Don’t want to heat up the kitchen? Tired of bland commercial pizza? Try this spiced up Southwestern pizza cooked on your grill! This is from my latest publication, Popular Plates Fiery Foods, on newsstands now in all the big box stores like WalMart, B&N, Lowe’s, Costco, and more.
Pungent Pizza on the Grill
In this recipe we attempt to recreate the wonderful thin-crust pizza from wood-fired ovens in your very own backyard. Our homemade crust has something that Pizza Doodle Express does not: chile. But if you’re lazy and don’t want to make your own dough, you can use a 12-inch, prebaked pizza shell. You can also easily make the dough in your bread machine. It is very important to have a clean grill for this recipes, as any residue on the grill will give the crust an off flavor. Why not make both toppings and divide the pizza?
The Chile Dough
1 cup warm water (100 degrees F.)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon yeast
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons crushed red chile
Freshly ground black pepper
Yield: 1 12-inch pizza
Powerful Putanesca Topping
3 cups chopped fresh tomatoes, such as cherry or roma
2 tablespoons chopped capers
2 tablespoons chopped nicoise olives
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
2 teaspoons crushed red chile
1 cup grated parmigiano reggiano or pecorino romano cheese
Southwest Green Chile Topping
8 New Mexican green chiles, roasted, peeled and cut in half lengthwise
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
½ cup grated provolone cheese
To make the pizza by hand, combine the water and sugar in a bowl and stir in the yeast. Let stand for 10 minutes until foamy.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, chile and pepper. Make a well in the flour and pour in the yeast water and olive oil. Stir until almost mixed, turn onto a floured board and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic.
Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Place in a warm, draft free location and let rise until doubled, about an hour and a half.
Punch down the dough and divide into 2 balls. If preparing ahead of time, place in the refrigerator until ready to use. Bring the dough back to room temperature and then proceed with the recipe.
Roll out each portion into a round or oval pizza or do it free-form. If it will fit on your grill, you can also combine the balls into one and make one large pizza.
Heat a gas grill to hot. If using charcoal bank the coals to one side, creating a hot side and a warm side.
Brush each of the pizzas with olive oil and gently drape, oil side down on a hot grill. Shortly, within a minute or two, the dough will start to rise and bubbles will appear. Gently lift an end to see that the underside is browned and has grill marks. Immediately invert the crust onto a pan, and turn the gas grill to low
Brush the dough with additional oil.
To make the putanesca, place the tomatoes on the cooked side of the pizza, sprinkle the capers, olives, pepper and cheese over the top. Shake a little garlic over the pizza and sprinkle some olive oil over the top.
To make the Southwestern topping, lay the green chile strips over the cooked side. Top with the cheese and sprinkling of the olive oil. Slide the pizza(s) back onto the grill. Cover and cook, rotating once or twice until the toppings are heated through and the crust is browned, about 5 minutes on the cooler part of the grill.
Yield: 1 12-inch pizza or 2 small individual pizzas
Heat Scale: Mild to medium