Monday, July 9, 2012

Grilled Pizza

One of my favorite things about summer is cooking out on the grill!  My family loves a cookout and we’ve grilled all kinds of things.  One thing I love to make when we are entertaining another family are grilled pizzas.  They are quick and easy to make and everyone gets their own personalized combination – and that makes everyone happy! 

First you need to gather your ingredients.  We set ours up buffet style so that our guests can top their own pizzas.  Grab a variety of sauces – BBQ, wing sauce, pesto, pizza sauce, etc. Chop up some veggies – mushrooms, broccoli, peppers, onions, olives, artichokes. Pre-cook anything that needs to be cooked. You’ll also want a variety of meats.  We use shredded, cooked chicken, pepperoni, crumbled bacon, ham, pork or beef.  Two or three kinds of cheeses is a good variety.  We use mozzarella, cheddar and crumbled blue cheese – but grab whatever you like best. 

All of these things can be prepared before hand or the day before.  I use this handy little tray to make topping easy.20120616_4711_600px1

(oh – please excuse my photos –they aren’t the best, lol)

You will also need pizza dough. You can make your own, or buy it.  My local grocery store sells dough in 1 lb 12 oz containers and this is enough for 6 individual pizzas.  You want the dough to rise a little, but not so much that it’s super inflated and sticky.  Divide the dough into 6 pieces and roll it out very thin.  Spray or brush both sides with olive oil and place it on parchment paper (don’t use wax paper – if your dough rises on it, the wax will stick to the dough).  Stack the dough and place it in the fridge until you are ready to use it.  If you let it rise too much it will stick to the paper and you’ll have a mess!

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When you are ready to grill, pre-heat your grill on low and make sure your grates are clean.  Use the parchment paper to flip the dough right onto the grate.  Close the lid for 2-3 minutes to let it cook on one side. 

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Flip the dough over using a metal spatula.  It shouldn’t stick since you sprayed it with oil before putting it on the paper.  You should see some nice grill marks!

Close the lid again and cook for another 2 –3 minutes.  Grab a plate and remove the dough from the grill.  Now’s the time to be creative – start adding your toppings! Plain cheese & pepperoni is your favorite?  Sounds GREAT!  How about a buffalo chicken style with blue cheese, or bbq chicken with caramelized onions? Pesto and veggies?  Hawaiian style with ham and pineapple?  Can’t decide – make one half and half! 

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Once it’s topped, carefully slide it back onto the grill – on an upper rack if you have one.  Close the lid and let it cook until the cheese is melted – about 4-5 minutes.  The toppings will be nice and hot and the crust will be nice and crispy on the bottom.

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Serve them up along side a nice summer salad and grab a cold beverage!

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One is definitely enough to fill you up, but if you have extra dough, make a couple of extra “flavors” and put them in the middle of the table for everyone to share.  Oh and don’t be surprised if your guests invite themselves back next weekend to do it again!

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