Tuesday, October 12, 2010

My favourite BBQ Pizza

This has been one of my favourite recipes for a long time. I even told my Husband that it just might be my choice of last meal if I had to decide. I know morbid, but that is just how much I love this Pizza. This is a different type of pizza. The tomato sauce has been replaced with a balsamic vinaigrette, & the veggies have been roasted on the BBQ.

I haven't made it for many years, becasue I have been living in an apartment without a BBQ for two years, & I was busy for a year before that planning both my wedding, & my Sister's wedding. Oh ya & the whole graduating from Nursing thing. I guess I have been just a little busy. Now with the impending arrival the new addition to the family we will once again have a very busy period in our lives. I have been wanting to make this recipie since we bought the BBQ in the spring & I have finally got around to it.

The recipie I make has been slightly modified from a Grilled Pizza with Spicy Italian Sausage recipie originally printed in Bon Appetit, July 1997. This recipie has a lot of steps, but most of the prep is done while the dough is rising. In My opinion it is worth the trouble.

I have never used the Spicy Italian Sausage or the green onions. I also like to use feta instead of goat cheese because of price & the tang of the Feta with the balsamic vinaigrette. I have also cut out the Parmesan cheese in the past because I didn't have it on hand, & the resulting pizza was still yummy.

BBQ Pizza:

The Crust Part 1 of 3:

The thought of making crust by hand may be daunting, but this is a really easy crust, as it is made with a food processor. Any Pizza crust with rosemary added would probably work. I have made the dough in a breadmaker (following the recipie for pizza crust that came with the Breadmaker) with chopped rosemary thrown in, & I've made it by hand. All have produced a yummy crust. I do want to stress that the chopped rosemary in the crust for me is one of the things that makes this Pizza swoon worthy. Not to mention the amazing sent while cooking the crusts on the BBQ.

After the Dough has been mixed in the food processor & rosemary kneaded in it has to raise for 1 hour. I have never had the best luck with dough rising, so I like to turn on the stove to 200 0F then turn it off after a few minutes & put the bowl with the dough on top of the element with the heat vent. You have to be careful because if you use a highly conductive bowl it can slightly cook the dough, or if you forget to turn the oven off.

While the Dough Rises:

I usually take this time to prep the vinaigrette, cheese &, all my veggies.

I like to prepare the vinaigrette using a hand blender, but whisking would do as well. I find that the hand blender emulsifies all the ingredients & I do not have to remix all the ingredients during the preparation process. I love this vinaigrette. I think I could eat it by the spoonful like soup. I like to pour the remainder into a bowl & add it to my pizza as I eat it.

It makes it easier later to have the cheese all grated & ready for assembly. The tomatoes need to be seeded & chopped. The peppers have to be seeded & quartered, & the onions cut into 1/2 inch wedges & peeled. According to the recipie it's important when you cut your onions into wedges that you cut through the root end in hope of the wedges staying together. I have found that to be wishful thinking. I have never had them all stay together on the BBQ. I still recommend that you cut the onion wedges as the recipie states. I like to use a grill pan, grill basket, or BBQ wok will make the onions easier to cook, & you will not have to chase them through the gill.

Preheat the BBQ to medium heat

The Crust Part 2 of 3:

After the dough has risen you will need to punch it down & knead the dough a second time, then divide into 4 equal pieces & shape into 9 inch rounds.

Well to that I say ya right. I have never been able to get dough into lovely rounds. Why let that stop you from enjoying pizza goodness. I prefer ugly blobs anyways. Trust me they taste just as good as lovely perfect round crusts, & they look more rustic & homemade.

Final Preparation of Toppings:

Baste the veggies with the vinaigrette on both sides & season with Salt & pepper to your taste. Then place on the BBQ to grill for approximately 8 minutes (4 minutes per side), or until nicely charred. This is where the grilling basked comes in handy.

After the veggies are grilled bring the peppers in to be cut into strips, & I like to split the pieces of onions into strips, especially if you are using a larger onion, but they could also be left in wedges.

The Crust Part 3 of 3:

Now it's time to grill the crust. With the BBQ on medium heat, place the crusts on the grill. I usually grill all 4 at one time. The crust will stick slightly at first, so do not play with them until they are crispy on the bottom with grill marks, & have puffed up slightly. Then flip the crust to the second side for half the time the fist side was grilled. The recipie states 3 minutes on the first side & 1 minute on the second side (for once I actually listen to them).

Final Assembly:

Top grilled crusts (well grilled side up), with 1/4 of the mozza & 1/4 of the Parmesan. Then follow by pepper strips, & onions. Next a 1/4 of the feta (or as much as you can fit on without it falling off), followed by the tomatoes. Finally drizzle 1 1/2 Tbsp of the vinaigrette over each of the Pizzas.

After all the parts are assembled, & your Husband (life partner or guests) exclaim "that is a lot of stuff on there" slide 2 of the pizzas back on to the grill, using a large spatula, until the cheese is melted, & the crust is browned. Then repeat with the 2 other pizzas. Serve with the remainder of the vinaigrette if you like.


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