Crown Grocery and Pizza

Ok, so I have to admit. I’ve been slacking on my blogging. A lot. I order from Skip The Dishes once a week, but I never blog. This busy Mom has no time. Except when the pizza is exceptional. Like the butter chicken pizza at Crown Grocery and Pizza.

I must have biked past this place many times; I know I’ve passed it over for pizza many more because I thought it was another Canadian Pizza Unlimited type joint. But hey, free delivery enticed me to look at the menu and the reviews. I’m sure glad I did. It fits my criteria. Not a chain, most likely family run, and a hole in the wall.

Back to the pizza. I’ve tried many a butter chicken pizza. This one has a nice balance of flavours. The smooth taste of cream peppered with the right amount of spice. I could eat the whole thing. I also ordered a vegetarian with extra chicken. Mostly because most works pizzas don’t have enough veg for me. They have nice deal for multiple pizzas. I got two 12″ pizzas for $25.99. The pizza wasn’t grease and it wasn’t too thin or too thick. I also wanted to try their fried chicken, but they called me and said they were out for the day. They offered to substitute samosas. The were a little over fried but the flavour was still there. I would order them again. They also have tandoori chicken pizza. I am coming back. Maybe next week.

Butter Chicken Pizza
Butter Chicken Pizza

Crown Grocery & Pizza Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tandoori Chicken Pizza

I’ve always wanted to try making pizza on the grill. I just needed an excuse to do it.  Today is the day, a beautiful bluebird 27C day and a preference not to turn on the oven.

I defrosted the leftovers from my last pizza party – one piece of dough, caramelized onions and tandoori chicken. Prep the chicken, onions, and mayo before grilling.

Tandoori Chicken

This recipe is adapted from the book Simply More Indian by Tahera Rawji. It is actually part of the butter chicken recipe, but I omitted the sauce ingredients and adapted the instructions.

2 lb boneless chicken pieces
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp garlic paste
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp tumeric
1 tbs tandoori powder
3/4 tsp salt
2 tbs ghee or oil
1/4 C crispy fried onions (buy at an Indian grocer)
1 C warm water

Cut the chicken into 1 inch cubes. Combine the ginger and garlic pastes, chili powder, tumeric, tandoori powder and salt. Toss this mixture with the chicken in a plastic bag and let sit for 30 minutes in the fridge.

In a large, deep, saucepan (dutch oven works well), melt the ghee over medium high heat. Add the crispy fried onions and the chicken. Saute the chicken until browned, about 5-8 minutes. Add the warm water and simmer for 15 minutes, until the chicken is tender. Let the chicken cool, and pour into a strainer to remove any excess liquid. This will make more than enough for one pizza. I suggest freezing the remainder.

Caramelized Onions

I love caramelized onions and usually double or triple the recipe to save for other uses.

Slice a large yellow onion into 1/2 inch rings. In a heavy bottomed pan, (Dutch oven is great), heat 1/4C oil suitable for high heat such as ghee or grapeseed oil.  Saute the onions on medium until they turn golden brown. This may take at least 20 minutes. Take off heat and cool.

Mango Chutney

I cheated and used some store bough Patak’s chutney. I used about 1/2 the 250 ml jar.

Curry Mayo

2 tbs plain yogurt
1 tbs mayonnaise
1 tsp curry powder, to taste

Mix all three ingredients together. The colour should be a slight tinge of yellow. Add more curry powder to taste.

Pizza Dough

Use whichever pizza dough recipe suits your fancy. I froze my dough before proofing, so I let it sit on the counter in a large zipper bag for an hour.

I stretched it out, and it was round when it hit the cookie sheet. I basted olive oil on the top and tried to pick it up and put it on the grill. Unfortunately, it stretched and turned into sort of an oval. The temp was less than 500F but I had to reduce the cooking time as it was already starting to brown. The olive oil and the grill marks make for a satisfyingly crisp crust. Next time I will just do flatbreads using the pizza crust. So good! Or maybe naan…

Back to the recipe. After the first flip, I slathered on the chutney, followed by the chicken, and then the caramelized onions. Do not put on the mayo!

I followed the instructions from The Kitchn for grilling.

After taking it off the grill and cutting for serving, top off with the curry mayo to your own taste. Delicious!

Tandoori chicken pizza on the grill
Tandoori chicken pizza on the grill
Served with curry mayo
Served with curry mayo





Avatara Pizza

Looking for some pizza to go with our boardgames, we decided to try Avatara. Their selections are quite unique. Pick your choice of pizza and optionally add meat. Their crust is also gluten free.  I found the flavors quite satisfying. The crust was good, for a gluten free crust. They also have dairy/lactose free/vegan/vegetarian options. Their pizza boxes were interesting too.

L-R clockwise: Guru with chicken, Italian Stallion with sausage and Che with pepperoni
L-R clockwise: Guru with chicken, Italian Stallion with sausage and Che with pepperoni
Italian Stallion with sausage, close up
Italian Stallion with sausage

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Fig Pizza

I had some chard to use up. Also some figs that I had frozen and were saving for pizza. Perfect. I trolled the web for pizza, figs and chard. A little stinky cheese, and we are all set.

Balsamic chard, fig and gorgonzola pizza

Balsamic Chard:
1 large bunch chard
1 tbs     olive oil
6     cloves garlic, minced
2 tbs    balsamic vinegar
A pinch of salt and lots of pepper

Roll the whole bunch of chard together tightly (leave the stems on – they’re delicious!) and slice into 1/2-inch ribbons. Heat olive oil on medium flame and fry the garlic until fragrant, then add the chard. Cook until completely wilted and dark green, then toss with balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.

1 C    Gorgonzola or blue cheese, crumbled
12 -15    Fresh figs, sliced
2 tbs     olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
Freshly made or prepared pizza crust, enough for 2 crusts

Preheat oven to 500F. Brush crust with olive oil. Grind black pepper over crust. Layer cheese, chard and figs. Bake until cheese melts and crust starts to brown.

Balsamic chard recipe courtesy of

Fig, balsamic chard and blue cheese pizza
Fig, balsamic chard and blue cheese pizza

Double Zero Pizza

Friday night, the place was very busy and loud. The last time I was in this spot, it was the Elephant and Castle pub. Wow, that was a long time ago. We were happy to get a reservation half hour after we called; other places we tried, we were not so lucky.

We settled in to watch the Pens and Sens playing while waiting for our order. We started with the arancini. The little fried rissoto balls were hot out of the fryer. The creamy rice and crispy exterior paired well with reggiano and peppery rocket.

The three of us shared the sausage and margherita pizzas. The crust was super thin on the bottom, with puffy crispy edges. The toppings were thin and flavorful, as you might expect from a thin crust pizza. I don’t normally take satisfaction in eating pizza crust, but I do have to admit that I enjoyed this one.

Our server was friendly and attentive. The only knock on this place is the volume. Not recommended for a first date.

Arancini deep fried breaded risotto balls, herb and garlic aioli, reggiano cheese
deep fried breaded risotto balls, herb and garlic aioli, reggiano cheese
Sausage Pizza housemade italian sausage, green onion, artichoke Margherita fiore di latte, basil, tomato sauce
Sausage Pizza
housemade italian sausage, green onion, artichoke
fiore di latte, basil, tomato sauce

Double Zero Pizza on Urbanspoon

Pizza Buns and Peanut Butter Cream Pie

I’m going on a ski trip tomorrow, so I was thinking about going to the Chinese bakery to pick up some bao. Scratch that. Let’s have a Chinese Italian fusion bao. Pizza buns.  Gigantic ones. Well, I had some problems with portioning the dough so one came out a little small. Great for sampling. Oh I ran out of tomato paste and improvised a second batch with ketchup instead.

Pizza buns with sausage, red onion, green pepper, parmesan and romano cheese.
Pizza buns with sausage, red onion, green pepper, parmesan and romano cheese.

I still have that leftover pie crust from last week.  I got bored of coconut cream so I tried making a peanut butter cream pie.  I substituted the regular crust for the peanut butter graham cracker crust.  Still need to work on my crust technique, but this one fell apart less than the previous one.  I used all natural peanut butter, nothing but peanuts.  It gives a less sweet taste to the filling which I like. I love my new Zwilling saucepan. It holds the heat perfectly for the chocolate ganache. Dessert anyone?

Another successful creation courtesy of Wanda’s Pie in the Sky. That has to be my favorite pie book.

Peanut butter cream pie. Peanut butter cream cheese filling topped with chocolate ganache and honey roasted peanuts.
Peanut butter cream pie. Peanut butter cream cheese filling topped with chocolate ganache and honey roasted peanuts.
Bring on the peanut butter!
Bring on the peanut butter!


Pizza crust experiment

Last night I decided to make pizza for my NYE party.  I made two batches, enough for six pies. I usually let the dough proof in the oven set to 110F with a small bowl of water.  This time, I tried something different.

Batch #1

I put with a warm dish of water, wrapped securely in saran wrap and left it on the counter.  The temperature of the water when I added it to the yeast was about 130F, a little high. I added about 1/4 C more flour than what the recipe called for as it was sticking a little. When it finished proofing an hour later, the dough was at least double the size. I didn’t put too much flower on to prevent sticking, but it didn’t stick at all when I removed it from the wrap. Usually it sticks like crazy. The dough was very pliable and stretchy, no problem with getting a thin crust.

Batch #2

I did not use a dish of warm water, just securely wrapped it and left it on the counter. The temperature of the water when I added it to the yeast was definitely more than room temp but less then 100F as it was still warm.  I also added half cup more flour as the previous batch was a little wet. When it finished proofing an hour later, the dough increased in size, but not double.  It seemed a little dried out. It was hard to handle and I couldn’t get it as thin as the last batch.

Lesson learned. Proof with some warm water under saran wrap. Have the temp of the water for the yeast a little higher then recommended as it goes immediately into the mixer. No sitting for 10 minutes like my other bread recipe. Oh, and watch how much additional flour is added.

Pizza Margherita
Pizza Margherita
pizza blowing
Blowing underneath the crust to prevent sticking to the peel

A shout out to my two “Sous” chef sisters who helped me last night.

Pizza Pide

Sometimes the best food can be found in a dive.  Pizza Pide (Peh-day) is a nondescript eatery on the corner of Gerrard and Pape. You could easily walk by it if not for the hordes that wait on the sidewalk for the streetcar.  If you never had Turkish pizza, you should give it a try. Number 18 is the best as it has an assortment of toppings. Bring a hearty appetite as one pide can serve a couple small appetites for lunch.

Onto the pide. This is no ordinary pizza. It is shaped like a canoe. It is thin crust, but the edges are folded over, brushed with some kind of oil, and baked to a golden brown. There is an assortment of beef pide as well as the chicken with mozzarella, spinach and feta and an all cheese. I suspect the meat is Halal, as it was a Muslim friend who introduced my sister to it.

It comes with some sides: a lemon for squeezing onto the pide, raw onion, tomato, hot peppers and parsley. I found the parsley good for cleansing the palate of pide and onion after the meal.

Assorted pizza on the left, and chicken and mozzarella on the right

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