Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Pizza on the Grill

Before I get the nerve up to show you any photos, I just wanted to tell you that I know - I KNOW - the pizza looks a touch bit darker.

Burned, you say? No... no...

Nothing a bit o'spinach won't cover up!
Erm... (cough cough)... uh... yes... totally not burned to a crisp in the middle... Not. At. All.

It all started out so well, you see.

Basic Pizza dough
As this was my first attempt at grilled pizza, I wanted to follow the directions. They said to keep things on the dry side, so instead of pizza sauce, I did some roasted garlic spread (½ head roasted garlic and some olive oil mixed together - I should have done the whole head!).

Toss cloves of garlic with some olive oil, wrap in foil and throw into a 350ยบ oven for 30 minutes or so. Pop out of the skins, mash up with some olive oil and admire your genius.

So then comes the fun part. Here's what Fine Cooking told me to do:

1) On your grill (ours was a 2 burner), crank the heat to high on both burners, grease the grate and leave the lid down to allow to get all toasty for 10 minutes. Remember, the BBQ will be functioning as an oven, so you want to open it as little as possible.

2) Roll out the pizza dough as thinly as possible.

Following that direction was, I think, part of my undoing. There is such a I thing as too thin. Like... you shouldn't be able to see the counter through the dough.

3) Very carefully bring the dough out to your grill. Reduce both burners to medium. Grab the two corners closest to you. Have someone else open the lid of the BBQ, and you should quickly place the dough on the racks, as though you were putting a tablecloth on a table. They said that, not me. Let cook for 3 minutes.

You know, a lot can happen in 3 minutes. After 1 minute, I could smell burning. I said, "Nah, they said three!"

I checked after 1½ minutes. The bottom crust was burned.

4) Use tongs to pull the dough off the grill onto a waiting plate. Flip over so the grilled side is up. Top with whatever you're adding.

From top right: cooked pancetta, spinach, brie and roasted garlic.
5) Turn one burner off, and place pizza back on grill (over off burner). Close lid and allow to cook for 7 minutes.

Mine took another 15. I added the spinach right at the last minute, and just allowed it to wilt slightly.

I think the burning issue could have been resolved through the use of low heat... or no heat on one side. In spite of the burned crust, it was still insanely delicious.

So there's something to this... I'm just not sure what yet.

We ate this with a gin-limoncello-thyme cocktail, also from Fine Cooking and used some lemon-thyme from my Mum's garden.

All in all, we had a few adventures, swore a bit and ate off our laps by candlelight.


Keith said...

I dont think it looks all that burnt, but it does look super delicious! Keep up the good work@

Alyson said...

That's what strategically placed spinach will do! If you look at the top right of the first pic... well.. you're looking at the pizza, not the bbq grill. LOL!

Brenda Cooke said...

I have a cookbook called Pizza on the Grill. It says to roll the dough to 1/4 inch. Maybe the dough is different but it works really well cooking for 3 minutes over direct medium heat, then top the pizza on the cooked side and return over indirect heat for 7 minutes. I have used pizza sauce on it too. Great cook book :) I think your pizza looks great!

Alyson said...

Ahhh. That makes sense Brenda. I think at its thinest I got it down to an 1/8th. A little too thin!

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