Friday, April 16, 2010

Grilled Pizza

Something you may not know about me: I love to cook.

I worked in restaurants for nearly a decade, and while I never attended culinary school, I can whip up many a gourmet dish.  While it has been more than a dozen years since I worked in a kitchen, I am not shy to make the most of this latent talent.  The first time I met my mother-in-law, I cooked Chicken Cordon Bleu for her, and I am pretty sure she has loved me every day since.

On Easter I made grilled pizzas, one of my favorites for the grilling season.  I made the dough from scratch (one day I might post my standard dough recipe), and topped it with olive oil, garlic, fresh chopped basil, and fresh mozzarella cheese.  (I saute the garlic in the olive oil to get the best flavor, then brush the mixture on top of the pizza.)

Grilling a pizza is a great way to cook it.  After your dough rises, you shape it into a ball and let it proof for about a half hour.  Proofing is a second rising.  You can find additional insight on second risings in the Book of Revelations.  Then you flatten the ball out using your hands and/or a rolling pin.  I prefer to hand-toss the pizza.

Once your dough is shaped, set it on a pan and dock it by poking little holes all over the surface (I use a fork to do this).  Docking the pizza will keep it flat when it cooks.  If you don't dock it, it will puff up all over.  Once it's shaped and docked, let it sit for another 10-15 minutes before cooking it.

Pre-heat the grill to medium-high, about 300 degrees.  Transfer the pizza from the pan directly to the grill and cook it for about 3 minutes.  When the bottom is golden-brown, flip it over and add your toppings.  It cooks quickly, so if you have a lot of cheese, turn the heat down and close the lid so the dough doesn't burn before the cheese melts.

Once the cheese is melted, slide the pizza onto a pan, slice it, and serve.  We serve grilled pizza as a flatbread appetizer...

Thursday, April 1, 2010


Vacations.  What can I say about them that was not already covered by Chevy Chase and crew?

Sometimes there is a profound joy in being someplace else.  Like when a friend texts you and says there was a late spring snow and two inches of snow fell back home.  And you are getting ready to go to the beach.  That's the kind of joy I'm talking about.

Thankfully, the nice weather followed us home.