By Jen Wead
A look at Jen Wead
Jen Wead is a Florida native who has been catering
events of all sizes for over 20 years. In addition to mothering
and writing this column, Jen teaches healthy cooking
classes for Humana Community Partners and has
recently started a new endeavor in the insurance industry.
Jen loves building relationships through food and
throughout her community.
To reach Jen, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s always grilling season in Florida, girls
Men are notoriously known to be the grill masters in our culture.
Think of it; most grill sets and items used for outdoor cooking
are marketed to the men, right? Ladies, we are truly missing out
if we are not getting out there and enjoying this beautiful Florida
grilling are less pots and pans, less mess in the kitchen, the opportunity
to get away from the screens and bring your family and pets
you just can’t recreate in the kitchen.
If you are already out there grilling, then good for you! You are
not alone. Just google the words “girls who grill” and you will get
website after website catering to the female consumer. My favorite
site is GirlsattheGrill.com, founded by Executive Chef Elizabeth
Karmel. She is famous for her grill skills. Her website is designed
to assess what level you are and teaches you everything from where
to buy your grill to how to light the coals. There is even “Testing
Your Grill Skill, a quick quiz that will determine if you are a Sparky,
Smokin’, or Red Hot!” Once you have taken the quiz and determined
your skill level, you can proceed through the site for Grilling
101, which teaches all the ins and outs of outdoor cooking. Her site
is full of great recipes including the one we have listed below.
Many people debate over which is better, gas vs charcoal. There
aren’t any studies that prove that either are healthier to consume,
however gas burns cleaner. Charcoal emits more carbon monoxide,
particulate matter and soot into the atmosphere, contributing to increased
pollution and higher concentrations of ground level ozone.
you are going with charcoal, go with additive free lump coal, which
is basically just charred wood. Traditional charcoal usually has
stay away from it. It can release volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
into the air. It leaves an unpleasant residue on food, which not only
Grilling is for more than barbeque, so get yourself a good cookbook
or log on to one of the many websites that teach you how to
keeping them healthy. We would love to see what you come up
with so snap a picture and post it to one of our social media pages
your food porn to our page.
Happy grilling, Girls.
Grilled Pizza with Sweet Potatoes, Pancetta and Gruyere
By Elizabeth Karmel elizabethkarmel.com
Serving Size - 2–4 people
2 medium sweet potatoes, unpeeled, sliced into 1/8-inch thick
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
4 ounces thickly sliced pancetta, diced (about ½ cup cooked)
1/4 cup uncooked grits or polenta for rolling dough
1 4-inch ball of prepared whole wheat dough,
at room temperature
1/2 cup roasted homemade or store-bought garlic paste
(see below for homemade)
1 1/2 cup grated Gruyere cheese, about 8 ounces
1/4 cup assorted oil-cured olives, pitted
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves only (or 2 teaspoons
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Best quality olive oil
Grilling method: Combo/medium heat - Gas grill: preheat to
For potatoes, brush with 2 tablespoons olive oil and salt. Grill
over indirect heat for about 20 minutes, or until well marked and
sheet pan at 350°F, turning once. Reserve for topping. Alternatively,
you can bake the sweet potatoes until crisp tender and let cool. Slice
into 1/8 rounds and reserve for topping.
For pancetta, fry in pan until crisp. Reserve for topping.
Sprinkle work surface with grits or polenta. Place dough directly
in the middle of the work surface. Gently roll or stretch out dough
into a 12-inch rectangle or circle, about 1/4-inch thick. Brush both
sides generously with olive oil and set aside.
When ready to grill - Gas grill: reduce heat to medium -
-Charcoal grill: move all of the gray-ashed briquettes to one side
Pick up the dough by the two corners closest to you. In one
44 • MAY/JUNE 2019 813.682.9364