my oh my, let’s GRILL our pie!
Many apologies for taking so long to post. Sadly, during the last few months I also took a break from all that healthy eating. However, we definitely stuck to our tail-end of summer grillfest, so I wanted to share some delicious dinners we had during my unintentional blog hiatus. After so many low-calorie/low-carb/low-fat/low-whatever dishes, we were craving something different yet easy, with lots of flavor, but a meal that all three of us would be happy with. Since we hadn’t eaten any pizza in quite some time (literally the antithesis of my summer dieting plans), I thought it might be fun to combine our grilling adventures and our pizza desires by using the new BBQ Pizza Pan. Perfectly shaped to put a whole pizza on the barbecue, with cool slats cut out to make expertly crafted grill marks on the bottom!
The best part of making pizza is that I can actually do three different ones with very little effort on my part, thus ensuring that we each get the specific ingredients we want (without having to hassle a take-out place to do combo pizzas and pay for extra ingredients, or to order one for each of us). I found two great recipes in the new cookbook – Great Grilling Recipes – the Grilled BBQ Chicken Pizza and the Mushroom Arugula Pizza. We also made a little Ryley-sized cheese and black olive pizza since she isn’t usually interested in eating our creative concoctions.
Fresh and Easy has refrigerated pizza dough (traditional, sourdough, or whole wheat options), and I’ve found that I can make two perfectly personal thin crust pizzas out of each package, unless I’m in the mood to make a single massive one. Ryley doesn’t like her food to have any blackening action, so we decided to forego the grill for hers and use my Pizza Stone in the oven. Unfortunately, after she worked so hard to roll out the dough, spread the sauce and sprinkle the cheese, I lost track of time and burned it so badly that the ENTIRE PIZZA was completely black (and smoking). Oops. I distracted her away from the kitchen while I quickly replaced her smoldering charcoal frisbee with a fresh one and she never knew the difference! I sliced perfect little triangles with the Pizza Cutter and while she happily ate “her” creation, I prepped the other two pizzas and had Jeremiah warm up the grill for indirect cooking.
Instead of using rotisserie chicken like the BBQ Chicken Pizza calls for, I simply grilled a boneless breast on my George Foreman and shredded it after it cooled a bit. I don’t have the Beer Barbecue Sauce yet (although I’ve heard it’s very tasty), so I made a bbq sauce mix from the ones in our fridge for a great big flavor (Dr. Pepper BBQ Sauce and Sicilian Spicy BBQ). I also do not have cornmeal, and honestly didn’t think it would be worth it to buy some, so I just floured the cutting board a second time after rolling out the dough. The recipe says to use marbled cheddar cheese, so I did use the Fresh and Easy Cheddar and Jack mix, but I also added a layer of mozzarella at the very bottom just because we love cheese! Once I tossed the chicken with the BBQ sauce mix, freshly snipped oregano and coarsely ground black pepper, I spread it out on the secret cheese layer. I added sliced red onion from the Simple Slicer and garlic out of the Garlic Slicer, and then sprinkled the other cheese mixture on top to keep it all moist while grilling. The one thing I would suggest, though, is to give the bottom of the pizza a quick flash of actual flames when it’s basically done cooking, because the indirect method kept our dough from getting the grill marks that we were looking forward to bragging about. Otherwise, the pizza was delicious!
There’s a fabulous mushroom pizza at work with leeks, goat cheese, and drizzle truffle oil, yum! I was intending to recreate that pizza when I found the Mushroom and Arugula Pizza in the Vegetables & More chapter, so I made a hybrid of the two. It calls for olive oil, but I chose to brush the dough with our Garlic Oil instead. I did mix a tiny bit of olive oil with the Spinach and Smoky Red Pepper Oil Dipping Seasoning and then used my Chef’s Silicone Basting Brush to spread that on the dough as well. After I sauteed baby portobello mushrooms, a few pieces of sliced shallot, and some pressed garlic, I put the veggies and a generous amount of goat cheese on the pizza. For some dumb reason, I forgot the cherry tomatoes were still in the fridge, but at least I had added black olives and artichoke hearts to make up for it. I finished the pizza with a sprinkling of mozzarella cheese on top and stuffed into the crust around the edges before grilling, and then topped it with fresh arugula. It satisfied all my goat cheese pizza needs, but next time I’d like to add the tomatoes and balsamic vinaigrette just because the original version sounds really good too.
It was quite an indulgent meal, but so worth it after behaving for months. I earned my pizza! I’ll always love my stones, but it’s great to change things up once in awhile, and I definitely enjoyed throwing our “pies” onto the grill for just a touch of smokiness and depth. The Pampered Chef has such a great collection of grilling tools, and although we’re already into the fall season, October has still had some hundred plus degree days so I’m sure I’ll be able to share more grilled wonders with you. Thanks for sticking around, I promise I’ll be back!