Charm City Cook: Grabbing a Slice at Home or in Baltimore
I love really good pizza. Give me a crispy thin crust with delicious, flavorful toppings and I’m a happy girl. My hilarious friend Richie would call my kind of pizza “artsy.” You know: arugula, goat cheese, prosciutto, roasted garlic – that kind of stuff. Fancy pants.
I love to grill my own pizza on my snazzy Weber grill. It’s so easy! The first time I made pizza at home, I used the kitchn’s fantastic blog post on the subject as a reference.
Everyone’s so busy these days, so I think it’s perfectly fine to use pizza dough from the prepared food section at a store like Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s. Save yourself some time, hon. If you’d rather do the whole scratch thing, however, (and save some money, too), it’s not hard at all. Here’s Ina Garten’s recipe. I’ve also made Pioneer Woman’s dough, too.
Whether you make the dough or not, the key to grilling pizza is to work super fast with a VERY hot grill. Be sure to have your crusts and toppings close by. Just put the crust on the grill, brush both sides with olive oil, grill both sides for a few seconds, add your toppings (I put the cheese on before the sauce like they do at John’s Pizzeria in NYC) and close the top and grill for about 4-5 minutes. Easy as pizza pie.
What you choose to drink with your pizza depends on your own personal preference or mood. Also, different things go with different toppings. Check out my friend’s blog Scribbleskiff for some ideas (like pairing spicy, meaty toppings with an IPA…) The pairing combinations are almost endless! Lately, my fave combo is goat cheese, mozzarella and arugula pizza with a glass of Torrontes. And now that I have the chickens out back, I think I’ll top a pizza with a fried egg soon – look!
If you’d rather have a pro make your pizza, Baltimore has several great spots for delicious artisanal pizza. My hands down favorite is Iggie’s in Mt. Vernon. I love, love, love the Cipolla pizza with red onion confit, mozzarella, pancetta and ricotta. Also, the Funghi with mushroom ragu, leeks and mozzarella. Holy moly, it’s good.
Not only is the pie amazing at Iggie’s, they also give a portion of their proceeds to a different charity every month and…it’s a BYOB joint. Nothing better than sitting outside on a Sunday afternoon with a friend enjoying pizza and wine! I also like the pizza at Joe Squared in Station North (they have live music!) and Bagby Pizza in oh-so-fabulous Harbor East. At Bagby, you can BYOB (pop into Bin 604) or enjoy their house selections of beer and wine.
Come on. Life’s too short for boring pizza. Go for the best. Abbondanza!