Friday, July 16, 2010

RED PEPPER PESTO BBQ CHICKEN PIZZA with Caramelized Onions for "the Project and 101 Days of Summer Update

Man this is good pizza!

I even used the same toppings on a slice of the special spiral stuffed ENG BREAD that I posted a few days ago... Eng Bread for Caribbean Rum Braised Scallops.

A rare no tomato sauce pizza, but filled with great flavors.  And best of all, it is mostly made from leftovers.  Well, that isn't true.  The best thing is the taste.  The leftover aspect is just an added bonus.

So, here's the story... And this time, it does start with a lovely lady...

Well, it actually started as a challenge and ended as the among the best pizza I have ever eaten.

A few months back, Penny from LAKE LURE COTTAGE, introduced me to her recipe forRoasted Red Pepper Pesto.  That recipe proved very useful indeed, as I have used it for a dip with Ritz crackers (a simple cracker for a simple guy).  I added some pineapple and made some Rum Poached Scallops with a Roasted Pepper - Pineapple Pesto.

Then, just a couple days ago, I used another of Penny's recipes to make... 
RED PEPPER PESTO PASTA PRIMAVERA another use for a Rotisserie Chicken.  This pesto was quickly becoming a favorite ingredient!  The challenge came when Penny made a comment on my pasta...

Penny said...

"I always love the way you adapt recipes. You done good too my friend. That red pepper pesto is very versatile. Wait till you try it on pizza! But this pasta is a perfect vehicle for your rotisserie chicken. How about a red pepper pesto chicken Pizza?"

The pesto has become a favorite.  I toyed around with it, mostly just adding some pineapple.  This pesto is now a staple for me.  I continue to use it as Penny suggested, with scallops.  I even stuffed a spiral swirl of it in my favorite bread.

And shhhh, don't tell anyone, but I have even used it to dip some Ritz Crackers. And while everything tastes great on a Ritz, this tastes better.

My "the Project" would simply not be the same without including this favorite.

OK, Here's what I did...

When I say leftovers, I meant it.  I have a baking day.  Actually, the day is mostly mixing and kneading, and not as much baking as you would think.  I mix up several (6) balls of pizza dough on baking day and pop 3 of them into the fridge and three in the freezer.  This way, I always have a baggie of dough handy when I want it.

And my favorite pizza dough recipe comes from...

"The Bread Baker's Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread" book. I brought three cookbooks with me to my island adventure. The "The Bread Baker's Apprentice" book has become my favorite.  Best of all, it has proven to be everything the title advertises.

Follow this link to find my take on Peter's pizza dough recipe... 

But, most any recipe will work (maybe not as well, but work it will), including the pre-made pizza crusts you can buy in the stores.
When I say leftovers, I meant it.  Have you been reading my posts of the last two days... Eng Bread for Caribbean Rum Braised Scallops.  Followed by ... Rum Poached Sea Scallops.  Both of which used my version of Penny's Red Pepper Pesto.

The chicken, of course, comes from my now famous trip to the store for their freshly baked, well seasoned rotisserie chicken.  Several lunches and at least one dinner a week.  And there is always enough meat left on the bones to make a pizza.

Only thing new I would have bought for this would have been an onion, but actually I had half left from a Court-Bouillon Mahi Mahi dish that will be posted shortly.

So here it is, my "leftover" pizza...

Roll out the dough

Top with a layer of Red Pepper Pesto

Top with a sprinkling of Caramelized Onions

Bake in 350 degree oven for 15 minutes.

Top with a sprinkling of shredded chicken (warmed with a coating of BBQ sauce)

Return to oven for 5 minutes (any longer, and the sugar in the BBQ sauce will caramelize (char).

And now, it's time for my update for Biz's 101 days of summer challenge.

Half way mark, and the dog days of summer are settling in.  As you may know, I am currently wearing size 40 inch waist pants.  My goal for the end of the summer was to trim down to size 38.  I have a good shot.  I could wear them now, but the muffin top sticking out bothers me.  I have 6 more weeks to get rid of the muffin top, and I feel like I am on track.

Still doing my 4 servings of veggies and fruit a day.

Still walking at least 5 miles a day.  As you can see from the photo, i walk to the store just about every day.

But, it is the dog days.  People who started dieting are beginning to slow down.  the weight comes off easy at the beginning, and harder a month later.  Once you were losing 3-5 pounds a week, now, lucky to move the scale a half a pound a week.

  Reminds me of a "trick" that I learned from my old Weight Watcher's days... One night, there was a man there who had lost 20 pounds the first month and then had his first gain of a single pound.  It was a very emotional meeting.  He did everything right.  Stuck to the proper amount of food, worked out a few days that week, but still a small gain.  It could have been many reasons, but it still hurt him.  He started talking, actually about 5 minutes into his talk, he started crying and was ready to give up.  Saying he would be fat the rest of his life and that he would be dead early and his family and friends would be better off.

Our leader, god bless her, stopped the meeting, and took us next door to the grocery store.  We all grabbed whatever weight we had lost in potatoes and walked the aisles.  At the time, I had lost 25 pounds (it all came back, but that is another post).  So, I carried 2 ten pound bags and a 5 pound bag up and down each aisle.  I was winded, I felt the difference.

The fellow who got emotional was re-motivated to continue.  He went on to drop 50 pounds.  We have lost touch, but I can picture him at the grocery store, maybe even today, walking the aisles occasionally with 50 pounds of potatoes... Just to remind himself of where he has been.

I don't have a scale here on the island, and that is fine.  But I know I lost at least 10 pounds this year (better than my usual 3 pound gain).  Everyday when I come back with my days groceries, a little more tired from carrying the extra weight, I am reminded.  I hope, never again to have those 10 pounds back.


  1. Oh Dave I love that Weight Watchers story. I've definitely gained back some of the weight I lost a few years ago (personally, I think it's from not being able to run...but I'm sure all my baking doesn't help) and have definitely been down about it but this story has really uplifted me. I know how hard it is for me to carry about seriously heavy grocery bags...and it's crazy to think I used to do that every day!

    I love that you put the roasted pepper pesto on pizza...and that first picture is amazing!

  2. I am crazy about roasted red peppers and I am constantly roasting more. We also grow our own peppers and are waiting for our first batch to turn red. Love the pesto recipe and will definitely try it.
    Please stop by my blog ( and enter my $70 giveaway. Deadline Sun., 7/25, midnight. Open to all.

  3. Your pizza looks wonderful! I think I will make it tonight for our weekly pizza night. I am catching up on your blog. We've been busy with family. Great job on the weight loss too.