18 May 2009  |  Recipes

More From the Grill

As temperatures rise, I become less and less excited about turning on my oven- it just makes the house too hot (we don’t have air conditioning).  Bread, pizza and other things that require a hot oven suddenly become less appealing to cook- however, they don’t become less appealing to EAT, so I’ve been getting creative.  Here’s what I learned today:

  1. Don’t put your nice Le Creuset pots on your grill (I was going for no-knead bread on the grill, but wasn’t attentive enough to the temperature and ended up burning the bread and chipping some of the enamel off the inside of the pot.  Lose-lose situation there, sadly.)
  2. DO put your pizza stone on the grill and cook some delicious pizzas on it!  The pizzas cooked way faster on the grill (in about 5 minutes)  and they were perfect- thin and crispy!

Here is the crust recipe I used:

Pizza crust
makes about 6 small pizzas

  • 1 cup luke-warm water
  • 1 envelope active dry yeast
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp olive oil

combine water, honey and olive oil, sprinkle yeast on top and let sit until yeast is foamy (or gets cloudy)

in another bowl mix:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour (I used Bluebird Farm Emmer flour)
  • 1 tsp salt

Add yeast mixture and mix well until it forms a sticky dough (you will probably need to add quite a bit more flour, just add it a little at a time).  Turn dough out onto counter and knead for a few minutes until smooth.  Keep adding flour if dough is really sticky, but it’s ok if it’s a little sticky.  Lightly oil a bowl, put the dough in and turn it over to coat with oil, then put it in a warm place and let it rise for an hour, or until doubled in size.

I’ve made this recipe a bunch of times and for some reason it didn’t rise much at all this time.  I didn’t have the time or patience to make another batch, so I used it anyway, and it turned out great.  Dusty said, and I quote “this is the perfect crust.”  Maybe the not-rising was a good thing…

Anyway, if your dough does rise….after about an hour, punch it down and pinch off a small handful.  I use a rolling pin to roll it out nice and thin, but if you want to get all “pizza-parlor” you can stretch and toss…

Then, because I don’t have a peel, I coat the BACK of a sheet pan with flour (make sure it is the back side or your pizza won’t be able to slide off), and put the rolled-out dough on top.  Then it’s ready for topping.  Here are the toppings I used tonight:

Quick basil pesto

  • big handful basil
  • handful pine nuts
  • 1 or 2 cloves garlic
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil

puree everything in food processor and drizzle in olive oil until it reaches desired consistency

Fresh tomato sauce- I usually make a cooked tomato sauce, but I didn’t have time so I just pureed 1 tomato with 1/2 clove of garlic, some salt, pepper, oregano and parsley- it worked just fine.

Sauteed oyster and shitake mushrooms with a little garlic, salt and pepper and threw in some dried parsley at the end.

Chicken sausage (you can buy them fully cooked, which saves some time)

Thinly sliced zucchini

Variety of cheeses (mozzarella, chevre, parmesan, romano, etc).  I used mozzarella and romano today.

IMPORTANT! Preheat your grill (to 400-450 degrees) WITH the pizza stone in it, so the stone is nice and hot when you put the pizza on it.

Now comes the fun/risky part:  holding the sheet pan (with your pizza on it) over the hot pizza stone, jiggle it back and forth to loosen the pizza, then with a quick forward-and-back shake, let the pizza fall onto the stone.  You have to commit, though, no wimpy shakes or you get a crumpled pizza (that will still taste good, just won’t look as pro…).  close the lid of the grill, but keep an eye on it- it will cook fast!

Have a rack nearby that you can put the hot pizzas on to cool, then cut them up and eat them (and save some for the next day’s lunch)!


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