Thursday, June 30, 2011

Guacamole


I absolutely LOVE guacamole. The funny part is that I didn't even know that it was something you could make from scratch... ha I always thought guacamole was made from those envelopes of seasoning mixes. Shame on me. Guacamole is SO much better when homemade. That packet stuff doesn't even hold a candle to the real stuff. Of course at the time when I thought that "that" was the real stuff, I thought guacamole was pretty good anyways. Seriously though, if you are in the same boat I was in, you need to try and make your own...

It's very, very, verrrry easy!

Squash a few avocados.

Squeeze in some lemon juice. A couple dashes of hot sauce.

Dice a tomato and half an onion. Mince a clove of garlic.

Season. Done.

Ammmmmazing!


Guacamole
adapted from "The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook" by Ina Garten

4 ripe haas avocados
3 Tb freshly squeezed lemon juice (1 lemon)
8 dashes hot pepper sauce
1/2 cup small dice red onion
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 medium tomato, seeded, and small diced

Cut the avocados in 1/2, remove the pits, and scoop the flesh out of their shells into a large bowl. Immediately add the lemon juice, hot pepper sauce, onion, garlic, salt, and pepper and toss well. Mash or slice avocados down to desired consistency for dip. Add the tomatoes. Mix well and taste for salt and pepper.


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Espresso Cheesecake Brownies



I've been wanting to make these ever since I saw them in Dorie Greenspans' book. I LOVE chocolate coffee combos! I definitely favor that over PB and chocolate anyday... I know, crazy. Just my preference I guess.


So, let me just tell you about these brownies. They were good. Now, I actually ended up overbaking them, so they are probably great, but mine were just good. When I make them again, I am definitely going to be more careful with the time that they are in the oven. Although it wasn't my fault... my husband shut off the timer on accident so I had to guestimate where they were at. I guestimated wrong...haha




Seriously though, I am overall very happy with this recipe, especially since it was super easy to make. The cheesecake portion was still delicious even though it was overbaked. I will for sure be trying this again. 



I didn't put the sour cream topping over the whole thing because I didn't have enough sour cream, but man, was it delicious!


Espresso Cheesecake Brownies
adapted from "Baking: From My Home toYours" By Dorie Greenspan
Print Recipe



For the Brownies:
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/3 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 F, with a rack in the center. Butter a 9" square baking pan placed on a baking sheet and set aside.

Whisk together the first three ingredients. Put the butter and chocolate over a double boiler with water simmering. Stir until the ingredients melt, but don't overheat so that the butter separates. Remove the top of the double boiler and set aside.

Stir the sugar into the chocolate mixture with a whisk, then add the eggs one at a time. Beat well after each egg, then beat in the vanilla. Next, gently stir in the dry ingredients until they disappear. Set aside.

For the Cheesecake:

1 1/2 teaspoons instant espresso powder dissolved in 1 tablespoon boiling water
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon all purpose flour

Allow the espresso to cool to tepid. With a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, beat the cream cheese on medium until it's completely smooth. Add the sugar and continue to beat for 3 minutes more. Beat in the vanilla and espresso before adding the eggs one at a time. Beat for 1 minute after each egg, then reduce the speed to low and add the sour cream, then the flour. The batter should be smooth.

Pour about 3/4 of the brownie mixture into the prepared pan. Smooth it out, then pour the cheesecake layer over the top, taking care to make it even. Place spoonfuls of the rest of the brownie batter on top, and use a knife to swirl the dark and light batters together. Be careful, however, not to plunge the knife into the base brownie layer. Swirl only as much as necessary.

Bake for around 30 minutes. The brownies should come away from the sides of the pan. The cheesecake will puff and turn lightly browned around the edges. Transfer the pan to a wrack to cool. Once it reaches room temperature, refrigerate for at least 2 hours, until well chilled.

For the Topping:

1 1/4 cups sour cream
1/2 cups confectioners' sugar

Warm the sour cream and sugar in a small saucepan over very low heat. You need to stir constantly until the sugar is dissolved. Pour over the chilled brownies, then return them to the refrigerator and chill for at least another hour. Cut the brownies into squares and serve.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Pulled Pork


Pulled pork is incredibly easy for get togethers- perfect for a 4th of July party! I'm not going to lie... I don't eat pork. I have a weird meat thing. It's strange. I can't explain it. Just go with it.

Anyways, I made this for a BBQ I had and it couldn't have been easier. My guests really seemed to enjoy it. My husband ate the leftovers for like a week afterwards, so it must have been pretty good.

I like it because it is easy and super convenient. Grab the pork and throw it in the slow cooker with some Dr. Pepper (a can or two) and let it do it's magic. The acids and sugar in the Dr. Pepper break down the proteins and tenderize the meat. You definitely want regular Dr. Pepper, don't go the diet route. If you want to be $ smart, just buy a 2 L of Dr. Pepper and add in 1 1/2 cups to 2 cups soda. 2L are half the price of cans! We don't drink soda so that's the route I went (Okay, I don't drink soda and I won't buy it for my husband...) Pork butts are pretty cheap too. A good choice for a crowd.


Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork

1 can Dr. Pepper (12 oz. or 1 1/2 cups), feel free to add a little more if you have room
Pork Butt 
BBQ sauce of choice

Place pork butt in slow cover and cover with Dr. Pepper. Cook on lowest setting for 8 to 10 hours. Remove pork when done, shred, and coat in BBQ sauce. 

SO easy!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Flag Cake!


Get excited. Because I am going to show you how to make a layer cake that slices into a flag each time... YES! Totally awesome, right?! I know. Let's get started, we've got work to do.


You're going to want to bake up 3 layers- one white, one blue, and one red. Feel free to use the recipe that I provided at the bottom of the page. It makes one 9" cake, so just make the recipe 3 times, changing the color each time, that way each layer comes out the same size. Unless you have concentrated food gel, the colors are going to come out a bit muted. No big deal.


Take each layer and level off the top so that they are all the same size. I used a cake leveler, it was like $2 and an awesome investment if you're into layer cakes. It's okay if the edges are a little domed. Especially for the white and red layers, you won't even be able to tell.

Next, do your best to cut the white and red layer in half evenly.


You'll want to to have a bowl or circle of paper to cut a round from the center of a layer of white and red cake. I traced the top of a bowl (about 4.5" diameter) on paper then placed 
the paper circle in the center of the cake. 

Cut the center circle out of the TOP layers!! 
That way you don't have to worry about the domed edges when you layer the cake later.

You can either cut around the paper or sift powdered sugar around the paper 
circle, remove the circle, then cut.







At this point you should have something like this (photo is missing the outer red cake circle). 
You can discard the outer circles of red and white. 

Now for that blue circle-
Hopefully you haven't cut it in two... because it should still be whole.
Now cut a center circle out of that as well.
Go ahead and discard that blue center circle. 
(or eat it hehe...)

Alright, this is what you should have. 
2 whole layers, one of red and one of white cake that were halved,
2 inner circles, one of red and one of white cake,
and a whole outer circle of blue.
Got it? Good. Now let's assemble this bad boy.


Place the whole layer of white cake on the bottom of your cake platter. If you want to be neat while frosting, place sheets of parchment or wax paper under the cake. 
Spread a nice layer of frosting across the top. About 1 cup. Make sure that it is even leveled. 


Place the whole red cake layer on top of the first layer and frost again.


Place the outer blue circle on top of the frosted red layer cake. 
Place the inner white cake circle in the middle of the blue circle.
Frost the surface of the inner white cake circle.
Place the inner red cake circle on top of the frosted inner white cake circle.


If you want this to look decent, you'll want to frost the whole thing in a thin crumb coat before you start to really frost it. Crumbs are going to get all up in the frosting so you'll be glad you took time to do this. Unless you don't care how it looks.


Anyways, you can now frost the cake for real.
Go ahead and slice into it and be amazed!


Look at how much fun this cake is!!!
It's a flag....

It's SO cool!
I loooooove it....


If you aren't serving it right away, it will keep in the fridge. Just take it out and bring it to room temperature 2 hours before serving. 

I should probably talk about the cake itself-



WHITE LAYER CAKE
SO tender. SO moist. Pretty darn easy as far as cakes go. 
Mmmmmm, so good!

And the frosting?
Incredibly light and oh so velvety soft and delicious!
Better than any traditional butter cream.


  • Classic White Cake
  • adapted from Cooks Illustrated
  • makes one 9" round cake
  • Print Recipe

  • 1 cup plus 2 Tb cake flour (4.5 ounces), plus more for dusting the pans
  • 1/2 cup whole milk , at room temperature
  • large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 Tb granulated sugar 
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), softened but still cool

  1. Set oven rack in middle position. (If oven is too small to cook both layers on a single rack, set racks in upper-middle and lower-middle positions.) Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-inch round cake pan with nonstick cooking spray; line the bottom with parchment paper round. Spray the paper round, dust the pan with flour, and invert pan and rap sharply to remove excess flour.
  2. Pour milk, egg whites, and extracts into 2-cup glass measure, and mix with fork until blended.
  3. Mix cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in bowl of electric mixer at slow speed. Add butter; continue beating at slow speed until mixture resembles moist crumbs, with no powdery streaks remaining.
  4. Add all but 1/2 of milk mixture to crumbs and beat at medium speed (or high speed if using handheld mixer) for 1 1/2 minutes. Add remaining 1/2 cup of milk mixture and beat 30 seconds more. Stop mixer and scrape sides of bowl. Return mixer to medium (or high) speed and beat 20 seconds longer.
  5. Pour into prepared cake pan; using rubber spatula, spread batter to pan wall and smooth top. Bake until thin skewer or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 23 to 25 minutes.
  6. Let cake rest in pan for 3 minutes. Loosen from sides of pan with a knife, if necessary, and invert onto wire rack. Reinvert onto additional wire rack. Let cool completely, about 1 1/2 hours.



    Swiss Meringue Buttercream
    adapted from "Martha Stewart Cupcakes"
    yield: 5 cups
    Print Recipe

    5 egg whites, at room temperature
    1 cup plus 2 Tb granulated sugar
    pinch of salt
    4 sticks (1 lb) butter, at room temperature, cut into tablespoons
    1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

    Combine egg whites, sugar, and salt in the heatproof bowl of a stand mixer set over a pan of simmering water. Whisk constantly by hand until mixture is warm to the touch and sugar has dissolved (the mixture should feel completely smooth when rubbed between your fingertips).

    Attach the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Starting on low and gradually increasing to medium-high speed, whisk until stiff (but not dry) peaks form. Continue mixing until the mixture is fluffy and glossy, and completely cool (test by touching the bottom of the bowl), about 10 minutes.

    With mixer on medium-low speed, add the butter a few tablespoons at a time, mixing well after each addition. Once all butter has been added, whisk in vanilla. Switch to the paddle attachment, and continue beating on low speed until all air bubbles are eliminated, about two minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl with a flexible spatula, and continue beating until the frosting is completely smooth. Keep buttercream at room temperature if using the same day, or transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze up to 1 month. Before using, bring to room temperature and beat with paddle attachment on low speed until smooth again, about 5 minutes.


Saturday, June 25, 2011

This Weeks Delish: June 25, 2011

Another busy week in the kitchen! Just wait until next week... I've been brainstorming fun things to make for 4th of July!! I love doing seasonal stuff. I think I've got some pretty good recipes- stay tuned for that starting Monday. Until then, I hope you enjoyed this weeks posts!

  • Yes, it is still rhubarb season. I know, I think of it as more of a springtime thing too! But hey, I consider all fruit desserts fair game for the warm weather season. Especially, crisps and cobblers. This Rhubarb Cobbler looks sensational with its crumble topping... Mmmm crumble topping...
  • Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate... I LOVE chocolate! Especially when it looks so decadent and moist and rich- like this Sunken Chocolate Cake. Ohhhhh yeah...
  • Here is another rhubarb recipe for you- Strawberry Rhubarb Pie. It's a classic! Plus it's a pie, which I also consider to be a huge summertime thing. Well, that and Thanksgiving I suppose.
  • Something savory for you- Linguine With Pea Pesto. Pasta is delicious and if you're not a pea person, I'm sorry, but you're missing out! They are so good for you, plus they can be so flavorful. Case and point!
This Weeks Pick:


This is SO easy and so pleasing for every palate. You really have to try this. Who doesn't love pasta salad?



Friday, June 24, 2011

Maple Fennel Country Sausage


I used to think that the only way you could make sausage was with one of those grinders. NOT true! You can just take ground pork and mix it up with some spices and seasonings, shape it into patties and BOOM, you've got homemade sausage! And it is sooooo good. I'm not even a big meat eater and I think it's just delicious. 

Bonus- it is SO simple!

I mix up a batch and then place the patties on a sheet pan covered in tin foil and freeze them. Once frozen, I throw them in a plastic bag. That way the night before I want to fry some up, all I have to do is place a couple patties in the refrigerator overnight. Thawed by morning! Just perfect. 



Maple Fennel Country Sausage
adapted from Rachel Ray

  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or vegetable oil


Combine salt and pepper, fennel in the bottom of a bowl. Add pork and mix to combine spices. Pour 2 tablespoons maple syrup over the pork and work the meat again to combine the maple syrup. Form meat into patties, 2 to 3 inches round. Cook patties in 1 tablespoon oil in a nonstick skillet over medium high heat 4 or 5 minutes on each side. Drain sausage patties on towel lined plate, then serve.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Blueberry Sour Cream Ice Cream



Everybody has their favorite fruits. For me that fruit is blueberries. I just love them! I used to adore them when I was a kid. Unfortunately they are expensive so when I would go grocery shopping with my parents and I would ask for them they would say no... I guess I can understand that since we would chomp on them like they were candy and they would be gone that day. But now that I grocery shop for myself I always buy blueberries hehe and if any of my babies want blueberries I will be sure to buy them for them : D


Anyways, when it is summer I feel obliged to make things with berries. They have such a small window of time when their flavor is at its' prime and I want to take complete advantage of that! I had a ton of leftover sour cream so I thought I would go with this simple looking Blueberry Sour Cream ice cream I found from Dorie Greenspan's baking book. She is an extremely dependable baker.


I really like sweetened sour cream. Some people find the tang to be too overwhelming. I adore it. If you like sweetened lemon things, you'll probably like sweetened sour cream things as well. So in essence you may find the slight tang in the ice cream to be distracting while I find it to be perfectly complementing. It all depends on your preference. I suppose if you are worried just adjust the sour cream amount by lowering it and adding to the amount of heavy cream you use equally.


You should know, that aside from the avocado ice cream that I made in May (which oddly enough also has sour cream), this is one of the easiest ice cream's I have ever put together. And it doesn't make too much either, just enough to share between a couple people fresh or enough to last one person, like myself, a couple of days before it turns icy.


 I like for my ice cream to melt and get soft and creamy hehe
I also like to eat it out of a cup... or even better, a mug.


Or on top of a brownie, Mmmmmm... SO good!
Haven't you ever heard of chocolate covered blueberries? Exactly
Amazzzzing


Here is a nice tip for you! Press some plastic wrap against the surface of the ice cream 
before you freeze it. It will help prevent that icy surface that develops.




Blueberry Sour Cream Ice Cream
adapted from "Baking: From My Home to Yours" by Dorie Greenspan
Print Recipe


1 cup blueberries - fresh or frozen (if frozen, thaw and drain)
1/3 cup sugar (or more to taste)
pinch of salt
grated zest and juice of 1/4 lemon (or lime as you prefer) or more juice to taste
3/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup sour cream

Put the blueberries, sugar, salt and lemon zest and juice into a medium nonreactive saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring, until mixture boils and the berries pop and soften, about 3 minutes.

Turn the berries into a blender and whirl until you have a fairly homogeneous puree, about one minute. (It will never be completely smooth, and that's just fine.) Add the heavy cream and sour cream and pulse just to blend. Taste and, if you'd like, add a squirt more lemon juice or a tiny bit more sugar.

Pour the custard into a bowl and refrigerate until it is chilled before churning it into ice cream.
Scrape the chilled custard into the bowl of an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer's instructions. Pack the ice cream into a container and freeze for at least 2 hours, until it is firm enough to scoop.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Caprese Salad


Some people just don't like vegetables. My husband is one of those people. Funny because he will eat peas... cucumbers... broccoli.... tomatoes... potatoes... and carrots. Outside of that and I better think of a delicious way to conceal them because he will not be thrilled about eating them. And sometimes he just won't eat them at all. So when I want to make pasta salads for BBQ's I always try and throw in a good portion of veggies to at least equal the amount of pasta. Generally, he'll eat the salad, but pick around the veggies he doesn't like. So when I saw this salad recipe I knew it was right up his alley. And if you're like my husband and aren't a vegetable person, it's probably up yours too!

Most of you are probably familiar with caprese- an Italian dish usually consisting of tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil in some form. Well this is obviously a take on that specialty in pasta salad form and boy is it gooood! It may look so simple that you're probably assuming it would be bland. It is NOT at all.  The tomatoes are diced and then marinated in an olive oil dressing and then everything is tossed together and marinated as one. My husband looooved this! So much so that he ate it everyday until it was gone, even when it went past it's prime, because it was so delicious that he didn't want to waste it haha

So if you don't like vegetables, or even if you do, this is really a go-to salad for the summertime! It's definitely made my list for the future.


Caprese Salad
adapted from Food Network Magazine by the Bidens'

  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
  • 2 pounds mixed heirloom tomatoes, cored, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 pound pasta, such as campanelle, penne or fusilli
  • 12 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
Whisk the olive oil, lemon juice, shallot and garlic in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Add sugar, if desired (depending on the sweetness of your tomatoes). Add the tomatoes and gently toss.Marinate at room temperature, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook as the label directs. Drain in a colander and run under cold water to stop the cooking.
Add the pasta and mozzarella to the tomato mixture and toss. Stir in the basil and lemon zest, and season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate, tossing occasionally, until serving.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Baked Bakery Granola


I absolutely love granola. I have granola pretty much every morning for breakfast. Although I have my own particular formula for granola that I like because I know that it is especially healthy. However, I am not against trying new things. 


This recipe results in a very delicious granola. I feel almost like I am eating a decadent granola rather than a healthy granola. When I compared it to my own recipe I noticed an increase in the brown sugar used which really amped up a difference in flavor. This is definitely more rich. It is really very, very good!

Granola itself is easy to make and the homemade version trumps the store bought products any day. If you like granola I encourage you to make it at home. You absolutely will NOT be disappointed. You will probably never buy granola again actually. The depth of flavor and crunch is something that can't be reproduced by manufacturing companies. Do it yourself.


Baked Bakery Granola
adapted from "Baked A New Frontier in Baking" by Matt Lewis & Renato Poliafito

2 cups rolled oats
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
3 Tb plus 1 tsp vegetable oil
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup whole almonds
1/3 cup whole hazelnuts
1/3 cup golden raisins
1/3 cup dried cherries

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, toss the oats with the cinnamon and salt.

In a medium bowl, stir together the oil, honey, brown sugar, and vanilla. Whisk until completely combined. Pour the honey mixture over the oat mixture and use your hands to combine them: gather up some of the mixture in each hand, and make a fist. Repeat until all of the oats are coated with the honey mixture.

Pour the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet. Spread it out evenly, but leave a few lumps here and there for texture. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven and use a metal spatula to lift and flip the granola. Sprinkle the almonds over the granola and return the baking sheet to the oven. Bake for 5 minutes, then remove from the oven and use a metal spatula to lift and flip the granola. Sprinkle the hazelnuts over the granola and return the baking sheet to the oven. 

Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven. Let cool completely. Sprinkle the raisins and cherries over the granola and use your hands to transfer it to an airtight container. The granola will keep for a week. 

Alternate Method:

Use 2/3 cup any combination of nuts
Use 2/3 cup any combination of dried fruit

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine oats and nuts in a large bowl. In a medium saucepan, bring oil, honey, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and salt to a boil over medium heat, stirring to make uniform syrup. Pour syrup over oats mixture and use a spatula to toss and evenly coat. Spread on baking sheet and bake 10 minutes. Using metal spatula, toss mixture and again spread across baking sheet. Return to the oven and bake 10 minutes more. Let cool completely and sprinkle dried fruit over the granola then transfer to an airtight container.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Grilled Pizza



I love to make pizza at home. Especially with dough that I have made from scratch. But my absolute most favorite way to make pizza is on the grill. For just about the first 17 years of my life I had never heard of such a thing. Naive. Well, for those of you in that same boat, let me just tell you how amazzzing it is. Of course, if you're the type of person that likes your pizza to have a thick crust, you may not be a fan. Obviously you can't have a thick crusted pizza on the grill because it will burn on the bottom way before the dough is cooked through. So if you like your pizza to be on the thinner side and especially if you like your pizza crispy, this is the method for you.

When you use those preheated stones in a home oven, you can only get the pizza so crisp. Nothing like what you can achieve when you grill it. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy a nice oven baked pizza with some good dough density to it every once in awhile. The crisp texture of grilled pizza is just too overwhelming not to brag about.

Let's start with the dough though, shall we? Of course, you can buy preprepared dough from the store or from some pizza shops. I like to make my own though. I use a very simple, straightforward recipe from Ina Garten. I use the same dough on the grill as I do in my oven. Her recipe makes such a tender dough and it's almost foolproof. Before I started using her recipe, I had others I would use consecutively but they never yielded consistent dough. Hers does. I promise you- it is a great pizza dough!

This is what it looks like before the first rise.


Here is what you will have after the first rise.


Now, I will warn you, you need to be very organized when you're grilling pizza. And the first one is usually a "test" pizza, it never comes out perfect, no matter how many times you've made grilled pizza before. I usually have a whole set up, so to speak, when I grill pizza. I have a sheet pan with the doughs rolled out, a small bowl with olive oil, a brush for the oil, pizza sauce and spoon for application, a bowl of shredded cheese, a pizza wheel, tongs, and a wooden cutting board to slide the finished pizzas onto.


This is pretty much the summarization of my grilled pizza "station" if you will.
Yes- I like the jar Ragu Pizza Sauce. It's yummy.


It helps to have a cute little pecan like this bouncing around while you grill too hehe


Anyways, I'll walk you through the process now. Have your grill preheated to about medium. Definitely no higher. Brush one side of your pizza dough then pick it up and stretch it with your fists to the thickness that you like. Lay it down on the grill and let the dough set for about a minute. It will start to kind of bubble like you see above. You don't want it to crisp up, you just want it to cook enough to be able to handle and lay your toppings on it. Okay, now brush the upper side with oil and turn it over.


The bottom (which is now the top) should look something like this. Bring the pizza to the front part of the grill so it isn't so hot when you put the toppings on. Alright, now go ahead and top it as you wish. You can push the pizza back a bit now if you want. Don't push it too far though! It will burn! Close the grill and let the pizza do it's thing. Check it every few minutes, lifting up the bottom to see how it is coming along. It is done when the bottom is as crisp as you like it. You may have to rotate the pizza, depending on how the hot spots in your grill work. That's why you always do a "tester" pizza first. Don't set your expectations too high for that first pizza...


It'll look like this on the top when it is finished. Don't wait for anything to happen to the cheese other than for it to melt. It won't turn golden like it would in an oven. Use the bottom of the crust to determine when it is done- NOT the cheese.


I take tongs and slide it onto a cutting board like this.



Then I slice it up and let everybody have at it right off the cutting board on the table outside.


Do me a favor. Do yourself a favor.
Look at these two pizzas... notice a difference? One is made with fresh mozzarella. The other is made with pre-shredded in a bag. Can you tell which is which? You may be saying to yourself "so what? it still tastes fine" Come on now... no, you're wrong. You are. Not only does it look different, melt different, and feel different in your mouth- it tastes different. Plus as it cools, it cools into those individual pre-shredded pieces. Gross. Buy fresh mozzarella, put it in the freezer 15 minutes or so before shredding it (helps), and use that. Pleasssse!


By the way, let's take a look at this crust. Ohhhhhhh, so GOOD! Perfectly crisp. Trust me, it doesn't taste burnt on those tiny little areas. It is perfect. And if it looks too well done for you, then just take it off the grill a little sooner than I did. 


Grilled Pizza Dough
adapted from Ina Garten
Makes 6 grilled pizzas

  • 1 1/4 cups warm (100 to 110 degrees F) water
  • 2 packages dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 3 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for kneading
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

Combine the water, yeast, honey, and olive oil in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add 3 cups flour, then the salt, and mix. While mixing, add 1 more cup of flour, or enough to make a soft dough. Knead the dough on low to medium speed for about 10 minutes until smooth, sprinkling it with flour, if necessary, to keep it from sticking to the bowl.
When the dough is ready, turn it out onto a floured board and knead by hand a dozen times. It should be smooth and elastic. Place the dough in a well-oiled bowl and turn it several times to cover it lightly with oil. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel. Allow the dough to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Divide the dough into 6 equal parts and roll each one into a smooth ball. Place the balls on a baking sheet and cover them with a damp towel. Allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes. Use immediately, or refrigerate.
If you've chilled the dough, take it out of the refrigerator approximately 30 minutes ahead to let it come to room temperature. Roll and stretch each ball into a rough 8-inch circle and place them all on baking sheets sprinkled with cornmeal. (You will be able to fit 2 pizzas on each 18 by 13-inch baking sheet.)
Light your grill to medium and wait until it's hot.
Place the pizzas directly onto the grill and cook on one side for 1 minute. Turn the pizzas over and brush with olive oil.
Top the pizzas with any toppings you wish. Put the lid on your grill and cook for 5 minutes more, until the crust is crisp and the toppings are cooked.