Be warned: this is another l..o..n..g post. Perhaps I talk a lot. Maybe I’m just thorough. Whatever it may be, here it is!
I might be catching up. I can see the bottom of my desk. The counter in the kitchen only has one pile (and it’s less than six inches high). The meal plan for July is done (after operating without one for the entire month of June, this feels great!). The bathrooms are clean; all uncarpeted floors are scrubbed; the carpeted ones are (mostly) vacuumed. The layers for Sarah’s birthday cake are in the freezer, ready for assembly in a few days. I’ve read through all of my magazines for July (Can the August issues really be coming within a couple of weeks? Seriously? School starts in August!). The garden is even completely weeded (for a couple days, at least)!
It helps that we’re down a couple people in the house. This is my husband’s second week (of three) of summer school and my sister-in-law graciously took one of the girls for the week. Granted, it’s the one that can hold a conversation and is the biggest help around here, but she’s also the one who won’t take a nap. It’s been a quiet week.
But it’s also been a challenging week meal-wise. When it’s just you, a 19-month-old, and a 4-year-old who doesn’t really chew much, what do you make? Admittedly, the first day was leftovers — lunch and supper. The second day, well, I added a cut-up cooked chicken breast and frozen broccoli cuts to a box of cooked Long Grain & Wild Rice-a-Roni. (Did I mention that I’m also trying to not heat up the kitchen, so I’m employing the microwave and grill as much as possible?) But yesterday–well, I was in the mood for pizza. Since I had a hunk of pizza dough in the freezer, an urge to write a post here, and nothing but bathtime in the schedule for the evening, it was time for grilled pizza.
I’ll let the pictures do most of the talking. Below you’ll find a recipe that I often use for grilled pizza. But if you can get fresh pizza dough at the store or if you have a favorite pizza dough recipe, it should work just fine. I use a gas grill (for convenience and time).
I divided the dough–which normally makes one regular pizza–into two balls. I stretched them out on a cornmeal-sprinkled pizza peel (you can also use a baking sheet). You’ll notice that they aren’t both round–I do what’s going to fit on the grill. My recipe says to brush them with oil, but yesterday I went, “Duh! It’s called cooking spray!” So, I sprayed them with cooking spray. 🙂 Then you flip them oiled side down onto a preheated grill (medium heat, about 400 degrees). This step takes a little praying right before you flip it so that it all lands relatively flat on the grate; you can only adjust so much after it lands! Cover and grill for 2-4 minutes or until the bottom is browned. Flip onto peels with browned side up.
Make sure you have your toppings ready and at hand. Top as you like. I usually put some cheese down after the sauce, top with other stuff, and then add a bit more cheese for presentation.
Place pizzas back on grill until cheese is melted and bottom is browned (you may need to reduce the heat a bit to keep from burning the crust). Remove from grill, let sit for a minute or two, cut, and enjoy!
This recipe is completely adaptable (as most pizza is). I like to mix a teaspoon of garlic powder (or a couple cloves of minced fresh garlic) with a brick of softened cream cheese. Spread that over the browned crust and top with at least mozzarella cheese. You can add tomato slices and basil. Cooked chicken pieces and mushrooms. (I’ve also done Margarita Chicken Pizza–variation below.) Or go Mexican and do tomato, cilantro, onion, and jalapenos with a sprinkle of lime juice over the pizza after pulling it off the grill. Maybe go all patriotic for the Fourth of July–tomato, red onion, and blue cheese (I personally don’t like blue cheese, but it can’t be bad for those who do, right?). Be creative! Have fun! Enjoy!
- 1 package (2-1/4 tsp) active dry yeast
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 tsp vegetable oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 2-1/4 – 2-3/4 cups flour
- pizza toppings as desired (this recipe uses at least 2 cups of cheese and about 3/4 – 1 cup pizza sauce)
Dissolve yeast in warm water in large bowl. Let sit for 5 minutes. Add vegetable oil, salt, and sugar. Stir in as much flour as possible with wooden spoon. Turn onto floured surface and knead, adding rest of flour to make medium stiff dough that’s smooth and elastic (about 5-6 minutes). Form dough into 2 balls; cover and let rest for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, line two cookie sheets with wax paper or foil (this is really up to you; sometimes it helps, sometimes it doesn’t). Spread liberally with cornmeal. Preheat gas grill; turn down to medium. Prepare pizza toppings and place near grill for easy access to top the crusts.
When dough is done resting, place each ball on prepared cookie sheet and roll out to 10-inch circle (if you want to do two at a time on the grill, adjust the shape accordingly to fit both on your grill). Brush oil over top of crust (or spray with cooking spray). To grill, use the wax paper or foil to invert crust directly onto grill rack. Cover and grill for 3-4 minutes or until bubbles begin to form in crust and/or bottom is brown (carefully use large spatula to check). Remove crust from grill. Spread sauce on top of browned side and top as desired. Return to grill rack; cover and grill for an additional 5-10 minutes or until cheese is melted and bottom of crust is browned. Remove from grill. Cut and enjoy!
Margarita Chicken Grilled Pizza
- pizza dough
- 2 limes
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 1 boneless skinless chicken breast (about 1 1b.)
- 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 2 Tbsp. butter or margarine, softened
- ¼ tsp. black pepper
- 1 medium tomato, chopped
- ¼ cup sliced ripe olives
- ¼ cup chopped onion
- 1 ½ cups shredded pepper jack cheese
Slice one lime and place in shallow dish; gently push on lime slices with spoon. Add ¼ cup oil, 1 tsp. salt, and garlic. Add chicken; marinate for 15 minutes. Preheat gas grill; turn down to medium. Grill chicken for 10-15 minutes or until juices run clear. Remove from grill, cool slightly, and chop.
Meanwhile, in small bowl, mix cream cheese, butter, and pepper. Cut remaining lime in half; add juice to mixture. Using fork, scrape out enough of the flesh of the lime to equal about a tablespoon; add to mixture. Set aside.
Line a cookie sheet with wax paper or foil, if desired (or use pizza peels). Spread liberally with cornmeal. Divide dough into two balls, place one on each prepared cookie sheet and roll out to 10-inch circle. Brush oil over top of crust.
Set cream cheese mixture, tomato, olives, onion, and cheese near grill for easy access to top the crust.
To grill, invert crust, oil side down, directly onto grill rack. Cover and grill for 2-4 minutes or until bubbles begin to form in crust and/or bottom is brown (carefully use large spatula to check). Remove crust from grill. Spread cream cheese mixture on top of browned side and top with chicken, tomato, olives, onion, and cheese. Return to grill rack; cover and grill for an additional 5-10 minutes or until cheese is melted and bottom of crust is browned. Remove from grill. Cut and enjoy! Serves 4.