Momlogic's Susannah Locketti: Grilled pizza is absolutely delicious, because the crust and toppings take on a nice smoky grilled flavor. Not to mention, the crust is so crunchy when made on the grill! Love that! I grill pizzas directly on the grill grate of a gas or charcoal grill, or I use a high-heat pizza stone made for the grill. Here are a few tips to make grilling pizza a breeze.
1) If you are grilling your pizza directly on the grate, oil it up well. This prevents the dough from sticking and will help create nice grill marks on the bottom of the crust. If using a pizza stone, it's not necessary to oil the stone; however, brush your crust with olive oil. To increase the smoky flavor, add a chunk of wood to the charcoal or grill to get some smoke infusing into your ingredients.
2) The key to great grilled pizza is a thin crust. I like to cut store-bought pizza dough in half to yield two thin-crust pizzas instead of one traditional-crust pizza. I'm telling you, this is the way to go: It is cost-effective and cuts down on those dreaded carbs associated with pizza. You definitely feel less guilty when noshing on a thin-crust pizza ... trust me!
3) When using a pizza stone on the grill, be sure you heat it for at least 15 minutes. You'll know it is hot enough when water sizzles and evaporates quickly on the surface. Using a pizza peel coated lightly with cornmeal will also make transferring the pizza from peel to stone a cinch. The peel also makes removing the pizza from the hot stone stress-free. You can pick one up for about twenty dollars. Larger varieties cost more, but are so worth it!
4) Precook poultry before adding to the pizza as a topping. If making a grilled pizza with chicken, grill the chicken in advance and cube it up before adding to the raw pizza. Don't think raw chicken will cook up fully while the pizza is on the grill. Shrimp, on the other hand, may go on raw, because they will heat up in minutes.
5) Get crazy with toppings. Summer grilling is meant to be fun, so let your toppings reflect that! My recipe for a Thai Sweet Chili Chicken Pizza is totally off-the-wall with ingredients, but so darn tasty, exotic and healthy. Let me know if you are daring enough to try it -- you probably have a lot of the ingredients on hand already!
8 ounces raw pizza dough
6 to 8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast
Â˝ teaspoon curry powder
Â˝ cup fat-free ricotta cheese
1/3 cup roasted red peppers
2 tablespoons lite coconut milk
1 tablespoon Thai sweet chili sauce
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon chopped basil or cilantro
ÂĽ cup reduced-fat shredded mozzarella
ÂĽ cup sliced scallions
1 tablespoon flaked coconut
1 tablespoon sliced almonds
2 tablespoons Thai sweet chili sauce
Salt and pepper
Roll out the dough into a nice-sized circle or rectangle. Season the chicken breast with the curry powder and grill until done. Cube up and set aside. Meanwhile, in the food processor, combine ricotta through garlic and process until smooth. Stir in the fresh herbs, and use this as the sauce for your pizza. (You may have some leftover sauce, and that's OK. Just use it for a second pizza!) Top the pizza with the chicken, and add scallions through spices (in that order). Grill for about ten minutes, until the sauce and cheese bubble and the crust is crisp. Garnish with sprigs of fresh basil or cilantro, slice and serve!
Note: This can be eaten as a main meal, or you can cut the pizza into small rectangles for a fun party appetizer.
|Susannah Locketti is an on-air chef and lifestyles personality discovered by the Food Network. Susannah is a mother of two boys who specializes in low-cost approaches to food and home. She is currently working on her first cookbook.|