Sunday, July 11, 2010

Grilled Pizza beats the Heat

All Chicago can talk about is the Heat these days. The whole city feels as though a fast, hot one was just pulled on us.  I guess the memories of  91-92-93 and 96-97-98 will have to stay memories and we won't be hoping for the golden third three peat anytime soon.  The intersection of Damen and Madison just cooled off-- and quick.

However, back up in Old Town we have had a steady stream of days in which you walk outside and feel like a large piping hot pizza paddle is smacking you in the face. This heat sends moisture seeping out of your body in one hot nano second.  Times like this I balk at the thought of cooking.  Who wants to stand in front of an oven or stove when you could be sitting on a patio drinking something cool.  This is what we Chicagoans survive winter for?!  Forget cooking. June, July and August are for drinking, chilling and grilling.  No dishes, no cooking.  Minimal prep and grill.
I'm a total sucker for pizza in general and grilling pizza outside sends me straight to my happy place.  By the time Thursday rolls around, I'm full aware that a whole 'nother round of veggies is coming my way on Saturday morning so I had better use up the rest of it-- and quick.
I had depleted my stash of homemade pre-frozen dough, so when in a pinch store-bought crust will do.  I really like Rustic Crust pre-made crust.  Bobboli is a bit too sweet for my taste as is Pilsbury's canned stuff, but Rustic Crust is heavy enough to go straight onto the grill (no stone needed) and can absorb the voluminous amounts of olive oil I like to use as a base.

I'm a big fan of Quatro Stagioni, mainly because I'm too American to limit my pizza with just a few toppings and this way I can get the best of all worlds.  Four different slices of pizza means three times the usual amount of creativity and ingredients I can play with.  Plus what else were you going to do with that one half zucchini that you had used earlier in the week?!

Last nights was: olive oil base with finely diced fresh garlic.   Quarter 1: heirloom yellowy-orange tomato, feta, fresh basil Quarter 2: zucchini, vine tomato, pesto provolone, basil
Quarter 3: zucchini, sheep's milk cheese, purple sage Quarter 4: heirloom yellowy-orange tomato, vine ripe tomato, herbed brie, fresh basil

Scrounge up what you've got in the fridge, toss it on and grill for 10-15 minutes with your grill around 425.   

It's almost laughable all of the dishes I used for prep: cutting board and one knife.  Trust me, your resident dishwasher will be assuming this position for all of 15 seconds.  Just long enough to snap a pic.

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