Last Sunday night, Beau and I grilled pizzas for dinner. We made our own dough in the bread machine, used herbs from our garden for a homemade sauce, and carefully selected our own toppings for two and a half pizzas (Cruz got his own, too). We used Beau's grill machine, The Big Green Egg, as a brick oven, and had pretty delectable results. So good, that my husband could hardly eat his pizza because of the smile plastered across his face. He was so proud of himself, almost arrogant, that I asked him to be my featured post for how to do grilled pizzas. He agreed, and last night, put together his first post for this blog. He's a little nervous, but based on your response, may pick up a regular post every now and then ;)
So, ready or not, here is Beau...
She cooks, she bakes, and she makes all my favorite foods. She’s even beautiful. I got my Big Green Egg for Christmas this year and it has been a real game changer. Ashley asked me to guest blog about the pizzas we were making the other night because she values my insight, wit, and superb prose so highly she wanted to share it with you, her faithful readers. Either that or else she wanted me to be busy for awhile so she could watch The Bachelorette without me scoffing in the background about how stupid the show is.
Whatever her reason may be, here I am. I don’t know how to use commas, and apostrophes scare me so don’t expect to have the same quality of read as usual. Fasten your seatbelts, the literary flight may get bumpy!
Ashley got me the Big Green Egg for Christmas last year. The day that it was delivered was right behind my wedding day and the birth of my son as far as the best days of my life. I have been an avid griller since I got my first little Weber grill in college. Before that, I apprenticed at the grill of Ray watching him turn meat with his bare hands and lick his fingers between flips. It was an unsanitary experience, but boy could that man cook. He still can, he’s not dead or anything --- sorry if there was any confusion there. I am pretty sure Ashley fell in love with me in front of my beat up looking apartment with my shirt off and hat on backwards drinking beer and grilling kabobs on the second day the two of us hung out. I remember us sitting on the sidewalk eating, her dressed up and ready for a night out, me sweaty, half naked, and smelling like charcoal. It was a sign of things to come. As much as food has always been a part of the story of our life together, by the grill has always been my favorite spot to tell the tale.
Sunday night, Ashley and I made pizzas on the Big Green Egg. The BGE is not just a grill. It is the ultimate cooking device in the world, ever, of all time. The End. The BGE holds low temps for smoking BBQ (200), high temps for grilling steaks and burgers (600), and everything in between. It can also go up to approximately 900 degrees if you aren’t paying attention during a Super Bowl party, but I would not recommend it. I have cooked just about everything on it by now except one that had really been on my list, and no I don’t have a sheet hung up in the kitchen, and that was pizza.
Pizza is kind of intimidating because you have to get the fire hot, warm the pizza stone, and then figure out how to get the crust done without burning the top, but at the same time get the toppings done without burning the crust. So you have to make sure your cooking temp. on the pizza stone and the temp above it are the same. Some of the blogs I read suggested using an infrared thermometer to measure the pizza stone temperature. I don’t think those guys realize how crazy that sounds. I didn’t fully understand it until I wrote that last sentence.
Since I have the finest cooking apparatus of all time, I was confident, and if there is anything that movies made in the 90s about teenage girls taught us, it’s that confidence is all you need. Take Clueless for example. All the nerdy girl who dressed like she was auditioning to be an extra in a Nirvana music video needed was some new clothes and a confident attitude. That’s what the Big Green Egg is for a guy’s cooking.
So basically, this...
You see how that works? In this case, the casual griller (dorky girl), gets the confidence by having a Big Green Egg (Alicia Silverstone shop for you), and can now make pizzas like this (or you know, get a guy or something. I haven’t seen it in a while.)
Speaking of Alicia Silverstone, I have a great idea for a Clueless sequel, or maybe a reality TV show. Somehow she went from the hot girl in Clueless who also pillow fought Liv Tyler in Aerosmith videos, to a mom who likes to chew her kids' food up for them and then baby bird it into their mouths. This is a true story. Go ahead and Google it, this page will still be here when you get back. So let’s transform her back into being hot instead of a crazy vegan lady who chews up her kid’s food. I watched almost 45 seconds of The Bachelorette the other night so you can’t tell me this would be the worst show on TV. Seriously people. You are going to find love by going on a national TV show and compete with 30 other clowns to get a date with a girl who you know is seeing other guys? To make things worse, this show originally had a guy with 30 women trying to date him. I bet you never saw that dude’s car in the show because I guarantee that thing was getting keyed on the daily. If a guy tried dating three girls at once in real life it would be like a Carrie Underwood and Dixie Chicks video got drunk and tried to one up each other.
So back to the pizza. I made dough using a recipe from Guy Fierri’s new cookbook. This is an awesome cookbook, and the pizza dough is amazing. It rolled out super easy, and rose nicely during the cook. I thought it was going to be thin crust, but it was more like hand-tossed. Ash made a killer sauce using a bunch of fresh herbs from the garden. I put a little fresh mozzarella, pepperoni, basil, rosemary, and banana pepper on mine and it was awesome. Ash went with pineapple, ham, and some other stuff. Frankly I was outside trying to figure out how long I could actually keep that thing going at 650-700 degrees and I didn’t watch her. The answer by the way was well over an hour. The pizzas were awesome. The crust was crunchy and strong enough to pick up to eat. It wasn’t greasy and the toppings were super fresh and delicious. The family got to spend some quality time on the deck. It was a good night.
So as we wrap up our time together, let us remember that we don’t have to be dorky girls if we just buy a nice enough grill. Isn’t that what’s really important?
(images above found via fanpop.com and leisurepools.com)
Pictures of our pizza adventure...
The sauce... (if you're interested in the recipe, let me know - it's super easy and really yummy)
This cookbook has really great toppings recipes - all pretty easy, and you can go as simple or as crazy as you want.
We let Cruz get in on the action, helping us pat (or finger poke) the dough into a pie, and add his own favorite toppings (pepperoni and ham)...
finger poking ensues...
We put our made-up pizza on a sheet of parchment paper, and put the parchment paper directly on our pizza stone. It cooked great, and the burnt edges on the parchment paper when we were finished gave it a fun, brick-oven feel.