Yes, it’s another pizza post. I swear I’m not making pizza every day…really! The last post, Shrimp Pizza, was actually from last May. I just now got around to posting it.
This post is from Sunday, August 9. I had no intention of submitting a post because there was nothing novel about my approach to the pizzas – – until the power went out.
I have been dubbed an “essential worker” during this pandemic and I’m not entirely convinced that my work is essential but apparently, others do. Many of my fellow employees have either contracted the virus or have been exposed to people who have tested positive which has resulted in several employees being asked to self-quarantine for 14 days. On top of that hardship, we recently replaced our old operating system with a new one and we’ve spent the last several weeks learning how to operate the new system. Needless to say, It’s been a stressful time.
I’ve been working long hours and six day work weeks for the last few months and I don’t foresee that changing in the foreseeable future.
I say all of this to illustrate how important Sundays have become. Some of my Sundays are spent decompressing, as I try to forget about all of the craziness and other Sundays are filled with lots of domestic chores that I have ignored because of previous decompression Sundays. This last Sunday was a mixture of work and relaxation. Yard work filled the first part of the day, before the temperature crested 95° and became too hot to work outdoors, and that was followed by making pizza dough, followed by a short nap, while the dough was rising.
There was a beautiful balance to the day, until the power went off. An electrical power transformer in our neighborhood failed and several houses lost power for about six hours. Of course, I didn’t know how long the power would be out so I decided to finish the pizza-making process on the outdoor grill. I prepared the grill while there was still some sunlight. I prepped the ingredients for the pizza and made my tools handy, a la mise en place.
By the time the coals were hot, I had about 30 minutes of sunlight remaining. I rolled out the dough and took them to the grill to bake.
Back in the house, the last shafts of sunlight faded and candles were lit. Baked pizzas were carried inside, one by one, to be sliced on a dimly lit cutting board. And, just as we all settled down to eat, the power came back on.
We turned the lights off and ate by candlelight.
Now that’s a great Sunday!
5 cups flour
2 cups water
1 Tbs olive oil
¼ cup pitted Kalamata olives
¼ cup pitted black olives
¼ cup julienne sliced onions
2 oz sliced capocollo
2 oz sliced hot calabrese
2 oz can of anchovies, packed in oil
12 oz mozzarella, horridly crumbled by hand
6 slices of sun dried tomatoes, probably less than 1 oz
¾ cup marinara (I used a thin, homemade marinara sauce)
I made three pizzas. Each pizza started with a base of marinara and Mozzarella.
Pizza Uno: Anchovy, onion and olives
Pizza Due: capocollo, onion, olives and sun dried tomatoes
Pizza Tre: hot calabrese
Prepare the pizza dough, using the flour, water an olive oil. If you want to see one of my pizza dough recipes, check it out here.
Let the dough rest and rise for at least one hour.
Sprinkle an ample amount of cornmeal on three baking sheets.
Separate the dough into three equally sized balls. Roll them out with a rolling pin and transfer them to the baking sheets.
Bake one pizza at a time by sliding the pizza dough onto the hot grill. Add tomato sauce (marinara) and add cheese and toppings of your choice.
Close the cover of the grill and bake for about 10 minutes. Lift the cover of the grill and inspect the quality of the pizza by carefully prying up a portion of the pizza and checking the crispness of the bottom. You’ll know when the pizza is done. Pull it off and place the next pizza dough on the grill. Repeat until all of the pizzas are done.
I used a very thin homemade marinara, made with just a hint of anchovy… Shhh!…don’t tell anyone!
As I mentioned above, in the Ingredients section, I crumbled the mozzarella, rather than grating or slicing it. The sun was setting and I needed to get the pizzas on the grill, pronto! But, there’s more to it than that. Random chunks of mozzarella are perfect for grilled pizza. The pizza has a marvelous haphazard, spontaneous look, texture and taste. I suppose I could say that it is “rustic”. Yeah, that’s it.
Don’t forget to thank the service crew members that come out to replace your transformer in the unrelenting August heat. Sure, they are getting paid for their work, but take a moment to realize that while you are sweating over a hot grill, they are sweating twice as much. And don’t forget, they are the real essential workers!