Steven Raichlen is to Bobby Flay as healthy lovemaking is to internet porn. Those of you who desire further deconstruction of that theory are now excused, but the rest of you should stick around for pizza. Grilled pizza! Which I was inspired to make after I watched this Raichlen video segment:
Raichlen's BBQ University is by far one of my favorite TV cooking shows. Eschewing the intolerable narcissism of almost everything on the Food Network for practically explained techniques, Raichlen's style actually makes me want to cook rather than hurl the remote at the television. He's also charmingly dorky, has magnificently brushed hair, and a penchant for puffy, blue oxford shirts. If Cafe Press doesn't yet offer a "Steven Raichlen is my Homeboy" t-shirt, well... they ought to.
But back to the matter at hand: Grilled pizza! Living in the cultural sphere of Brooklyn/Manhattan/North Jersey, there is obviously no shortage of great pizza available whenever I might desire it. But unlike, say, bagels -- many delicious examples of which are also easily within reach -- there is a certain thrill to crafting one's own pizza, and as any grill enthusiast will tell you, the joy is intensified when experienced in one's own back yard. For my first attempt, I bought a blob of whole wheat pizza dough and followed Raichlen's step-by-step video instructions. I found that flipping the dough onto the grill from the oily baking sheet was a lot harder than he made it look, and one corner of my dough got bunched up during this critical step. After a brief attempt to fix it was deemed futile, I just accepted the fact that one bit would be more doughy than the rest of the pie, and moved my attention to the toppings.
Remember, get the cheese on first so it has plenty of time to melt while the crust continues to cook. You can always pre-heat the sauce and apply it warm if you're concerned that things won't get hot enough in this accelerated means of pizza preparation. When mine came off the grill, its shape resembled that of a flattened turtle, but the taste was utterly top shelf! The crust was perfectly done, and bore the lovely, cross-hatch markings of the grill's cooking grate on both sides of its surface. The fumbled corner was just as tasty as the rest of the pie, if only slightly less crispy, and overall I'd call the experiment a ringing success. Boboli be gone!