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Grilled Boat Pizza

Matt’s Marvelous Mouthwatering Morsels on Mondays: Boat Pizza
Drone shot: Lagoon 380 sail catamaran at anchor, Dollar Harbor, Bimini Islands, Bahamas
All the arm flapping required to get photos like this is making me hungry!
 I’ve long been a fan of grilling my pizza. As the gourmands among us know, real pizza is cooked quickly at extreme temperatures. Most of us can only get close by using our grills. Back when we had a boring house with a stupid, large, easy to use gas grill I was a master of the grilled pie. I’ve tried and tried to get my little Magma kettle grill to cooperate, but alas it has been, well, boat-like and difficult. I love this grill, as a matter of a fact this grill was purchased three boats ago and has stayed with us. It might be the only boat item that has been kept through so many boats. Plus, Lucy made me a grill cover out of Sunbrella scraps that makes it look like a beach ball that just so happens to color coordinate with our cockpit cushions, so there’s no getting rid of the thing.

The only major failure of the grill has been pizza…(cue exciting music)...until now! Using my mad Amazon and credit card usage skills, I finally found a pizza stone that is small enough to fit inside the Magma AND our oven onboard. This is key…when not in use on the grill the stone does double duty by adding mass and evening out heating in the oven, increasing it’s efficiency. The trick was finding a round stone for the Magma that not only fit but had enough space around it to allow air flow to the top of the pizza too. Here’s the one I ordered in the end and so far it’s doing great.

The bummer of the small pizza stone is probably all to obvious to pizza lovers everywhere: small pizzas 😔

But with a little experimentation, I’ve mastered a way to maximize my carb and calorie intake, which we all know is the secret to happiness. Hold on to your hats and grab a glass of wine dear readers, you’re about to be blown away!

The Dough
Any pizza dough recipe will do. I use Carolyn’s at the Boat Galley. I like half whole wheat flour and half AP flour in mine. Make the full batch of dough. “Why do you need a full batch of dough for such a small pizza stone?,” you ask. Half for the pizza and, wait for it, half for garlic bread knots! Bo-ya! Didn’t see that coming, did you?

Now let’s talk about topping this pizza. There are so many choices! Here are my three favorites:

The BBQ Chicken
I make the sauce with half something tomato based (tomato sauce, tomato paste + water, ketchup, pizza sauce, etc) plus half BBQ sauce.

Before starting the pizza, I grill or sauté up a small amount of chopped chicken breast and onions. Bell peppers are good too, if you’ve got them! Being on a boat, this would be a perfect opportunity to use that canned chicken you’ve got rolling around the bottom of your bilge. Some herbs in the mix would be nice. I have a Cajun mix that’s great. A little sage would be BBQ-y and classic.

For the cheese, I really like pepper jack on this one!

The Hawaiian
A nice, classic pizza sauce will do. Nothing fancy.

Pineapple chunks and ham or Canadian bacon will do nicely. Depending on the ham, I might be inclined to char it on the grill quickly to up the flavor factor before assembly.

Cheese, stick with the standard mozzarella here.

Geebers, I’m getting hungry.

The Veggie
Since this consists of vile weeds, best get a zesty sauce or make your own with tomato sauce and add some red pepper flakes, a dash of brown sugar and a dash of red wine. Play with it until you love it. Then add more wine. To you, not the sauce.

In my experience, veggie pizza cooks typically do not cook the veggies until the cooking of the pizza. It makes me sad, upset and a little frightened for the future of the human race. I mean, what’s wrong with people? Are they afraid of flavor? Cook those veggies! Sauté in EVOO whatever you want to eat. My favorite combo is onion, bell pepper and mushroom. Yum! We’ve had really good luck using our Harmony House dehydrated veggies for this purpose.

Cheese is really a personal choice. Mozzarella is classic. Sharp cheddar is good. Pepper jack is killer. I just don’t know how vegans survive.

The Process
After the final rise of your dough, take half the dough and divide it into 6-8 balls about 1.5 inches diameter. Place these in bread pan, or if you have one, in your handy-dandy Omnia stovetop oven.

On the stove, heat a pan with about 1/4 cup EVOO, three minced garlic cloves and a dash of your favorite herb mix. Italian blend works. I’m on a Herbes de Provence kick myself. Get the garlic just brown, but don’t let it burn. Pour your YEVOO (yummy EVOO) over the bread balls, then bake until GBD. If you’ve had enough wine, it should be exactly when the pizza is done too.

Meanwhile, roll out the remaining half your dough on your cutting board, making sure not to exceed the size of your small pizza stone. Maybe you have a big pizza stone, and if so, la de dah! You might opt for some cornmeal under the dough, which does really help get it on and off the stone.

Grilling the pizza right takes a little practice. Just expect to have to scrape the burned bit off the bottom of the dough the first few times until you get the hang of your grill, your pizza stone and exactly how much wine you should have to drink before trying it. If in doubt, have more wine. Believe me, it is worth it in the end ;)
BBQ chicken boat pizza on a Magma Grill - Bahamas
BBQ chicken pizza for dinner tonight!
Preheat the grill with the stone on the grate. It’s important to heat the stone up with the grill and let it cool with the grill…if you put the stone on with the pizza it might break, and worse still you won’t get any pizza tonight. Let the grill and stone get nice and hot with the lid down.

While that’s going on, assemble your pizza. Spread out your sauce, cheese and toppings. 

Once you’re happy the grill is scaldingly, intensely hot, quickly slide the pizza off your cutting board and onto the stone. Close the lid quickly and turn the heat all the way to the lowest setting (this may vary on your grill, but on mine it’s got to be all the way down).

Monitor the pizza for doneness. A little charring on the edges is normal and tasty. Once you are happy with bubbly toppings and a crispy crust, slide the pizza out and back onto your cutting board. I find tongs and a spatula help. But you have a pizza peel, you say? Well la de dah! Just drink some more wine why don’t you!
Boat pizza and garlic knots made in a tiny kitchen
Yum!
We made our example pizza with dehydrated mushrooms, red and green peppers and onions and canned chicken. The sauce was made with dehydrated tomato paste and the garlic knots with dried roasted garlic. Armageddon, we are ready for you! 

What are your favorite pizza toppings? 

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6 comments

  1. Yum. What time should we be there for dinner? More importantly, can we see a picture of Lucy's grill cover?

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  2. I know! I wanted to see the grill cover too. But the pizza looks pretty good as well. Pizza's a staple food aboard Cambria. I'm really fortunate in that our oven gets super-hot, so it does a great job on the crust. I can hardly wait to get back there to make a decent one -- they just don't come out very good in my mom's electric oven.

    Stephanie @ SV CAMBRIA

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    1. I would have never thought that a boat galley has a better oven than a land kitchen! It's funny though - I bet Little House on the Prairie stoves probably did a really good job.

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  3. Wow! These pizzas look tasty and cute! :-) Home-made pizza is the best. My favorite topping used to be sausage, but since we are on a healthier eating kick, we love broccoli and mushrooms on our pizzas. And spinach and mozzarella, and garlic chopped up in the tomato sauce. Well done, Matt!

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    Replies
    1. Garlic..... love the garlic! I'll have to try broccoli as a topping too.

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