Fresh From Nancy's Garden

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Pizza on the BBQ

Leave it to Cathy and Larry Nokes to come up with the best party ideas. Their latest was a “Build-Your-Own” BBQ’d Pizza Party.
Larry has absolutely mastered BBQing pizza–something most of us couldn’t imagine. And Cathy, creative as always, surprised us with the most unusual topping combinations. 
Nectarine, pancetta, mozzarella and arugula? 
Brussel sprouts, mozzarella and bacon? Sounds crazy, but it was crazy good! 
Not that adventuresome? No problem. Make a Meat-Lovers Delight.
But don’t stop there. Be brave, branch out and have some real fun.

Larry demonstrates how to make a Brussels sprout-pancetta-mozzarella pizza. Crazy combo, but great pizza! 

Here’s what Larry told me: “It is important to heat the pizza stone to at least 550-600 degrees.–

I like to preheat the stone for about 45 minutes. Don’t worry if the stone gets hotter than that, the pizza just cooks faster.

At that temperature, the pizza can cook in as little as 4 minutes. As a rule, I look at the bottom of the crust at 4 minutes and just try to gauge it from there. After you cook a few, you get a feel for the cooking time. Depending on the ambient temperature, I have never had a pizza take more than 7 minutes to cook.
Don’t forget to put cornmeal or semolina on the surface on which you assemble the pizza.
The key to a good pizza on the grill is to not overdo it in the toppings. Brush only the top of the crust with a little olive oil and have at it.”


Slice and serve. You’d never know you were eating Brussels sprouts. Try this one on the kids–you’ll be surprised…and so will they.

Larry shows how to slide the nectarine, pancetta and mozzarella pizza onto the preheated stone. Remember what Larry said, “the trick is cornmeal.” You need to have enough cornmeal under the dough so it doesn’t stick. 

Remove the pizza and add fresh arugula tossed with a nice light vinaigrette. It’s like having a pizza salad, only better. Yum!
Remember all those tomatoes I’ve been growing…well, they found their way onto the pizza Margherita.
Best of all, Larry shared how he makes his dough. He’s tried all the recipes and likes this one from Jamie Oliver — all starts with the dough. And when it comes to cooking the pizza…cornmeal, cornmeal, cornmeal. Not in the dough, but under it. 
To host your own BBQ Pizza Party, line up some fun topping combos, invite your friends over and see who can come up with the most creative combination. 
A special thanks to Cathy and Larry Nokes–two of the greatest cooks in town–for a great evening and for inspiring for this post.

Categories: Everything Italian, Main Dishes


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