Thursday, July 29, 2010

grilled pizza goodness

I don't know about you, but in the summer I absolutely hate using my oven. I try to cook as many meals as I possibly can on the grill. It's so fun to be outside grilling up some dinner while my kiddos play in the baby pool or slide on the slip and slide. I can't tell you how many outfit changes we have each day in the summer, or how often I run inside to grab something and come back out to find two totally nude boys splashing around in the pool. I have apologized to all of my neighbors and tried to keep them dressed as best I can, but kids will be kids. Heck, on some of those really hot days I wish I could be naked, too (although I think my neighbors would be a little less okay with that).
Last night I made the most wonderful pizza...on the grill. It is so yummy and easy, and because the pizzas are small personal sized, they can be custom-made. That means I get to have my veggie-loaded pizza, my husband can have his meat-covered pizza, and the kids can have cheese.  I always make my dough homemade. It is really easy to do, and can be made in the morning and left to rise all day, so when it's time for dinner, you have perfectly bubbly, airy crust. I use 3 cups of flour (you can mix wheat and white), 1 tsp of yeast, 2 tbsp of olive oil, 2 tbsp of kosher salt, and about a cup of hot water. I pop all the dry stuff in the cuisinart and slowly add the liquids while it's pulsing. Once a dough ball forms, knead it out a bit and let it rise for hours in an oiled bowl. Too easy.
For my pizza last night I used a caesar dressing for the sauce, tomatoes, basil, zucchini (because this time of year EVERYTHING should have zucchini in it), mushrooms, and a 4 cheese blend of shredded italian cheese. I would totally have put feta on, but I was out and too lazy to go to the store. It was delicious. For my husband's pizza I used deli salami instead of pepperoni, roasted pumpkin seeds, mushrooms, and I snuck in some zucchini. my kids like raw veggies better than cooked, so they got cheese pizza with zucchini slices on the side. We were all in heaven.
The trick to getting perfect grilled pizza is flipping the dough. I brush olive oil on th dough lightly and put it on the grill for 5-7 minutes. Then I flip it and add the toppings. The result is a pizza that can handle fresh toppings without getting horribly soggy or burning the cheese. The grill marks on the dough are pretty beautiful, too. Once you see the bottom browning and crisping up and the toppings looking soft and melty, you know it's ready.
Have you ever had grilled pizza? What's your favorite kind?

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