Eat: Grilled Pineapple and Pancetta Pizza (Kids in the Kitchen Series)
This is my long lost contribution to the Kids in the Kitchen series we had during June. If you missed it, be sure to check out this post from MaryAnn, this post from Tiffany, and this guest post from Sarah.
When people think of including kids in cooking and meal preparation, oftentimes, they think of simple things with kid-friendly flavors. I admit, I often think the same way. But every now and then I like the push the envelope, my patience, and Sebastian’s palette.
I was turned on to the idea of grilled pizza when we went to visit my in-laws. My mother-in-law (you know her from this praying post) introduced me to this book, Pizza on the Grill, and was so kind enough to walk me through all the steps for getting as successful pizza.
Now, I’m not going to lie. This pizza does have a lot of steps. But what it takes in work, the pizza makes up in amazing flavor. But in order to make this kid user friendly, it requires a lot of prep work. I would suggest getting all the toppings prepared beforehand, and then once you start actually grilling, you can call on your little helpers.
Sebastian really loved helping spread (and sampling) the toppings on the pizza.
And with a few extra hands, he was able to help with grilling the pineapple as well.
The key to getting your kid active in the kitchen (or outdoor grill!), is just to try. Too often, I am satisfied with doing things the way I’m used to or in a way I think will be faster or easier. But when you open yourself up to these kinds of activities, you just might be pleasantly surprised!
There were two very important things I learned about grilling pizza. One, do not make your dough too thin. You need be able to man-handle it onto the grill. Second, you grill the pizza over indirect heat. If I hadn’t read this book or been working with my mother-in-law, I would have thought you put it over the flames. Not so. You want it near the heat, but not directly over it.
I chose this flavor because it’s one of Jacob’s favorite types of pizza. But even if you don’t end up using this flavor combo, you should give grilling pizza a try. Once you get the dough on the grill, it’s really not so hard and makes for a yummy meal!
Grilled Pineapple and Pancetta Pizza
slightly adapted from Pizza on the Grill
4 oz pancetta, diced small
1 fresh and ripe pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch thick rings
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp sugar
6 scallions, root ends trimmed
3 tblsp olive oil, divided
Kosher salt to taste; more to taste
1/4 cup uncooked grits or polenta, for rolling the dough
1 ball prepared pizza dough, at room temperature
1/2 cup Onion Marmalade
6 oz Havarti
Cook the pancetta in a small skillet over med-high heat until crispy, drain on a paper towel. Reserve for topping.
Brush pineapple rings with veg oil and sprinkle sugar over both sides. Let sit 5 minutes. Brush scallions with oil and sprinkle with salt.
Preheat the grill over medium-high heat.
Place the pineapple and scallions on the cooking grate directly over the heat and grill until the pineapple is well marked and the scallions are limp and charred in spots (3-5 minutes). Remove from grill.
Roll out pizza dough using grits to prevent sticking. Brush with oil on top side. Grill dough, oil side down, over INDIRECT low heat until bottom is lightly browned.
Oil ungrilled side. Flip over dough and top with marmalade. Top with cheese. Artfully arrange the pineapple rings on top. Sprinkle with the pancetta and scallions. Finish grilling the pizza until the bottom is lightly browned and toppings are melted and heated through.
Remove from grill. Slice and serve immediately.
2 tblsp olive oil
1 tblsp unsalted butter
3 large yellow onions, thinly sliced and roughly separated into rings
1 tsp kosher salt
Heat the oil and butter together in a large, heavy saute pan (like a Dutch oven) over medium heat. When butter bubbles, add the onion rings and salt and cook, covered, for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are all a deep golden color, about 20 more minutes.
This will keep, tightly covered, in the fridge for up to 2 days.