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Grilled Pizza! Goat Cheese Chorizo Pizza.

  • Aaron F.
   In my 35 years of existence, I have worked in a ton of pizza places.  I consider myself a master.  I do.  It’s the one thing I make and make well.  This week I decided to try making a grilled pizza.  I had read about this method before, but I always put it off in fear of making a big, doughy, shitty mess.  This time, I was going to go balls out.
    The recipe this idea originated from was called, “Sausage and Fig Pizza.”

My wife and I love goat cheese, so I decided to give this a shot (even though I’m not nuts about figs.)  I went to our local pretentious market for ingedients and immediately ran into the annoying problem of not being able to find fresh figs.  I was instantly pissed.  I grabbed some dried figs because I’m not the smartest when it comes to figs.  My wife told me when I returned home with them, that it would be terrible and not work.  That killed me. So I scrapped the figs (happily.)
    I changed the recipe.  We were no longer going to use figs, I was no longer using fontina cheese, and I was going to be using chorizo sausage.  These were the new ingredients I picked up.

Chorizo Sausage
Italian Blend Shredded Cheese
Goat Cheese
Red Onion
Minced Garlic
Pizza Dough

I never make my own pizza dough, there are too many places around that make decent dough to just buy and take home.  I grabbed a ball of white pizza dough and headed home to make this delicious pie.
 I had a few problems with the recipe, but basically, I still followed the beginning steps when starting the dough.

You want to take the dough and “pound it out” or if you aren’t skilled in the art of pizza, take your rolling pin and roll out your dough.  Normally when I pound out pizza dough, I use corn meal.  For this technique, you want to sprinkle flower down instead of corn meal.  Don’t go crazy, use just enough so your dough doesn’t stick and so that it slides around.  After your circle is made, you lather one side of the dough in olive oil.  I spruced it up by taking a little dish and mixing some minced garlic in with the olive oil and then brushing the dough until one side was totally coated.
    Next, you want to fire up your grill and let it get to about 300 degrees.  It helps if you have a grill with 4 burners.  I fired up 3 of the burners for this part of the recipe.  Now, the first part of the recipe is dead on.  When making pizza, you want to make sure you have enough flour on the spatula or cookie sheet so that your dough slides off easily.  You want to take your dough and place it on the hot side of the grill, oil side down.  Make sure the grates are oiled nicely as well.  You want to leave the dough on the grill for 4 minutes.  I found this to be the perfect time.  You can peel up the dough slightly to check on it, to make sure it’s not burning, but it should be fine.  While this side is cooking, I took my little dish of olive oil and garlic and used that to brush on the opposite side.  After the 4 minutes, you then flip the dough and cook the other side.  This side is to cook for only 2 minutes!  This will be the side that our toppings will go on.  After the 2 minutes are up, take the dough off the grill and place it on a rimless cookie sheet, or a pizza spatula if you have one.  Shut off the third burner.  We only want two burners cranking now and the other side of the grill we want off.

4 minutes on one side…

2 minutes on the other.  Look at that crust…”shit just got real.”

So now we have our pizza crust off the grill and ready to top.  This part is simple.  Take your chorizo sausages and squeeze out the meat from the casing.  break it down into tiny little chunks and sprinkle it all over the pizza.  I used two sausages.  Next, take your arugala, red onion, and goat cheese and spread it all over as well.  You then take your Italian cheese blend, and put your preferred amount over the top.  You really don’t need to go crazy, the goat cheese is what you want to taste here, the Italian cheese is just going to hold everything together.  Then do a drizzle of olive oil over the top of everything. Bring the pizza back out to the grill and place it on the “cool” side of the grill.  This is where the recipe is totally wrong.  The recipe says that it should finish cooking in about 4 minutes.  This is not true.  You are not going to get the sausage cooked in 4 minutes.  It ends up being more like 8-10 minutes.  Basically the pizza sits on the cool side of the grill, while the other half is cranked up, the lid is closed and the pizza bakes in the grill at about 380-400 degrees.  Check your pizza once in a while to make sure that the edge closest to the burners isn’t burning.  I’d rotate the pizza every few minutes as well to ensure a nice, even cook.  Once the sausage is cooked, the cheese should be melted as well, and you are finished!

Sprinkle on the final cheese and olive oil and bring it out to the grill.

Looking good…

…real good…

Slice it up and dish it out!  Order up!

This pizza was delicious and one of the best I’ve made.  Grilling pizza gives the pizza a taste that the pizza stones can’t cut.  I’m not sure if I can even go back to cooking pizzas in the oven.  Let me know how you made out!