How to make grilled or baked in the oven pizza for Memorial Day

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Grilled Pizza | Image by Chef Mary @All Rights Reserved
Grilled Pizza | Image by Chef Mary @All Rights Reserved

LOS ANGELES, Ca, May 22, 2014 – This weekend when you’re firing up the grill consider throwing on some dough! Pizza is a staple and whether served as an appetizer or entrée, no matter what other food you are serving, pizza will always be eaten.

Pizza whether it is made in the oven or on the grill is all about the toppings, so why not try and do both traditional with a robust tomato sauce and cheese and another spice it up a bit with arugula and figs.

You can also create a bar-b-que pizza, using bar-b-que sauce mixed 60-40 with pizza sauce and pre-grilled chicken, bacon (pre-cooked), onion, and pineapple. Or white pizza, using olive oil and garlic, with a bit of pesto, for sauce, dollops of ricotta cheese, soft white cheeses, and thin slices of tomato.

Your pizza is only limited by your imagination.


Whether cooked inside or out, and regardless of your toppings, pizza is a great finger – party food that will be enjoyable and be devoured by your guests.

Pizza in the oven:

The secret to great oven baked pizza is to cook on a pizza stone, always making sure that the stone HOT when you put your dough on. Preheating the stone and the oven together will make it easier to remove the pizza from the stone and create a crisper crust.,

Second roll your dough. Being very careful and using hot mitts, remove the stone and place it on a heat resistant surface, trivet or folded towels. Lightly fold it into quarters to transfer the dough onto the stone. Being very careful not to touch the hot stone with your bare fingers.

Next apply your toppings.

Pizza on the grill:

The secrets to grilled pizza are to make sure your grill is seasoned. If it’s not the dough will be extremely difficult to get off the grill. The grill should be very hot, but the coals not close to the grill or the bottom will burn, before the pizza cooks.

A couple of tricks is to half-precook the crust in the oven, and let cool completely, finishing off on the grill. This can be done ahead of time. Another trick is to use GrillGrates, precooking the crust earlier in the day, even the night before. The grates help to maintain an even temperature in the gril.

The second secret is once you’ve put the cheese and toppings on the pizza make sure you close the lid so that the pizza can cook properly.

Enjoy!

 

Time: 3 hours and 45 min                  Servings: 4

Traditional Pizza 

Ingredients:

1 c mozzarella cheese

1 ball of fresh mozzarella sliced

1 small bunch of fresh basil

1 large tomato

2 tablespoons olive oil

 

Pizza Dough Ingredients:

1 package dry yeast

1-teaspoon honey

1-cup warm water

1-teaspoon kosher salt

1-tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

 

In a small mixing bowl mix warm water and yeast. Slowly add honey, mix gently. Slowly add 1cup of flour and gently mix. Once the dough is thoroughly mixed, add salt and continue to stir.  Add 1 ¼ cup of flour to the mixture and slowly knead the dough.

Form the dough into a small ball and tightly cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Put the bowl in a warm area and let it rest for about two hours. After two hours, remove the dough and knead for a few minutes. Let it rest back in the bowl for another hour.

Preheat the grill to a medium high heat when the dough is finished resting. Next grease your hands and remove the dough from the bowl.

Press the dough between the palms of your hands and rotate it clockwise and slowly work the dough into a large thin circle.  Put the dough on a cookie sheet and add a little olive oil to the top of the dough.

Get all of your toppings ready to go and place them on another cookie sheet. Take the dough and ingredients to the grill along with tongs and a heatproof spatula. Lightly season the grill where you are going to place the pizza dough then remove the dough from the pan and place it to the grill grates. Cook the dough for 3-4 minutes and then flip it over. Add the olive oil then cheese and then tomatoes to the top of the pizza and then close the grill door and cook the pizza on a medium low for 6-8 minutes.

When the pizza is finished cooking top it with the chopped basil and serve it while it’s hot.

 

Time: 3 hours and 45 min                  Servings: 4

Arugula and Prosciutto Pizza: 

Ingredients:

5 figs sliced in half (remove stem)

1/4 c Emmental cheese

1/2 c mozzarella cheese

1 tbsp olive oil

1/4 c wild arugula

4 slices of prosciutto

 

Pizza Dough Ingredients

1 package dry yeast

1-teaspoon honey

1-cup warm water

1 tsp kosher salt

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Directions:

Pizza dough: In a small mixing bowl mix warm water and yeast. Slowly add honey, mix gently. Slowly add 1cup of flour and gently mix. Once the dough is thoroughly mixed, add salt and continue to stir.  Add 1 ¼ cup of flour to the mixture and slowly knead the dough.  Form the dough into a small ball and tightly cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Put the bowl in a warm area and let it rest for about two hours. After two hours, remove the dough and knead for a few minutes. Let it rest back in the bowl for another hour.

Toppings: Place the figs on a small to medium sized cutting board, and remove the stems. Cut the figs in half from the growing end to the flowering end and place into a medium size bowl.

Dough/pizza: Once the dough is finished resting, grease your hands and remove the dough from the bowl. Press the dough between the palms of your hands and rotate it clockwise and slowly work the dough into a large thin circle.

Put the dough on a cookie sheet and add a little olive oil to the top of the dough, cover it with mozzarella and Emmental cheese, prosciutto, and figs.  Bake at 350-degrees for 12-15 minutes

Grab a handful of arugula and sprinkle it over top of the pizza and let the heat from the pizza slightly wilt the greens and then slice and serve.

The best part about this pizza is the arugula, which also doubles as the garnish.  The vibrant green color gives you the hint of elegance that food needs. This pizza can be served on a plate or a wooden cutting board for extra umph.

 

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Upon graduating from the California School of Culinary Arts in 2002, Chef Mary Payne Moran began her professional career shelling crabs at the world-renowned restaurant, Michael's in Santa Monica. Simultaneously, she launched her own company, Hail Mary’s, founded upon the belief that good food nurtures the soul, and began catering weddings, parties and large corporate events. In the fall of 2008, Mary began teaching her culinary skills to others. Currently she can be found at Hollywood School House teaching her after school cooking class, and teaching her popular "Vegetables or Not Here I Come" assembly. Most recently, Mary has launched another division in her company as well as a chef she is now also a Certified Nutritionist for high profile clients. She helps her clients discover their healthy way of eating. Mary has recently been published in the Los Angeles Magazine, & The New Jersey Star Ledger. Daily she addresses cooking aficionados through her blog - Cooking with Chef Mary as well as her how-to webisodes on You Tube.