@GRMAGAZINE: Grilled Pizza

(Grand Rapids, MI) — In the April issue of Grand Rapids Magazine, we’re getting our grill on...for pizza! Be sure to read our article to find out what successes we’ve had, and what disasters befell our experimental concoctions. They say even bad pizza is good pizza, but HeFed has on occasion tested that rule. When you’ve had your fill of the magazine, read on for one of our favorite recipes...

Years ago, we stopped in to J.D. Reardon’s for lunch and, as luck would have it, their special was a reuben pizza. Now, I’m never one to turn down a reuben or a pizza, but both combined? My head nearly exploded. It was incredibly delicious, especially with a pint of Guinness. Not long after, I discovered that G.B. Russo’s made their own pizza dough, vacuum sealed and frozen. The quality is top-notch and working with their dough is almost a pleasurable experience, after having wrestled many months with my own dough recipe. Forget that! Now, about once a month, I stock up on their varieties: standard, sourdough, herb, ciabatta, multi-grain, and...pumpernickel. No, it’s not rye but pumpernickel is a good substitute. Here’s my recipe for Reuben Pizza.

At least one day in advance, you should thaw out the dough. If I’m cooking dinner, I usually pull it out of the freezer and put it in the refrigerator in the morning; when I get home, I’ll put it on the stove or counter for a couple hours. Usually that’s all it takes for the yeast to come out of hibernation and begin to rise.

First off, preheat grill. Get it as roaring hot as you dare. I recommend gas because you can achieve a higher, more steady temp in a much shorter time, and you won’t impart any charcoal flavor into the crust. You could use a smoker box to add another dimension, but let’s keep it simple for now.

When the grill is nearly ready, go inside and dust up the counter with some flour. Pat down your hands and the rolling pin with some of the flour. Use kitchen shears to carefully pop open the package containing the dough (it might be like a balloon by this time). Handle the dough, balling it up and then slapping it down on the counter. Roll it out, turning frequently, until you have the size and thickness the way you like it. Use a pizza paddle to carry it out to the grill.

Gently, move the dough onto the hot grill. Close the lid and wait 3 full minutes. No peeking! Now, open the lid and flip the dough. Close the lid and wait 90 seconds. Open the lid and retrieve the dough. Turn off one side of the grill burners, but keep the other side going. Take the dough back to your prep area on the paddle.

Onto the par-baked crust, distribute the following ingredients. I find it’s better to layer them thusly:
  • 1/4 cup Thousand Island dressing
  • 1/4 cup shredded Swiss cheese
  • 1/4 cup Corned Beef (thin-sliced deli meat works but actual chunks of cooked Corned Beef taste better)
  • 1/4 cup Sauerkraut
  • 1/4 cup shredded Swiss cheese
  • 1/4 cup Thousand Island dressing
  • Optional: Dill pickle slices on top
Put the pizza back onto the grill, over the unlit burner, and close the lid. Cook indirectly for 15-20 minutes. Remove, turn off the grill, slice and enjoy!

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