Sunday, April 22, 2007

Kiki is out & on the grill!

In honor of the beautiful weather, I have spent a few more hours in my garden along with a few hours just hanging out on my back porch. It is a second story "sleeping porch" that over looks the back yard. Which is also kind of a garden, maybe it's a yarden?

Having spent time outside, who wanted to go back in? but there was still dinner to attend to. So on the grill we go. I have a very basic gas grill. (My dad & sister chipped in & gave it to me for my birthday 5 or 6 years ago. I'll admit that I don't do whatever grill maintenance you are supposed to do to a grill, but it has served me well.) So on my very basic grill I'm always happy to find that I can make some outstanding things. (My husband has a very expensive grill, it has been sitting under it's cover and been used only once or twice since he moved in 3 years ago)

Ok, enough of that paragraph (that should probably be severely edited, but probably won't be). I will try to make it through the descriptions of my food with out the further use of parentheses) I will insert a sad aside into this paragraph. My batteries were dead & I have no photos of this. That is truly a loss! (I guess I'll have to make it again) (oops, darn parentheses) (hey there they are again)

Friday night dinner:

Pizza on the Grill

I made my first pizza on the grill. My brother-in-law does this with some frequency, so I thought, hey why not. His original recipe comes from Stephen Raichlin's Barbecue Bible. I don't know if he still uses those recipes, but I did not. I looked at that recipe, as well as Raichlin's BBQ USA recipe for pizza on the grill. I love his books & every recipe is a winner, but I still made up my own recipe (based to some extent on his). You can also visit Mr. Raichlin at www.barbecuebible.com.

The Crust

  • 1 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon Honey
  • 1 1/2 packages active dry yeast (can probably get away with only one, but I had an open one)
Mix together and let sit 5-10 minutes or until foamy.
Add
  • 2 teaspoons coarse sea or kosher salt
  • 3 Tablespoons corn meal
  • 3 Tablespoons Whole Wheat Flour
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
Mix thoroughly then slowly add
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • about 3 cups white flour
mix together(I use my hands) using more or less flour to achieve a somewhat slack dough. Do not over mix, take a break & let it sit if you need to. Knead into a basic ball like shape place in a large oiled bowl, cover and let sit until doubled in bulk; this will take 1 1/2 - 2 hours. (I let mine sit longer than that, I had to trim a bowl & pick up my car & go to the farmers market so I'm not sure how long it sat) Ideally it would sit in 72-75 degree draft free w/ a little humidity, but if you don't have a rain forest handy do your best. If you are trying to get a real head start on dinner or are preparing for a bbq or company or what have you, you can refrigerate it over night at this point. When it has doubled, punch it down and divide into 4 or 5 small disks; you will want the pizzas small enough to handle. Cover and let rise, about 40 minutes - an hour. While it is rising, create your toppings.

For our pizza, we used Caramelized Onions (HP really likes them on pizza), Shrimp and Two Sauces. Sauce #1 was a basic Italian pizza sauce that I made from a #10 can of tomatoes over the winter. Sauce #2 was a variation of an alfredo sauce.

Super Thick Alfredo apologies on the vagaries of my measuring, I wasn't really thinking about it:
  • about 3-4 Tablespoons butter
  • about 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • about 1/4 - 1/3 shredded Parmesan cheese
  • about 2-4 Tablespoons goat cheese
In small saucepan over low heat, melt butter with cream slowly add goat cheese & parmesan and stir until melted. Season with Salt & Pepper. Yum! (Also tastes good on pasta like regular Alfredo)

Assemble your toppings (I did slightly pre-cook the shrimp then let them finish on the grill)

At this point, preheat your grill. Put it on high & close the lid. You want your grate to be hot, hot, hot!

Stretch your dough into crusts; instead of using flour to stretch and pull, use olive oil, you shouldn't need a lot, maybe a tablespoon. Form crusts on something that you can carry to the grill and hopefully slide your pizzas off of and onto the grill (maybe a cookie sheet?). Your pizzas should be small enough that you can pick them up and put them on the grill without stretching or tearing the dough. (If you have a Pizza Peel you don't need to worry as much about the size, dust it with cornmeal and slide your pizza on).

Topping your pizza:
You do not top the traditional way!
  • First goes the cheese, so it can be close to heat & melt. Also you don't want a lot of wet on your crust.
  • Next goes your meat. All meat should be pre-cooked, my shrimp was slightly under cooked to avoid it getting too rubbery on the grill.
  • Next went the onions
  • Finally the sauce is splatted on top. Use your sauces some what sparingly, this is more about the crust.
Onto the grill we go!
Your grill should be really hot by now, so turn down the burners to actually cook. If you have a big fancy grill, try doing a very hot side and a medium side.
Slide or manhandle your crusts onto the grill. If using two zones, start by putting it onto the hot zone to sear the crust.
Close lid. Don't peak for first minute.
Ok, you can look now, if you have 2 zones, slide your pizza to the medium zone. If you have 1 zone, just check to be sure you don't have any hot spots. Close lid. Cook for around 5 minutes or until sauce & cheese appear to be bubbling.

And a good dinner was had by all!


3 garnishes:

Sarah Louise April 24, 2007 at 3:44 AM  

oh, i am so the one for paranthetical paragraphs...

and insomnia, it seems.

KitchenKiki April 24, 2007 at 8:56 AM  

3:44 am???
I thought you were the "Sleeping Lady"

I spent so much time on parentheses that I never said that the pizza was UNBELIEVABLY YUM

Sarah Louise April 25, 2007 at 10:48 AM  

um...I finally got to sleep around 4:30. (but I guess you knew that by now since you commented on that post...) Last night I slept from 11-7 (for my alarm) and then 7-9. So I think I'm all caught up.

How's that mail order food to Pittsburgh business plan going (hint, hint)

hee...

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