Friday, August 29, 2008

Pizza Party: Grilled Pizza

My baby is heading off to college. It seems like just yesterday he was heading off to kindergarten. Where does the time go? He's going to a large state college about 2 hours from home. Several of his high school friends are going as well so the week before they left seemed like a perfect time for an Off-to-College party.

What do you serve a bunch of college-bound kids? Why pizza, of course! To make it a little more special we decided to do grilled pizzas. I made several different pizzas with a variety of toppings: BLT (with bacon, spinach and fresh tomatoes from the garden) and BBQ Chicken, as well as old favorites like Mushroom, Sausage and Pepperoni and Four Cheese.

I used the 20 Minute Weeknight Sauce from The Saucy Bird on most of the pizzas. It's quick and easy and has that great homemade taste. I used the tried-and-true recipe from Down Home with The Neelys for the BBQ Chicken Pizza, one of our family favorites. The Neely's BBQ Sauce recipe has become a staple around here.

Neely's BBQ Pizza
Recipe Courtesy of the Neely's

1 package active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water (about 105 to 115 degrees F)
1 teaspoon honey
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon kosher salt
3 1/2 cups bread flour

All-purpose flour, for surface
1 tablespoon olive oil, for saute
1 medium yellow onion, sliced
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, sliced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil, for brushing
1 cup Neely's BBQ Ranch Dipping sauce, recipe follows
2 cups cooked pulled pork, beef or chicken
1 (8-ounce) package shredded mozzarella
4 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan

For the dough:

Place the yeast, warm water and honey in a small bowl and stir to dissolve. Add the olive oil and salt, stir to combine.

Add the flour to the bowl of a standing mixer with a dough hook. Add the water, olive oil, salt and honey mixture. Mix on low for roughly three minutes, then increase to a medium speed and knead until the dough is elastic and starts to come away from the sides of the bowl, roughly 3 minutes. The dough should be smooth and firm. Ball up the dough and place in a large lightly oiled glass bowl. Flip to cover both sides of the dough with oil. Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm draft free area for 2 hours, until roughly doubled in bulk.

Cut the dough into 4 equal pieces, smooth into a ball and let rest for 20 more minutes before cooking.

For the pizza:Preheat grill to high heat. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Heat a saute pan over medium heat. Add olive oil and saute onion, green bell pepper, garlic, salt and pepper until tender; about 3 minutes. Remove to a glass bowl.

Flour work surface and roll out pizza dough into 4 (6-inch) circles, and 1/8 to 1/4-inch thick. Brush with olive oil and place on grill. Grill for about 3 minutes on the first side. Flip and cook for 1 more minute. Remove to a sheet tray and grill off the other dough balls, if using. Spread 1/4 cup of BBQ sauce evenly on each pizza. Add 1/2 cup of chopped pork and top with a quarter of the sauteed vegetables. Sprinkle with the cheeses. Repeat. Bake the pizzas in the oven for 10 minutes until the cheese is melted. Serve immediately.

Neely's BBQ Sauce
Recipe Courtesy of the Neely's

2 cups ketchup
1 cup water
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
5 tablespoons light brown sugar
5 tablespoons sugar
1/2 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
1/2 tablespoon onion powder
1/2 tablespoon ground mustard
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
In a large saucepan, combine all ingredients. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer. Cook uncovered, stirring frequently, for 1 hour 15 minutes.

Yield: 3 1/2 cups

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