Foodbuzz 24×24: Around the World with Grilled Pizza — A World Cup Celebration!

June 27, 2010

What is one event that brings the world together?

The World Cup!

What is one food that you can find in some form in almost every country of the world?

Pizza!

How do you give pizza summer twist?

Well that is where this comes in.

Yesterday my husband and I hosted our first party in our new house since moving back to the US. Given our adventures the past few years, what better way to celebrate than with an international theme intended to bring friends together through food.

I guess Foodbuzz thought it was a pretty good idea too as we were chosen for the Foodbuzz 24 x 24 event this month!

 Around the World with Grilled Pizza: A World Cup Celebration was a hands-on event for our guests. My husband and I brainstormed six different pizza combinations each representing a country in the World Cup. We prepped the dough for the attendees and then let them create their pizzas based on our menu suggestions and their own preferences.

The preparations began on Thursday with many batches of whole wheat pizza dough (a modification of the Spelt Pizza Dough from fellow food blogger, Off Her Cork). These then became 104 mini-pizza crusts. We wanted them large enough to hold a few toppings, but small enough to fit multiple on the grill at once and for our guests to make several different varieties.

Work continued into Friday and Saturday with roasting tomatoes and garlic for the red sauce, and soaking and cooking dried garbanzo beans for the hummus. There were also herbs to be picked and garden fresh vegetables to be pre-grilled.

We managed to represent the US and Kentucky with many of the ingredients. These were then used to create more international flavors to build on the World Cup theme of the party.

We had three main sauces for the pizzas. A Roasted Tomato Sauce that quickly came together after roasting tomatoes, onion and garlic for about an hour and then pureeing it with a little salt, pepper, mascavo sugar and basil. The Mediterranean Hummus sauce was your basic combination of beans, garlic, tahini and fresh lemon juice.

I decided not to tackle making my own barbeque sauce. There is a local producer in the neighboring town that makes a fantastic corn syrup-free sauce by the name of Kentucky’s Smokin’ Grill. We picked up a couple jars of that, transferred it to the squeeze bottle and it was a huge hit.

The smoked pastured chicken which my husband prepared on the grill before the big event, as well as the pastured heritage breed pork sausage, came from Pike Valley Farm. If you’ve read my blog often you know is my favorite farm around.

Most of the vegetables and herbs came from a variety of local sources including jalapenos, yellow squash, green bell pepper and basil from our garden; onions, tomatoes and zucchini from a nearby farmer’s market; and zucchini from my Dad’s garden (not exactly local, but in the family). We threw in a few extra toppings to invite creativity such as button mushrooms, pickled jalapenos, black olives and even some bananas for the dessert pizza.

You simply can’t have a Kentucky party without bourbon. It paired nicely with iced tea and the fresh lemonade sweetened with Demerara sugar. There was also plenty of Kentucky Light to go around, a Kölsch style beer brewed locally.

Now that I’ve told you how it was all prepared. Here’s how it all came together. After topping their partially grilled crusts guests headed out to the grill where my husband finished the cooking process and melted the flavors.

Our friends took some advice for pizza combinations and then added some creativity. To our surprise, the biggest hit seemed to be the goiabada for Romeu e Julieta dessert pizza like the kind we used to enjoy in Brazil. Many people were new to the guava paste and became fans of the guava and cheese combination.

Below was our World Cup pizza menu!

Greece
Grilled summer squash and onions, feta cheese and Mediterranean hummus

Mexico

(based of off Mexican themed pizzas we’ve had in Brazil and in the Caribbean)
Pastured pork sausage, fresh or pickled jalapenos, cheddar cheese and roasted tomato sauce

USA

Grilled pastured chicken, chopped onions, chopped dill pickles, cheddar cheese and Kentucky Smokin’ Grill barbeque sauce

Italy

Fresh basil, mozzarella cheese and roasted tomato sauce

Brazil

Goiabada, cinnamon sugar and mozzarella cheese
Switzerland
Chocolate fondue and chopped bananas

We were extremely pleased with the overwhelming response and everyone’s creativity, as well as a willingness to try some new flavor combinations. I think we have forgotten what hard work it is to entertain a large crowd, but fortunately as the sun went down the party continued with entertaining lawn games as well as rest and relaxation on our back patio. We were reminded that there is nothing like good food, great friends and summer nights no matter where you are in the world.

Our Greek pizza has also been submitted to the Regional Recipe Greece Round-up hosted by Eats Well with Others!

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  • Mo June 27, 2010 at 4:26 pm

    What a fantastic celebration! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  • Mindy June 27, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    Now I’m extra sorry I missed it…looks great!

  • cathy June 27, 2010 at 6:13 pm

    I have never grilled a pizza before, but it’s actually on our menu plan for this week. I think that we’re going to do a Greek pizza for the grown ups and a plain cheese pizza for the little ones.

    Oh – and I am seriously intrigued by your Brazil pizza! I want to party at your house!

  • Elizabeth Jarrard June 28, 2010 at 4:45 am

    what a GREAT idea!!! i’m so glad foodbuzz picked you!those combinations look so good-why not put nutella and banana on a pizza crust?? and i’m intrigued by the guava/cheese combo-fascinating!

  • lauren June 28, 2010 at 6:50 am

    oh my goodness! what a great idea. great photos. All of your pizza topping combinations are so creative. What is Goiabada?

  • Danielle June 28, 2010 at 7:48 am

    This is something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time. It looks like you guys had tons of fun. Was it time consuming having to create and heat each individual pie?

    I’m also going to have to look up that local bbq sauce. I’ve never heard of it but my husband and I love bbq so it sounds right up our alley.

  • Emily (A Nutritionist Eats) June 28, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    Love this! My group did grilled pizzas for the 24×24 as well! They turned out great, although ours were much simpler than your creative toppings!

  • Andrea (Off Her Cork) June 28, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    Lori you blew me away with this post! This is seriously the best 24,24,24 that I have seen yet! I love everything about it. We have yet to try grilled pizza but it’s on our list as a must! I love that you set up some ideas for each country but that guests could easily make their own combos as well. What a great idea!

    Also totally jealous of your backyard? Are there any houses for sale in your hood because I would move for views like that. 🙂

  • Indonesia-Eats June 28, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    Seriously, I’d like to celebrate it with you. All look so good.

  • Blake June 28, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    Awesome! Those all look good. How about an Argentina pizza? haha, that’s my new team now that the US is out!

  • Tangled Noodle June 28, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    Fantastic 24×24! I would have loved to try each and every one of these pizzas. Not only are they so creative, it’s so impressive that you used so many local/regional ingredients to create these global flavors. What a wonderful way to kick off your first party in your new home! 8-D

  • Chow and Chatter June 28, 2010 at 7:25 pm

    wow so cool you did a great job

  • Joanne June 29, 2010 at 5:29 am

    I think is one of my most favorite 24×24’s yet! Pizza has so much potential…love all of your around the world topping ideas!

  • Lori June 29, 2010 at 7:23 am

    Mo – Thanks! It was a lot of fun!

    Mindy – Wish you could have made it, but I completely understand. We’ll have to do it again, but maybe with a little less work. 🙂

    cathy – We are seriously hooked on grilled pizza. We’ve been doing all kinds of combinations with things from the garden.

    Elizabeth – We were excited too! If you can find guava paste or jam, definitley try it. It works with mozz or with a variety of Mexican cheese. So good!

    lauren – It is a guava paste. Goiaba is guava in Portuguese. The goiabada is the paste that is formed into a block like a soft, but solid jam. It is really good, but if you can find guava jam it tastes the same.

    Danielle – It was beyond time consuming. Ha, ha! My poor husband was on the grill (in the sun) all evening. I was in and out explaining the process and refilling toppings. It was not an easy party to host, but a lot of fun. I noticed on the sauce website that there are a couple places on Lex that carry it. I get it at the Kroger in Danville.

    Emily – Loved you event with the kids camp. Great foodie minds think alike!

    Andrea – Thanks so much! Yes there are two houses for sale. 🙂 We absolutely love it out here. The common theme that everyone mentioned was the quiet. Yet in 40 minutes I can be back to the mall or Target. 🙂 Really ideal for us.

    Indonesia Eats – We would love to have you! 🙂 Perhaps we can create on from Indonesia.

    Blake – It was on the list actually. Ha, ha! We were thinking flank steak with chimichurri, but in the end and with budget considerations we decided to stick with just six. I’m sure it would have gone over well. We actually have a flank steak from the farm in the fridge and I do plan to try it for us.

    TN – Thanks! It was a great time. We really did miss entertaining while we were away.

    Juliana – I thought you would like that one. 😉 And I’m not cheering for them since the US is out!

    C&C – Thanks!

    Joanne – Thanks so much! As unoriginal as it sounds, pizza really is one of my favorite foods.

  • Anna June 29, 2010 at 8:36 am

    That looks like a incredible fun day, and what a beautiful place, I’m so curious to see your garden, show us some of your veggies growing. Have a nice week Lori.

  • OysterCulture June 29, 2010 at 10:53 am

    What a great idea for a 24 event. Love the cultural and culinary diversity. Plus the fact that its a finger food of sorts makes it the perfect party food.

  • Cinnamon-Girl June 29, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    This is a fun idea Lori! All of the pizzas look wonderful! Such delicious flavor combos. And I love that you made dessert pizzas too. I bet they were a big hit.

  • Juliana June 29, 2010 at 9:11 pm

    Hi Lori,
    Love all the different versions of pizza…specially the goiabada with cheese…and we are on against Netherland…so GOOOOO BRASIL!

  • kat July 1, 2010 at 7:04 am

    What a fun party! I love events where the guests get to be involved with making the food.

  • Sagan July 1, 2010 at 7:11 am

    That sounds awesome! Great pics and fantastic idea. Pizza is so tasty.

  • MelindaRD July 1, 2010 at 7:25 am

    Cute idea fot the pizzas and the celebration. I was in Europe(mainland, although the island was crazy too) for most of the games and it was nuts in most bars and restaurants. I was on a Portuguese airline the other day during the Spain/Portugal game and they actually made an announcement during the flight that the score was 0-0, no goals.

  • Debinhawaii July 2, 2010 at 12:31 am

    What a fun party! All of the pizzas look delicious and I am especially loving the Greek pizza.

  • Marisa July 5, 2010 at 4:07 am

    What an awesome idea! I wanted to do something for the World Cup as well, but never got round to it. The Brazilian pizza looks pretty good – very keen to try that guava paste.

  • Marianne (frenchfriestoflaxseeds) July 6, 2010 at 9:57 pm

    Great party idea. Love all the pizza combinations. There’s nothing better than a grown up make your own pizza party.

    I think I had something similar to that guava paste in Ecuador. Very tasty.

  • Yasmeen July 20, 2010 at 3:49 pm

    What a wonderful party this must have been.Love the rustic wholesome pizza crusts with freshest local produce.High 5s to you and your husband for being such good hosts 😀