Saturday, August 01, 2009

Grilled pizza! (yes, I said grilled)

We made this delicious grilled pizza a few weeks ago. The recipe is another one from Men's Health magazine. Truly, it's just as good prepared in the oven, but just a little more interesting made on the grill! However, if you used woodchips of some kind in the grill, I'm sure that would really enhance the flavor.

Step 1: Develop your dough

6 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
3 c. warm water
4 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast (about two small packets)
1/4 c. salt (The dough was quite salty. I think half this amount of salt would be adequate.)

1. Let the yeast dissolve in warm water for about 5 minutes.

2. Combine the flour and salt and dump the mixture onto a falt surface. Make a depression in the middle, pour the yeast and water into it, and combine the dry and wet ingredients by hand until the dough starts to come together (I did this part in the bowl.). Keep working the dough with the palms of your hands for 7 to 8 minutes, and then let it rest at room temperature for about 2 hours, or until it doubles in size. Now punch it down, squeezing out all the air bubbles. Cut the dough into four equal pieces and shape them into balls. Place them in the fridge for another 2 hours.

3. For each pizza, dust your table and the top of a dough ball with flour. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes. Use the tips of your fingers to stretch it outward to a 10-inch circle, with the edges thicker than the center. Leftover dough (kept in ball form) will keep in the fridge for 3 days.

Step 2: Whip up the sauce

1 can (28 oz.) peeled San Marzano tomatoes, like Cento

Wash your hands and dump the entire contents of the can into a bowl. Squeeze each tomato until the sauce is smooth but not soupy. Chunks are okay.

This was so much fun!!! You may try not to squirt tomato juice all over your kitchen, but it will happen anyway. And when it does, as it did when I made it, just laugh because what's more fun than squeezing tomatoes apart with your bare hands? :)

Step 3: Assemble your toppings

Anything you want! Use your imagination. Here are some ideas: parmesan, romano, mozzarella (try fresh! mmm), ricotta, fresh herbs like basil and rosemary, or dried oregano, garlic, prosciutto, sausage, pepperoni, broccoli, onions, spinach, mushrooms, olives, peppers.

We chose fresh mozzarella, shredded parmesan, fresh basil, garlic, pepperoni, bacon, and jalapeno peppers. It was delicious and with a good amount of spice!

Note: Cut vegetables thin to speed cooking.

Experiment with toppings and combinations of toppings. Don't go overboard though. Choose about four or five toppings, maximum, to really taste their unique flavors.

Step 4: Crank the grill

Charcoal or gas/electric grill, lighter/lighter fluid, woodchips if you choose.

1. Heat the grill very hot (to about 500 degrees). Then lower to medium or medium low. The grates will be hot enough to cook your crust.

2. Transfer the crust onto the grill using a well-floured cutting board or cookie tray. Grill the crust uncovered for 20 seconds, or until the dough is slightly charred and rigid (this took us several minutes). Rotate it 90 degrees and cook for another 20 seconds. Now flip the crust; cook it for another 30 seconds. Remove it from the grill

3. With the cross-hatched side up, top your pizza. Return it to the heat and cover the grill. Cook the pie for 2 to 5 minutes, or until the cheese melts, the ingredients cook through, and the bottom is well done.

4. Remove the pizza and finish it with a drizzle of olive oil and a generous shake of parmesan or pecorino romano. Cut into quarters and serve. Enjoy!

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