A Foodie Post: Grilled Pizzas

This post is dedicated to Susan of The History Quilter. :-)

A few weeks ago, my nephew and I took a cooking class at our local culinary school (NY Wine and Culinary Center), learning how to make grilled pizza. I've made homemade pizza for a long time, but have always wanted to try grilling it, so I was really excited about the class. My sister (said nephew's mother), and a family friend and her daughter joined us. The class was an absolute hoot. Grilling pizza is surprisingly simple, plus I learned how to make a couple of different sauces on top of it.

So tomorrow we've invited my in-laws over and my nephew and I will be testing our grilled pizza chops. There will be somewhere between 7 and 9 people here. I'm planning on making fairly small personal-sized pizzas so that (1) they'll grill and bake pretty quickly and (2) people can play with topping combinations by doing a couple of different pizzas for themselves. My nephew will be the grill-master; I'll be in the kitchen. (He'll grill the crusts, then we'll bake them off both in the stove and over indirect heat on the grill--we'll need both going at once to get everyone taken care of in a decent time frame.)

Mind you--grilling pizza is easy, but providing a range of toppings takes a long time. I spent a few hours in the kitchen today in prep, and still have some left to do tomorrow in addition to the dough. (Of course, adding bruschetta and a fruit plate with yogurt dip into the menu as appetizers didn't help. I have problems with thinking small!)

Our options are going to be:
Sauces: Traditional red pizza sauce (store-bought, but a nice one); Margherita sauce (homemade); Alfredo sauce (homemade); olive oil and garlic or seasonings as desired
Cheeses: Mozzarella, feta, goat cheese, parmesan
Toppings: Roasted red peppers (my daughter did those--she's really good at it); spinach; sliced Roma tomatoes; black olives; pancetta; caramelized Vidalia onions; red onions; pineapple--if any is leftover from the fruit plate appetizer; pepperoni; fresh basil and fresh oregano from my garden; sliced garlic (yep, raw--that's my nephew's request). I may end up adding Italian sausage to the list tomorrow if my nephew decides to run out and buy some for me.

I also made a homemade acai salad dressing--which was supposed to be pomegranate but my daughter grabbed the wrong bottle at the grocery store and I didn't notice until we got home. But the acai juice was a blend with pomegranate anyway, so the recipe didn't seem to care. Still tasty. And I'm debating between two different yogurt dip recipes to put with the fruit tray--that'll take me all of about 5 minutes to do tomorrow so I'm not sweating it.

So wish me luck as we crank up the grill and see if we've remembered everything we learned. I'll try to remember to snap a picture somewhere along the way but can't make any guarantees!