Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Too Hot to Cook? Never! - Sriracha Barbecue Pizza

Barkley loves to go for a walk or simply lay out in the yard on his little tether line when I get off work and will stay out with him.  Lately it's been less than enticing to either of us and he sat out for about 20 seconds before wanting to come in. I wasn't far behind him, making sure he didn't get too hot.
There's a tiny spot of grass behind the porch area that is still green where what little rain we've got this summer has run off the garage but the rest of it is pretty sorry. The rain has gone north and south of us for the last five or six weeks and temps have been in the 90's and 100's.  There's a total ban on watering anything in most counties. My lush green yard now looks like Donald King's hair.and the local corn (this photo taken a couple of blocks from home) looks to be a total loss (frankly, this was the best looking of all the corn I'd seen.)

In an effort to keep the homestead cool, I'm not cooking with the oven when it gets over 100.  When I've been home, which hasn't been much lately, I've done some stir fries and smoothies, salads and grilled stuff, but the other night I was having a serious hankering for pizza.  Why not.  I'll start with a sauce that's got an undertone of barbecue to it and a hefty zing of Thai Chili Sauce. 

Sriracha Pizza Sauce

2  Tablespoons Olive Oil
3 cloves of garlic (minced)
2 Tablespoons finely chopped sweet onion
3 fresh basil leaves chopped
2 Tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons Sciracha sauce
1/2  teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 small can diced tomatoes
3/4 to 1 teaspoon salt (to taste)
1 teaspoon wild honey
2 Tablespoons of your favorite barbecue sauce
a pinch of Oregano or Penzey's Tuscan Sunset Italian blend
1 Tablespoon heavy cream

Heat oil and saute garlic and onion until soft, adding in a small pat of butter if it starts to dry out.  Add in everything but the cream and simmer about 30-40 minutes, crushing the tomatoes with your spoon  as it cooks(you can also use tomato puree if you want a smoother sauce).

Remove from heat, add cream, stirring thoroughly.  Spread on your favorite homemade Pizza Dough  and top with Canadian bacon, finely diced pineapple bits, mozzarella and smoked cheddar. (depending on the size of your crust you can half or double the batch, it does freeze well).

But I don't want to cook it in the oven. The crock pot wouldn't work, and the blender is definitely a bad idea.  How about pizza on the barbecue?

Yes. It's easier than you think. The method I used mimicked the heat of an oven. It's preferable to cook it on a small thin pan to evenly distribute the heat. I used a little disposable one left I use to take cookies into work.. There are recipes  out there for grilling the dough, flipping to grill it the other side and adding topping then, but my goal was simply to cook it with a minimum of fuss and oven like results. But without heating up my house so sleeping would be cool and enjoyable later.

Start by rolling out your dough about 1/4 inch thick and try to keep it pretty even. (there's pizza dough recipes in the sidebar) You don't need to go find the calipers for this one, but it shouldn't be too thick. You also don't want the toppings too thick so they cook through and evenly

I have a charcoal Style BBQ that's about 28 inches x 28 inches. This will take a fair number of briquettes, I probably used about 60. After they are lit and covered with ash (about 10-20 minutes) you need to arrange them around the edges of where the pizza will be, so they surround the cooking area, but don't actually rest a big pile directly under it.

Place the grill part of the barbecue back in place and close the lid , making sure the little vents are open to ensure the most efficient heating. Your goal is a barbecue temperature of about 425 - 450 degrees before putting the pizza on the grill. This mimics the effect of an oven and the edges of the crust will rise up, staying crisp on the outside and chewy in the middle while the center of the dough, rolled thin, stays tender to the bite. (If you want the thin, crisp style of pizza, forget the little pan and cook directly on a rack but that's a whole different set of instructions).

Use a little cooking thermometer on the center of the grill if you have one. When it's good and hot, place the pizza on the small pan in the center of the barbecue and CLOSE THE LID. For mine, it cooked for about 16 minutes. Do NOT peek until you are at about 13 minutes. Remove, let cool a few minutes than serve out on the deck with a frosty beer that's the color of your grass.


  1. Interesting idea, and NOT one I'd thought about! Thanks!

  2. Great idea. But when its real hot we cheat...microwave pizza. :)

  3. We have some guys at work that have started throwing plain old, red baron and digornno pizza on the Traeger, and that is outstanding, so I can't even begin to imagine how amazing your pizza tastes...

  4. Pizza and breads cooked on the grill also have a smoky flavor which is quite tasty on occasion.

    Sorry to hear about the watering ban. So far there hasn't been one here; the lake water level hasn't dropped too much yet. We had a downpour today. It seems to be falling into a pattern of dry weather for 1-2 weeks followed by a downpour. There is a chipmunk that comes running over at my mom's place when I water; I think it licks the water off the plants and then steals a few bites from a tomato for desert. The field corn is still managing to grow, not sure how.

  5. That looks sooooo delicious!!

  6. We haven't had any rain in the Central Valley (CA) but everything is irrigated, so the corn is high and stone fruit is OK.
    If Moonbeam gets his train, everything will be cut off.

  7. It's pretty spicy as directed. For wimpy family members you can always leave out the red pepper :-)

    Scout 26 is coming through town tomorrow to visit his parents and is going to stop by to say hi and take Barkley for a walk. I've not seen him since Thanksgiving when his Mom and Dad invited me over for dinner as I didn't have any place to go locally, and not having the time off to visit family.

    Every time he's in town I'm gone and vice versa.

    His chemo is helping him hold his own, we'll see what trouble we can get into, but I did offer to cook if he's tired of on the road travel food.

  8. I was wondering about Scout 26. Thanks for the update.

  9. Your grill is large enough for a pizza stone.

    We use a stone in the oven to bake the products of the local "take and bake" chain. That is the only way their stuff is edible IMHO.

    I'll have to try the grill one night.

  10. That is a brilliant idea, and looks so delicious that it almost brought my appetite back for a moment. I shall take notes and put them in my cookbook/notebook so that should Acorn Cottage ever have a grill again, I can indulge

  11. That looks like some excellent pizza. The food I normally eat at home isn't nearly that good. What I eat on the road doesn't even compare.

  12. Thanks for the update on Scout 26!

  13. I learn new tricks every day, using the grill like an oven to cook pizza. Brilliant, although I have seasoned cast iron on the grill, it keeps the smoke and heat out of the house.

  14. Big Green Egg w/pizza stone for the BBQ pizza win!
    Alton Brown advocates cooking pizzas at 500 degrees, gets them done quicker. I am teh suck at regulating temperatures on the Egg, but Mrs. Drang has no problem.

  15. The photos make me drool. Alas, the doc has given me that long look and said, "Cut the carbs or else!" Yep, A1C has been creeping up.

    So now it's work-out, sweat, and no carbs to get the A1C down or go on meds.

    No meds for me! I have enough as it is.

    Still looks delicious, though...

  16. Friend left me a BBQ Grill.
    Am eating a lot of burgers, & steaks. Some grilled vegis, and keeping the house cool!


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