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SSS #13 - BBQ Pizza

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Kim of What I Really Think got her cooking Gold Star this week. Not only did she guest host on the marathon cooking challenge at Pomodori e Vino, but she also chose this week's recipe for our Sunday Slow Suppers.

Here is what Kim says about the recipe:

This is one of our favorite summer recipes (and we've been known to clear the snow off the grill to make it in the winter too). It first appeared in Bon Appetit in 1997 and you can find the original recipe on line: Grilled Pizza with Spicy Italian Sausage. I remember, the first couple of times we made it, Chris and I fought.... oh man ... but now we've got it down and a good division of labor that works for us (one of those fights led to me storming out forcing him to make the dough on his own - who knew he could make such a good pizza dough). Now he does the dough, I handle the topping prep, and we do everything before our guests arrive (except rolling and grilling the dough - and maybe grilling the toppings - depending on my mood).

Over the years I've made adjustments too.

Like they say this makes 4 - 8 inch pizzas for four people. We'd always have a bunch left over, so now we make 6 pizzas (and since mine are never circles, it doesn't matter the radius), plus it's less calories this way.

Another substitution I made from the start was to sub turkey hot Italian sausage for regular (sometimes, I even use Chicken - or a different type of sausage all together). I also cut way down on the oil in the recipe - to like a 1/4 or 1/3 cup - or use my WW vinaigrette recipe with more garlic and rosemary).

I guess my point is - that it's pizza, so once you get the concept of grilling the dough, instead of baking it, you can top it however you see fit. But I do recommend using the original dough recipe (hopefully we can find fresh rosemary) b/c it's really delicious.

This was my very first time making pizza dough from scratch, so there is good news and bad news about the experience. Good news first - it tasted delicious - the crust was tender and flavorful. Bad news - I obviously need a better technique because my pizzas were way too thick. Maybe I will try Jerry's alternate dough recipe next time and see if I can stretch the dough out further.

I think one of the other SSS cooks mentioned that there may be too many ingredients - I think that is correct. My ingredients were piled much higher than they should have been. So, fewer ingredients next time too.

Here are all of the ingredients:
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And my finished pizza:
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BBQ Pizza

Dough:

1 cup warm water (105°F to 115°F)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 envelope dry yeast
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups (or more) all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary

Combine water and sugar in a food processor. Sprinkle yeast over; let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes. Add oil, then 3 cups flour and salt. Process until dough comes together, about 1 minute.

Turn dough out onto floured work surface. Sprinkle with rosemary. Knead until dough is smooth and elastic, adding more flour by tablespoonfuls if dough is sticky, about 5 minutes. Lightly oil large bowl. Add dough; turn to coat with oil. Cover bowl with plastic, then towel. Let stand in warm draft-free area until dough doubles, about 1 hour. To test that the dough has risen sufficiently, push two fingers into it. The depressions should remain.

Punch down dough. Knead dough in bowl until smooth, about 2 minutes. Divide dough into 4 equal pieces. Stretch out each piece on floured surface to 9-inch round. To prevent the dough from sticking as you stretch it, use flour sparingly; too much will result in a tough crust.

Toppings:

3/4 cup olive oil
6 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
1 pound spicy Italian sausages
2 yellow or red bell peppers, cored, lengthwise
1 large red onion, peeled, cut through root end into 1/2-inch thick wedges

Whisk first 4 ingredients in medium bowl. Let vinaigrette stand 15 minutes at room temperature or refrigerate up to 2 hours.

Prepare barbecue (medium heat). Arrange sausages, peppers and onion on baking sheet. Brush with some of vinaigrette. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill sausages until cooked through and peppers and onion until slightly charred and crisp-tender, turning and basting occasionally, about 12 minutes for sausages and 8 minutes for peppers and onion.

Transfer sausages and vegetables to cutting board. Cut sausages into 1/2-inch pieces and peppers into thin strips.

Final preparation:

2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups crumbled chilled soft fresh goat cheese (such as Montrachet)
4 plum tomatoes, halved, seeded, chopped
3/4 cup chopped green onion tops Add coals to barbecue if necessary. Place 2 dough rounds on grill. Grill over medium heat until top of dough puffs and underside is crisp, about 3 minutes. Turn rounds over. Grill 1 minute. Transfer to baking sheet with well-grilled side up. This side of the dough becomes the surface that will hold the toppings.

Repeat with the remaining 2 dough rounds. Sprinkle each with 1/4 of mozzarella and Parmesan. Top each with 1/4 of sausage, peppers and onion, then with 1/4 of goat cheese, tomatoes and green onions. Drizzle each with 1 1/2 teaspoons vinaigrette.

Using large metal spatula, return 2 pizzas to grill. Close grill or cover pizzas loosely with foil. Grill until cheeses melt and dough is cooked through and browned, using tongs to rotate pizzas for Transfer to plates. Repeat grilling for remaining 2 pizzas.

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