Chef Sean Gallagher
Growing up my father was my hero, my own personal Superman. He did everything; he would trim branches off an old tree, build a stonewall, fix a broken transmission, and then play basketball with us. My father is the hardest working person I know, and to this day that line is still true. I attribute my work ethic, success, and ability to dream to my father. Of all the things I have learned from my father over the years, one of them is not cooking. If anything, I might have learned what NOT to do from him. But he is a man who desires to learn all that the world has to offer. Since retiring several years ago, my father has taken a liking to cooking, and now has me on my toes in the kitchen.
Visiting home has always been a treasured time where my family and I reminisce and catch up. This usually consists of me cooking, and them talking. Over the last two years my father has learned a lot about cooking, some from what I have taught him, but mostly from cooking shows.
With summer now in full bloom, and Father’s Day right around the corner, I am reminded of all the times spent with my father. Like most memories for me, the food we ate is what drives them. Details are forgotten, but a memory tied with food never goes away.
Last summer, my father realized if he put dough, sauce, and cheese together, he could make his own pizza. Then he realized he could cook it on a hot grill and make pizza a different way, and then his obsession was born.
We spent all summer grilling pizzas, with tons of different toppings. Pesto and sun dried tomatoes, sausage and corn, filet mignon and smoked Gouda…we went crazy. But for me, these were some of the best times spent with my father. Cooking, talking, and eating great food.
So for this Father’s Day, I would like to pay homage to my father, “Grilled Pizza Cook Extraordinaire” and share with you a grilled pizza recipe.
Pepper and Goat Cheese Grilled Pizza
2 cups bread flour
1 block fresh yeast
1 tsp sugar
1/8 t kosher salt
1-cup warm water
- To start the dough, measure out 1-cup warm water from the sink.
- Add the sugar to the water.
- Break the block of yeast into small pieces, place into the warm water.
- Stir the yeast around; it needs to bloom in the water for several minutes. When it foams up it is ready.
- Next measure out the salt, and flour and mix them together in a bowl.
- Create a well in the middle of the flour.
- When the yeast has bloomed, pour it into the well of flour. Mix to combine.
- On a lightly floured surface, start kneading the dough.
- It needs to be kneaded for 5-8 minutes to come together; this can also be done in a mixer with a dough hook attachment.
- When the dough is finished, place in a bowl with 1 t oil, and cover all sides of the dough ball. This will prevent the dough from sticking and drying out.
- Cover the dough with a damp towel and place the bowl in a warm area for an hour.
- After 20 minutes, check your dough. It should have risen from the yeast. Punch it down and cover it for the remaining 40 minutes.
- After an hour, the dough is ready to use.
Roasted Garlic Oil
20 cloves garlic
½ cup olive oil
1 T hot pepper flake
½ t oregano
1 T kosher salt
½ t freshly ground black pepper
- In an oven safe dish, place all ingredients and stir to combine.
- Place in a 350-degree oven for 20 minutes.
- Check to make sure garlic is tender and golden brown.
- When garlic is tender, add all contents to a blender and puree.
- Check for seasoning, and your sauce is done.
1 red bell pepper, sliced thin
1 jalapeño, minced
2 cubenelle peppers, sliced thinly
1 orange pepper, sliced thin
1 yellow pepper, sliced thin
1 bu arugula, sliced thin
½ bu basil, chiffonade
4 oz goat cheese, crumbled
8 oz shredded mozzarella
- Sauté all your peppers until they are soft. Keep to the side and let them cool.
- Clean your arugula and make sure there is no dirt, slice it thinly.
- Crumble your goat cheese.
- Chiffonade the basil, its for garnish after the pizza is grilled.
- Turn your grill to medium – high and make sure it is very clean.
- Take a rag and dip it in oil, using a pair of tongs, oil the grill.
- Take your dough and place it on a lightly floured surface.
- Using a rolling pin, flatten the dough, lifting and rolling until you have a long oval.
- Brush the dough with olive oil on one side.
- Place the dough onto the grill and close the lid. This will cook one side.
- Using a pair of tongs, lift the dough; it should be nicely cooked, with grill marks.
- Remove the dough, Oil the other side, and turn it over.
- Spread your sauce, then add a layer of your peppers, sprinkle your shredded arugula, and cover with mozzarella. Dot it with goat cheese and then place it back on the grill.
- Close the lid, this should take 2-3 minutes to melt the cheese and cook the bottom.
- Once the cheese is melted, remove the pizza and eat!
Grilled pizzas are delicious because they have great crunch and pick up a lot of flavor from the grilling process. Don’t be intimidated making your own dough, it’s quite simple and the results are worth it.
I hope you go out and start grilling pizzas, and I am happy that I could share a family memory with you. Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads out there.
Gallagher is also a freelance caterer, private chef, and graduate of The Culinary Institute of America. His grandmother was a cook and inspired him at a very young age to pursue a culinary career. Gallagher’s passion is nutrition as well as teaching others how to lead a healthy lifestyle full of not only nutritious, but also delicious food.
This writer may have been given product and/or other compensation from Dean & DeLuca for this post. All Photography provided by Tom Trocola Photography – All Rights Reserved.