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Last year I started playing around with pizza on the grill at the urging of my friend Annemarie in NY. A fellow foodie, she mastered it and knew that it would become a true favorite at our house as well. Can I say that not only has it become a fav, it’s become a staple each and every Friday night (or Sat night, or Sun night…)! Not only is it QUICK, and I mean minutes quick people, but it’s easy, fun and versatile!! My kind of meal…oh yeah, there’s no kitchen to heat up and almost NO dishes!
There are so many ways to make this just starting with the crust.
Selecting your toppings
Here’s your cue…go simple, go creative or go crazy – sky’s the limit my friends! (I will give you some of my favorite combos, just in case you don’t feel like thinking though.) But just make sure that all the ingredients are pre-cooked and will melt/warm quick. Saute and carmelize onions, peppers and other veggies first and have them ready to go!
Here is where you need to be organized. I get a tray filled with all my prepped toppings, cheese and sauce to bring out to the grill. (Sometimes, if I’m doing a “Deluxe” pizza, I just throw all the ingredients into one big bowl and mix it together so I can spread it all on quickly in handfuls.
Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Oil grill grates to ensure dough does not stick. Reduce heat to med/med-lo and lay the dough, cornmeal side up, on the grill. (I know, it seems like the dough will sag through the grates and be one nasty mess, but amazingly it doesn’t! It’ll starting cooking/rising immediately.) Don’t go too far, this doesn’t take long at all, especially if you’re doing a thin crust. In a couple of minutes, check the bottom of the pizza to make sure it isn’t burning. Once it’s nice and crisp (or baked to your liking), flip it over so the cornmeal side will start cooking and reduce heat to low. Immediately put your sauce then toppings on (I do sauce, a thin layer of mozzarella then the rest of my goodies, then another layer of mozz on top.) and close the lid and let the melting begin!
Within a few minutes the pizza should be a smoky, melty pie of deliciousness!
Remove from grill with 2 large spatulas onto the baking sheet for transport onto your cutting surface. Cut it in big squares or in long sticks for more of an appetizer type food.
Here are a few of my picks:
- Margarita Pizza: No pizza sauce, just olive oil, sliced tomatoes, fresh sliced mozzarella and fresh basil. This one is a terrific appetizer!
-BBQ Chicken Pizza: BBQ sauce, sauteed red onion, shredded chicken (from a rotisserie chicken, grilled leftovers or I’ve even used canned chicken breast in a pinch!), chopped cilantro and mozzarella cheese, or smoked gouda.
-Bacon, Chicken Ranch Pizza: Ranch dressing for the sauce, pre-cooked bacon bits, grilled or rotisserie chicken and cheese.