At long last, summer weather has returned to the Bay Area neighborhood where we live. (See microclimates for reasons on specificity to weather/neighborhood). With that, I looked for some ideas on how to serve a hot meal without heating the whole house. Since I've recently assigned myself the task of giving Bobby Flay a run for his money *and* we all love pizza *and* I have a keen interest in getting rid of some leftovers using up quality space in the refrigerator, I landed on a dinner of Pizza-Q.
I combined all the elements last week and had some rip roaring success. I used Giada's Pizza Dough recipe and whatever fixin's we had in the refrigerator for toppings: bacon, pesto, spinach, fresh tomatoes, parmesan cheese, smoky mozzarella, onions, leftover chicken, you name it.
I had made some roasted tomatoes earlier in the day (thank you, Smitten Kitchen) and this made for a perfect sauce. I split the dough three ways and rolled it out with Ruth's rolling pin. This created a very thin dough and much more evenly flat than usual. I coated it on both sides to prevent it sticking to the barbeque and then waited.
This was the important part: wait until the grill was heated to a minimum of 400 degrees. I carefully folded one round of pizza dough and carried it to the grill. Open the grill cover, unfold the dough and place it on the grill. It will heat up and cook the bottom half of the dough quickly, keep careful watch. Once the underside is nicely cooked, flip it over and then add toppings. I started with the roasted tomato sauce and then added whatever each person wanted. To keep the size of the pizza manageable, I created a pie (or 'za or personal pizza) for each member of the family. Ownership seems to increase palatability, oddly enough…though in hindsight, I do remember that I cook for a 7.5 year old (age related food picky-ness) and Mr. PickyEater. Only the baby seems to eat without care everything that I put on her tray.
Keep the grill cover down if you wish or up. Grill until the cheese has melted or you feel it is "done" in the center. Subjective, I know. Just be careful not to burn yourself and don't say I didn't warn you!
Each pizza turned out beautifully with a chewy, thin crust and a just right amount of toppings to make it viable. We'll be turning to this idea again soon, as temperatures are expected to stay high and the leftovers keep piling up in the fridge!