Showing posts with label pizza. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pizza. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Pizza Party (you'll never guess it's all vegetarian)

First, congrats to E1 (aka Erin) for being the winner of a full line-up of Want'ems chips and fusion dips! We pulled the winner using I'll be in touch to make sure you get your new snacks!

There is something so fun about having a pizza party. It brings back memories of celebrations in elementary school, get togethers with friends on weekends, and just those lazy nights when all you want to do is order in and watch a movie. And its the perfect opportunity to be creative!

When I was home visiting family in St. Louis earlier this spring, my cousin Leslie and her husband Andy hosted the family for lunch. I was lucky enough to grow up just a few houses down from my Leslie and her brother Eric until we were in high school, and then just a neighborhood away. In elementary my brother, cousins and I used to walk to school together, spend our afternoons playing in the yard, and just had fun being kids. As we moved into junior high and high school, Leslie and I had classes together and played softball and lacrosse together. For one year, all four of us cousins were in high school together (Grade 12, 11, 10, 9). It was fun! Now that we live about 1100 miles apart, we don't get to spend as much time together. But whenever we do, we have a great time! Here's a picture of us from her wedding two years ago.

Leslie and Andy love to cook and entertain and they put together some delicious and creative vegetarian meals. When we arrived for lunch, we came in the midst of the pizza preparation.

On the menu were a number of different pizzas. Each was carefully put together on top of a prepared crust and then slid into the oven to bake to crispy deliciousness. Here's a look at the flavorful pies they put together:

Barbecue "chicken": smoky barbecue sauce, meatless chicken nuggets, fresh diced red onions and tomatoes, and shredded mozzarella cheese.

Mexican Pizza: Refried black beans, shredded cheddar-jack cheese, sliced black olives, and topped with lettuce and salsa

Fresh Mozzarella, Tomato and Basil: As simple and delicious as it sounds with fresh cracked pepper and olive oil

Supreme Pizza: Tomato sauce, meatless meatballs, green peppers, tomatoes, red onions, and sliced black olives

And to start the meal a fresh and health salad topped with a St. Louis specialty - provel cheese! This creamy cheese is a St. Louis original. A patented blend of cheddar, swiss and provolone, it comes in ropes. Technically it can't be called a cheese, it is a processed cheese product. But it is delicious and creamy and was developed for use on St. Louis style pizzas. It melts into a beautiful pizza topping with no stringiness.

I love their dishes and bowls!

I've already made a few of these pizzas at home since the party. The Mexican black bean pizza is delicious topped with avocado slices, a squeeze of lime and a sprinkling of fresh cilantro. Even though we are meat eaters in our house, we bought the 'chik'n' nuggets to top a deliciously smoky barbecue sauce covered pizza.

Thanks Leslie and Andy for a wonderful lunch and inspiration for some great meals. And thanks for always being so much fun!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

What to post next? Let's start with pizza.

I have a lot of blogging to do. I’ve got my fabulous four course luxury dinner party (if I had made it to the next round of Project Food Blogger), luxury dinner party leftovers turned into a new meal, fall apple-eating adventures, stuffed grape leaves, unstuffed cabbage, and more!  While I write up some deliciously worded posts about those meals, here’s a quick and easy recipe that is going to become a standard in the Good Cook Doris kitchen.

The hubby and I were having our usual Sunday afternoon conversation at the grocery store. Me: Okay, so that’s all the food for the week, what do you want for tonight? Hubby: I don’t know….. But today, he answered: You know what we haven’t had lately? Pizza! My reply: Oooh…I have a good idea. How about breakfast pizza?

We decided to pick up goat cheese, turkey bacon, spinach, crimini mushrooms, and eggs for our toppings. I came home and did a quick search of my google reader to see if one of my fellow cooks had a good technique for eggs on pizza. A search of “breakfast pizza” brought up the perfect match from Alicia at The Clean Plate Club. Turns out she had almost exactly the same ingredients as what we picked up. Thanks Alicia for the tutorial!

This is a two-step pizza. You have to blind-bake the crust for a few minutes before topping. My order of attack was to start the bacon and spinach and mushrooms first, blind bake the crust while those are cooking, then top and bake. We used pizza dough from Whole Foods. You could also use a prebaked crust like a Boboli or naan too.

I am so excited about how this pizza turned out. The combination of flavors and textures was wonderful. Smooth goat cheese and crispy bacon. Umami mushrooms and tangy goat cheese. I can’t wait to eat the leftovers for breakfast!

Breakfast for Dinner Pizza
Makes 4 giant servings
1 ball of refrigerated prepared pizza dough
1 small log (3-4 oz.) Vermont Creamery Fresh Goat Cheese
4 slices turkey bacon
1.5 cups baby spinach, roughly chopped into bite-sized pieces
1/4 cup crimini mushrooms, diced
4 eggs
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and Pepper

Allow enough time for the pizza dough to come to room temperature
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees
Sprinkle a pizza/baking stone with corn meal and set aside
In a medium skillet, cook turkey bacon over low heat, turning frequently until crispy
When bacon is done, cut into bite-sized pieces
Heat a second skillet to medium-low, add a drizzle of olive oil, and mushrooms and spinach, cooking until spinach is just wilted
While the bacon and vegetables are cooking, roll or stretch out pizza dough on the prepared pizza stone
Drizzle with olive oil
Bake at 425 for 5 minutes, being sure not to brown the crust
Remove from the oven
Top the crust in this order:
Crumble the goat cheese and spread evenly over crust
Sprinkle the bacon pieces evenly over crust
Make four mounds of the spinach mushroom mix, one in each quadrant of the pizza
Make an indent in the spinach mushroom mounds
Carefully crack one egg into each of the four indents

Gently place the pizza back into the 425 degree oven
Bake for 15 minutes, until eggs are set
If the crust is getting too dark, tent the pizza with foil
Cut into four pieces (one egg/person)
Season with salt and pepper (or hot sauce) to taste
Savor…and dream about the leftovers for lunch!

Prep time: 5 minutes + oven preheating time
Cook time: 20-30 minutes total
Cutting board, knife, two skillets, spatulas, baking stone, pizza cutter, serving dishes and utensils

Friday, August 6, 2010

Pizza with Panache

Pizza is a dish that lends itself to creative thinking. You can make it traditional, innovative, sweet, or savory. My favorite pizzas are light on sauce with a few great tasting toppings. Whenever I go home to St. Louis I try to get a St. Louis thin-crust pizza with hamburger and onion (sometimes black olives too). The best part of St. Louis pizza (and salads at the pizza places) is provel cheese. Provel cheese comes in ropes, it was created about 50 years ago for the purpose of topping St. Louis pizzas. It’s a combination of provolone, white cheddar, and Swiss. It melts well, doesn’t get stringy, and stays hot (watch out for burned mouths).

When I’m here in Boston and thinking about pizza, I prefer to make it at home. It’s faster than delivery and we can make it exactly the way we like. Homemade pizza is also a great way to use up all those leftover ingredients in the fridge.

We had picked up some premade pizza dough and the grocery store and set it out on the counter to warm up to room temperature. Like the start of most of my kitchen adventures, I looked in the fridge and pantry to see what we had on hand.

From the freezer I pulled out at tin of Pestos with Panache’s Succulent Strawberry Pesto. I’ve enjoyed corresponding online with the pesto maker, Lauren, and had a chance to meet her in person at the SoWa Market earlier this summer. The strawberry pesto isn’t sweet – it’s a fabulous traditional pesto with the addition of bright red strawberries.

To top of the pizza, I chose shredded Monterey jack cheese and a few golden delicious apples.

This is a quick meal and perfect for a light dinner. You could also make the case for serving it at breakfast accompanied by some fluffy scrambled eggs and a cup of tea.

Pizza with Panache
1 container/bag of prepared pizza dough (or a pre-baked crust like Boboli)
1/4 cup Pestos with Panache Succulent Strawberry Pesto
1-2 golden delicious apples, cored and sliced into thin slices (I did not peel my apples)
Monterey Jack cheese, as cheesy as you like
Sprinkle of corn meal for the baking surface

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees
Measure out pesto (it is frozen) and warm for about 10 seconds in the microwave to make it more spreadable and set aside (don’t completely melt it)

Stretch out, toss, or roll out pizza dough to desired shape and thickness
Place the dough on a pizza stone or baking sheet covered with the cornmeal, this helps to prevent sticking
Bake the crust for 6 minutes

Remove the prebaked dough from the oven
Using a silicone brush, spread pesto all over the crust
Top with the apple slices, spreading evenly over the crust
Top with as much cheese as you’d like

Return pizza to the oven and cook for 10-12 minutes, until cheese is bubbly and the edge of the crust is golden brown
Remove from oven and let the pizza sit for a minute or two, so you don’t lose all the cheese when you slice it

Serve with a lightly dressed salad and try to save a few pieces for lunch the next day!

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 16-20 minutes
Pizza stone, cutting board, knife, bowl, pizza cutter, serving utensils

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Same Ingredients, Different Dish

To manage our food spending and stretch out our dollars, I've been trying hard to use up food items and waste as little as possible. Instead of buying for only one meal, I try to think of multiple meals incorporating the same ingredients (without repeating anything).

At our little dinner party this past weekend we started with a cheese plate and fresh crusty french bread (I can't take credit for the bread). We had some leftover Crystal Brook Farm's goat cheese from the farmers' market. It's marinated in olive oil and Mediterranean spices. You can't just have one cheese on a cheese plate - you need at least two (preferably 3). To go along with the goat cheese, we had a nice nutty manchego and fig jam. The perfect start to a meal (with my two favorite foods - bread and cheese!). No picture, we ate it too quickly!

The next night we were still recovering from our busy weekend and didn't feel like putting a lot of effort into dinner. A quick scan of the kitchen turned up some pizza crusts, the leftover manchego and fig spread, and some local apples. I spread some of the fig spread on the crust, topped that with thin apple slices, then put thin slices of the cheese on the top. I baked it at 450 degrees for about 10 minutes. Here's how it looked out of the oven:

I think next time I'll bake the apples and fig spread for about 5 minutes and then add cheese for the last 5 minutes, as it got a little rubbery.

I scrambled up a few eggs on the side to add some protein to the meal. This was very tasty. It would be great with a variety of seasonal fruits and different combinations of fruit jams. This would also be a great brunch dish for company (or just for yourself!).

I think my next adventure will be to try to make my own fig jam.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Sunday Night Pizza Night

It's not's homemade! For less time and less money we had a delicious pizza night to cap off our weekend.
Somehow we haven't made this in a while - it used to be a frequent addition in our menus. Last week I was watching a cooking show (can't remember who) and they were giving tips on how to make pizza. What I did take from the show was to use cornmeal on the counter to make sure the dough doesn't stick and to just push the dough with your fingertips (no rolling pin or fancy tossing).

This was a quick and easy dish. I'll break down the cost of the ingredients below. Some are pantry items and some are items that I bought just for the pizza. If I only used a portion of a package I adjusted the cost accordingly.

I like the crust a little crispy so that the piece stands on its on when you pick it up. To achieve this, I put my dough on a pizza stone and precook it for about 5 minutes before putting any toppings on. This keeps it from getting soggy.

We had a nice green salad alongside our pizza with goat cheese, portobello mushrooms, and diced tomatoes (no sauce).

Homemade Pizza
Pantry Items:
Fresh basil from our new plant
Olive oil
Salad Dressing
Salt and Pepper

Items Purchased Just for Pizza:
$2.00 - Whole wheat pizza dough
$2.25 - Half a small log of fresh goat cheese
$1.50 - 1 portobello mushroom (from a pack of 6)
$1.00 - 2 plum tomatoes
$.15 - 1 clove of garlic

Items Purchased for Salad:
$2.50 - Salad mix
$.75 - A few slices of vidalia onion

Total: $10.15

Preheat oven to 425 or 450 degrees

Dice portobello mushrooms into small pieces
Mince garlic
In a small skillet, heat a few tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat
Add in garlic and mushrooms and saute until just softened - 3-4 minutes
Remove from the heat and set aside

Cut open the tomatoes and scoop out the seeds
Dice the tomatoes into small pieces and set aside

Tear a few leaves of basil into small pieces and set aside

Put a piece of wax paper on the counter and put down a light dusting of cornmeal
Put the dough on top and use your fingertips to push the dough out until desired thickness
Transfer to a pizza stone or baking sheet (be sure to put a little cornmeal on the stone first)
Bake for 5 minutes and remove from oven

Drizzle a little olive oil on top of the pizza dough
Sprinkle tomatoes and mushrooms evenly on top of the pizza
Crumble goat cheese evenly on top
Sprinkle half the basil on top of the pizza

Bake for approximately 15 minutes (or longer for crispier crust)
Remove from oven, top with the remaining basil
Cut and enjoy!


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