This is the second time I have endeavored to grill pizza. The first time (blog #1) was on our old grill. It was sort of a “passage rite,” if you will, for that old grill. It needed one last “hoorah” before we put it into the back alley “bulk pick-up.” (This bulk-pick up in the alley business is a nuance of Florida and I must chat about it sometime because it really does attract some weirdos, who probably own an ebay side biz solely off their bulk pick-up finds, anyway, I digress…)
So, this time, I really had full ownership of the grilled pizza process as we had our neighbor Chuck over and, unlike our last set of guest for the grilled pizza process, he wasn’t into “backseat grilling” as I like to call people who feel the need to take over the kitchen/grill and offer their opinion on everything as they (said audience/invited guests) seem to be an expert on everything and want to correct or offer advice on how to do it better every step of the way.
Perphaps this might not have been a good thing as, when I went to grill, evidently I was not familiar with the low or high positions of the knobs. Now, I had only used medium the time before (we just got it a few weeks ago) and I guess I got confused. You see, when Scott came out to see if I needed help, I evidently was completely turned around about the knob configuration on the grill. On our last grill, you had to turn the knobs in the opposite direction for high heat, and on this one, well, it was different. So, I thought the little moons that were black all the way meant the grill was on low, but instead, they were on full blast.
Needless to say the pizza turned out a little chared. Or at the least the first one did because it took the duration of the first pizza to figure out that I was a complete idiot and got my knob configuration mis-configured. Hence, there came the blonde jokes.
But, to tell you the truth, even though the first pizza was a little cruchy, the second one turned out fabulously and I was still a hero at the end.
Here’s the key to making pizza on the grill: fresh dough, fresh veggies, fresh cheese and beer!!! Pizza on the grill is great because people can personalize their own pizzas and even the most basic pizza is still really gourmet once you take it off the grill! Have people over and do this and they will think you are a rock-star!!
Below is the dough recipe I used and it made enough for two medium sized thin crust pizzas on the grill:
Pizza Dough Recipe: as seen in Southern Living (it is by Oprah’s former personal chef)
1) cup warm water
1/4 cup olive oil
1 envelope dry active yeast (1/4 oz)
2 Tsp honey
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp kosher salt
Vegetable cooking spray.
Additional ingredients for the pizza
~Sauce (Scott’s special sauce recipe will be available in my next blog)
~fresh ingredients- tomatoes, basil, and whatever else you might like
~Fresh, high moisture Mozzarella
Start on the dough:
Process the first 4 ingredients in a food processor if you have one. Then add flour and salt l pulse 6-8 times until the dough forms a ball and leaves the side of the bowl. You can add more water if necessary. * If you don’t have a food processor, do this by hand, it will just take longer….
Place the dough in a large bowl coated with coking spray, cover and chill 2 hours..
Roll the dough onto a lightly floured surface. This recipe will make aprroxi 6 equal portions. I made 2 large pizzas for the grill but you can make smaller personal sizes.
Onto the grill:
Have the grill preheated onto medium. Before lighting the grill, spray with cooking spray so the dough is not inclined to stick.
~Grill the first side until you see grill marks and the dough appears to be done/browned. Then flip over until the next side is the same
~Turn the grill to low-medium low and add sauce, cheese and toppings. Grill with the cover closed until the cheese is melted and voila!!
Notes: Margherita Pizza
~Fresh mozzarella slice in big pieces from the grocery deli section makes a huge difference
~Other toppings such as fresh sliced tomato, basil and other herbs are a great addition (I used heirloom tomatoes and they are SO tasty)
~Cook italian Sausage on the grill while grilling the dough and then slice it and add to the pizza at the last minute.
~Pizzas are a great way to use up leftover produce such as squash and zuchini
** SCOTT’S SAUCE RECIPE**
I had to offer up my first born child to get this recipe but Scott finally said okay, you can have it. It’s really not at all that difficult, it’s not like the tomatoes were smuggled over from Italy or something. Anyway, this is a great basic marinara that goes well with Pasta, pizza or fried calamari alike. I like to make a lot of it at a time and freeze it so I always have sauce…
~ 1 can tomato paste (12 oz) + 1 can water
~1 can tomato SAUCE (15 1/2 oz) + 1 can water
~1 can porgresso Italian Style peeled tomatoes – grind in food processor or hand blender
~3 tbs minced parsley
~1 clove garlic ~ browned in EVO
~1 tbs black pepper
~1 tbs basil
~2 tbs EVO
*bring to a slow boil
*simmer on low for 30-45 minutes
Check out Mark Bittmen’s blog, Bitten, for another take on grilled pizza.