17 July 2011

Grilled Pizza, 2 Ways

Over the fourth of July weekend, Jonathan and I went to visit his family in Asheville.  It was an awesome weekend, I love visiting Asheville!  One of the evenings we were there, Jonathan and I made grilled pizzas for everyone.  I think grilled pizza is one of the most fun dinners that I know how to cook.  Once all the ingredients are assembled, its really quick to make.  The crust gets nice and crispy, almost like a flatbread.  And the grill adds a phenomenal smoky flavor to the pie.  I also like that it is a really freeform dish, it looks super rustic.

I picked up a growler of Fullsteam Summer Basil Farmhouse Ale to go with the pizza.  Its a really good summery beer with just a hint of basil flavor.  The basil gives it a good little zing.  Ever since I tasted this beer last year, I've been wanting to drink it with grilled pizza.

And since Fullsteam was less than 2 miles off the highway along my drive, I figured this would be a great time to try out the combination.

Jonathan and I decided to make 2 different types of pizza - primarily based on the veggies I had on hand from my CSA.  The first was a traditional margarita pizza, with basil, tomatoes, and fresh mozzarella cheese.  The second was a tex-mex pizza, with black beans, corn, tomatoes, onion, salsa, green pepper, hot peppers, cheddar cheese, and monterey jack cheese.

I thought the tex-mex flavors went better with the charred, smoky flavor from the grill.  But the margarita pizza was very good as well.  The important thing is to have everything ready before you put the dough on the grill, so as soon as you flip the crust you can quickly top the pizza.  This is key because you want the cheese to melt by the time the second side of the crust is cooked.

Go make a grilled pizza.  It is awesome!  It will seriously change the way you look at pizza!

How to make grilled pizza:
1.  Buy or make pizza dough.  I purchased mine from Asheville Pizza and Brewing Company, because I like their dough, and it was a thousand times easier than making my own.  But if you have a pizza dough recipe you like, by all means, make your own.
2.  Divide the dough into small balls, and roll or stretch the dough until you have a nice thin crust.
3.  Gather your toppings - chop, slice, measure any of your ingredients that need it, and put them in an area you'll be able to access easily from your grill.  I put mine in small bowls and lined them up on the deck where I was grilling.
4.  Heat your grill up.  You'll want it nice and hot for this.
5.  Spray your grill with non-stick cooking spray or brush with oil, and put a piece of dough onto the hot grill.  Close the lid (it'll be like an oven) and cook until the bottom is charred nicely.
6.  Flip the dough onto a cookie sheet or cutting board, and add your toppings.
7.  Slide the topped dough back onto the grill, close the lid, and cook until the bottom of the crust is cooked and the cheese starts to melt.
8.  Place the pizza in a warm oven to stay warm, and repeat with the rest of your crusts.

For a margarita pizza:  Top the dough with sliced fresh mozzarella, sliced tomatoes, and fresh basil.  You can add a drizzle of olive oil if you like.

For a tex-mex pizza:  Use salsa as the pizza sauce.  Add corn, black beans, chopped green peppers, chopped onions, chopped tomatoes, and cheddar and jack cheeses.  Like I said before, I thought this went exceptionally well with the flavor the grill added to the crust.

1 comment:

  1. These are a good amount of work to get everything prepared, but are very good once you get them made. Well worth the effort.