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June 18, 2007 / Tony

Grilled Pizzas

Grilled Pizzas on June 10, 2007- Summer’s here and I decided to do one of my favorite grilled meals-pizza. The dough was simple-water, yeast, sugar, flour, and salt. This is probably the most basic dough you can make but really, for this application, you only need a servicable dough not a perfect dough as if you were making a nice loaf of bread. Grilled pizzas are all about smoky flavor, grilling technique and some tasty toppings. So, once the dough had risen, you roll it out, brush with olive oil and then put it on the grill. The coals in the grill are a little different than if you were grilling meat. First, you need less coals. You want to cook the dough and especially the toppings gently. Second, you should have a large area of the grill (about 1/3) free of coals, so you have a place to put the pizza when you want to cook the toppings but not the dough anymore. So the idea is to cook one side, take it off, brush the other side with olive oil, flip it over, and top the thing and slide it back on the grill. But, being as mistake-prone as I am, I messed up the first pizza and topped the uncooked side instead of the cooked side. Ooops. So, I just had to go ahead and cook. There was no way to get the toppings off at that point. I just put the pizza on the “cool” side of the grill, covered it, and about 7 minutes later, I had a cooked pizza. The second pizza I cooked correctly. The differences were not great but the correctly made pizza was definitely crustier and had a more smoky flavor. But the mistake pizza was cooked all the way through and was pleasant to eat. Thus, if I wanted to simplify my next pizzas, I could just top the pizzas right on the grill and move it to the cool side to finish. The toppings were marinara sauce (yes the same sauce from my chicken parmigiana), sliced pepperoncini, kalamata olives, Italian sausage (Johnsonville brand), mozzarella cheesse and some onions. The onions were rather interesting. After I had softened and lightly caramelized them, I thought why not reduce some red wine on them, it would probably be good. And you know what, it was. The onions took the red wine flavor on very well while holding onto their sweetness. And they were very good on the pizza. This is a definite technique I will use again. Perhaps using it in a macaroni and cheese recipe?

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