Monday, August 11, 2008

Grilled Pizza Obsessions and Confessions

I've been thinking about it for almost two weeks now and I finally had the time to whip up some homemade pizza dough before heading out for a nice two mile jaunt on the boardwalk in good old Long Beach. I used the formula of three cups of white wheat to one and a half cups of white flour. It works well, the dough rises high and it doesn't sit like lead on your tummy. I didn't have anymore sauce frozen so I was forced to used jarred crap but I spent twenty minutes doctoring it up, adding fresh garlic, parsley and basil from my garden, a little dried oregano and a dollop of red Shiraz to layer the flavor even more. After a quick taste, I realized it wasn't going to taste great but acceptable...good enough. I'm hot for pizza...good enough.

I love to grill the pizza because it gets a fire roasted flavor and makes the crust extra crispy. It's a rustic approach to one of my favorite food indulgences and while others ooh and ahh over New York pizza, I find it too thick, super greasy and my old complaint....too much cheese and not enough sauce. Making pizza is a chemistry of sorts, balancing the herbs and sauce against a thin, highly seasoned crust.

While Vic and I were noshing on piece after piece, satisfying our ongoing craving for pizza margarita, we remembered a place in Cape May that had the best pizza I ever tasted. You ask why? Because the sauce was so damn good...dare I say, even better than this foodies authentic Italian tomato sauce. The joint, Positively Pizza, was a jumping hot spot in town for one summer a few years back. We talked about it for weeks after and looked forward to chowing down a few more slices the following summer, but much to our dismay, Positively Pizza was no more. To say we were disappointed would be an understatement. We settled on Louie's Pizza which used to be phenomenal but is now owned by non-Italians and boy, you can tell. It has no seasoning, the crust is way too thick and the cheese is cheap. The gooey, oily mess is reminiscent of a pile of white, doughy bread with baby spit-up layered on top. Hideous!

The technique of grilling pizza is pretty easy. Once the dough has risen (about 1.5 hours) you separate it into four equal parts, roll it out and throw it on the grill. Once it begins to bubble, turn it over, throw on your sauce, cheese and any additional toppings and let it sit on a well fired grill for about another seven minutes. The coal charred crust is worth the effort. There is no grease, just a little heart healthy olive oil, organic herbs, sauce and cheese and the lightly burned crust to wake up your palate. Savoring every last bite, we sat in our kitchen, belly's full, mind dulled from all the carbs, completely and utterly satisfied.

PET PEEVE: I can't stand it when people say they hate sauce!

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