Thursday, July 14, 2011
Nothing Beatsa Grilled Pizza
Grilled Pizza is not only one of the most delicious things to make, it also makes you look like a bad ass in front of anyone who's around to witness the hecticness that it takes to make a grilled pizza. And don't let that discourage you. It's not hectic in a bad, scary, gonna-set-yourself-on-fire kind of way. It's that, "oh my gawwwwd, I don't have enough hands to do all of this at once, and I don't want to burn the pizza crust ...ahhhhhhh!" kind of scary. It's fun/scary, like walking through a haunted house.
Here's What You Do:
Make your pizza dough. I use this recipe.
Get your grill ready. You want your grill hot. As in brick oven hot. Like 500+ degrees hot. So pile on the charcoal. And be sure to take a paper towel doused in oil and grease your grill grates first, so you don't have stickage issues. Now obviously you don't want flames, just a really hot ass grill.
Next, get your ingredients ready. This is not the time to use a lot of ingredients, as the grill is too hot to cook things thoroughly without burning your crust. I use simple ingredients. First of all, make yourself an infused oil by adding 1/4 cup of olive oil to a pan. On medium heat, add in 3-4 cloves of smashed garlic and a teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes. Cook until the garlic starts to brown and soften, don't burn it. Then I sliced mozzarella cheese, tomatoes and basil.
Roll out your dough to your desired pizza size. You can make small pizzas or large pizzas, but the larger the pizza, the more hectic the process. Make sure all of your ingredients are ready and right next to your grill. You won't have time to run inside for anything, so now is a good time to do an ingredient check.
Ok, so here you go. You have your grill hot as hell. You have your pizza dough rolled out and ready to slap onto your greased grill grates. You have your toppings ready. Now take a deep breath and slap your dough onto the grill. And let it sit for about 2 minutes. It will start to bubble up, you can pop these or not, your call. At this point, you can keep lifting it with tongs and checking to see that it's not burning. Once you have the desired brown on your crust, flip it over. This is now the side you will top, as it's already cooked. Here's where I brush the infused oil onto the crust and add my toppings and seasonings. Now close your grill for about a minute to melt your cheese. But keep your eye on it. Now that you already have one side cooked, the other side won't take long at all. I'm not kidding. If you don't keep watching it, you will ruin it. It will burn. You will be eating a burnt cracker. And no one likes a burnt cracker. Not even me.
If you want to use additional toppings, that's totally fine. Just make sure they are cooked. Cooked mushrooms, bacon, roasted garlic, sauteed onion...all these things will work great. Things like spinach and fresh herbs can be thrown on during cooking, as they need only to wilt. The only other uncooked item you might get away with on a grilled pizza is shrimp or scallops, just because they cook fast, but I'm too much of a wuss to try it just yet. I like to mess up cheap stuff. And experiment with cheese. Goat cheese, feta cheese, and fontina cheese work really well. Another tip: If you get scared you might burn your crust before your cheese melts, move the pizza to a part of the grill that isn't over direct heat and shut the lid. This way your toppings/cheese will get the 500 degree blast without burning anything. Then simply move it back to direct heat to finish the browning of the underside of the crust.
Once your cheese is melted and your pizza is bubbly and your dough is brown and crispy, take it off and let it rest a minute before slicing into it or just folding it over like a sandwich and devouring the heck out of it. You just made grilled pizza. You need to pat yourself on the back. Crack open a beer. Pour a glass of champagne. Do a shot of tequila. Jump up and click your heels. Do your touchdown dance. Any or all of the above! You can officially put the letters G-M after your name, because you are now a Grill Master. Be proud, my friend.