Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Buon Appetito!

Pizza.  If anyone says they don't like pizza, my Italian heritage mentally takes note to leave a wide berth when near them.  But really.  So many debates...thin crust, thick crust, red sauce, white sauce, no sauce.  And toppings?  Well, in my mind, you can put whatever you want on it...it may not work for everyone...but hey, isn't that what makes cooking so much fun?

I've been craving pizza for about a month now.  It always seemed to be especially strong on nights when I got home late, so the thought of having to make the dough and wait for it to rise wasn't all that appealing.  Sleep does win out most nights.

Then the other day I found myself on Melinda Lee's website.  For those that don't know who she is, on one of the Los Angeles news radio channels, KNX 1070, she hosts a show called 'Food News' every Saturday and Sunday morning.  Surprise, surprise I listen to it every chance I get.  I was checking out this week's topics (mise en place and kitchen fundamentals) then began perusing the recipe collection.

Lo and Behold!...what did I find but a no-rise pizza crust dough recipe!  Just what I was looking for, though I knew it wasn't going to be a typical crust.  No problem.  The recipe makes enough for a 12-inch pizza, but I split the dough in half.  I can make another before week's end!  I rolled it out thin, be careful when transferring it to the baking sheet, it will break easily.  I actually had to roll it out twice to make it safely to my sheet.  As per the directions, I did roll it on a board with a flour/cornmeal mix.  I had coarse medium ground cornmeal, and a significant amount works its way into the crust, giving it a really nice bite (in my opinion).  It's a good, quick crust.  More cracker-y than dough-y.

Last night's topping was caramelized onions and portobello mushrooms with roasted red pepper and garlic.  Then for good measure, I poured in about half a cup of red wine (still left from the holiday's wine biscuits!) and sauteed it down.  I crumbled some feta and grated Grana Padano atop before baking.  Into a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes.

AND since I'm determined to lose the last 31 lbs to get to my goal weight by the end of this year, to keep myself from eating the whole thing, I paired it with a spinach salad (yes, with a little chopped walnuts and feta---protein, kids, protein!)

Here's the crust recipe....but if you have a chance, check out Melinda Lee's website....lots of recipes and other fun stuff!

Non-Rising (Shortcut) Pizza Dough

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup water
1/3 cup olive oil
handful of flour and cornmeal mix (about 1/4 cup of each)

Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl.  Add the water and drizzle in the oil.  Mix thoroughly.

Sprinkle a cutting board with the flour and cornmeal mixture and place dough on it.  Knead for 3 or 4 minutes, forming a ball, and roll out into a 1/8-inch thick circle.  Crimp the edges and fill with your favourite ingredients.

Bake or grill according to the recipe instructions.

(Adapted from Fish Grilled and Smoked by John Manikowski from Storey Publishing)

Try it...I think you'll like it.  Quick and easy...always a good thing!

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