Showing posts with label Pizza. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pizza. Show all posts

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Bacon and eggs pizza

As I had previously mentioned, one of my favorite cities in the U.S. is San Francisco. It wasn't until my third drive along the Pacific Coast Highway in 2009, that I finally made it down to the Big Sur. 

We intially planned on having dinner at Deetjen's, but I think it was closed or deserted looking, so we back tracked and stumbled upon the Big Sur Bakery and Cafe. This was one of those pleasant surprises that we encountered without planning ahead. I loved the rustic wood cabin feel of the restaurant that made you feel like you stumbled upon someone's home for a meal. 

To my delight, Big Sur Bakery and Cafe released a cookbook just a couple of weeks after our visit. It's a beautiful cookbook organized by the season. One of the recipes that I quickly bookmarked was their breakfast pizza. It had all of the ingredients that we love: pizza? Check. Runny egg yolk? Check. Bacon? Check. 

I finally found the perfect opportunity to make this after buying Nueske's peppered bacon from the Standard Market on sale! The bacon has a smoky, rich, and obviously very peppery taste. It's lean, but still crisps up very well. The egg yolk was runny enough to create a sauce like consistency. We were also able to appreciate the cheeses used in this recipe since there were so few ingredients. I think this breakfast themed pizza is great for any meal of the day!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Pizza Quinoa Casserole

We love pizza in every shape and form: thin crust, pan pizza, pizza bread, pizza bagels, pizza sub, calzones, stromboli, and now a quinoa casserole. I came across an interesting recipe for pizza casserole on Veggie by Season. It was a great use for some of the peppers and onions from our weekly produce share. It came together very quickly with little prep work. I would highly recommend making this as a healthier alternative to pizza or lasagna.

Pizza Quinoa Casserole
adapted from Veggie by Season
Serves 6

1 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
3 cup vegetable stock
Vegetables of your choice: we used 1.5 green peppers, 1/2 onion, (mushrooms, spinach would be good)
3 garlic cloves
2 to 2 1/2 cup prepared marinara
1 cup cottage cheese, drained
1/2 cup quartered pepperoni (Consider: Italian Sausage or Vegetarian meat substitutes)
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
salt and pepper
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
1/8 cup freshly grated pecorino or parmesan

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Bring the stock and quinoa to a boil and simmer until the liquid is absorbed.
3. While the quinoa is cooking, saute vegetables and garlic in olive oil for about 10 minutes.
4. Mix the cooked quinoa, vegetables, pepperoni, spices and seasoning in a casserole dish. Top with cheese.
5. Top with cheese. Bake for 35 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Fig Balsamic Jam for Pizza

Most people probably come home with t-shirts or tchotchkes as souvenirs, but I always get something edible. At this time of year, I decided to bring home California figs! I also picked up two pounds of the best white nectarines ever - they were so fragrant and sweet, I thought I was eating candy.

After our comforting meal at ad hoc, I quickly ordered their cookbook. The night I received it, I promptly made the fig balsamic jam. Instead of using it as a filling for a pork loin, as recommended in the cookbook, I decided to make pizza. Ree, the Pioneer Woman, has one of the most popular blogs out there, and she now has her own show on FoodTV. In a recent episode, she made a fig prosciutto pizza with arugula. This was a great recipe to use the jam, and we finally tested the thin crust pizza dough from Cooks Illustrated. It was so easy to mix up that I think this will be our go-to pizza crust.

Thin Crust Pizza Dough
adapted from Cooks Illustrated
  • 3cups (16 1/2 ounces) bread flour
  • 2teaspoons sugar
  • 5/8teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1 1/3cups water (divided)
  • 1tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 1 1/2teaspoons salt

  1. 1. Add yeast and sugar to 2/3 cup warm water (110 degrees F). Let the yeast proof for 10 minutes and add remaining 2/3 cup water. Place the flour in a food processor fitted with metal blade. With machine running, slowly add water through feed tube; process until dough is just combined and no dry flour remains, about 10 seconds. Let dough stand 10 minutes.
  2. 2. Add oil and salt to dough and process until dough forms satiny, sticky ball that clears sides of workbowl, 30 to 60 seconds. Remove dough from bowl and knead briefly on lightly oiled countertop until smooth, about 1 minute. Shape dough into tight ball and place in large, lightly oiled bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 24 hours and up to 3 days.

    3.  One hour before baking pizza, adjust oven rack to second highest position, set pizza stone on rack, and heat oven to 500 degrees. Remove dough from refrigerator and divide in half. Shape each half into smooth, tight ball. Place on lightly oiled baking sheet, spacing them at least 3 inches apart; cover loosely with plastic wrap coated with nonstick cooking spray; let stand for 1 hour.

    4. Generously coat 1 ball of dough with flour and place on well-floured surface. Using fingertips, gently flatten into 8-inch disk, leaving 1 inch of outer edge slightly thicker than center. Using hands, gently stretch disk into 12-inch round, working along edges and giving disk quarter turns as you stretch. Transfer dough to well-floured peel and stretch into 13-inch round.

    5. Cover pizza with desired toppings. Bake for 10-12 minutes, rotating halfway through. Remove pizza and place on wire rack for 5 minutes before slicing and serving. Repeat step 4 to shape, top, and bake second pizza.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Chicago Style Pan Pizza

Our favorite source for Chicago style pan pizza is Pequod's, although, I'm sure that Burt's Pizza would be in our top 5 too since he is the mastermind behind Pequod's pizza back in the day. At Pequod's the cheese reaches the outer edge of the crust resulting in a caramelized, crunchy cheese around the exterior of the crust. It may look burnt if you didn't know any better, but don't be mistaken, it's delicious. The crust is thick, but soft and airy. We usually get pepperoni, and since it is on top of the cheese, the outer edges of each pepperoni slice gets nice and crispy, similar to bacon.

To continue celebrating A's birthday, I made Chicago Style Pizza at home. I LOVE this recipe. The crust is so easy to work with - it's buttery and quite forgiving. Just like the pizzas you would get at one of the local joints, the outer crust is flaky from laminating the dough. This is fancy terminology for spreading butter in between the layers of dough.

I have made this a few times now, and the toppings always change. For this batch, I made one with pepperoni, roasted red peppers and banana peppers. The other pizza would be vegetarian filled with spinach and roasted red peppers. Using the fresh spinach from our CSA, I blanched it, spun it, and SQUEEEEEZZZED out all the water. It's amazing how a huge bunch of spinach leaves will shrink down to the size of a baseball. You can also use thawed frozen spinach.

Chicago Style Pizza
adapted from Cooks Illustrated
3 ¼ c unbleached all-purpose flour
½ c yellow cornmeal
1 ½ tsp table salt
2 tsp sugar
2 ¾ tsp active dry yeast
1 ¼ c water (10 oz), 110ºF
3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted, plus 4 tbsp, softened
1 tsp plus 4 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp unsalted butter
¼ c grated onion, using the large holes of a box grater
¼ tsp dried oregano
Table salt
2 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes, diced 
¼ tsp sugar
2 tbsp coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Ground black pepper

12-16 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 3-4 cups)
½ oz grated Pecorino or Parmesan cheese (about 1/4 cup)

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, add sugar and yeast into warm water for a few minutes until bubbly. Add the flour, cornmeal, salt, and mix on low speed until combined, about 1 minute. Add melted butter and mix on low speed until fully incorporated, 1 to 2 minutes, scrape sides and bottom of bowl, as needed. Increase speed to medium and knead until dough is glossy and smooth. The dough will pull away from sides of bowl while the mixer is on, 4 to 5 minutes.

2. Coat a large bowl with 1 teaspoon olive oil or olive oil spray. Using an oiled spatula, transfer dough to bowl, turning once to oil the entire dough ball; cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let rise at room temperature until nearly doubled, about 45 to 60 minutes.

3. Turn the dough out onto dry work surface and roll into 15- by 12-inch rectangle. Using offset spatula, spread softened butter over dough, leaving 1/2-inch border along edges. Starting at short end, roll dough into tight cylinder. With seam side down, flatten into an 18- by 4-inch rectangle. Cut rectangle in half crosswise. Working with one half, fold into thirds like business letter; pinch seams together underneath to form ball. Repeat with remaining half. Return balls to oiled bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and let rise in refrigerator until nearly doubled, 40 to 50 minutes.

4. While dough rises, heat butter in medium saucepan over medium heat until melted. Add onion, oregano, and 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid has evaporated and onion is golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant. Stir in tomatoes and sugar, increase heat to high, and bring to simmer. Lower heat to medium-low and simmer until reduced to 2 1/2 cups, 25 to 30 minutes. Off heat, stir in basil and oil, season with salt and pepper.

5. Adjust oven rack to lower position and heat oven to 425 degrees.

6. Coat two 9-inch round cake pans with 2 tablespoons olive oil each. Transfer 1 dough ball to dry work surface and roll out into 13-inch circle, about 1/4 inch thick. Transfer dough to prepared cake pan. Lightly press dough into pan, 1 inch up sides. If dough resists stretching, let relax 5 minutes before trying again. Repeat with remaining dough ball.

7. For each pizza, sprinkle 1 ½ to 2 cups mozzarella evenly over surface of dough. Place topping of your choice over cheese (pepperoni, cooked Italian sausage, peppers, spinach). Note: for cooked spinach, be sure to squeeze excess water before adding it to the pizza. Divide the sauce evenly between the two pizzas, sprinkle 2 tablespoons Pecorino/Parmesan over sauce. Bake until crust is golden brown, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove pizza from oven and allow pizzas to rest 10 minutes before slicing and serving.