Monday, May 31, 2010

Grilled Pizza

The pizza blogging continues. The girl can't help it.

Perhaps, like myself, you never would have thought to put a pizza on your grill. I admit to initial skepticism myself. Despite several delicious campfire flatbreads, somehow I never made the connection. You can cook dough over a fire? Surely the ancients used a pizza stone.

In any case, thanks to a quickly googled pretty awesome pizza blogand a boyfriend who watches Top Chef (go Tony!), I recently found myself eating probably the best pizza I've ever made. Here's the basic how-to:

1) Make your favorite pizza dough. For this particular attempt, I used sourdough starter and let it rise with the addition of some vaguely Italian dried herbs. I'm not usually a dried herb user, but letting them "marinate" in the dough for a while brought more flavor out that you might think.

2) Figure out what's going on your pizza, and prepare it. (This is a highly sensitive recipe which requires you follow it to the letter.) We used garlic, chopped as finely as I could, raw tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and zucchini.

3) When the coals were almost-but-not-quite-ready, we tossed the zucchini slices on, brushing them with some olive oil to keep them from sticking/drying out. Once these were done, both the grill and the top of the pizza were brushed with out as well.

4) Then your pizza dough goes on the grill! I had mine already stretched out on a floured board and kind of flipped it off. Good or bad, it had dried out a bit and didn't flop around and get stuck to itself. After only a few minutes, I had a lovely, bubbly crust ready to flip. I didn't take a picture at this point, but it turned pretty nicely. I didn't bother oiling the other side, but it wasn't a problem. Raw garlic went on, then cheese, tomatoes and zucchini, plus a scattering of fresh oregano leaves. By the time the cheese had melted, the garlic had cooked itself and both sides of my crust were deliciously finished.

WHAT? That's awesome. And it tasted awesome. There was a lovely play between the crunch of the outer layer and the someone doughier insides. The only failing was that I made my dough a bit too large for the heat area of the coals and it cooked slightly unevenly; I would have liked to blacken the edges a bit, but I probably would have had to really burn the center to do so. But who's complaining? Time spent outside with a grill and a glass of whiskey and ginger is time well spent, especially if it results in snacks.

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