My husband, with his on-again off-again relationship with social media recommended that I post pictures of our dinner. Love it.
You may ask, "What meal deserves this type of praise?" Two words. Grilled pizza.
Yes, grilled pizza. When I owned a charcoal grill, I'm not sure that this would have worked. Every time I lit the charcoal grill, it was HOT. No option of medium or low unless I let the charcoal nearly burn itself out - and then it was uneven with hot spots and cold spots. Now don't get me wrong, I still LOVE charcoal, but my gas grill has introduced me to a whole new world - temperature adjustment! When we eventually have a yard again, I'm not sure if I'll be able to give up the convenience of a gas grill - but I'll also be excited to have the smoky taste of charcoal again. Might we end up being a two grill family? I'm thinking yes. Or maybe we'll just get one of those fancy grills where half is charcoal and half is gas.
Enough about grilling, on to the pizza.
Since our first grilling, I've made grilled pizza twice. In about 10 days. If you know me and how infrequently I repeat recipes, this is a statement in itself.
Pizza dough: I've found that our local Sprouts sells 1 lb packages of frozen pizza dough. It can be thawed overnight in the fridge or 2 hours on the counter. Each ball of dough makes 2 pizzas. If your store doesn't sell dough, check with your local pizzeria - some are willing to sell you a ball for about 2 bucks. Or you can make your own...
Note: If you're making more than one type of pizza, complete the PREP for all types before any cooking commences.
Caramelized pears, caramelized onions, Gorgonzola, and balsamic reduction.
CARAMELIZED PEAR, ETC. PIZZA, THE BASICS:
Preheat your grill to medium-low. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees F.
Slice an onion. Cook over low-med/low heat with EVOO and pepper. Stir occasionally. Turn heat off once onions are a little bit golden-brown and are soft and sweet. Feel free to sample liberally throughout the cooking. There will be too many onions, but you won't be sad you made extra.
Meanwhile, cut a pear into bite-size pieces (skin-on). Toss with olive oil and black pepper. Saute over medium heat until the pears are browned slightly and tender (but not mushy).
Pour about 6Tb of balsamic vinegar into a saucepan. (Don't turn on the heat yet.)
Crumble 2-3 oz of Gorgonzola.
Grate some mozzarella (~1/2 cup).
COOKING, PHASE 1:
On a lightly flowered surface, start forming 1/2 lb of pizza dough into a circle. Once the dough is flattened, pick it up and use gravity to help stretch it into a bigger circle (~9" - the pizza will be bigger later). Brush the dough generously with EVOO on both sides. About this time, have your husband (or someone else) scrub the grill grates. After oiling the dough, when you pick it up it will stretch quite a bit more (leading to my interesting shaped pizzas). Bring the dough out to the grill and set it on the grate (the dough should have stretched a bunch more while you were carefully bringing it outside). Grill for about 5 minutes on the first side (until the side facing the grill is firm and has some pretty grill marks). Remove the dough from the grill and flip it grill marks side up on a baking sheet.
Sprinkle a thin layer of mozzarella on the dough (this will help glue the toppings on). Top the pizza with the caramelized onions, caramelized pears, and Gorgonzola crumbles. Turn the burner under the balsamic vinegar to the absolute lowest setting (stir periodically while the pizza is in PHASE 2).
COOKING, PHASE 2:
Place the pizza on the grill. Grill about 5 minutes, until the bottom is firm and grill marks have been made. Remove the pizza to the baking sheet. Drizzle with balsamic reduction. Throw in the oven until the 2nd pizza is done.
Margarita pizza - tomatoes, mozzerella, and basil.
MARGARITA PIZZA, THE BASICS:
Open a can of low sodium tomato sauce.
Grate a good amount of mozzarella (1 heaping cup).
Cut about 6 cherry-tomato sized fresh mozzarella (ciliegine, they come in the milky-looking water) in half and drain between paper towels.
Cut one ripe tomato in about 6 slices.
Rinse, dry, and cut up about 6 basil leaves.
Commence COOKING, PHASE 1 (see above).
Spoon about half the can of tomato sauce over the dough and spread evenly (save the other half in Tupperware for another night - you'll want more pizza soon!). Top generously with shredded mozzarella. Sprinkle with garlic powder (not garlic salt). Arrange the tomatoes and fresh mozzarella on top of the pizza.
Complete COOKING, PHASE 2 (see above - one difference: top with basil post-grilling (not balsamic)).
Slice both pizzas (6 slices each), and ENJOY!!
MARGARITA PIZZA, THE BASICS:Same as NIGHT ONE, but instead of an additional tomato, add about 1-2 oz of pecorino ramono cheese. This pizza had a cheese blend that rivaled the best pizza we've ever eaten. (Modest, right?)
Buffalo chicken, caramelized onions, Gorgonzola
BUFFALO CHICKEN PIZZA, THE BASICS:
PREP:Caramelize onions (see NIGHT ONE). You'll have leftovers if you use a whole onion. They make any other leftovers you have taste 200% better.
Dice about 4 ounces of cooked chicken and coat in Frank's Red Hot (to taste).
Find the other half can of tomato sauce from NIGHT ONE.
Grate some mozzarella (~3/4 cup).
Crumble about 2-3 ounces of Gorgonzola
Pre-grill the first side of the dough.
Spoon the can of tomato sauce over the dough and spread evenly. Top with shredded mozzarella. Decorate the pizza with the chicken, onions, and Gorgonzola.
I hope you love grilled pizza as much as we have! And if you don't have a gas grill, or if putting stretchy raw dough on a non-solid surface scares you, come visit and I'll make you some!
P.S. If you already have a "pizza problem" like Joe and I do (eating pizza at least once per week), you may not want to try this - it'll make your problem worse.
P.P.S Has anyone grilled pizza on a charcoal grill? Is it possible?
P.P.P.S. Joe insists the first pizza is upside down. I don't agree...