In July my lovely sister, Rose and her best friend Juliana, grilled pizzas on their porch in Brooklyn. It was the talk of the block and rightfully so. Grilled pizza is a delicious way to make a pie. You gotta get the grill nice and hot; let those coals turn ashy and gray. The crust gets nice and crispy and you get a little of the flavor from the charcoal.
The other night, I grilled up a pizza for my sister, Maya and our mother. What better pizza to throw on a grill than a Hawaiian?
I love a good pizza margherita. There are few things in life that are as consistently delicious as the combination of bread, cheese and tomato with basil. Make no mistake about it though, I'm no pizza purist. I'll try just about anything on a pizza at least once. I really love a nice Hawaiian pizza with fresh (definitely NOT canned) pineapple, crispy thick cut bacon, a little bit of onion and black olives. I know, I know! It's supposed to be ham not bacon. You put ham on yours I'm sticking with the crispy stuff.
Actually I think there is a lot of hubub about what tops a real Hawaiian pizza. Some say bacon some say ham, some say olives some say jalapenos, some say onions some say none of that other stuff, the only true Hawaiian Pizza is plain pineapple and cheese.
We can all safely guess that Hawaiian pizza is not an Italian invention, but It's not likely Hawaiian either. Italians say that it is a German concoction similar to Toast Hawaii, an open face sandwich with sliced ham, a pineapple ring, cranberry sauce and cheese grilled from above. I saw that on the menu in Germany. Eh.
Anyways, eat your Hawaiian pizza however you like yours, but from now on, I'll take my grilled!
Grilling a pizza is actually pretty straight forward. The key to grilling any pizza is a hot enough grill, so stoke up a good fire with some good charcoal (avoid the kind with lighter fluid if possible) or wood and let it get nice and hot. It also helps if you have a grill screen or a kind of tight cooking grate on your grill. It keeps the edges of the dough from drooping between the spaces.
Prep your pizza on a peel as usual when the grill is ready. Slide it carefully off the peel onto the grill and cover. Grill that baby till your desired doneness. Let it go, really push the envelope on the doneness. Don't be shy. You are playing with fire after all.
When you pull that pie off the grill, take a few minutes to really enjoy the smell of what you just made, the smoky bacon, the sweet pineapple, the smoke in the air. Cut a nice big slice then flip it over and admire the bottom of the crust. Really gaze at it. You'll fall in love with those beautiful grill lines and the blush of the browned crust. Yum! The bottom of the crust is golden brown and the cornicione springs up so nicely with good hole structure.
What a pie! I'm definitely going to do more on the grill. I'm just bummed I didn't think of this when summer started. Still, standing by an amazing smelling, toasty hot grill on a crispy fall day doesn't sound too bad. Who's up for a pizza party?