Home Cooking · Italian

Take the Sky

Stuffed Crust OOP Pizza

Stuffed Crust Pizza

 

Time for another fridge cleaning adventure!  This time I had some left over mushrooms and pineapple from a stir fry, olive and onion from a lentil soup dish, and a lot of cheese from some baked pasta dishes.  I decided that instead of just tossing all of the cheese on top of the pizza I would stuff the crust with a variety of the cheese.  I was more than a little nervous regarding this venture since dough and I don’t always get along.  I used my bread machine to prep the dough, going with my sour dough oregano standby.  Once I rolled the pizza out I debated between the standard under roll to form the crust or to try rolling over, which is the one I went with in the end since it seemed the easiest for stuffing crust.

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I was thrilled when I took the pizza out of the oven and realized that all of the cheese stayed within the crust.  I had horrible images of trying to take a slice off the stone and there being a huge hunk of cheese left behind.  The combination of cheeses gave a variety of textures, with the stringy mozzarella, the sharper Parmesan, and the creamy provolone.  This crust is so versatile, I can’t wait til April’s pizza night!

52Weeks · Baking · Home Cooking

Back in the

Spinach and Kale Pizza

Very Green Pizza

Another week, another challenge from r/52weeksofcooking.  This week the theme was Mother Sauces, something I explored a few years ago thanks to a Top Chef episode. I have done numerous tomato sauce based recipes, and a few veloute sauces as well but for the most part I avoid the creamier sauces.  Cream is very high on the list of things my doctor has told me to avoid – so with that in mind I set out to make this as healthy as I could.  One of things that helped me on that quest was learning that bechamel does not actually require cream!  Instead of doing a standard pasta I decided to do pizza, making a whole wheat sourdough crust and tossing on as much spinach, chard, and kale as possible.  I was a little bit nervous working with the dough, but it was surprising easy to roll once I figured out the right flour:starter ratio – so no dough went flying across the kitchen this time!

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This isn’t the healthiest pizza out there – and I’m sure it’s not the healthiest version of  bechamel floating  around – but it’s a healthier option compared to what most pizzas are.  Another advantage of doing a white sauce is it’s much easier to reduce the amount of cheese required, assuming people aren’t looking over your shoulder attempting to add more.

Home Cooking · Italian

Fly, Fly, Baby

Oregano Sourdough Pizza Crust

Every now and then it feels good to make something that is not super healthy…or even moderately healthy.  Normally when doing pizza I make a standard crusty crust or a semi-healthy cauliflower crust, but this time I decided to try something different.  I have mentioned my sourdough starter, Gunther, before and decided to give a sourdough crust a try.  My bread machine cookbook has a recipe for sourdough, but after a quick glance I realized it need a boost to make it more pizza like.  The end result was a delicious deep dish experience that was filled to the brim with toppings.

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I’m also hoping that my doctor is not reading this because I have a feeling she would not approve of the insane amount of cheese used in this recipe.   Probably shouldn’t eat something like this on a regular basis, but hopefully she can overlook the occasional indulgence.

Italian

Work It

Spinach with Roasted Tomato Pizza

I’m writing this, listening to the rain come down, hoping that all the nasty weather will clear up before our flight leaves.  Things have been a little stressful leading up to this trip, making me even more thankful for the timing.  I’m also hoping that I’ll be able to avoid temptation on this trip but I just don’t see that happening, so hopefully all the walking will maybe cancel out the chocolate.  There will also be some changes to DancingVeggies once we get back, but nothing too dramatic.   The good news is that you expect more vegan recipes, including raw-vegan recipes.  I will also be adding some fish to the menu, and removing most of the dairy recipes.  I’m still not sure how everything is going to play out, but that’s okay!

This recipe is unfortunately on the list of things that I will be avoiding going forward.  I will miss my cheesy delicious pizza, but I’m looking forward to experimenting with flatbread recipes and other things that are pizza-like but not quite pizza.

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The trick with this recipe is cooking the crust as quick as possible so that the tomatoes keep as much shape as possible.  I have been making tomato and spinach pizza for years, but recently decided it needed a new kick.  By pre-roasting the tomatoes with rosemary it really adds a new layer to the pizza, which is another reason why it’s important to bake the crust as quick as possible.  I’ve also tried this recipe with basil and oregano but for now rosemary is the winner.

Secret Recipe Club

Now Hush Hush

Eggplant Parmesan Pizza

Secret Recipe Club

Greetings one and all! Another month has flown by and it’s time for a brand new Secret Recipe Club recipe 🙂 I have to admit that one of the highlights of my blog month is getting the new blog assignment from my fearless host Amanda and checking out all the cool new recipes I can pick from.  This month I was assigned the Pictures of all my Princesses blog run by Jules.   I was immediately drawn in by the cute header and set out to find the perfect new recipe to try.  I wasn’t sure what recipe I wanted to try or even what type of recipe I was in the mood for so I started at the beginning and worked by way up.  I noted a few recipes that sounded interested before spotting the PERFECT recipe for my household: Eggplant Sauce!!!  Not only did the recipe give instructions for serving this sauce three different ways, one of them included a way to adapt it for pizza.  I was sold and quickly started collecting all the ingredients I needed.  I did cheat and use my bread machine to prep my crust, but I have found that my blood pressure tends to do best when I’m not trying to kneed dough.  I did make some slight modifications to make it vegetarian friendly and also left out the cream since I felt that much dairy might be a little much.   Please check out the original recipe if you don’t have the restriction and if you want to see the other ways you can use this incredibly versatile sauce.

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This dish was a HUGE hit in my house, and as an added bonus it gave off an amazing aroma.  To enhance the flavors I used an oregano pizza crust recipe and it worked perfectly.  The little bit of sauce left over was also the perfect dip for the pizza crust ensuring that not a single drop was wasted!

 


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Home Cooking · Italian

On a Jetplane

Caprese Spinach Pizza

&

Onion, Olive, and Pineapple Pizza

My bags are packed, I’m ready to go…but my flight doesn’t leave until tomorrow. Starting tomorrow I will be out of Northern Virginia and away from this searing heat! I can’t wait to be somewhere that doesn’t have the beltway or 66 or the toll road. Instead of commuting down highways I will be commuting around or over the lake. I can’t wait!

In other news I am trying to be more organized and have started doing menus at the start of the week, along with my shopping list.  I’m hoping this will prevent 6PM runs to Wegmans but I’m not entirely hopeful about that. We shall also see if this will also last through the summer, or if this will be another good idea that gets forgotten/neglected/ignored when Fall comes around.

So tonight’s recipes are good for cleaning out the fridge, mostly because there is no way to go wrong when it comes to pizza!

For Crust (from Joy of Cooking w/changes)
1 1⁄3 cups warm water
2 1⁄4 teaspoons active dry yeast
3 1⁄2 to 3 3⁄4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon garlic powder

1. Combine the water and yeast in a large bowl or the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer and let stand until the yeast is dissolved, about 5 minutes.
2. Mix by hand or on low speed for about 1 minute. Knead for about 10 minutes by hand or with a dough hook on low to medium speed until the dough is smooth and elastic. 
3. Transfer the dough to a bowl lightly coated with olive oil and turn it once to coat with oil. Cover with plastic wrap or a clean cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, 1 to 1 1⁄2 hours. 
4. Preheat the oven to 475°F.  Place a baking stone in the oven and preheat it for 45 minutes.
5. Punch down the dough and divide it in half. Roll each piece into a ball and let rest, loosely covered with plastic wrap, for 10 to 15 minutes. Prepare the desired toppings.
6. One at a time, flatten each ball of dough on a lightly floured work surface into a 12-inch round, rolling and stretching the dough. Place each dough circle on a prepared baking sheet, or, if using a baking stone, place them on rimless baking sheets or baker’s peels dusted with cornmeal. Lift the edges and pinch to form a lip.
7. Use your fingertips to push dents in the surface of the dough, to prevent bubbling, and let rest for about 10 minutes. The pizza is now ready to be topped and baked.

For the Pizzas:
Pizza 1: Spinach Caprese
1 cup fresh spinach
1 tomato, quartered
6 basil leaves
3 oz buffalo mozzarella, sliced

1. Place all the ingredients on the pizza, making sure that each slice gets one basil leaf and one tomato quarter.  Bake on preheated pizza stone for 15-20minutes, or until crust is a golden brown.

Pizza 2: OOP
1/2 onion, diced
1/2 cup black olives, sliced and pitted
1/2 cup pineapples, chunks
1 tomato, mashed
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

1. Pour the mashed tomato mixture on the pizza, keeping 1/2 in from the crust in order to prevent a fun mess while baking.  Add toppings as desired.  Bake on preheated pizza stone for 15-20minutes, or until crust is golden brown.

I’m not sure what it is about pineapples and onion and olives but something about that taste combination just lets me know that all is right with the world.  The first time I had this was totally by accident, a pizza that was suppose to be all pineapple, half onion, half olive wound up being all pineapple, ALL onion, and ALL olive.  That mistake wound up being one of the best things to happen to me food wise in college since that was my first experience with olives.