Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Grilled Pizza, Wine Pairing and a Guest Post
My nagging has finally paid off! I finally have a post from a guest blogger! Check it out!
Hello everyone! I'm sure you're wondering who the other person is enjoying all these meals that you find here on Michele's blog. Well, that person is me...Steve. Michele asked me to write a guest post for her blog this week after a weekend of grilling. I guess you could say I am the resident wine connoisseur and grilling fanatic. It seems I am writing this to talk to you about both this week.
This is a recipe that we've come up with in the past and used a couple of times before. Since we first made pizza this way, it has been tough to top it! While it isn't an overly difficult way of making pizza, you do have to use the right ingredients and be vigilant while it's on the grill. Let's get down to it...
Pizza sauce (recipe below)
Pizza dough - 1 lb for each pizza you want to make
4 oz. (approximately) or ½ of a regular sized bag of shredded mozzarella cheese – we prefer part-skim
Olive oil – for coating the dough
Fresh basil leaves
Toppings – this time around we used black olives and mushrooms, just use as much as you like
Before you start prepping the dough and making the pizza, you'll want to make the sauce. We basically make just a marinara sauce with some garlic and herbs in it. Michele will write about that.
You'll need a pound of dough for each pizza that you want to make. We've tried using two pounds before, but it just doesn't come out the same. You certainly can try making your own dough for this recipe, but we're lazy and we've found that it's very easy for us to get a hold of dough from Brooklyn. In my personal opinion, for the amount of time and money you have to put in to make your own pizza dough, it's just more economical and less time consuming to just get it from somewhere else. Just make sure it's quality dough!
Place each pound of dough in a bowl that will easily fit all of it in there, drizzling a bit of olive oil in the bottom of the bowl first, so that the dough doesn't stick. Place plastic wrap over the top of the bowl and then cover with a dish towel. Let the dough rise for a couple of hours, until it rises to the top of the bowl or even above it.
Once the dough has risen, pound it down and then take the dough out of the bowl, placing it onto a cooking sheet or something equivalent. Begin flattening out the dough on the sheet, making sure to keep both sides of the dough moist with olive oil so that it does not stick. Once the dough has been flattened and spread out, it's ready to be grilled.
Make sure you have your mozzarella cheese, pizza sauce and toppings ready to go. Turn your grill on to high and let it sit for about 8 to 10 minutes. For this recipe, we used a gas grill. Once the grill is nice and hot, you can bring your dough and other ingredients outside to your grilling area. Turn the burners down to about medium-low heat. Make sure you use some sort of grilling spray (we used Pam for grilling) to spray down the grilling surface so that the dough does not stick to it. Take the dough off of the pan with your hands and place onto the grill, trying to keep something of an oval or even rectangular shape. Since most pizza you find is round, I like being different and creating all sorts of uneven shapes to make it look unique. Once the pizza dough is on the grill, close the lid and let it sit for about 4 – 5 minutes. You'll want to stay by the grill to check it every so often. The bottom of the dough should get nice and crispy, with some prominent grilling marks. Keep in mind that most gas grills have one side that is hotter and cooks faster than the others.
Once you can lift up the dough with ease, use a spatula and flip the whole pizza over in one shot – just like you would a pancake. Once the pizza has been flipped, you can then spread on the pizza sauce, followed by basil leaves (preferably torn into smaller pieces) and then the shredded mozzarella. You can then add on any toppings you may have. After everything has been added onto your pizza, close the cover of the grill again and let it sit for about 3 – 4 minutes. You'll want to check the pizza every so often to make sure that the cheese has melted on the top and that the bottom is nice and crispy, with those same grill marks.
As soon as all that has happened, the pizza is now ready to be taken off of the grill. Use a spatula or two to take it off of the grill and put it back onto the cooking sheet. Cut up the pizza in whatever fashion you like and serve!
For this pizza, I have found that a light white wine goes best. You will want something with a fruity undertone that will bring out the acidity of the pizza sauce and the flavors of the toppings you chose. I like to enjoy a nice Riesling with this pizza. My label of choice is Urban. It is an inexpensive Riesling that is light and fruity, as well as very refreshing. Feel free to experiment with your own palate and find a wine that suits you. Stick to the lighter, fruitier wines, either in the white or red varietals, such as a Pinot Grigio or a Pinot Noir.
I hope you all enjoy making this as I know we certainly have and will continue to do so all summer long!
Michele's Pizza Sauce
Enough for approx 4 pounds of dough.
1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
2 8 oz cans of tomato sauce
4 cloves minced garlic
3 tsp chopped basil
1-2 tsp dried Italian seasoning
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp sugar
extra virgin olive oil
Feel free to use fresh or dried herbs. This time I used frozen dorat basil, fresh basil leaves and fresh oregano. It's up to you.
Saute garlic in oil, add frozen or dried herbs being careful not to burn them. Add tomatoes, salt, pepper and sugar. If using fresh herbs add now. Let it come to a boil and then lower heat. Cook on medium for 30-40 minutes. Taste it and adjust seasoning.