Sunday, September 14, 2008

Beyond Little Ceasars.....


I have to admit that we do on occasion visit the local Little Caesars but it is merely a way to fill the belly, not feed the taste buds. I am a pizza connoisseur and am always on a quest to find a new topping or new sauce. The pizza dough itself is simply a caveat for an artistic food masterpiece. There is so much you can do with the pizza itself that reaches far beyond the red sauce, cheese and pepperoni ,yet so many of us get stuck in that mentality. As a young couple we visited Pizzaria Bianco in downtown Phoenix and I had my first experience with a gourmet pizza. It was a brick oven, hand stretched little gem with roasted pistachios , grilled onions and who knows what else but it woke up my taste buds! I had no idea you could do that with a pizza. We have visited many other gourmet pizza restaurants since then and the combinations I have discovered have been delicious! I then discovered grilling pizza at home and have tried some great combinations with much success and family approval. It is quite easy, quick and fun for all. Pay attention and I will give you my little secrets.
First: The dough. Check out my recipe for Pizza dough under my recipe blog from my brother Kevin who is the pro. He has his own brick oven in his back yard and is the bomb when it comes to firing those puppies up. His recipe is my favorite. Plan ahead because you need to let it rise for a good 4 hours. I have skimped and used it after 2 but it is better the full 4.
Second: The grilling. Get your grill good and hot then turn it down to medium low. You need some parchment paper. Roll the dough out thin on the parchment, about 1/4 inch thick. Drizzle to top of the dough with olive oil and brush all over. You then want to flip the pizza, oil side down on the grill and peel off the parchment to be reused again.If the dough sticks to the parchment, spray a light dusting of pam next go round. Brush the top side with oil. When the bottom is a light golden brown, remove from the grill and flip over so that the undone side is down on a plate or pan.
Third: The toppings. Go nuts. You don't need a red sauce all the time or even any sauce at all. You can do anything with a pizza. Pick your ingredients and put them on the grilled side. The pizza is then placed back on the grill with the undone side down. Close the lid and let it finish up. Check to make sure that your grill is not too hot. You may want to put it on low or even move the pizza to the top rack if the bottom is done but the cheese needs to melt. Once you get the temp just right, the other pizzas go quite fast. Just have all ingredients ready so you can have an assembly line going.
I tried a delicious combination the other night that I stole from Sauce in Gilbert. I brushed the dough with olive oil, sprinkled some garlic powder, Layed some thin Prosciutto from Fresh and Easy with no Nitrites, sliced some fresh mozzarella and grilled it. When it was done, I shaved some thin slices of cantaloupe with my potato peeler and topped it on the pizza in ribbon like curls. Sounds weird but it was delicious! I have done peanut Thai pizzas, Salad pizzas, fruit pizzas, enchilada pizzas, etc. I could eat them nightly. Try them out! Use all different kinds of cheese or no cheese at all. Any sauce works, BBQ, pesto, salsa, chutneys, etc. Any meats, any veggies. It all works. Just anything that you would eat together can go on a crust. I am hungry now.

6 comments:

Cindy Thomas said...

That sounds wonderful! Thanks so much for sharing. I too am hungry just reading about it all.

Anonymous said...

Makes me hungry just reading about it! Do you have a sauce recipe you could post?

Ryan and Jayme said...

I have heard of that place Pizzaria Bianco. I have never been there, but we love pizza, so I am sure we will love it! I made your BBQ pizza recipe last week and it was delicous! Thanks for posting great recipes!

Tracey said...

sounds yummy. I can't wait to try grilling pizza.

Shari Goodman said...

anonymous...
I don't use a red sauce very often but here is one from my sister-in-law: Quick Pizza Sauce

In a bowl, mix 1 can (14oz or 1 3/4 cups) chopped or diced tomatoes including juices, 1 (6oz) can tomato paste, 2 Tbl chopped fresh basil leaves, or 2 tsp dried basil, 1 1/2 Tbl extra virgin olive oil, 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano. 1 1/2 tsp sugar, and 1/2 tsp chopped garlic. Add salt to taste. Makes about 2 1/2 cups.

Tracey said...

How do I find the recipe for the pizza dough?