Pizza

Taco Pizza

by Shawnda on March 21, 2012

in Beef,Cinco de Mayo,Mexican & TexMex,Pizza

Taco Pizza

“What else should I put on pizza?”

A couple of weeks ago, a sleeping, pizza-making giant buried deep inside my husband suddenly woke up. He made homemade pizza every night for over a week. And now when it’s pizza night, he runs the kitchen.

After he got his technique down, he turned his focus to the toppings. We’ve blown through a pretty varied menu since – a few normal pizzas, a few fancy ones, and a few… how shall we say… less than fancy ones – like this one :)

It’s your standard taco toppings, in pizza form. He declared it his favorite pizza of the week. And since we ate pizza three times last week, I think that’s saying something :)

Taco Pizza

Shake up taco night with your favorite toppings in pizza form.

Ingredients

  • For the taco meat:
  • 3/4 lb lean ground beef
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp taco seasoning, or to taste
  • For assembly:
  • 1 lb of your favorite pizza dough (or mine), ready to stretch and bake
  • Flour and cornmeal, for dusting work surface and peel/pan
  • 4 oz mozzarella or queso fresco, grated
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced, dark green tops reserved for topping
  • Very thinly sliced red onion rounds
  • 1-2 roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1/4 large avocado, thinly sliced

Instructions

  1. Place a pizza stone in the top 1/3 of your oven and increase oven to 550 (500 if your oven doesn't go that high), letting it hold at temperature for at least 30 minutes. (If you're not using a pizza stone, just have your baking sheet nearby.)
  2. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat until hot, and then add the onions, garlic, and beef to the pan.
  3. Drain any fat from the pan and season the meat to taste with your favorite blend of taco seasoning (I use a mix of chili powder, ancho chile powder, cumin, cayenne, salt, and pepper).
  4. Dust a pizza peel or your baking sheet with generous pinches of flour and cornmeal.
  5. Gently stretch the pizza dough in to a 12-14 inch round or divide into 3 portions and stretch, for individual-sized pizzas.
  6. Brush a ~1-inch border of olive oil around the edge of the pizza dough.
  7. Sprinkle the dough with monterrey jack or queso fresco (reserve a handful for topping), followed by white/light green portions of the green onions, red onion slices, ground beef, and then remainder of the cheese.
  8. Transfer your pizza from the pizza peel to baking stone (or place your baking sheet in the oven).
  9. Bake for 7-9 minutes for a single large pizza (5-7 for individual pizzas), until the dough is blistered, the edges are golden brown and crispy, and the cheese starts to brown.
  10. Remove from oven, sprinkle with the sliced dark green onion tops, tomatoes, and avocado slices.
  11. Slice and serve.

Notes

Yields: 1 large pizza or 3 individual pizzas

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 1 hour 15 minutes

{ 14 comments }

Black Bean Sweet Potato Pizza

As the smell of bubbling and melted goat cheese fills the kitchen, I turned to Jason and say, “This pizza is going to knock your socks off.”

He doesn’t believe me. But he nods as if uninterested and then pretends that he’s not totally scoping out my pizza. And I pretend that I don’t see him scoping out my pizza. Based on another night’s “exotic” collection of non-meat colored foods atop a crispy crust, he probably figures that I’m this close to making some line-in-the-sand announcement about going vegetarian.

Like I did that one time when I declared our house to be a carb-free house. For like 11.7 minutes (a house record, by the way). Or that time I gave up alcohol for [checks calendar] is that all?! It feels like a thousand years!

Black Bean Sweet Potato Pizza

But bubbling and melting goat cheese and thin, crispy pizza crust have a way of distracting the meat lovers from the lack of meat on their pizza. A feat that’s maybe not such a feat when you consider that it’s pizza we’re talking about.

It’s a little different but the black bean-sweet potato combo is a good one. And paired with bubbling goat cheese, it’s a great one.

The sweet potatoes have to be cooked ahead of time because they won’t be in the oven long enough to get done on top of the pizza. You can do this several days before and keep them in the fridge. 1 medium sweet potato will yield enough slices for 3-4 individual sized pizzas or 2 large pizzas.

Sweet Potato, Black Bean, and Goat Cheese Pizza

It's not your average veggie pizza when it's topped with black beans, sweet potatoes, and goat cheese.

Ingredients

  • For the sweet potatoes:
  • 1 medium sweet potato, sliced very thinly (if doing by hand, aim for 1/4-inch or less, if possible) and each slice quartered
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • For assembly:
  • Your favorite pizza dough (or mine), ready to stretch and bake
  • Olive oil, for brushing
  • 2 oz shredded mozzarella
  • 1 large green onion, thinly sliced and dark green tops reserved for topping
  • Prepared sweet potato slices
  • 1/2 small green bell pepper, core and seeds removed, thinly sliced
  • 1/2-2/3 cup cooked black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 oz crumbled goat cheese
  • Small handful of grated Parmesan
  • Flour, for dusting surface
  • Coarse cornmeal, for dusting surface

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 425.
  2. Toss quartered sweet potato slices with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt.
  3. Spread in a single layer on a foil-lined baking sheet and cook for 10-15 minutes, until fork tender.
  4. Place a pizza stone in the top 1/3 of your oven and increase oven to 550 (500 if your oven doesn't go that high), letting it hold at temperature for at least 30 minutes. (If you're not using a pizza stone, just have your baking sheet nearby.)
  5. Dust a pizza peel or your baking sheet with a light dusting of flour and a couple generous pinches of cornmeal.
  6. Gently stretch the pizza dough in to a 12-14 inch round or divide into 3 portions and stretch, for individual-sized pizzas.
  7. Brush a ~1-inch border of olive oil around the edge of the pizza dough.
  8. Sprinkle the dough with mozzarella, followed by white/light green portions of the green onions, sweet potato slices, green peppers, black beans, goat cheese, and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.
  9. Transfer your pizza from the pizza peel to baking stone (or place your baking sheet in the oven).
  10. Bake for 7-9 minutes for a single large pizza (5-7 for individual pizzas), until the dough is blistered, the edges are golden brown and crispy, and the cheese starts to brown.
  11. Remove from oven, sprinkle with the sliced dark green onion tops, slice, and serve.

Notes

Yields: 1 large pizza or 3 individual pizzas

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 1 hour 15 minutes

{ 10 comments }

Homemade Pizza Crust, Revisited

by Shawnda on March 19, 2012

in Bread,Pizza

Homemade Pizza Crust

This week, we’re talking pizza. All pizza. All week. Today it’s pizza dough/pizza crust. The rest of the week, it’s pizza toppings!

And I’m going to be honest. This is kinda my version of heaven, minus elaborate ice sculptures made of frozen margaritas.

Meatball Pizza

Over the years, we’ve learned a thing or two about homemade pizza. Our tastes have shifted from loving a soft, thick crust that has edges that are borderline breadstick to wanting a much thinner & crispy-chewy crust.

We’ve gone through several pizza crust recipes, always arriving back at square one, an oldie we discovered in Gourmet a few years ago. It turned out that our old favorite was completely solid and sound. Tried and (tried and tried and) true. A few tweaks to the method and we’re currently turning out the best homemade pizzas we’ve ever made.

And we’re not exercising enough to make up for it. That has to change. Because we’re probably not going to have fewer pizza nights for a while :)

Shaved Asparagus Pizza with Goat Cheese and Ricotta

But homemade pizza involves homemade pizza crust… which typically involves about 2 hours for mixing, kneading, and rising. Problematic if, unlike me, you actually have a real job and stuff. So we’ve come up with a way to start the dough in the morning, let it rise in the fridge all day, and then bake it that evening.

1. Get up 30 minutes early and make the dough yourself. Crust-in-a-can will do in a pinch, but that crispy-chewy bite that comes from flour+water+yeast+your counter/fridge is second to none. Our favorite crust recipe is below, with instructions on how to start your dough in the morning and still get dinner on the table in a reasonable hour that night… and the next night! I’ve started making a double-batch of our favorite crust recipe in the morning, letting it slow-rise all day in the fridge, and then baking it that evening. It makes enough for 2 large pizzas or 6 generous, individual pizzas.

Homemade Pizza Crust

2. Get your oven hot. Like really hot. For years, we baked our favorite pizza crust at 450 degrees. And it was beautiful. See?

Red, White, and Green Pizza

But those blistery, golden brown crusts full of air pockets that they turn out at your favorite pizza joint? Those come out of a much, much hotter oven. 100 degrees (450 vs 550) is the difference between the previous picture and the next.

Barbecue Pulled Pork Pizza

It’s the exact same recipe but one pizza has a soft, fluffy, breadstick-like crust and the other has a crust that’s studded with air pockets, mostly crispy with just a bit of chew on the inside. It takes ~30 minutes for my oven to heat to 550 and then I hold the temperature for 30 minutes to make sure the stone and everything inside is actually 550 degrees. During that time, I pull the dough out of the fridge to come to room temperature (it needs ~1 hour to do so), prep the toppings, and get everything ready to top the crusts. Because once everything is prepped and heated, each pizza is only in the oven for 5-7 minutes.

3. Get a pizza stone.
They’re $20 at that big, bed & bath chain. You know the one – they send you a 20%-off coupon every month, which makes it like $16. Skip Starbucks for a week and spring for it. I think the crust cooks so much better and evenly on a preheated 550-degree stone than a regular pan.

4. Get a box of cornmeal and skip the flour… mostly. The hot pizza stone and a dusting of cornmeal (with a pinch of flour) on the bottom of the pizza produces the highly-sought after crunch. It also makes transfer from your pizza peel or prep surface a lot easier. And you never find yourself with a mouth full of pasty dough after over-flouring your work surface.

5. Get creative! You can put just about ANYTHING on pizza crust. Sweet potatoes, leftover pulled pork, or even broccoli. Just remember that some things (like sweet potatoes) might need to be cooked first because the 5-minute trip through the oven on top of pizza isn’t long enough to cook them thoroughly.

Homemade Pizza Crust

How to get that perfectly crispy-chewy pizza crust, with an all-day slow-rise variation that still lets you get dinner on the table on time. If you love a softer, bread-like crust, bake at 450 until lightly browned and skip the use of the broiler.

Ingredients

  • 2 pkgs (or 4 tsp) dry active yeast
  • 3 1/2 cups (17.5 oz) flour (you can sub up to half whole wheat flour), plus more for dusting
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 2 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil, plus more for brushing crust
  • Cornmeal, for dusting surface

Instructions

  1. Place water in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the dough hook and sprinkle the yeast over top.
  2. Let stand for 10 minutes - if your yeast doesn't swell or get frothy, buy new yeast.
  3. Add the olive oil, salt, and flour.
  4. With the mixer on low, mix until the dough comes together and mostly off the sides of the bowl (it will not come all the way off of the bottom). You can add flour by the tablespoon if necessary.
  5. Let the mixer run for 5 minutes to knead the dough. It should be smooth and slightly sticky.
  6. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and divide in half and shape into a ball (each will weigh ~1 lb). This is enough to make 1 large pizza. We like to make individual pizzas, so I divide each half into 3 pieces and shape into balls.
  7. Lightly dust a plate with flour and place the balls of dough on top, seam-down.
  8. Sprinkle the top with flour, loosely cover with plastic wrap, and place in the fridge.
  9. When you get home, pull the dough out of the fridge and let it sit, covered, on the counter for 60 minutes while your oven is preheating. If the plan is to only make one pizza that day, dust the extra ball of dough with flour, loosely wrap with plastic wrap, place in a gallon zip-top bag and refrigerate to it within 2 days, freeze if you need to store it for longer.
  10. Place your pizza stone in the top 1/3 of the oven and preheat to 550, letting it hold at temperature for 30 minutes.
  11. Prepare your toppings: grate cheese, chop veggies, cook sausage, uncork the wine, etc.
  12. Very lightly flour your pizza peel (or a rimless baking sheet, or turn a rimmed baking sheet upside down and use the bottom) and then add a couple generous pinches of cornmeal.
  13. Gently stretch the dough into a round - I hold one edge of the dough ball a couple of inches above my work surface and let gravity do most of the work, while I move my hands around the edge of the dough (like turning a steering wheel).
  14. Place the dough onto the prepared peel or pan.
  15. Switch your oven from "bake" mode to "broil." (If you get the option, select the "high" broil setting or 550 degrees. If you don't get the option, don't worry about it.).
  16. Brush the outside ~1-inch perimeter with olive oil and then top as desired.
  17. Gently shake the pizza from the peel/pan to the baking stone and broil for 5-7 minutes. (During this time, I'm making the next individual pizza.)
  18. Remove the pizza from the oven, leaving the stone in place. If you're night slicing and serving immediately, transfer it to a rack - the crust can get a little soggy if you put it directly onto a peel/cutting board/plate and just let it sit there.
  19. Slice and serve. And enjoy. Immensely.

Notes

Yields: ~2 lbs of dough, enough for 2 large pizzas or 6 individual pizzas

Crust adapted from Gourmet, broiling technique adapted from Bon Appetit

{ 58 comments }

Spinoccoli Pizza

by Shawnda on March 6, 2012

in Pizza,Vegetarian

Spinoccoli Pizza

We have pizza night once a week. At least. And then there was that time (last week) when some magical switch flipped and my husband became completely obsessed with making pizza himself. HIMSELF.

A glorious week, it was!

Jason brings dependability and stability to the relationship – and pizza nights :) – with sausage and pepperoni. A wild night calls for fresh jalapeƱos but it’s always sausage and pepperoni. And me?

Trying to narrow down my favorite pizza toppings is like… trying to narrow down my favorite pizza toppings. Fancy cheeses, roasted veggies, and lots of goat cheese abound. I’m always in the mood for something a little different. And this pizza fits that bill perfectly.

Spinoccoli Pizza

The Spinoccoli is a white pizza topped with baby spinach, broccoli, mozzarella, and cheddar. We swap out the spinach with Central Market’s herbed baby spinach-arugula mix (because I love that stuff) and substitute goat cheese for the cheddar (because I love that stuff, too). And because there’s no such thing as too much goat cheese.

It’s one of the very, very few preparations of broccoli and spinach that my husband will eat. When dealing with the crankiest of carnivores, calling it “Spinoccoli” (Spinoccula?) gets a much better reaction than “veggie pizza.”

Spinoccoli Pizza

Top your favorite pizza crust with fresh spinach, arugula, broccoli, and goat cheese.

Ingredients

  • For the sauce:
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • Dash of nutmeg
  • 6 Tbsp finely grated Parmesan
  • 3/4 cup milk (I've used whole milk and skim with equally good results)
  • Salt
  • For assembly:
  • Your favorite pizza dough (or mine), ready to stretch and bake
  • Olive oil, for brushing
  • 1/2 cup packed spinach-arugula mix, rough-chopped
  • 1 cup small broccoli florets
  • 2 oz crumbled goat cheese
  • 2 oz shredded mozzarella
  • Handful of grated Parmesan
  • Flour, for dusting surface
  • Coarse cornmeal, for dusting surface

Instructions

  1. Place a pizza stone in the top 1/3 of your oven and preheat your oven to 550 (500 if your oven doesn't go that high), letting it hold at temperature for at least 30 minutes. (If you're not using a pizza stone, just have your baking sheet ready.)
  2. Heat butter and garlic in a small sauce pan over medium heat.
  3. Whisk in flour, fresh black pepper, and a dash of nutmeg and let cook for 1 minute.
  4. Slowly stream in the milk while whisking, until smooth. Cook until bubbly and thickened, 3-4 minutes more, whisking frequently.
  5. Whisk in the Parmesan until melted and salt to taste. Remove from heat and set aside.
  6. Dust a pizza peel or your baking sheet with generous pinches of flour and cornmeal.
  7. Gently stretch the pizza dough in to a 12-14 inch round or divide into 3 portions and stretch, for individual sized pizzas.
  8. Brush a ~1-inch border of olive oil around the edge of the pizza dough.
  9. Spoon white sauce onto the pizza, spreading with a spoon almost to the edge of the dough (you'll probably have a little sauce leftover).
  10. Sprinkle the spinach leaves evenly over the white sauce, followed by the broccoli, mozzarella, goat cheese, and Parmesan.
  11. Transfer your pizza from the pizza peel to baking stone (or place your baking sheet in the oven).
  12. Bake for 7-9 minutes for a single large pizza (5-7 for individual pizzas), until the dough is blistered, the edges are golden brown and crispy, and the cheese starts to brown.
  13. Remove from oven, slice, and serve.

Notes

Yields: 1 large pizza or 3 individual pizzas

Adapted from Annie's Eats

Estimated time: 1 hour

{ 20 comments }