Thursday, June 20, 2013

In The Kitchen -- Easy Pizzy


Everyone needs a good cheat in the kitchen for those lazy days where you just can't lift a spatula, and this is one of mine...

I doctor up ready made pizzas. 

The idea first came to me for one of my children's birthday parties as a quick (not to mention less expensive/more homemade) alternative to ordering in pizzas that too soon mimic the cardboard they arrive in. The kids loved them, the adults devoured them, everyone was happy, and I realized that aside from providing an easy break from cooking duty, it can also be a quick way to satisfy any larger group with little notice. 

It goes like this:

Grab good quality, authentic style, frozen pizzas (my current preference -- Trader Joe's organic pizzas hailing from a wood burning oven in Italy), sprinkle liberally with more shredded Mozzarella cheese, then add fresh, tasty topping combos to bring the pizzas to a new level. In less than ten minutes you'll be serving wonderful, freshly baked, flavorful pizzas straight from the oven.

In kid land, plain cheese ever rules as most popular so the additional Mozzarella is all it needs. I'll pep up the other usual suspects, such as mushroom, by using Crimini in place of plain White.

For the adults, I'll usually go one simple step up and roll out a little pre-made dough (Trader Joe's makes a great one) and proceed with the fixings from there flat bread style. I came up with these initial topping combos that made for immediate hits:  

Artichoke + Olive
Spinach + Ricotta (pictured above)
Classic Fresh Basil + Roma Tomatoes


Clearly, the possibilities are endless. I'll be sure to have some Arugula on hand next, or a fist full of salad for that matter. Doing different halves can allow for more choices, and I like to slice the pizzas up into random mini pieces so guests can sample a variety. Easy pizzy.

And now, a favorite pizza that we like to make (only slightly more involved) -- a most delectable Rosemary Potato Pizza. Cannot even tell you how good it is. Not to mention, entirely impressive. I make it using the recipe shared by Jen Gotch via here

This is how it goes:

Ingredients:

1 Ball Pizza Dough 
5 Sprigs Fresh Rosemary
3-4 New Potatoes (the small red ones)
1/2 cup Olive Oil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
1/4 cup Flour
2 tablespoons Corn Meal
Salt (to taste)

- Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees (or as instructed for your specific dough).
- Heat olive oil and 4 sprigs of rosemary in a small saucepan on medium/low heat for approx. 8 mins.


 - While that's cooking, prepare the dough by dusting the counter with flour and corn meal (the corn meal adds authenticity) and rolling the dough into a round or any shape you can muster. Lay it on a lightly oiled baking sheet.
- Thinly slice the potatoes width-wise into lots of paper thin circles.
- Remove the rosemary oil from the heat and drizzle it onto the dough covering it generously but leaving the edges bare. Save a little oil for later.
- Layer on the potato slices "fishtail style" with the slightest overlap.
- Remove the leaves of the remaining rosemary sprig and sprinkle them over the pizza.


- Top the pizza with the grated parmesan, put in the oven, and bake until the dough is light brown and the potatoes have crisp edges.
- When it's done, remove the pizza from the oven, sprinkle with salt, drizzle some remaining rosemary oil on it, and cut it up and serve.

seriously out of this world

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