“From the SCCC Kitchen” offers Daily Gazette readers tastes from Schenectady County Community College’s nationally accredited American Culinary Federation culinary arts program. Today, assistant professor David J. Wixted begins a series of vegetarian-style dishes that can be cooked outside.
During the summer, hot homemade pizza generally means a hot home.
A 450-degree oven is no fun during August. That’s why David J. Wixted cooks pizza outside. He’d rather have a little warm air around his patio than a lot of warm air inside his kitchen.
“You can use a pizza stone, which I did not use on this one,” Wixted said. “I actually used kind of a pizza pan. I sprayed some cooking spray on it and just made pizza like normal.”
Wixted likes his pizza a bit well done — that means a brown, crispy bottom crust. Cooking pizza on the grill gives him the taste he’s looking for. The recipe uses just a little tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese, so while it does not meet vegan standards, it does pass the vegetarian test.
Wixted said chefs must pass the test of time when they make pizza outside. “You have to watch it,” he said. “You have to stay out there and cook it on the grill. You can’t be doing 10 other things; you have to pay attention.”
The process takes about 12 minutes. Wixted said people who are not in vegetarian moods can load up their pizzas with the usual suspects — pepperoni, black olives, sausage and onions.
Pizza on the Grill
1 pound pizza dough
2 to 3 ounces tomato sauce
8 ounces mozzarella cheese
Let pizza dough warm and rise. Stretch dough onto a greased pizza pan or pizza stone. Sauce and cheese the pizza.
Heat grill to high. Place pizza onto grill and bake for about 10 to 12 minutes, turning every 3 to 4 minutes, until golden brown. Keep checking the pizza because pizza will bake faster on the grill than inside the kitchen oven.
Note: Favorite toppings may also be used.