Thursday, July 10, 2008

The sublime joy of grilled pizza

I've spent the last 26 years of my life (save college) living in western Monmouth County, where I've been fortunate to have never been wanting for quality pizza. Attilio's, Romeo's, Mama Lina's, Marlboro Pizza.....the list goes on.

However, a number of years back, I had read a blurb in one magazine or another about Al Forno in Providence, RI, and their delicious grilled pizzas. Pizza...and grilling!?!? Two of my favorite things in the world, together? Oh man, this I had to try. Of course, not being independently wealthy, I wasn't about to plan an impromptu jaunt to Rhode Island for nothing more than pizza. So, my mother (of whom I'm going to have to write an entire post about at some point) and I read and browsed and tested and developed our own method of making grilled pizzas.

Here's a little aside: I don't have the time nor the inclination nor the patience to be a breadmaker. Honestly, I also am not the biggest fan of baking. It's not like cooking where if you mess something up you can usually see what you did wrong and fix it relatively quickly. In baking, you really can't tell if you've muffed things up until you open the oven after 30 minutes and see that your cookies aren't spreading/cake isn't rising/souffle is falling. Therefore, I cheat - I use store-made pizza dough, and I freely admit it. Wegman's frozen dough is best, but I used the Pillsbury Thin Crust dough tonight and it came out fine.

Set the grill to medium-high, shape your dough into whatever shape and thickness you desire (we prefer thin crust) Brush with olive oil on one side (the oil from a jar of sun-dried tomatoes works wonderfully, nice find Mom!) and the oiled side goes down on the grill. Grill until crispy on the down side and bubbles form on the up side. Take off the grill, dress the crispy side up with whatever you wish, lower your grill to medium, then throw it back on, and cover it up. Cook until your toppings are ready and your bottom crust is crisp and the dough is cooked through. Let cool for 30 seconds, then eat.

Steph is a big fan of a new recipe I found: ricotta, roasted asparagus and sun-dried tomatoes. I'm partial to fontina, crumbled sweet sausage, thinly sliced onion and roasted shiitakes. I'd love to hear any other suggestions to try.


Stephanie said...

Yeah, not a fan of baking our own bread either. Especially after reading "Kitchen Confidential" by Bourdain. I wouldn't want to have to "feed the bitch" constantly.

You forgot to mention our first successful pizza recipe that we stole from Wolfgang Puck: sweet sausage, oven roasted mushrooms, onions. So delish.

Kristin said...

Here's a suggestion...move to PA so that I can partake in these delicious meals :)