I’m very excited to announce a new series here on DCCT, “Cooking with who?” These will be guest posts of real life dads that like to cook. Some might share recipes, some might share stories, but all will include food and parenting. The first guest is one of my best friends, Christopher Hopper. He’s a self-described renaissance man, who travels the world signing, teaching, writing, and impacting lives. Check out his website and blog here: www.christopherhopper.com
Chris, take it away!
CH: Thanks so much, Nathan. I’ve never been so excited to write about two of my favorite things: family & food. I think it’s because I’m a huge fan of your site. (As my wife always catches me, I’m doing my happy food dance right now). Here we go!
Gorgonzola Chicken Bacon BBQ Pizza (+Gluten Free)
There are a few policies we have in the Hopper home. One is we always eat together as a tribe. No distractions.
Getting to the table, however, is often easier said than done.
With my Jennifer being 8-months pregnant in the middle of July, I try to step in and cook whenever I can, especially with high temps in the 90’s (F) in New York this week. But more often than not—with three kids and a fourth on the way in September—we team-cook. It’s fun, and we enjoying creating together.
Because Jennifer and I are both artistic in nature, cooking is more subjective than science. Therefore I can’t give any measurements in my recipes. As an elite chef once told me, “The best cooks do it by feel.” All ingredients and spices are added by trial and error guesswork, as are all burner and oven-bake temps.
Tuesday night we scratched enchiladas and decided for pizza. A quick decision was made for a BBQ base instead of marinara, as we both like a good cookout, but didn’t feel like standing in the heat over the grill.
Next came the dough: a Rustic Crust Wheat & Gluten Free Napoli Herb crust from Aldi for Jenny, and a basic pre-made crust for me and the kids. TIP: To keep the dough from getting soggy, we stick them in the oven for a few minutes (less for the gluten free crust) to bake a little before all the juicy toppings go on.
Right here I broke up a small fight over a ball in the Green Room—our largest family room on the other side of the house.
Onions and EVOO go in a pan over med heat to caramelize, while a sliced chicken breast and bacon strips go in the same bake tray in the oven for integrated flavor. Cook at around 400 (F) for 10-minutes.
Someone got hurt on the stairs at this point, as an older sibling got a little too frisky and pushed their weight around.
As soon as the crusts are warmed, pull them out and slather with your preferred BBQ. Jenny likes a little more traditional sauce while I prefer mixing in some of Tom’s Bootleg BBQ Sauce from Skaneateles, NY. (I highly recommend it; complex, zesty taste, with “water” as the first ingredient, not “high fructose corn syrup”). Sprinkle some oregano and garlic powder in for a little something extra.
From there add shredded mozzarella, chunks of fresh mozzarella, and ample gorgonzola. My motto is you can never have too much cheese.
Jennifer was cutting a cantaloupe on the other side of our island and said, “I love a good melon.” I thought it was an appropriate time for some married humor and replied, “I love two good melons.” We both laughed.
Next, cut the bacon and chicken into manageable chucks as fine as you like; add to the pizza, and cover with the caramelized onions you prepared earlier. Then bake at around 400?F for 15 minutes, or until cheese has melted and crust has browned.
Dinner was served with the melon, as well as a lettuce-cherry-tomato-and-fresh-mozzarella salad on the side (balsamic dressing). The kids had a special surprise to drink: Cherry Coke (which we’re pretty much a “no soda” household); Jennifer had water with lemon, and I had a local Sackets Brewing Co. 1812 Amber.
It was right before this meal, of course, that our dishwasher decided to break and we pulled out the paper ware. So next week’s post will be over at Dads Can Fix Dishwashers Too (.com). ch:
Tags: bacon, BBQ, chicken, christopher hopper, gorgonzola, kids, pizza, summer