Saturday, July 24, 2010

Grilled Pizza

I've joined a group on Facebook called Mario's Weekend Cooking Challenge.  Mario is the host of Living Today which is a radio show on the Martha Stewart Channel on Sirius/XM.  Once a month he enlists the help of a chef to provide a recipe and everyone in the group makes it on the weekend following it being posted.  The chef is available to answer questions on the designated Saturday that we cook and everyone is on Facebook posting pics and questions and chatting.  So far I have participated in two of the Cooking Challenges.  My sister, Erin, and I did my first one together.  It was a Mexican Chocolate cake.  Boy was it good, but look just awful when we tried to get it out of the bundt pan.  It was salvaged though.  We turned it into individual trifles with whip cream and raspberries. Nom!!  (See bottom for a pic of the trifle.)

So last weekend the challenge was grilled pizza.  I had never grilled pizza, nor had I ever made my own dough.  I was kinda scared of doing both.  Who wants to go to all the trouble, not have it turn out right and then just have to order out?  Not me!  So when I started, I had a back up plan.  (Granted... it was called Pillsbury Refrigerated Pizza dough. But whatever.)  It made me feel better. 

Normally the cooking challenge takes place on Saturday.  But my Saturday was already full, so I opted to do it on Sunday.  My husband and so weren't at home, so I got started on making the dough.  Less than 5 minutes in I had a HUGE mess.  My mistake was not mixing the stuff together in a bowl.  That had been my original plan but something (the devil on my shoulder?) told me that I should do it on my cutting board and just make a deep well in the flour mixture and add the water and yeast to that.  I'm sure it works for most, but not for me.  A wall of flour collapsed and water and flour went everywhere.  After cleaning up I decided to look in my pantry for some pizza yeast I remembered buying sometime back.  After locating it I was back in business.  Only this time I didn't have to wait for the dough to rise.  The Fleischmann's Pizza Crust Yeast website has a recipe for pizza dough that is perfect for grilling and it's super easy to make.  You don't have to wait for it to rise.  You can find the recipe here.  I added fresh chopped rosemary from my herb garden before mixing and that really made the pizza.

My toppings when grilling were Fontina cheese, my own homemade sauce, cherry tomatoes, basil and olive oil.  This was the best pizza I've ever put in my mouth.  And who knew it was so easy?    And although I wasn't able to follow the original recipe, I was able to save dinner and find a faster method that I will be sure to use again. 

P.S.  The Pillsbury dough is still in my fridge waiting to be used.  :-)

Here is my homemade sauce recipe.  As you will notice, I don't use onions or garlic.  As I've been told, it's a sin that I don't like them.  But I don't, so I don't use them.  But if you do, then add them.  I would chop the onions and cook them down in a little olive oil and add the garlic to that.  When the onions are soft, add the ingredients below

Mandi's Homemade Sauce

4-5 lbs Tomatoes
Salt (to taste)
1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons Agave nectar

Peel and seed the tomatoes.  The easiest way i know is to boil water in a pot.  Cut an "X" thru the skin of the tomato on the bottom.  Drop it in the pot of boiling water for a few seconds and then remove to a paper towel to dry and cool.  When they are cool enough to handle the skin will slip right off. 
Next, cut the tomatoes into quarters and remove all the seeds.  When all the seeds are removed, chop the tomatoes and add to a pot and cook them down on medium heat.  The salt, balsamic vinegar and agave nectar are going to be added to your taste.  It's going to depend on your tomatoes.  I'd start with the measurements above and taste it. 

The sauce is great on pasta, in stuffed peppers or zucchini and on pizza.  If you are going to use it on pizza, you will want to cook it down a little further than if you were just going to use it on pasta so it will be thicker.

Mexican Chocolate Cake as a Trifle

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