Once you’ve had pizza on the grill, you’ll never go back to regular pizza, says Bob Blumer of Glutton for Punishment on Food Network Canada.
Here are some of his tips from his latest book, Pizza on the Grill: 100 Fun & Fabulous Fire-Roasted Recipes:
• Preheat grill with all burners on medium.
• Prepare toppings, which must be either edible raw (i.e., cured meats or olives) or precooked (like shrimp and asparagus).
• Remove dough from refrigerator and let rise to room temperature. Sprinkle work surface with a handful of coarsely ground cornmeal (often sold as polenta). Roll out dough until it’s very thin and brush both sides generously with olive oil.
• Pick up the dough by the two corners closest to you. In one motion, lay it down flat on the cooking grate from back to front, as you would a tablecloth. Close the lid and cook for about 3 minutes until bottom is golden brown.
• Remove dough from grill, flip it and spread the grilled side with sauce, toppings and cheese.
• Reset grill to indirect heat by turning off centre burner(s) — or one side if grill only has two burners — and turning the lit burner(s) to high. Set the pizza back on the cooking grate over the unlit section, close the lid and wait until the bottom is golden brown and the cheese is bubbly, 7 to 10 minutes.
Queen Margarita Pizza: Spread crust with 250 ml (1 cup) crushed tomato sauce plus one crushed garlic clove. Top with 250 g (8 oz) sliced mozzarella and garnish with fresh basil leaves. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Blistered Corn, Asparagus and Pesto Pizza: In a skillet, saute 250 ml (1 cup) of fresh or frozen corn kernels, 10 asparagus spears cut into 5-mm (1/4-inch) pieces and a handful of chopped sun-dried tomatoes for 5 minutes. Spread crust with 250 ml (1 cup) pesto, add contents from saute pan, and top with 170 g (6 oz) sliced brie.
Forty Olive and Pimento Pizza: Spread crust with 250 ml (1 cup) crushed tomato sauce. Add 40 pitted olives (a mixture of your favourites), a small sliced shallot and 50 ml (1/4 cup) pimentos. Top with 375 ml (1 1/2 cups) grated Manchego cheese.
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