I have been gone for a while…busy with the letterpress print shop, preparing for upcoming Farmers’ Markets and so on. But we have a guest (maybe guests) visiting tomorrow. He will be talking to hubby about the possibility for us to design AND print his business cards. Together with his wife, they founded and sold great tasting shortbread cookies! They sort of inspired us to go ahead with our Cookie Companyletterpress print shop!
Anyway, our own (you can guess by the weird name) recipe below is what we will be serving him/them (not sure if wifey will show up) while we discuss future plans…
Ingredients for two medium-sized pizzas:
- 2 pizza doughs (bought frozen at WholeFoods)
- 1 generous cup of Romesco Sauce (prepared ahead)
- 1 1/2 cup of shredded Mozzarella cheese
- 1 1/2 cup of shredded Smoked Gouda
- 4 large Portobello mushrooms, grilled and sliced
- 1 very large Zucchini, grilled and sliced
- 1 1/2 lbs of cooked chicken breast (though I prefer boneless chicken thighs), seasoned, grilled and sliced into bite sized pieces)
- 2 handfuls of thinly sliced Basil (optional)
Preheat (the pizza stones-if you have them) the oven to 375 degrees Farenheit. Roll the pizza doughs out thinly on a large, floured surface. Spread the Romesco Sauce evenly between both dough disks with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle with Mozzarella cheese. Next, evenly distribute the chicken, mushroom and zucchini over the pizzas. Bury the ingredients under shredded Smoked Gouda cheese. You may top the pizzas with thinly sliced Basil. Add salt and pepper to taste. (Slide the pizzas onto the pre-heated pizza stones-if you have them and) Bake in the oven until all the cheese has melted.
The dish is best enjoyed with a bottle of red wine or Beer – my personal preference would be a Pinot Noir or Pyramid Apricot Beer. We hope our guest(s) will enjoy it and same for you!
Last Saturday we invited my mother over for dinner. My mom is a very well-travelled woman with many different cultural and culinary experiences, so pleasing her can be somewhat demanding . However when I asked her what we she would like us to make fo her that evening she replied: pizza! That’s pretty easy! Now, I am not a big pizza fan unless they are more or less home-made. We were moonlighting in the garage the night before engaged in our new “hobby” , so we slept in the next day and didn’t have enough time make our own dough. Instead we bought the dough at Whole Foods. Now mind you, I am very picky when it comes to pizza dough. I am not a fan of commercial pizzas with their thick, bread-like crusts. My preference is thin (actually there is one commercially available pizza that I love: Dr. Oetker’s Ristorante Frozen Pizza that come in 8 different toppings), the Neapolitan-style pizza crust, which is made out of wheat flour, brewer’s yeast, salt and water.
The dough must be kneaded by hand and after it rises, rolled out by hand (again) into a 3mm (1/8″) thick pizza. You can garnish it with your favourite topping and then bake it 60-90 seconds in a wood-fired oven. At home you can use a pizza stone in your regular oven. Anyway, Whole Foods’ dough is pretty good, plus you can buy them frozen as well for use later!
My hubby and I decided on two different gourmet pizzas: BBQ Chicken and Prosciutto with Pear, Walnut and Arugula.
Part I will feature the Chicken BBQ Pizza. These are the ingredients you need:
One pizza dough
One large chicken breast, sliced and marinated for an hour in your favourite BBQ sauce (our favourite store-bought one is Rufus Teagues Touch O’ Heat)
Four to six 1/8″ slices of apple-smoked bacon
1-1/2 cup of coarsely chopped sweet onions
1 cup of shredded smoked gouda
1/4 cup of Apple Walnut smoked Promontory Cheese
- 4 tbsp of BBQ sauce
- 2 tbsp of olive oil
Prepare all toppings first. Sweat the chopped onions in a pan with the olive oil over medium heat until they turn translucent. Cover the pan and lower the heat and let the onions cook for another 10 minutes or until they are brown and caramelized. Set aside to cool. Cut the bacon into bite-size strips and cook. Then drain the cooked bits on a paper towel. Place the marinated chicken on a baking sheet and baked until cooked. Shred both cheeses and mix them in a bowl. Set aside.
Pre-heat the pizza stone in the oven to 425° – 450° Fahrenheit. Knead the pizza dough and roll it out thinly on a flour dusted cutting board. Using the back of a table-spoon, spread the BBQ sauce over the entire surface. Distribute the following in this order evenly over the pizza dough: caramelized onions, half of the cheese mix, the baked chicken slices and the bacon, then the rest of the cheese. Slide the pizza onto the hot pizza stone and bake 15-20 minutes. Take out of the oven and let it rest for a few minutes before slicing.
My mother enjoyed the savory flavor of this rich pizza. Beware, one slice can be quite filling – I call it a guy’s pizza! It pairs particularly well with a glass of Biale Black Chicken Zinfandel.
The recipe for the Prosciutto with Pear, Walnut and Arugula Pizza will be featured in Part II.
There is a place in Bellevue, Washington that is worth going to, if you have a hankering for good pizza: Tuscan Stone Pizza – Bellevue. This joint is not a restaurant but a pizza food truck. This mobile vehicle sits on an empty lot on the corner of Bellevue Way NE and Main Street. They serve mouth-watering gourmet pizzas and accept credit cards. The place is open 7 days a week, from 11 AM to 8PM throughout the year! Yes, even winter! The three guys that manage the truck say they keep warm by the oven when the temperature turns chilly. Their pizzas are made fresh on a prepping table and baked for 90 seconds in an oven fueled by applewood. The thin dough balloons around the edges once it comes in contact with the blistering heat of the oven.
My husband and I usually order a large Garlic Vegetarian and another large Meat Lover. Both got great flavor and the prices were very reasonable ($7.95 before tax for the small, $14.95 for the large). And if you’re short on cash, they conveniently accept credit cards. The people are friendly, service is great and the pizzas are fantastic! Mangiamo!