Wednesday, August 4, 2010
We are eating a lot of pizza made on the grill these days. It started a few weeks ago and shows no signs of slowing down. Seems like on all the mom-being/home-making/child-raising blogs I read they are grilling pizza these days, so we're in (really) good company. See, for example, here, and here.
Here's how we do it, the full-time-working-mother-has-to-have-dinner-on-the-table-fast way.
On Saturday or Sunday (or Monday night, or whenever but not the day we want to eat the pizza), we make the dough. I use the basic pizza dough from Mark Bittman, basically. It works just fine. Three cups flour (I use 1 white 2 whole wheat), 1 tsp yeast, some glugs of olive oil (probably 1/8 - 1/3 a cup, this is more than Bittman calls for) and 1 to 1 1/4 cup warm water. Mix all the dry ingredients, including the yeast. Add 1 cup water and the oil. Add enough more water to make a dough. Kneed until smooth and let rise. Punch it down and put it in a plastic bag in the fridge until you're ready to use it. We don't add salt (Will's mom is low salt), but Bittman says you should. It works best if you take it out of the refrigerator as soon as you decide you're going to grill pizza, so it starts to warm up a little before you have to work with it.
When you're ready to make them, get the grill really hot. We make these individual sized. Pull off hunks of dough about the size of a baseball and stretch them out. Because you used some extra olive oil in the dough and the grill is smoking hot, no need to oil. Put them on the grill. Turn down the heat to medium high. Let them cook until the bottom is done and the edges are starting to firm up. Flip them. Now you're looking at a cooked side and the raw side is down on the grill. Top with sauce, cheese, etc. and drizzle with just a little good tasting olive oil. Put the grill lid down for a few minutes until everything on top of the pizza looks melt-y and the bottom is cooked and, voila, you're done! I guess it's more flat bread with toppings than pizza.
We've been sticking pretty close to tomato sauce from a jar, fresh mozzarella and/or ricotta, and basil. Sometimes we add caramelized peppers and onions. I have an idea that smoked salmon, corn, goat cheese and basil also would be really, really good, but we haven't tried that yet.
These will be good no matter what you do. Trust me. I have screwed up the making of this pizza every way possible. Grill too hot: done that, you get more char than you want, but it's still really good. Grill not hot enough: done that, you get less char than you want, and it takes a while to cook, but it's still really good and everything melts perfectly. Forget that you have to flip the pizzas over and put the sauce on the raw side. Embarrassing, but you can flip them anyway and the sauce just chars a little. Still really good. They are so, so much better than any pizza you will ever make in your oven, I promise, you really should try this.
Liam pretty much likes them, although his excitement about the prospect of eating pizza surpasses his actual consumption so far.
Because it's summer we pretty much always have the following in the fridge: sauteed zucchini leftover from dinner past, barely cooked green beans good for snacking, carrot sticks. Put one or all of these on the plate with the pizza. Liam eats a lot of carrot sticks. Salad is good too if you have time to make it!