09 May, 2007

Sumertime Pizza's (When my "Type A" is a good thing)

There are so many yummy foods that are strictly reminiscent of summertime for me. Yes, that’s right. I like to make sure my “Type A” anal retentiveness covers all the bases in my life, including seasonal food (and no, it doesn’t make much sense to me either). For instance, hotdogs should only be eaten outside during the summer. Much like madras, the ice cream man in his little truck with the bell should not make an appearance prior to Memorial Day (nor should he be serving Bomb Pops past Labor Day). And grilled pizza is for- you guessed it- the grill in the summertime. And with the arrival of the warm weather, that’s just what we’ve been doing as of late. Homemade grilled pizza.

I love this treat. It is fun for everyone in the family, and even my picky little eaters, the mini monograms, have a great time making their own little pizzas. Now, the mini’s like their pizza in the oven, which I will also cover here, but Mr. Monogram & I enjoy our pizza hot off the grill in the summertime with fresh ingredients. The great thing about this is that you can do anything you want, but I will just cover our favorite (which is a breeze to pull together). My basic pizza bianca.

You will Need
-fresh ball of pizza dough (I buy mine fresh as opposed to making it b/c it always has more flavor and isn’t as dry)
-Mozzarella cheese
-Fontina cheese (just a little for flavor)
-Parmesan cheese
-Extra Virgin Olive Oil
-a nice Blend of Italian Spices (such as basil & oregano)

First off, let me just go ahead and tell you that you will not become a World Pizza Throwing Champion with your first pizza. Of course I could be spot on wrong with this and you could totally turn out to be some pizza throwing prodigy, but just in case you’re not don’t say I didn’t warn you.

1) Spray your grill with a non-stick baking spray and then turn the grill on medium heat.

2) My ball of dough is so large I can get two pies from it. Once I split it in half, I add a little flour to the dough and use my hands to pull the dough in different directions, lay it on the counter (my counters are granite so I just a little flour on them) and continue to pull and push and just basically thin the dough until I’m happy with my shape, size, and thickness. Yes, sometimes I use a rolling pin and sometimes I do throw it up in the air because it really amuses the minis, but honestly it always ends up more egg-shaped than round so I only do that when they’re watching me!

3) Now that your dough is ready and the grill is warm, grab a large baking sheet with no lip or edges (just a flat cookie sheet) and spray that also. Put your rolled out dough on the cookie sheet.

4) Lightly brush on your EVOO, and then top with all your spices (and garlic).

5) Grab some tongues, your cheeses, and head out to the grill.

6) With your cookie sheet next to the grill, slide your dough onto the grill. Be prepared that this is not as easy as it sounds, and you will most likely have to use your tongues to adjust your dough on the grill. Also be prepared that your dough might not hold its original shape, but that’s fine.

7) So now your dough is on the grill. I leave it on there for a few minutes with the top open, and just pick up the edges to see if the bottom is slightly cooked with the grill marks.

8) Once the bottom is slightly grilled and slightly firm, you want to flip over the crust to grill the other side (which is actually the top, with the oil and spices). You can do this one of two ways. You can either slide the dough/crust onto the baking sheet again, flip it on that and then slide it back onto the grill, or you can very carefully use your tongues and gently flip it over using your hands.

9) Once it’s flipped grill that side so it’s only slightly grilled again (so it’s a tad crusty but yet still doughy on the inside), and then flip it BACK again so the top is actually the top again (the side with the oil and spices).

10) Top lightly with parmesan, then top with the mozzarella and Fontina. I use quite a bit of mozzarella because that’s how Mr. Monogram and I like it.

11) Close the top of the grill for roughly 3 minutes depending on your grill. Make sure you check on it and just lift up the bottom corner of your pizza to make sure you haven’t burned the bottom.

12) When the bottom is cooked to your liking, slide the pizza off the grill and back onto the baking sheet for easy transport and slicing.

Now, if you don’t have a grill or think this is too much trouble (although trust me when I tell you the taste is so amazing), then you can always pop your homemade pizza’s in the oven too. When I cook the minis pizzas in the oven I heat set it at 450°. The pizzas are pre-made with all toppings, then put in the oven with us just watching them until they are done (see photo).
Keep in Mind This also makes a great appetizer for guests when entertaining outdoors if you just cut the pizza up into bite-size pieces. However, also remember that this is not exactly low-calerie and you need to watch the amount of EVOO you put on your dough. If you think you've used too much, then just put a paper towel over your dough prior to grilling, to allow it to absorb some of the excess oil. Buon Appetito!


Kimberly said...

I love pizza on the grill! Thanks as always for the tips!!!!

tommiea said...

This looks like something we will have to try. The kids are always in for pizza. I love the ease of using the grill.....now to find a pizzeria that will sell me dough!

Monogram Momma said...

Tommiea: I used to buy my dough from a local Italian market where they made it fresh daily. But I don't have one in the city where I now live. So I have 2 tips.. If you have Publix supermarkets then they will sell fresh dough balls to you in the bakery, and also Sams Club. We buy ours from Sams Club (at the little cafe place where you buy hot dogs and drinks. however, be warned that if you buy from Sam's Club you have to buy a case of it (20 balls). So for $15 and change we get 20 dough balls which is basically 40 pizzas! I promise you do not want to know what my outside freezer looks like!

A friend of mine did want to split a case though b/c they aren't members of Sam's Club so that worked out great. Their dough is delicious!

Britt said...

Yumm! We have been grilling out every other night here & I think that pizza will be a perfect addition to our menu - thanks!

Preppy Pink Crocodile said...

It is finally warm enough to grill and eat outside and this is topping my list of things to do this weekend. I buy dough at all of my local grocery stores - usually about $1 a ball- and use it for all sorts of semi-homemade recipes.

sewgracious said...

That looks delicious!!! I have some fresh basil, thyme & oregano in my herb garden...what a nice touch that might be!

We grill ALOT around here. Well, I should say DH grills alot around here. That's his territory. He's always up for something new so maybe we will give this a try for Mother's Day weekend. :-)

Meg said...

Okay. So pizza on the grill? Amazing. We tried it this weekend...Man was a little skeptical that we'd be successful, but it turned out great.

Monogram Momma said...

See! I told you, Meg! Now it's all you'll think about and want to make lol!