Monday, April 27, 2009

This is the good life...

Another gorgeous day here in the valley. I'm lucky enough to be off work all week this week, so I'm very much enjoying this lovely surprise heat wave Mother Nature has sent us. Today we bought a bird bath for our garden and I planted my annuals out back on our deck. Actually, as I write this right now - I'm happily rocking away on the front porch, watching the sun set. Ahhh... this IS the life!

Given the hot weather, I'm not very interested in spending time in front of my stove - or anywhere else inside, for that matter. The grill is definitely my friend this week. Tonight I made pizza on the grill. It may sound odd - and you may be nervous at first about the dough falling through the grills - but I swear it works like a charm! I made a margarita pizza with tomatoes, basil and mozzarella, so I'm also entering this recipe in this month's Royal Foodie Joust.

I've always been a bit too intimidated by the ingredients list to join the joust... or at least worried that Mr. ValleyWriter wouldn't eat whatever I'd made. For example, I think the edible flowers from a couple of months ago would've made him run in the other direction. But this month's only requirements were colors - red, white and green. This pizza fits the bill perfectly and is something we can both enjoy. So, without further ado:

Grilled Margarita Pizza

(Note: I make my dough using a bread machine. You can substitute your favorite dough recipe - or use premade dough from the store.)

Dough Ingredients:
3/4 c. warm water
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 1/4 flour
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp yeast

1/2 c. pizza sauce
8-10 medium-sized basil leaves
1 ripe tomato
8 oz. part skim mozzarella cheese (whole - not shredded)

To make pizza:
Place dough ingredients in your bread machine pan in the order listed (or as directed by the manufacturer). Set to dough cycle.
When dough finishes, pour out onto a well floured surface. Mix in a little flour just until dough is no longer sticky. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate while you get the toppings ready.
Wash and dry basil leaves. Cut tomato into 1/4" slices and remove any large pockets of seeds (which can make the pizza watery). Cut mozzarella into 1/8"-1/4" slices.

Spray the grill generously with nonstick spray. Start it up, set to medium heat and close the cover. Let the grill heat about 3-4 minutes.
In the meantime, remove the dough from the refrigerator. Sprinkle a medium-sized cookie sheet with a little flour and place dough in the center. Spread dough out along the bottom of the cookie sheet until it is about 8-9" wide x 13-14" long.
Turn the grill down to medium-low heat. Invert the cookie sheet with the dough onto the grill. Let it sit about 1-2 minutes to make sure the dough releases, then pull off the cookie sheet using tongs or pot holders. (The pan will be HOT - don't touch it with your bare hands. Take it from someone who found out the hard way....)
Close the cover and let the dough cook about 5 minutes.
Spread sauce on top of dough. Layer basil, tomato slices and mozzarella slices on top. Close the cover and let cook another 15 minutes until dough is cooked and cheese is melted.
Remove from the grill and let cool about 10 minutes before serving.

This goes great with a nice, refreshing pale ale. Enjoy & wish me luck in the joust! If you're a member of the Foodie Blogroll - don't forget to vote for your favorite Foodie Joust entry starting May 1st.


LK- Healthy Delicious said...

this looks great! My dad always used to do pizza on the grill...I haven't had it in year sthough.

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

Awesome entry! I have tried making grilled pizza and you are right, it does work like a charm! This Margherita looks perfect! :)
I am also happy to hear that the weather has been good to you too!

Jenn said...

It's times like these that I wish I had a grill. Yummy pizza!!

cantbelieveweate said...

Looks perfectly yummy! Best wishes in the joust!

Season to Taste blog said...

Just discovered your blog---love it! I lived in Amherst in the 90s and love that area!!
Grilling pizza is my #1 favorite thing to do in warm weather---bring it on!!! Thx for the gorgeous pictures!

Kelly said...

Wow! That looks fantastic, fresh, and I want a bite!

Tangled Noodle said...

I can't resist pizza of any kind but I've always wanted to try making grilled pizza. This is great - I can't wait to make it although the weather's going to be dreary for the next couple of days. Fingers crossed that the weekend will be nicer . . .

Teanna said...

I've never grilled pizza and I am dying to try it! It looks absolutely gorgeous!

petermarcus said...

You know, when I first came up with the ingredients, pizza margarita was what I was thinking of in my own mind. And then you grilled it -- I haven't grilled pizza yet, and I've been meaning to, so it was the perfect touch to a classic.

What a great and tasty entry! Thanks for entering it and don't be intimidated in the future -- it's all a lot of fun!

ValleyWriter said...

Thanks petermarcus! It was a lot of fun to join in - especially with the way you picked your ingredients. I can't wait for the next one!