Grilled Pizza

Canadian bacon, fresh mozzarella, grilled pineapple
Canadian Pizza
June 30, 2006
By Canadian Pizza
with Canadian bacon, fresh mozzarella, grilled pineapple and poblanos

img_0195Taking our cue from those who love pineapple and Canadian bacon on pizza, we developed a grilled pizza with those toppings. However, we upped the intensity of flavours and not only added poblano chiles, but also grilled both the chile and the pineapple before topping the pizza. Lusty, crisp and smoky with meltingly delicious fresh mozzarella – this is a party worthy pizza.

Makes one 12-inch pizza

1 pizza dough at room temperature
1 small, ripe pineapple, peeled and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch slices, leaving the core intact.
1 poblano pepper
Olive oil for drizzling
4 ounces Canadian bacon, thinly sliced
5 ounces fresh whole-milk mozzarella, thinly sliced and blotted with paper towel to remove excess moisture
Fleur de sel
Ground pepper
Flour & medium-grind yellow cornmeal for dusting

1. Have the pizza dough covered and ready to roll out.

2. Prepare a hot fire in a charcoal grill or preheat the centre burner of a gas grill on high and the front and back or side burners to medium-low. Brush the grill grate with vegetable oil. Arrange the pineapple slices in a single layer directly over the hot fire.

Place the chile on the grill grate directly over the hot fire. Cover the grill and cook until grill marks appear on the pineapple and chile, about 3 minutes. Turn the chile and continue to char the skin. Turn the pineapple and grill until grill marks appear on the other side, 2 to 3 minutes longer. Remove the pineapple slices and set on a plate next to the grill. Turn the chile again and continue grilling until the skin is blistered and charred on all sides. Remove from the grill. Dampen a paper towel and wrap the chile in the towel until cool enough to handle, about 5 minutes. Use the paper towel to rub off the skin. Cut the chile in half, discard the core, seeds and ribs, and cut into long strips. Set the grilled pineapple and chile next to the grill along with the olive oil, Canadian bacon, mozzarella, salt, and pepper.

3. Generously dust a pizza peel or large rimless baking sheet with flour and then cornmeal. Flatten the dough on a heavily floured work surface, sprinkling a couple of tablespoons of cornmeal over the flour. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a circle 12 to 13 inches in diameter. The dough should be about 1/4-inch think. If the dough shrinks back at the edges, gently stretch it by hand, being careful to keep the dough a uniform thickness. (The dough does not need to be a perfect circle; in fact, an odd-shaped circle gives the pizza a lovely rustic look.)

4. Using you hands and working quickly, lift and transfer the dough to the pizza peel or baking sheet. Give the peel or sheet a few shakes back and forth to make sure the dough isn’t sticking. Brush the grill rack generously with oil. Slide the dough onto the centre of the grill rack, using a quick jerking motion with your arm. If any part of the dough folds over on itself, use a pair of tongs to unfold it. Immediately cover the grill. Grill until a crust forms and light grill marks appear, 1 to 2 minutes.

5. Using the pizza peel or baking sheet, flip the pizza crust over and pull it off the grill. Cover the grill while adding the toppings (If using charcoal grill, shovel some of the charcoal to one side to create a cooler section. If using a gas grill, turn the centre burner to medium.)

6. Drizzle a bit of olive oil evenly over the lightly charred crust. Arrange the pineapple slices evenly over the pizza crust and top with the bacon. Evenly distribute the mozzarella cheese over the top. Scatter the strips of grilled poblano over the top and season with a little fleur de sel and a few grindings of pepper. Slide the pizza back on the grill toward the hot section, but not directly over it. Cover the grill and bake the pizza until nicely browned and crisp on the bottom and at the edges and the cheese has melted, about 7 minutes. Check the pizza after about 3 minutes. If the pizza is browning too quickly, slide it over to the cooler part of the grill to finish baking. Remove any excess flour and cornmeal from the pizza peel or baking sheet and use it to transfer the pizza to a cutting board. Slice the pizza into wedges and serve immediately.•

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