guests arrive, you’re at their mercy. If they’re later than expected, or distract you from taking all the photos you want, or eat the food before you get a good shot, you have to be creative.
All unpredictability considered, however, this blog would be completely different without our friends. They’re our recipe testers, the people we invite over for fake Thanksgiving and parties big and small. They’re the ones who tell me when a dish needs more of this or less of that. They’re the complete loves who gush over recipes and make me feel like this is a good way to spend my free time. I hope they never stop coming over.
1 tbsp dry active yeast
2 ½ cups bread flour
1 ½ tbsp olive oil
¾ cup warm water
1 tbsp kosher salt
3 chicken breasts
Olive oil & salt to finish
Whisk together olive oil, yeast, salt, basil, and water. Whisk until fully incorporated, at least 2 minutes. Add half of the flour and stir with a wooden spoon. Add remaining flour and knead for ten minutes, until the dough feels like a stress ball.
Coat a glass bowl with olive oil. Place the dough ball in the bowl, turn once, and cover with a damp towel. Let rise for at least an hour. Punch down and let rise another 15 minutes.
Coat your chicken with sauce and grill until cooked. Slice your eggplants, cover in sauce, and grill. Chop into chunks.
Heat your grill to high. Roll your dough out into small rounds (these are personal sized pizzas) and coat one side with olive oil and salt. Grill, oil side down, for 3-5 minutes. Remove from grill and coat the uncooked side. Flip it over and spread your cheese over the cooked side. Top with chicken and eggplant. Place back on grill and let cook for another 2-4 minutes.
Finish with onions and sauce. Repeat until each guest has a pizza. This recipe makes 6.