Thursday, July 11, 2013

Grilled Pizza Party!

This weekend, we had a totally 100% fun Grilled Pizza Party. GGP, for short. If you have a grill, and you have friends, I highly suggest following a similar course of action. You won't regret it! 

First of all, you are going to need some pizza dough. Last year, we had a GPP up at Jake & Alana's house and Jake made the dough and worked the grill like a pro. This year, I made the dough, but Jake was still our official pizza-dough-roller-and-prep-man. It was awesome. Here is the recipe that Jake suggested, and his tip was to use special "00" pizza flour, which I did. It makes for a pretty amazing crust.

We had 11 grown-ups and 1 pizza-eating kiddo, and I made a triple batch of dough, and honestly, it wasn't really enough. Jake - wisely - broke the dough into smaller batches than the recipe suggested, for 12 mini pizzas in all. The smaller pizzas are a good idea because they are a lot easier to manage on the grill.

I named this pizza Michael Buble. Just look at those pizza bubbles! What!? So, you see, this dough recipe is really right on. 

Our system was that I made the dough (and a salad), and then the guests all brought different toppings. Except, in the end, I couldn't resist and I made a topping too. We ended up with 6 different toppings, and with our 12 little pizzas, we made two of each. 

Alana assembling her masterful creations

Grilling pizzas isn't hard, but it does take some serious hustle! You get the dough on there, cook for a couple minutes and then flip the dough, then you put the (pre-cooked) toppings on quickly, close the BBQ to keep the heat in, and then remove the pizzas. If you're just making 1-2 pizzas, that's a breeze. But for a big GGP, it takes some organization and momentum. We ended up grilling in two batches: we did our first 3 toppings/6 mini pizzas, then ate them... Then did a second batch. Otherwise, it was becoming evident that the people working the grill weren't ever going to get their pizza-loving-paws on a single slice!

I didn't get a close up of this pizza pictured here, but I think it was my favorite one of all. Alana's topping combo consisted of an amazing Saffron Fennel Tomato Sauce (from Deborah Madison's new book), and some Raw Walnut Sausage (from Practically Raw), and some Daiya Mozzerella shreds. It was truly a dynamite combo!!! I want another one right now!

For my toppings, I made a big batch of Rosemary Tofu Ricotta (from Voluptuous Vegan), and some slow roasted plum tomatoes and fresh basil....

... which resulted in a pretty beautiful pizza, if I do say so myself. Just look at that summery light and those glowing tomatoes! My friends are all crazy-adventurous chefs, and I am a stubborn traditionalist (ha ha! a vegan traditionalist), so I wanted to make sure that I made something firmly on the Italian-palette side of things. That way I could try their crazy fun pizzas and still feel like my emotional pizza needs had been met.

Sophia and Max brought this amazing combo: 5-Spice Seitan with Peach-Bourbon BBQ sauce. It was really good! The flavors were really strong, and balanced nicely with the pizza dough. Not a great picture, but the pizza hands were ready to descend from all directions!

Colleen and Tim brought potatoes, rosemary and garlic - such a nice combo. I never saw potatoes on pizza until I went to Italy when I was 16. I was pretty surprised, but it is definitely a real thing. Also, it is a good thing.

Check out Kendra's amazing creation: lemon-lime basil, caramelized onions, lemon slices, and spinach. See what I mean about my friends being so creative and crazy with their pizza toppings?? Well, this was totally delicious! I was really surprised by it and I loved it. Plus, it is so beautiful and Kendra even wore a yellow dress to match her pizza. Those caramelized onions were some of the best I've ever had!

One last variety here: A Thai red curry pizza with dry-fried tofu cubes, green beans and basil. The curry sauce was super spicy, but the bready pizza dough was a great balance. Another fun pizza I never would have thought to make. I love how my exciting and adventurous foodie friends are always expanding my food horizons! 

Little Stevie Wonder hanging out under the pizza table... just hoping something good might come her way. The doggies had so much fun at this party. There were food scraps and lots of people and kiddos to play with, and - best of all - everyone was hanging out in the backyard. For some reason, the dogs just love it when we all hang out in the backyard together.

Everyone digging in for round two of pizza madness!

Like I said, we ran out of pizza... so people resorted to just eating the extra delicious toppings that everyone had brought. That worked out pretty well, but I still felt like a naughty hostess for not having made enough pizza dough. Next time I will make a 10x batch just to be sure! ha!


Luckily, I had also made a big salad - full of lettuce and fresh veggies and grilled veggies too (just to compliment our grilling theme). It was delicious! Plus, salad is a great combo with all that pizza - something fresh and colorful and crisp.

Last, but certainly not least, it was Josh's birthday weekend, so Nikki brought along a beautiful lemon Bundt cake decorated with raspberries and blackberries. It was as delicious as it was beautiful, and a great finale to our wonderful party!

after all that fun, Snoopy and I were ready to curl up on a poofy pizza bed and fall asleep!

6 comments:

  1. Okay, that lemon lime pizza is craaazzzzy! I love the idea of a GGP but stuff always sticks to my grill so I'm kinda scared to try it but I this looks so awesome that I might have to throw caution to the wind and give it a whirl.

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    1. Jojo - the thing to do is to brush the dough liberally with olive oil before you put it on the grill. Then you grill the underside and when the 1st side is done, you brush the top with oil again, flip it... and then the toppings go onto the side you grilled first. Does that make sense? I learned all of this from our pal Jake who has more experience grilling pizzas. He seems to know what he is doing!

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  2. This looks such fun! Apparently we're getting the barbecue (grill)out this weekend, so I'll finally be able to try out grilled pizza :) I usually go for simple flavours on my pizza so your rosemary ricotta, basil + sundried tom toppings would suit me perfectly. I am quite tempted by the thai tofu too...

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  3. wow so many awesome combinations!

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  4. This looks like so much fun! I've always wanted to grill pizza, but I've been intimidated by the idea of it sticking. That's such a good idea to make smaller pizzas for easier handling. Plus, if I realize on the first one that my pizza grilling skills are less than stellar, I still have a chance to move the mission indoors to the oven!

    I love all of the creative topping ideas! Everything looks marvelous!

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  5. That potato pizza = Absolute brilliance. Two of my favorites, together! We don't even get potato in pastry form that much, but to have them in a 'slice'? That's just too much. Looks like you've got one rollicking party right there. Truly, pizza is best enjoyed with family and friends.

    IncrediblePizzaIndy.com

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Happy VeganMoFo! I love comments, they really make my day!