My new favorite food

As I’ve mentioned recently, we’re having a real summer here in SE Alaska! This was from last week, but today’s weather looked just like this. (On my phone, anyway…it was a little less sunny in reality. But no rain!)  If you know the Pacific Northwest, and SE Alaska, Summertime!you know how rare it is to have a week of sunshine in the forecast. Even more rare to have multiple weeks like that. And while we’ve had a few rainy days here and there, this is a summer to celebrate!

With summer comes grilling, and we’ve done a lot of that this month. I’ve been trying new recipes and decided to experiment with pizza on the grill. I’ve read about it, thought about it, and now, I’ve tried it. Let me tell you, it’s my new favorite thing. Worth doing, and so easy I wonder why I haven’t tried it before.

So here’s the way to do it:

There are lots of recipes to choose from. Here’s one I like:

Ingredients:

2 teaspoons instant yeast
2 teaspoons sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
3 cups (11 ounces) all-purpose flour*
3/4 cup (6 ounces) lukewarm water
2 tablespoons (7/8 ounce) olive oil

*Substitute Whole Wheat flour for half of the all-purpose flour, if desired.

Method:

Mix all of the ingredients to make a soft, supple dough. Knead for 5 minutes, divide the dough in half, cover with lightly greased plastic wrap, and let rest and relax for 15 minutes (or for up to an hour or so; work it into your schedule as you see fit).

Grease two 12″ squares of parchment paper. Use your greased fingers to press each piece of dough on the parchment into an 11″ to 12″ circle about 1/8″ thick. Brush or spray the crusts with olive oil, and let them rest for about 30 minutes, while you pre-heat your grill.

To make grilled pizza: Be prepared to grill your pizza within 15 minutes of shaping it; you don’t want it to rise too much. So, make sure your barbecue grill is heated (or cooled) to medium-hot by the time the dough is ready to grill.

Set the rack 3″ to 4″ above the fire. Take one circle of dough, on its parchment, and swiftly but carefully turn it (dough down, parchment on top) onto the grill. Peel off the parchment.

After 1 minute, turn it over; it should be stiff enough to turn quite easily (if not, your grill isn’t hot enough). Layer with toppings. This is not the time to pile on the meat, cheese, veggies, etc. Since the pizza will be cooking very briefly, it’s better to top with just a minimal amount of stuff: thinly sliced veggies, a thin layer of cheese, etc.

Bake an additional 5 minutes or so, with the cover on (if your grill has a cover), or until the filling is hot and the cheese is melting. Adjust the temperature of the grill if the bottom is browning too quickly. And, move the pizza around on the grill if one side or the other starts to get too brown on the bottom. Repeat the grilling process with the other pizza.

We like veggie pizza. Marinated artichoke hearts, fresh sliced tomatoes, basil, mushrooms, peppers, red onion, salt and pepper over all, and top with a blend of shredded mozzarella and shaved parmesan…perfection! The pizza dough “bakes” up so light and airy on the grill it’s like eating something from a gourmet wood-fired pizzeria. The veggies get just slightly cooked so they taste incredibly fresh and keep a little of their crunchiness. The whole thing is warm and satisfying to eat, and so fast. I’m seriously thinking of making this again for the third time this week. Haven’t had my fill yet!

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12 thoughts on “My new favorite food

  1. Isn’t it odd that we’re getting all the rain and you are getting all of the sunshine? In spite of that, I love this idea. Maybe topped with fresh tomatoes instead of sauce, a handful of basil and mozzarella. Yum. May try that as soon as the sun shines enough to get the tomato harvest cranked up.

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    • Hey, hope your Tuesday is dry! We have another beautiful day here…our first summer in Ketchikan (2009) was like this, but this is the first since that season. The ones in between have been mostly disappointing. Believe me, when my heat is on in July and August, I have a hard time convincing myself I’ve had a summer season!
      Yes, fresh tomatoes, basil, marinated artichoke hearts, red onion, garlic paste…all yummy! I think the flavors of the veggies shines through without the traditional sauce. And it saves a few calories! Let me know how you like it when you have a chance to give it a try! ~ Sheila

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  2. Hi Sheila,
    It’s Margie Colas, Chuck Colas’ wife, just replying here to let you know I would like to have a way to dialogue with you in writing, perhaps email? I have enjoyed so much of your blog and am feeling this tug at my heart to know you. I also would like to discuss and ponder this strong “call” to the island. If you would be willing, please contact me at margaretcolas@yahoo.com
    Blessings to you,
    Margie

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    • Hello Margie! What a lovely comment! Thank you for subscribing, and yes, I would love to get to know you…I’ll be in touch via your email. Welcome! ~ Sheila

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    • Hey, sorry I’ve been soooo long responding! Life is crazy, more on that later! Missed reading your blog, but I’ve saved all your recent posts in my email to catch up. And no, no sauce! Probably most people would call our “pizza” a veggie topped flat bread. It is delicious! Hope you give it a try! ~ Sheila

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    • Grilled pizza is a fun summer treat! And you’re right, kitchen stays cool! Thanks for visiting and for commenting. As you can see, I’m just a litttttle bit behind in my responses. My daughter and her two little ones have been here for a visit…so fun! But no time for blogging! Looking forward to getting to know you! ~ Sheila

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