Tag Archive | pizza

Apple-Blue Cheese Pizza

Yep you read that right – this week I decided to make a pizza with apples and blue cheese on it. I originally got the idea from a recipe that I can no longer find, but it was an apple and gorgonzola pizza. My issue with it though, was that it was just a crap ton of cheese and apple. I needed something with more vegetables. I make two little personal-sized pizzas, since I just cook for me. You can always double the recipe to get something closer to a full pizza.

1/2 recipe pizza dough
1 medium shallot, diced
1 cup frozen spinach, defrosted and drained (or 3 cups fresh)
1 medium apple – honeycrisp, granny smith, or fuji would all work
2 ounces mozzarella, shredded
2 ounces crumbled blue cheese.

Roll out the pizza dough (I make mine from my all-purpose yeast dough) and stick it on the pizza stone. Cover with a bottom layer of spinach. If you use frozen like me, make sure you remove all the excess water or it will make the pizza soggy. On top of the spinach, scatter the shallot. Thinly slice the apple and place the slices on the spinach. Scatter the cheese on top and bake at 400 for 25-30 minutes.

apple-pizza

This was really good. I was surprised how much I liked it actually. My only complaint was that I could have used a bit more shallot but the combo of flavors was awesome. Definitely making this again. And it’s perfect for fall. Song of the Week: No Diggity by Blackstreet. I have absolutely no idea what sparked this, but for whatever reason I’ve listening to the song a ton this week.  And hey, it’s a pretty great song.

Sauceless Goat Cheese-Kale Pizza

So I’ve been back to trying to do more and different things with kale for the past several weeks. And I came across this recipe which seemed interesting. Now I wasn’t interested in the exact way they prepared the “grandma’s pie” thingy, but I was curious about the way they decided to prep the kale so I decided to combine it with pizza dough and make a fairly simple sauce-less pizza recipe.

Two large kale leaves, ripped into bit sized pieces
Lemon juice, about ½ lemon
1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
Salt
Pepper
2 ounces goat cheese

Stick the kale in a bowl and toss with the lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Set on the counter and let it sit for at least an hour and a half. While the kale is sitting, make the pizza dough.

Dough
1/3 cup warm water
1 tablespoon sugar
1 package yeast
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4-1 cup flour

Dissolve the sugar and yeast in the warm water, and let it sit til the yeast gets all foamy, about 10 minutes or so. Add the olive oil, and then mix in the flour, a little at a time, until a soft dough ball forms. Knead the dough until it is elastic, then set aside to rise for like an hour. This recipe will make either two little pizza-tarts, or one larger one.

Once the dough has risen, divide it into half, and roll out the dough into a circle. Stick it on a pizza stone. Stick the kale mixture on top of the dough, and then cover with the crumbled goat cheese. Stick in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or so at 400. Serve warm.

kale pizza

This was actually really tasty. It’s also easy and the actual cooking takes very little time. Letting the kale sit for so long meant you could still taste the lemon a bit, which I thought was a nice touch. As you can see from the picture, I had this with Anchor’s Winter Wheat beer, which is really good and paired really well. Song of the week: Late in the Evening by Paul Simon. I’m a big Paul Simon fan and this is a lesser known but really fun song; great to groove to while walking or cooking.

Mexican “Pizza”

I will impulsively buy things at the grocery store, and deal with coming up with how to use them effectively much later. This week, the impulse buy was yellow squash – which I figured would be easy enough to use. I contemplated making Mexican tartlets, which I’ve made before, but then my brain began to play with the general idea. I came up with turning the tartlet concept into a sort of pizza-type thing, which I am calling Mexican pizza (although admittedly it is neither really Mexican nor pizza, ah well).

Masa Harina dough
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup masa harina
dash of salt
1/3 cup butter
1 tablespoon wine vinegar
Cold water

Measure flour, masa harina, and salt into a bowl and mix them all thoroughly. Using a pastry cutter or a fork, cut in the butter until there are no significant sized lumps. Mix the vinegar with 3 tablespoons of water and add the mixture, a little at a time, until the dough comes together. If you need more water, add it in small amounts. The dough should be soft and pliable, but cohesive and not sticky. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside while you make the filling

Topping
4 ounces crumbled queso fresca
salsa
1/2 onion, sliced and quartered
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1 ear corn, kernels shaved off
One medium yellow squash, sliced
1 1/2 – 2 teaspoons cumin
Olive oil

Stick the onions, garlic, and corn in a bowl. Add a tablespoon of olive oil and the cumin and coat the veggies so they are all coated. Roll out the masa harina dough either into a large pizza, or two little ones. Spoon a layer of salsa over the dough, then add the squash slices. Spoon the corn-onion mixture over the squash, then add the crumbled cheese on top. Bake the pizza for 30 minutes at 375. Serve warm.

Mexican Pizza

Ok, I’ve made a lot of Mexican-fusion type recipes in my day, and all of them were good. But this was just incredibly delicious. It’s very much a summer recipe. I generally go with beer for Mexican food, a wheat beer or a Hefeweizen works best, although this recipe isn’t spicy. I’m sure if you want, you can add chopped cilantro to the pizza once you pull it out of the oven, or additional spices when you add the cumin to the onion-corn mixture. Song of the week: If I Needed Someone by the Beatles. Rubber Soul is the second-best Beatles album (Revolver is the best) and this is just such a good song. Lesser-known Beatles songs are still better than 80% of all music.

Zucchini Pizza-Tart

Honestly, I don’t know if I should call this thing a tart or a pizza. I was going to make a zucchini tart, but I didn’t want to make tart dough, I wanted pizza dough. So I decided to pull it all together like that, and make a sauce-less pizza or a yeast-based tart thing. Eh, definitions are overrated.

Dough
1/3 cup warm water
1 tablespoon sugar
1 package yeast
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4-1 cup flour

Dissolve the sugar and yeast in the warm water, and let it sit til the yeast gets all foamy, about 10 minutes or so. Add the olive oil, and then mix in the flour, a little at a time, until a soft dough ball forms. Knead the dough until it is elastic, then set aside to rise for like an hour. This recipe will make either two little pizza-tarts, or one larger one. Adjust the toppings accordingly.

Toppings
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1 medium zucchini, sliced
6 kalamata olives, halved
1-2 oz goat cheese, crumbled

Roll out the dough and put in on whatever you are planning to bake it on (pizza stone, cookie sheet, baking pan). Place the zucchini slices in a pretty pattern on the dough. I opted not to have the slices overlap, but you can do that if you want. Add the olives in the pattern, and then scatter the cheese and garlic over the whole thing. Bake at 400 for 20-30 minutes, and enjoy warm.

zucchini pizza thing

This was actually really good. Not that I thought it wouldn’t, but I was pleasantly surprised at how well it worked. I think I could have done more zucchini though, and next time I will. I guess this was more pizza then savory tart-like. As you can see, I had this with a Vinho Verde rose, which is a great summer wine. Seriously, go with something light, fruity, and cold for this one. Song of the week: Radioactive by Imagine Dragons. It’s been fitting my mood perfectly for nearly a week now, and I just broke down and bought the album on iTunes.

Turkish Pide – an attempt to recreate a restaurant recipe

My favorite restaurant in DC is a Middle Eastern mezze place called Zaytinya, and they have this sort of pizza thing called a pide. Apparently its a Turkish in origin. So naturally, when I was casting about for something to cook, this came to mind. I did an internet search, but nothing really struck me as a good recipe to try, and they all had too much dill in them. I hate dill. So I went on the restaurant’s website and found the description: Turkish tomato sauce with cinnamon and oregano, covered in halloumi cheese. That’s enough to qualify as a recipe, right? Absolutely!

kinda squogy looking but still yummy

kinda squogy looking but still yummy

Dough:
1/3 cup warm water
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 package yeast
2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4-1 cup flour

Take the warm water (warm mind you, cool and the yeast won’t multiple, hot and the yeast die) and add the sugar and yeast. Mix and let sit until its all bubbly, about 10 minutes. Add the olive oil, and then about 3/4 cup of flour. Mix in the flour, and keep adding more, a little at a time, until you have a soft, non-sticky dough to form. Make sure to knead the dough, so that is reasonably elastic. Then let it sit in a warm spot to rise, for about an hour.

Topping:
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1 tsp cinnamon
2 pinches dried oregano
4-6 kalamata olives, cut in half
strong sheep cheese, grated

So I was not about to make my own tomato sauce from scratch. That is far more work than this project was worth. So instead, I took my normal garlic tomato sauce, and added the cinnamon and dried oregano, and mixed it all together. Then I took 4 kalamata olives and chopped them in half, and grated some strong Greek sheep cheese I found at Whole Foods (I couldn’t find halloumi).

Assembly: Take about 1/2 the dough, and roll it out into the shape of an oval. Place the rolled-out dough on a baking sheet/tray. Spoon as much of the sauce as you want on the dough. Place the cheese and olives on top if the sauce, then fold over the edges of the dough, so the whole thing looks more like a canoe. Bake at 400 for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the crust is brown and the cheese is all bubbly.

Result: so yummy. Completely delicious. Also completely simple since you don’t need to make the sauce from scratch. The cinnamon makes all the difference. It isn’t overpowering at all, but it is aromatic and definitely there. It’s so little extra work compared to normal pizza and so yummy and different. And it doesn’t require any odd ingredients except the cheese (and worse case scenario you could just use feta). Serve this dish with wine, I used a Greek white that I fell in love with. I also served it with Carrottes d’Afrique du Nord, which are amazingly amazing and can be found in the works of Mollie Katzen. Song of the week: Sweet Child O Mine by Guns N’ Roses. I had a very crappy day this week, and listened to this song on repeat for about 2 hours. Seriously, it can be that cathartic.