As I have established time and time and time again, I love pizza, especially grilled pizza.
The crunchy crust is only enhanced by the slight char it picks up from the grill, and the ingredients all taste that much better atop a sweet layer of sauce and stringy mozzarella melted over the flame.
I’ve never made my own pizza dough. It’s not that I don’t know how, or even don’t want to try, it’s just that I can usually pick up some good pre-made dough at the store. While I usually go for Safeway dough, with comes in pre-measured bags, and is dependably consistent.
Every so often – usually if we’re shopping there already – I’ll pick up a bag or two of Trader Joe’s pizza dough.
For the record, I like Trader Joe’s for certain things: charcuterie, cheeses, wine and (some of the) beer, dog treats (not for me, for my canine kitchen-helper/beggar), and it used to be a staple for us in grad school when the frozen enchiladas were a splurge and a treat.
The thing I always seem to forget when shopping at TJ’s is that they tend not to use preservatives in the majority (all?) of their products. Sure, that’s great, if you can shop there on a daily basis. But for the rest of us, it would be nice to have certain products in your fridge that last longer than an episode of “Sherlock”.
In this specific case, I had picked up a bag of Trader Joe’s herb pizza dough, but had left it in the fridge for about four days. I let it rest, and the dough rolled out normally, but once I put it on the grill it began to fall apart. The dough cracked almost immediately, and when I tried to flip it over it fell apart entirely.
I was a little more than pissed.
It had been a long day at school, and I REALLY just wanted to grill some pizza, and chill with a slice and a glass of red.
But no. It had to fucking fall apart. And I’m a little embarrassed to say that it caused a mini-meltdown.
I’d sliced up peppers and onions, grated cheese, prepared sauce and cut up pepperoni and prosciutto. I was NOT going to forfeit my pizza-centric desires… but I was dough-less.
Seeing my plight, and subsequent descent into dough-induced fury, my wonderful, patient and lovely wife interceded, and came up with a delicious and successful solution.
We found – in the depths of the cupboard – a bag of pocket-less pitas that I had bought to eat with hummus, and then quickly forgotten. They weren’t from Trader Joe’s, so they were still good, and they quickly became our solution to my problem.
I toasted one side on the grill, flipped them over, coated them with the prepared toppings, and let them cook until the cheese was bubbly and the toppings were delicious.
The pita bread ended up being a wonderful replacement given the problems with the dough, it was crispy on the bottom, and held the ingredients well. In fact, it was so effective that I would consider making grilled pita pizzas again!