Taking a Dive: Week 5

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I don’t know about you, but week 5 in the NFL was uneventful and borderline boring. The Chiefs/Ravens game highlighted this point with a score of 9 to 6. The Chiefs actually scored a TD on a fumble by the uni-brow, but the refs called the play dead too early. The most interesting thing from that game was when the fans in Kansas City cheered Matt Cassel getting knocked out.

 

Offensive tackle Eric Winston said after the game, “It’s sickening. I’ve never, ever — and I’ve been in some rough times on some rough teams — I’ve never been more embarrassed in my life to play football than at that moment right there. I get emotional about it because these guys, they work their butts off. Matt Cassel hasn’t done anything to you people.” Here are the other “highlights” of the week, the FF injury report followed by a guide to grilling pizzas.

The Colts/Packers game was the highlight of the week. The Colts outscored the Pack 27-6 in the second half after getting outplayed in the first. In other news, the Redskins have lost 8 in a row at home. Remember when everyone was calling them the best team they have had in years? I even had grandiose visions of 7-1 going into Pittsburgh. Other than that, week 5 is one to forget especially in K.C.

 

Week 5 FF Injury News

 

Bobby Tre’ took a vicious shot from Falcons LB Weatherspoon, and has a “mild” concussion… All reports indicate that he is doing ok, and should be cleared to practice this week barring any setbacks. He will probably start on Sunday… Jimmy Graham rolled his right ankle Sunday night. He finished with just 1 for 4. The Saint are on a bye giving him time to heal… Cedric Benson was carted off with a leg injury and may be done for the season. Early word is that he is out 8 weeks… Adrian Peterson injured his ankle early but played through it and ended with 17 for 88… Jermichael Finley hurt his shoulder but said, “I’ll be back in Houston for sure.”… Matt Cassel is probably out with a concussion, but if you are starting him you are probably out too… Martellus Bennett hyperextended his knee but was able to play through it… Anquan Boldin limped to the sideline early in the third quarter and didn’t catch a pass after that…. Alex Smith admitted that he has a sprained middle finger on his throwing hand… Alshon Jeffery sustained a hand injury on his third-quarter TD catch and is out for a month…The Giants RB Andre Brown left with a concussion… Javon Ringer is out for a month with a torn MCL and can stay on waivers as the Titan’s offense looks like the worst in the league…Ryan Williams injured his shoulder in Arizona’s 17-3 loss to the St. Louis Rams on Thursday, will require season-ending surgery. It’s the second straight year Williams has been hurt. He missed all off his rookie year after tearing his patellar tendon in the preseason…

 

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FANFOOD Guide to Grilling Pizzas

 

When it comes to grilling pizza, the question is, stone or no stone? I am here to tell you that you can do both. I prefer grilling pizza right on the rack, but I have tried it with a pizza stone and while it takes longer, it can make it easier and you won’t have to throw any dough away because of burning. Grilling on a stone is not much different than cooking your pizza in the oven, you will just get that wood fire flavor.

 

NO STONE METHOD

 

Prepare a grill for direct grilling over a hot fire — 500ºF minimum.

-Pre-cook the Pizza Ingredients

Any raw meat ingredients, such as sausage, chicken or shrimp, should be cooked. No raw meat should be assembled on the pizza. This is also a good time to roast garlic or grill onions, if you are including them on your pizza.

-Shape the Pizza Dough

All pizzas start with the dough. When grilling a pizza you want good dough that will hold up to being transported and turned on the grill. Roll out your dough about 1/4 inch thick and try to keep it pretty even. Make sure you keep the dough uniform and well floured.

-Grill the Pizza

Place the dough directly onto the grill grate over the hot fire without any toppings. When it comes to the grill, keep it clean and well oiled. You need the pizza dough to slide on the cooking grate. If it sticks you’ll be out some dough. What you want to do is take the rolled dough rounds and lightly grill them. You can grill them on one side or both. If you just grill one side put your toppings on this side before you return it to the grill.

Quickly place a thin layer of toppings on top of the grilled dough and close the hood. Continue cooking the pizza on the grate for a couple of minutes more. The need for sparing use of toppings is because they must heat and/or melt quickly before the bottom of the pizza burns. The total cooking time for each pizza is typically less than 4 minutes. Remove the pizza before the dough burns. If you are using charcoal you will what one side hotter than the other so you can put the topped pizzas on the cooler side. The goal here is to get the toppings heated and any cheese melted before the crust burns.

As with all grills, keep a close eye on the pizzas. With the lid down you can bake the toppings to get your pizza just right. While the grill is a great place to cook pizzas the intense heat can burn through crusts pretty quickly. You don’t want cold toppings on a burnt crust.

 

STONE METHOD

 

-Pre-heat the Pizza Stone

Place the pizza stone on the grill over the indirect cooking zone and preheat the grill to 500 degrees with the hood closed. Most pizza stones will require about an hour to thoroughly come up to temperature.

While the stone is heating, set out the cheese, pizza dough and any other ingredients to bring them to room temperature before assembling the pizza. We like to use wood smoke while cooking pizzas this way. At the one-hour mark, you should have wood smoking or about to smoke

-Pre-cook the Pizza Ingredients

While the pizza stone is preheating, any raw meat ingredients, such as sausage, chicken or shrimp, should be cooked. No raw meat should be assembled on the pizza. You can grill food alongside the pizza stone as it pre-heats, but keep the hood closed as much as possible.

-Assemble the Pizza

All ingredients should be chopped, sliced and otherwise prepared before forming the pizza dough.

Shape the fresh pizza dough using plenty of flour to prevent sticking. You can use a rolling pin dusted with flour, but we prefer to simply use our hands to stretch and shape the dough. The more “relaxed” the dough becomes, the easier it is to shape. Leave the dough, covered, at room temperature for at least an hour before using it. We find that 10 to 12 ounces of dough is ideal for making pizzas using this technique. It is easier to make multiple small pizzas than it is one large pizza. The dough should be formed to a maximum of 1/4″ thick.

Sprinkle the pizza peel with corn meal or flour so that the pizza will slide off easily when you move it to the grill. We recommend a perforated, metal pizza peel. Transfer the pizza dough to the pizza peel before assembling the pizza.

Add the ingredients, and be sure not to overload the pizza.

-Cook the Pizza

Wood smoke should be going strong at this time.

Bring the assembled pizza on the peel to the hot pizza stone. Maneuver the peel over the pizza stone, and gently shift the peel with a sliding motion to get the leading edge of the pizza crust just off the end of the peel. Touch the crust down to the stone and then quickly and smoothly slide the peel back from under the crust.

Close the grill lid and cook the pizza at 500°F for about ten to twelve minutes or until the crust is browned. After the fist five minutes, use a small pizza peel or grilling tongs to rotate the pizza one-half turn (180 degrees) on the stone to help it cook more evenly.

When the pizza is done, remove the pizza from the stone using a pizza peel, or use grilling tongs to lift the edge of the pizza and pull it onto a pizza tray.

Sprinkle with any finishes, like fresh basil, parmesan or finishing salt, then slice and serve.

Wood Notes:

While the smoke from a wood-fired pizza oven will typically hug the ceiling and go straight out of the chimney without touching the pizza, you can often add the flavor of a wood fire when making pizza on the grill because you can trap more smoke in the grill hood. You can use a real wood fire to provide the heat for making pizzas with either technique described above, or you can use wood chips in a foil packet to create smoke. Next up: Pizza & Dough Recipes

 

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