Sunday, July 28, 2013

Grilled Pizza...The Love Of My Life

I promised you more grilled stuff so here is something that not many people do with a grill, but it is probably one of my favorite grilled foods.  GRILLED PIZZA!

Me and two of my friends (Rebecca & Ingrid) are master grillers (of pizza).  We've done this several times at Rebecca's house on her charcoal grill and have all agreed it is some of the best pizza we have ever had.  So on, like, day 2 of having our grill, we decided to grill pizza (it was more like I forced the idea on some of our friends and Denny and promised it would be the best pizza of their lives).  In the end, it all turned out pretty good, and was definitely edible.  But, our small gas grill did not perform the same way as Rebecca's larger charcoal grill.  The olive oil from the first pizza, dripped into the flames below and shot a burst of flames through the center of the pizza, which caught the pizza on fire and burned a hole in the center :)  We managed to save the rest of the pizza though.

The other pizzas turned out better.  I did not roll the dough out as thin, we turned the heat on the grill down a little lower, and had one person rotate the pizza dough often so that it didn't burn.  In the end, dinner was really enjoyable and it's definitely something I want to do on a regular basis.

Anyway, this is how you grill a pizza.  Many people are skeptical that it even works because the dough is so pliable.  Instinct tells you that the dough will slip through the grate, but you have to have faith.

What you will need:
A ball of pizza dough (You can get fancy and make your own, but I buy the pre-made stuff that the Whole Foods kitchen makes.  They also have sauce and shredded mozzarella right there too.  I think theirs tastes the best)
Sauce and mozzarrella
Toppings of your choice (I like to have another good cheese on hand, like feta or goat cheese, as well as veggies and meat)
Olive oil
Plenty of grill spatulas and friends to help with flipping :)

Get ready to grill:
Preheat the grill to a medium heat.  Have olive oil, pastry brush, and all toppings handy near the grill.
Meat toppings should be pre-cooked, and maybe even the harder veggies too.  You will just be cooking the pizza until the cheese melts, so there isn't much time to cook the veggies.

Clean and dry a portion of your countertop.  Coat the counter with a generous helping of flour and divide the ball of dough into two.  Coat the dough with flour and roll flat with a rolling pin.
With a pastry brush, coat one side of the rolled dough with olive oil.

When the grill is hot, carefully place the flattened dough onto the grill, olive oil side face down.  (This step will provide the most entertainment, but you will get the hang of it)
The dough will cook and harden fairly quickly, so once you have placed it on the grill, immediately brush the top side with olive oil as well.  Once the dough starts to bubble and hold its form, carefully flip the dough to cook the other side.

Immediately start putting sauce, cheese, and all toppings on the pizza and close the lid.
It should only take a few minutes for the rest of the dough to cook and the cheese to melt.  Once the cheese is melted and the toppings are heated through, the pizza is done.
Slide the pizza off the grill and onto a cutting board.
Slice and serve!

What I love most about this recipe is that it is totally up to your imagination.  There is no right or wrong way to make a pizza - the possibilities are limitless!  Some unusual ideas for toppings are:  roasted garlic, asparagus, fresh herbs, prosciutto or other cured meat, chicken sausage, etc.

I also like this blog post for grilled pizza.

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