Thursday, July 22, 2010

Grilled Pizza

Husband-Tested Recipe from the kitchen of Alice Wootton at the Orange County HomeGrown Farmers Market (Orleans, Indiana)

It's time to fire up the grill! I make this delicious pizza many times each year. It's probably my most requested recipe. (My hubby loves when I make this too.) I've even demonstrated grilling pizza at the farmers market to show how easy it is to do, especially when you can get the freshest produce which you'll find at Lost River Market & Deli and the Orange County HomeGrown Farmers Market. You can make the dough in advance, keep it in the fridge for a couple of days or even freeze it for later. The cheeses and veggies should be prepped in advance because once you flip the dough, they need to be put on at once because the pizza takes almost no time at all to cook. Grilled pizza is great for parties too.

Pizza Dough (There's a Whole Wheat Pizza Dough recipe on this blog too.)
1 cup warm water (105-115ºF)
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 envelope dry yeast
3 Tablespoons olive oil
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons salt

Combine water and sugar in food processor. Sprinkle yeast over; let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes. Add oil, then flour and salt. Process just until dough comes together. Knead on floured surface about 5 minutes. Add flour if needed. Lightly oil a large bowl. Add the dough; turn to coat with the oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, then a towel. Let the dough rise in warm place until doubled, about an hour. Punch down dough. Knead in the bowl about 2 minutes. Divide dough into 4 equal pieces. Roll and stretch out dough (dough will be very elastic) on a floured surface to a 9” shape. (*Dough can be made ahead frozen. Just spray PAM inside a large Ziplock bag. Place the dough inside the bag and seal shut. Thaw in the refrigerator. It will rise in the fridge.) When in a pinch for time, you can use store-bought refrigerated pizza dough.

How To Grill a Pizza
Brush the grill with olive oil. Heat the grill to medium. Place the pizza dough directly on the grill. Brush the top of the dough with olive oil. When the bottom of the dough is brown and crisp, use tongs to flip it over. Don’t be alarmed if the dough bubbles, it’s normal. Brush the top with olive oil and top with your favorite toppings. When the bottom of the dough is brown and crisp and the cheese is melted, slide the pizza off the grill with tongs onto a cutting board. Use a large knife or pizza wheel to slice into servings.

Pizza Toppings
Option 1: After flipping the dough and brushing the dough with olive oil, sprinkle with fresh minced garlic, fresh chopped tomatoes (or canned crushed tomatoes when out of season), drizzle with Eric’s Pesto (recipe follows), fresh blanched sweet corn (or frozen corn, thawed when out of season), and cubed or grated fresh mozzarella cheese.
Option 2: After flipping the dough and brushing the dough with olive oil, sprinkle with fresh minced garlic, cover dough with freshly grated Parmesan cheese, add fresh baby spinach leaves, and then sprinkle with fresh Feta cheese and cherry tomatoes, halved.
Other Options: Anything goes on a grilled pizza. If you decide to add meat, be sure it’s precooked. If you go with fresh vegetables such as sugar snap peas, zucchini, or peppers, etc… they’ll need to be blanched or roasted.

Eric’s Pesto
This recipe comes from Chef Eric Sinnott who introduced me to pesto.

Fresh Basil Leaves (fill to the top of the plastic knob of the food processor) about 4 cups, tightly packed (You can also do this in a blender.)
1-2 Cloves of fresh garlic
1/3 - 1/2 cup nuts (pignoli, pecans, walnuts, or almonds)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Pinch of Kosher salt
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Several drops of Tabasco sauce
Olive oil

Allow the food processor to run until the above ingredients are well mixed and chopped fine. Then while it’s still running, drizzle olive oil through the feeder tube until the desired consistency. *The garlic, salt, vinegar, mustard and Tabasco can be adjusted to taste. I usually make several batches at once and then freeze them in small containers. Pesto tastes wonderful on pasta, tomatoes, potatoes, pizza and in soups.

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