Grilled Green Pizza

As I said on Wednesday, grilling pizza was on my summer to do list.

Last year I made my first attempt at grilling pizza, and it was kind of tricky.

Like how do you get the dough onto the grill?  And how do you flip it over?  And how do you get it to cook without turning into a charcoaled mess?

Well, this year after doing some research in magazines and on the internet, I’ve worked out the kinks.

It went a lot more smoothly.

The crust on grilled pizza is just so amazingly crispy!

And with two kinds of cheese and avocados, how can you go wrong?

Grilled Green Pizza

(slightly adapted from Rachael Ray Everyday Magazine)

makes 2 small pizzas

1/2 recipe for pizza dough (I made a full recipe, then divided it in half)

3 tbsp olive oil

1 clove garlic, smashed and peeled

1 tsp ground cumin

1 green pepper

1 red onion, peeled and cut into 8 wedges (keep root end attached)

1/4 cup salsa verde

1 1/2 cups pepper jack cheese, grated

1/4 cup feta, crumbled

1 avocado, sliced

Handful of cilantro, chopped

Prepare your pizza dough (or use store bought).

Heat grill on high to 500º.  Prepare garlic/cumin oil by placing the oil, cumin, and garlic in a small bowl and mix together.

Slice the sides off the pepper so you have four pepper “planks”.  Arrange the peppers and onion wedges on a baking dish and brush both sides with the flavored oil.  Place the veggies on the grill, and cook, turning with tongs, until tender and charred in spots (about five minutes).  Take off grill and cut pepper planks into strips.

Lower the heat on one side of the grill to low.  This is the key to grilling pizza!  Shape your dough into two rectangles.  Place them on the back of an oiled baking sheet.  Slide the dough onto the grill, long side of dough perpendicular to the grates on the low heat side of the grill.  Space-wise, I found it easier to cook my crusts one at a time, but if your grill is large enough, and you’re strategic enough with the placement of your first piece of dough, you could probably do them both at once.

Cover, and cook crusts until the bottom gets firm and starts to brown (about 3-4 minutes).  Loosen the crust with a spatula.  Let cook another minute.  Then with the help of tongs and spatula, flip the crust over.  This should be fairly easy as the dough should be firm and lift easily.  Cook until bottom starts to brown, about two minutes.

Remove crusts to baking sheet, flat side down.  Now it’s time to add the toppings.  Brush with flavored oil.  Spoon on salsa verde.  Layer on pepper slices, onions, and pepper jack cheese.  Put the baking sheet on the cooler side of the grill and cover until cheese melts (2-3 minutes).

Remove from heat.  Add the feta, avocado, and cilantro and enjoy!

It’s the weekend.  Fire up the grill and have some pizza… and a margarita!

Arugula Pesto Pizza

Luckily, I had this in my archives.  Due to my virus, I haven’t cooked anything more complicated than a boiled egg in the last week, and I’ve been popping ibuprofen and acetaminophen like candy.

I think the worst is over, knock on wood.  The high fever seems to be gone, and I’m left with a headache now.

I am the WORST sick person EVER!

Whenever I get sick, I am convinced I have some deadly disease.  It’s horrible.  I’ve always been like this, ever since I was a little kid.  That’s why I’m so terrified of pandemics.  And the worst part is, that two years ago, I went to outpatients with what I thought was a chest infection and ended up finding out I had lymphoma.  I’m glad it was picked up on so I could get treatment, but at the same time, it validated my irrational fear.

Being sick and living alone is also the worst.  It’s nice to have someone there to bring you juice, make you food, buy you more ibuprofen and popsicles, and rush you to the hospital if need be.  I was lucky Michael was around for part of the week, but the last few days I’ve been on my own.  I’m starting to feel better, but I’ve decided I definitely don’t like being sick and alone.  I’m so lonely and bored.  I can’t wait to go back to work.

And I don’t like the interruption to my life.  I hate calling in sick, because I know it’s difficult to get my shifts covered and I hate other people having to work extra for me.  I missed going on a pub crawl Saturday night.  And my apartment is in shambles!  I missed my “get sh*t done day” because of the damn fever so my apartment is desperate need of a cleaning and I’m running out of clean underwear.

So if you’re not sick, and in the mood for pizza, give this a try.  It’s one of my favorite pizza recipes!

Arugula Pesto Pizza
Herby Whole Wheat Pizza Dough (see below)
1/2 cup Arugula Pesto (or you could use basil pesto, homemade or store bought)
1/2 – 1 pkg mushrooms, sliced (I used mini portobellos this time, but I’ve made it with white mushrooms in the past)
1 large tomato, sliced
Mozzarella cheese, grated
Preheat oven to 375º. 
Saute mushrooms in a frying pan over medium heat in a non-stick frying pan until browned.  I suppose you could use oil if you wanted to, but I didn’t.
Spread dough out on pizza stone or in pizza pan.  Top with pesto.  Top with sautéed mushrooms.  Then spread with mozzarella cheese.  Top with tomato slices.  Sprinkle with a spoon or two of parmesan.
Bake for 25-30 minutes until crust is golden.
Herby Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
(adapted from Lacey Hubbard’s Homemade Pizza Dough in one of those community cookbooks)
1 cup white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp sugar
Pinch of salt
1 tbsp yeast
1 cup water
2 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp onion flakes
1 1/2 tsp dried basil
1 1/2 tsp dried parsley
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
Heat water in microwave until slightly warm (like 20 seconds or so).  Stir in the sugar until dissolved.  Add yeast and salt.  Let sit until foamy and yeasty (about 10 minutes). 
Pour yeast mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook.  Add oil, all of the whole wheat flour, 1/2 cup of white flour, and the herbs.  Mix on speed 2 for a minute.   Add the rest of the flour and mix on speed 2 until the dough forms a ball and the planetary action of the mixer cleans the sides of the bowl, just like the shopping channel said it would (about 2 minutes).
Place dough in an oiled bowl, covered with a damp towel in a warm place and let rise for 30 minutes.

Spicy Perogy Pizza

Fishbowl Friday at Boston Pizza is one of my favorite ways to spend a Friday evening.  Where else can you drink a cocktail from a fishbowl and it be perfectly acceptable?

Of course you need have some food to go along with that fishbowl.  I’d been eyeing the spicy perogy pizza on Boston Pizza’s menu for probably a year before I actually ordered it.  I wanted to try it, but I was always worried it would be gross and that would be a waste.  I thought the whole putting potatoes on a pizza thing was weird.  Trust me, it’s not.  After I tasted the pizza, I realized I was a fool to have ever doubted its deliciousness.  I mean, how could I have thought it wouldn’t be good?  It’s carb heaven!  What’s there not to like?  Cheese?  GOOD.  Sour cream?  GOOD.  Bacon?  GOOD.

So after ordering the spicy perogy pizza several Fishbowl Fridays in a row, I decided to check my good old friend the internet to see if I could find a way to enjoy my new favorite pizza at home.  There’s no Boston Pizza in my town and I needed a way to satisfy my pizza craving when I’m not in the big city.  The internet did not disappoint.  I found a recipe on CopyKat Recipes.  The method was a little weird, but the pizza tasted good.  Then, a few weeks later I found a perogy pizza recipe on one of my favorite blogs, How Sweet It Is, with a less weird method.  I combined the two recipes to create a pretty good substitute for when I’m craving me some Boston Pizza.

Spicy Perogy Pizza
(adapted from CopyKat Recipes and How Sweet It Is)
Your favorite pizza dough recipe (I like to use a whole wheat dough)
2 lbs potatoes, peeled and chopped
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
5 tbsp sour cream + more for dolloping
8 pieces of bacon
Cheese, grated
3 green onions, sliced
Prepare your pizza dough as directed and press into pizza pan or stone.  Preheat oven to whatever temperature recommended in your pizza dough recipe (probs 375 – 400°).  While pizza dough is rising and oven preheating, boil potatoes until tender (about 30 minutes).  Drain potatoes.  Add cayenne, garlic and onion powders and mash together.  Pre-bake the pizza crust for 10-15 minutes.  Top with sour cream, then spread mashed potatoes on top.  Add cheese and bacon.  Bake for another 25-30 minutes.  Remove from oven and top with green onions.  Serve each piece with a spoonful of sour cream.

 Now, I just need to get me a fishbowl so I can put a cocktail in it.  Happy Friday!