Charm City Cook: Home Slice
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.
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. However, if you’d rather do the whole scratch thing (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 (I turn the heat down a smidge) 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 and 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 sometimes top a pizza with a fried egg soon.
If you’d rather have a pro make your pizza, Baltimore has several great spots for delicious artisanal pizza. My favorite is Iggies in Mt. Vernon. I love, love, love the Cipolla pizza with onion confit, mozzarella, pancetta and ricotta. Also, the Funghi with mushroom ragu, leeks and mozzarella. Holy moly, it’s good. Oh, and p.s. Iggies is moving to Ruxton later this year. Good for folks in the county…sad for me.
Not only is the pie amazing at Iggies, 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!
Other great pizza joints in Charm City? Hersh’s in South Baltimore is awesome! I took some friends visiting from out of town there and we all loved it! Not only is the food really amazing – the housemade sausage is not to be missed – but the beer selection is ridiculously good and changes all the time. Great cocktails, too, hon. There’s also Joe Squared in Station North and Power Plant Live and Bagby Pizza in oh-so-fabulous Harbor East. I’d also recommend you give Tooloulou on Harford Road a try – they have fab pizzas and po’boys. Try their smoked duck pizza – tomato sauce, house smoked duck, caramelized onion, sweet peppers, goat cheese and drizzled with balsamic reduction. They also have a weekly Farmers Market Pie featuring fresh, local, in-season ingredients. YUM.
Come on…life’s too short for boring pizza. Go for the best. Abbondanza!