"Perhaps the most impressive of all the cookbook blogs are the three devoted to the 2004 edition of Gourmet magazine's "The Gourmet Cookbook" -- all 5¼ pounds and 1,300-odd recipes of it. Befitting this culinary Everest, all three writers are overachievers in their professional lives."

--Lee Gomes, The Wall Street Journal, May 28, 2008
"I should have told you before how much I've been enjoying reading your thoughts. You seem like such a great cook."

--Ruth Reichl, Editor-in-Chief of Gourmet Magazine, June 8 2008, comment on "Chocolate Velvet Ice Cream".

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Grilled Margarita Pizza and (bonus!!) Grilled Eggplant Pizza

Ask a question, get an answer--I was mulling over what to write next in my last post, and Eve suggested Grilled Margarita Pizza. Eve, your wish is my command! :-) Even if it does take me a little while.

So, grilled pizza! Dedicated readers with long memories might remember that I have had some very bad experiences with grilled pizza, some of which involved long odysseys to get a full tank of gas, others of which involved charred pizza. Oh, and raw dough, too. Let's just say it's taken me a while to get up the gumption to give it another try, but with the weather turning nice I threw reservation to the wind and settled into Grilled Pizza, Take Three.

It's actually pretty straightforward, once you get used to the idea that the dough will not ooze down through the grill rack and burst into flame. Here's how you start. First, set up everything next to the grill, because you have to work fast. I have my pizza dough on the left, and my toppings in little bowls on the right--including olive oil to brush the dough with.

Also, you can see two ears of corn hanging out there--O'Malley and I had pizza and corn planned for the first evening where we could eat on the deck.

The thing you have to kind of reconcile yourself to is that your pizza ain't gonna be pretty. As in uniformly round. You can see mine are sort of free-form, and I had to make them consecutively because stretching out the pizza and laying it out takes about as much time as it takes for the first one to cook on one side.

You know, I'm so focused on technique I didn't even mention the ingredients. Should you be wondering, Margarita Pizza is tomatoes, cheese and basil. I used mozzarella on one and goat cheese on the other. The tomatoes, fyi, are canned (unless you've got luscious summer tomatoes), and I did NOT buy whole canned tomatoes and dice them, which I think is stupid, I bought diced tomatoes. Save steps where you can.

The trick with grilled pizza is to get your timing down. You can see from mine that I was a little shy on the first side--the tops of the pizzas are pretty pale. But I did better on the flip side, if only because I needed to melt the cheese!

And here are the two pizzas, fait accompli.

And, wouldn't you know it, just when we were ready to pull up the deck chairs...

That didn't stop us, though. We're New Englanders!


I was so excited about the fact that I didn't a) burn the pizza and b) undercook it to the point of rawness that I decided to try my new mad grill skilz on Eggplant Pizza.

Eggplant Pizza is again, a simple topping--which is to say the pizza dough is brushed with olive oil, topped with broiled eggplant rounds, and sprinkled with garlic that you've sauteed with red pepper flakes. Oh, there's some mozz/parm cheese in there too. I'd like to point out that I get extra points for grilling in the dark. We haven't figured out an after-sunset lighting situation out by the grill.

Please notice the kitchen shears, my new favorite way to cut up pizza. Here's a solo slice shot.

OK, we eat late around here. In fact, it's going on 10pm and I just finished my dinner (not grilled pizza, alas!) Can pizza ever be the same for me, now that I've figured out the grilling trick? Papa Gino's, LaRossa's...you've got a lot to measure up to.


GilaB said...

I've never had grilled pizza (among other things, I live in an apartment with no grill), but the procedure and results look very similar to the recipe Mark Bittman publishede a couple of years ago for pan-fried pizza (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/07/dining/07mini.html?_r=1&scp=2&sq=bittman%20pan%20pizza&st=cse). It's my go-to pizza recipe at home, very easy with little cleanup (and no need to fire up a grill!)

Eve said...

ooooh, that looks really good! thanks Melissa!

Georgia said...

I heart grilled pizza. We grilled some last year and yummy.

Btw, your grille is so cool!