Thursday, July 1, 2010

Grilled Pizza

This has become one of our favorite meals and we've slowly perfected it to where we can at least get a square pizza now. This takes a little more skill then just popping it in the oven but the grilled taste is so worth it. I've heard other bloggers say this before, but this is the only way I prefer homemade pizza to a restaurant. I took pictures of the steps tonight while we were cooking so that I could relay back our experience in case anyone is interested in trying this out.

I usually make veggie pizzas so while I'm stretching out the dough I get Casey to carmelize onions and peppers in a grill pan on the grill. I use a few turns of olive oil and grill whatever veggies we're using on high until they have good marks and have softened up a little bit.

Brush olive oil on the pizza before placing it on the grill. I like to add a little flavor so I make a spicy garlic oil. This is super simple. Mince 2-3 cloves of garlic and throw it in a saucepan with about 1/3 c. of extra virgin olive oil. Add a few shakes of crushed red pepper if you like it and turn the heat up to medium. Once the garlic starts sizzling, cook for about 1 minute and then remove from the heat.

Use enough dough for one pizza. I use Annie's recipe over at Annie's Eats which makes two pizzas. You can make this recipe and freeze half of the dough for later which is what we had done. If you're freezing the other half just wrap it in plastic wrap and put it in a freezer bag. Place it in the refrigerator the morning you plan to use it and it will be ready by dinner time. Divide your dough (half of Annie's recipe) into two balls. It's much easier to work with small circles on the grill.

Stretch out the dough to form a circle (use a little bit of flour to keep the dough from sticking) and brush the top with the olive oil/garlic mixture. It's definitely easier if you make your individual circles smaller but I got a little carried away with a big circle and it might be why I end up with square pizzas.

Now you'll want to grill the side of the pizza with your oil on it so that it won't stick to the grates. We keep the grill on medium high to high during this process. How you want to get the dough from the counter top to the grill is a personal choice. I've figured out that I like to make my dough on a pizza peel and carry it out to the grill and flip it over with my hands stretching the dough across the grates. You can use tongs, spatulas, etc. Whatever makes things easier. It probably won't look pretty, but that's ok!

Now brush the top with the garlic oil while it's on the grill.

This cooks really quickly (within a few minutes) so keep an eye on the bottom of your pizza. Once it starts to cook on the bottom it's easier to shift it around so that you can keep spots from burning. Once the bottom is cooked, use your tongs and place the pizza on a pizza peel or cutting board with the oil side down and the cooked side up.

Use whatever toppings make you happy and load up your pizza. I use marinara (I love Muir Glen's Cabernet Marinara), grilled veggies, and grated mozzarella.

Once your pizza is ready to go, take it back out to the grill and slide it on so that we can cook the bottom. The pizza is much easier to work with once you've grilled one side.

Grill on high for a few minutes to get the bottom crispy and then move the pizza to the other side of the grill which I put on medium low. Shut the lid for around 4-5 minutes to melt the cheese. You can start the process for the second pizza whenever you have the time. I start stretching out the second one while I'm waiting on the cheese to melt on the first one.


It sounds complicated but after you've done it once it seems much easier. The transfer of the dough to the grill is the hardest part b/c the dough is so soft but once you have that part down you're good to go. My biggest advice is to work with small circles and keep an eye on your crust! Enjoy!

**I'm also aware I haven't blogged in 3 months. I figure by now that if you people still read my blog you know I'm kind of like that friend that you see every now and then and you don't really expect to contact you every week. I'm glad we understand our relationship with each other.