Exploring alternative pizza toppings is fun. Sometimes the toppings become so creative that the essence of pizza only remains in the crust upon which it all sits. This is one of those times, but you know what? I am perfectly okay with a completely unconventional pizza, especially after the revelation of kale and balsamic vinegar together. There’s just something about crispy kale and sweet & tangy balsamic that just get me.
Even went ahead and served it with a drizzle of balsamic reduction leftover from making a Caprese Pizza at the same time. Is there such a thing as too much balsamic? Of course, one cannot forget the presence of the seasonally appropriate sweet potato on this pizza. (I promise I have not forgotten about you, pumpkin.)
This is another recipe recreated from my undergraduate years at Ohio State. I pretty much rotated through these pita pizzas, stir frys, the Asian BBQ Chicken, and pasta with meat sauce when I lived off campus the last two years. Oh the days before my need to try a new recipe every single stinking day. Nowadays I rarely repeat recipes in my kitchen. Mostly because there are too many others I want to try and cooking for one slows me down. Which was one bonus to staying with my parents in Knoxville in August, because I had the ability to cook entrees more often and therefore actually did remake past recipes. What a treat to have some of them again!
When making the pitas for this recipe, I was also reminded how much better it is homemade than store bought. The store stuff is stale and dry in comparison, and I find it difficult to even entertain the idea of purchasing them ever again. Especially since it’s so fun to watch them puff up in the oven.
Please take a moment to check out Wilde in the Kitchen’s Bake Sale benefitting Relay for Life. And bid on my “Big, Fat, Chewy Multichip Cookies” or any of the other delicious treats up for grabs!
I enjoy both traditional and nontraditional pizzas. But with how frequently I have pizza for dinner it’s refreshing to have some very different options out there.
So now it is time for a very nontraditional pizza. There is no tomato sauce or even pesto, instead the sauce is sweet Asian chili sauce. To continue with the lack of tradition, it’s topped with zucchini, peanuts and cilantro. The only things not out of the ordinary are the chicken, mozzarella and basil. But do not fear the unexpected because your taste buds will love this – that is if you are into nontraditional pizzas and Asian flavors.
In other news, I am off to a wedding in northern NJ on Friday followed by a day trip to NYC and then snuggles with my nephew Luke in Boston! Consider this your warning for baby pictures appearing next week.
Are you prepared to meet the thinnest crust ever?! If you are not a thin crust person, this pizza is not for you. Go on and just close the browser right now, I won’t be offended but I will scoff at you because I think this pizza could convert you. So on second thought please stay!
By a show of hands, how many of you have ever had Imo’s pizza? Okay, how many more of you have at least heard of Imo’s pizza? Anyone who did not raise their hand will not understand the craze that this pizza creates, but should still dive in and create this pizza at home. Especially if you don’t have the time to drive to St. Louis. Because today I give to you, homemade Imo’s Pizza.
So what makes this pizza so special, other than it’s geographical exclusivity? Well for starters it has a supremely thin crust, that is crispy yet a little floppy all at the same time. This crust is covered by a moderately thin layer of freshly made pizza sauce, then topped off by Imo’s very own brand of shredded cheese known as Provel – a mixture of white cheddar, Swiss and provolone, with a hint of hickory smoke flavor.
One benefit to living 4.5 hours from St. Louis, is that the grocery stores here happen to carry this fantastical cheese blend. But luckily for everyone else it is easy to fix up a homemade version of it. Granted it won’t be processed all together, but the flavors are all there and that’s what counts. So no matter where you are in the world, you too can experience Imo’s pizza!
For me, the cheese is the selling point. It gets so bubbly and the white cheddar brings such great flavor to otherwise traditional pizza toppings. And it just so happens to be one of my favorite kinds of cheese, and am amazed that I have not topped off any of my pizzas with it before (prepare yourself for more of it to come). Of course, don’t forget to slice it up into Imo-style small square slices, and prepare to fight over your favorite pieces. Are you a middle-crust or an edge-crust person?
Ask and you shall receive. On my last pizza post, many of you left comments to keep the pizzas rolling so here’s this week’s installment! This time I’ve made a recipe I found on Bev Cooks awhile back. You make a pesto using spinach leaves for the sauce, and top it off with red pepper, Italian sausage and of course Mozzarella cheese. It’s a pretty fantastic little dance of ingredients. And they certainly look good together too!
Of course as with all of my pizza recipes, you do not need a stone and peel to make pizza at home. Just cook it on a pizza pan or cookie sheet as you prefer, but I am convinced that the crust comes out as pure perfection when using a stone. So you really should get your hands on one sooner rather than later. Probably my favorite kitchen item ever. And I am sure you can tell how well-loved it is by it’s stained appearance in pictures.
By the way, is anyone shocked that I rate every pizza I make as 2-3 servings? Maybe I am just a fat kid but there’s hardly a pizza made in my kitchen that ends up producing more than 3 servings. Maybe I cut my slices too big, but I don’t care O:-).
Sometimes my pizza toppings are composed of a random array of things found while digging through the junkyard that is my refrigerator. Those pizzas don’t regularly manage to find their way onto this screen, but once in awhile I create something worth repeating beyond the realm of simply using up leftovers. With the amount of pizza eaten in my kitchen, one is bound to squeak out every once in awhile.
This is another one of my pasta-dish-gone-pizza recipes. The first was the Cajun Chicken Alfredo Pizza, inspired by none other than my Guiltless Cajun Chicken Alfredo. But instead of cajun seasoning and broccoli, you have spinach and pesto with your chicken alfredo pizza. Isn’t coming up with new pizzas fun? I remember when choosing between pepperoni or just cheese seemed like a difficult choice. Now the topping options are endless and I must try them all!!
One year ago: Cake batter Fruit Dip
CHICKEN & SPINACH ALFREDO PIZZA
1 recipe thin-crust pizza dough
2 Tbsp basil pesto
1/2 cup Alfredo sauce
1/2 cup cooked shredded chicken
1 cup fresh spinach
1/2 cup Mozzarella, shredded
1/4 cup Parmesan, shredded
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees with a pizza stone placed on the center rack for 15 minutes.
- On a cornmeal dusted pizza peel, roll out the pizza dough. Spread the pesto and Alfredo sauce over the dough within 1/2 inch of the edge. Top with chicken pieces, spinach and sprinkle cheeses over top.
- Shimmy off the pizza peel onto the preheated pizza stone and bake for 12-15 minutes or until crust is golden and cheese is bubbly.
Source: The Spiffy Cookie original
Yes I am posting a recipe for yet another pizza dough. Don’t judge, sometimes I eat a lot of pizza and need to change up the crusts a bit (in case you hadn’t caught on). This was my first time ever making homemade thin crust however. Even though a nice fluffy edge is lovely to bite into, sometimes I really just want a lot of crispiness and a greater topping to crust ratio.
Since I had never made thin crust before, I was curious how it became thin instead of puffy like in regular pizza dough. It seems to me that the only difference is the amount of flour and water you add, therefore resulting in less dough which gets rolled out to the same size. Who knew it would be that simple? I even threw in some whole wheat flour for some health-ification.
Are you a thin, regular or thick crust person? Just so you know if you saw thick, don’t ever expect a recipe for that on there. Ratio is much too skewed to the dough side on that one for me. (Don’t come to the dough side.)
WHOLE WHEAT THIN CRUST PIZZA DOUGH
Makes one crust
1 package active dry yeast (2-1/4 tsp)
1 tsp sugar
1/2 cup warm water (100 to 110 degrees)
3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup 100% whole wheat flour*
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp yellow cornmeal
Desired pizza toppings
*Or use another 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- Dissolve yeast and sugar in 1/2 cup warm water in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Mix both flours in a small bowl. Stir 1-1/4 cups flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt into yeast mixture to form a soft dough. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 5 minutes); add enough of remaining flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands.
- Place dough in a large bowl coated with coil, turning dough to coat. Cover; let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, 1 hour or until doubled in size. (Press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, dough has risen enough.)
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees, with pizza stone on the lowest rack.
- Punch dough down; cover and let rest 5 minutes. Roll dough into a 14-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Place dough on a pizza peel sprinkled with cornmeal. Crimp edges of dough with fingers to form a rim.
- Drizzle dough with a little olive oil and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Place dough on stone and bake at 450 for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven; top with desired toppings and bake an additional 10 minutes or until crust and cheese is lightly browned. Let stand 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
Source: Adapted slightly from Brown Eyed Baker.
Remember the bake sale I hosted last week to benefit The House of Mews 2012 Annual Food Drive? Well last night I swung by on my way home from work and hung out with Holly and the kitties for a little bit. I took a few photos so that you can see where all that money raised went and can be seen on Facebook, but here is one just as a teaser:
By tomorrow all the bakers should have sent out the goodies to their winning bidders, so if you are not already enjoying your treats they should be arriving soon!
When I saw Jessica post this pizza crust, it immediately reminded me of Hounddog’s pizza in Columbus, OH. Covered in butter, garlic and Parmesan cheese – which by the way has been my favorite pizza crust for years, even throughout the 5 since I graduated (crap has it really been that long since I was an undergrad??). Le sigh, memories… But strangely I have never attempted to recreate this glory of a crust on my own. So thank you very much Jessica, for bringing this crust back into my life other than when I pay a visit back to that wonderful place.
Another thought occurred to me while still drooling over this crust (I want to lick the picture on my screen right now). How insanely good do you think this would be if it were also stuffed with basil and goat cheese from another pizza crust recipe I’ve posted (also from Jessica at How Sweet It is)? Which strangely enough I shared exactly a year ago – totally unplanned. But bringing those two pizza crusts together into one is going to happen. And it shall be mind-blowing.
But first you need to make this as it is. You will have guilty dreams about it.
GARLIC BREAD PIZZA CRUST
Makes 1 pizza
1 recipe pizza dough
1 cup pizza sauce
5 Tbsp unsalted butter, divided
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese
Desired pizza toppings
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees, with pizza stone placed on the middle rack.
- Place rolled out pizza dough on a pizza peel generously sprinkled with cornmeal. Place a moist towel over the dough and let sit for 10 minutes.
- While the dough is rising again, melt 3 tablespoons of butter. Mix it with the garlic and 1 tablespoon of Parmesan cheese.
- Continue to make your pizza with your desired toppings. Transfer to the preheated pizza stone and using a spoon or pastry brush, douse the outside edges with the butter and garlic mixture. Bake the pizza for 23-25 minutes (or longer if needed, depending on your toppings), or until crust and cheese are both golden.
- While pizza is baking, melt remaining butter and combine with the last tablespoon of Parmesan.
- Remove pizza from over and immediately brush the outside edges with Parmesan butter, using it all up. Sprinkle a bit of Parmesan over top if desired. Serve!
Source: Adapted from How Sweet It Is.
I interrupt this post for an announcement…
MY NEPHEW WAS BORN THIS MORNING!! My brother and sister-in-law whisked away to the hospital last night. The little one must’ve known there were fun things waiting for him, because my care package arrived just the day before. They even brought the homemade granola bars with them to the hospital. Perfect timing Aunt Erin. He was born at 7:19 am coming in at 7 lbs and 1 oz, and 19 inches long.
Welcome to the world, Luke. I cannot wait to meet you!
Okay. You may now return to your regularly scheduled read….
Instead of a traditional pizza sauce, you smear a mixture of cream cheese (<3!) and jalapenos onto the crust. I added a bit of milk since cream cheese is a bit tough to spread over fresh dough. And then you throw on both Mozzarella and blue cheese, followed by chicken which has been tossed in hot sauce. And of course it’s topped of by none other than bacon! This would be an excellent pizza to serve while watching your favorite sports team.
Check out some of Carrie’s other great recipes including apple rice pudding brulee and chicken pot pie with roasted garlic crusts, for two. Also don’t forget to see what all the other SRC members made, shown at the bottom of this post.
JALAPENO POPPER BUFFALO CHICKEN PIZZA
1 recipe whole wheat pizza dough
8 oz. reduced fat cream cheese, softened
3 jalapenos seeded and diced
1 Tbsp milk (optional)
1-1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles
1 cup shredded cooked chicken
2 Tbsp Buffalo wing hot sauce
4 slices crumbled cooked bacon
- Preheat oven to 420 degrees with pizza stone on middle rack; allow to preheat in the oven for at least 10 minutes.
- Roll out dough and transfer to a pizza peel generously sprinkled with cornmeal.
- In a small bowl mix cream cheese and jalapenos together. Add milk to create are more spreadable consistency. Spread onto pizza dough and top with cheeses.
- In another small bowl toss chicken with 1 tablespoon of hot sauce. With your other tablespoon of hot sauce drizzle over cheese. Top with chicken mixture and bacon crumbles.
- Transfer to the pizza stone without removing from the oven (it’ll take a couple light shakes). Bake for 15-20 minutes or until crust is cooked and golden.
Source: Adapted slightly from Bakeaholic Mama.
Ever order a pizza but start with a salad, convincing yourself it will prevent you from eating too much pizza? That never works for me. I will still annihilate half by myself, so I would’ve consumed less calories without the
stupid healthy salad . Maybe putting the salad on the pizza is the way to go.
Caesar salad was actually the first salad I ever liked. Probably because it has the least amount of vegetables in it and I used to despise all vegetables besides carrots, corn and potatoes (as if they counted as a veggie). Green things were very much absent from my diet growing up, but boredom of the food selections of my undergraduate meal plan that met my picky-eating ways forced me to dive into the actually very expansive options available (oh the benefits of going to a gigantic school).
But back to talking about this pizza topped with Caesar salad. It is cooked with a pesto sauce base and topped with Mozzarella, Paremesan and chicken. Then once out of the oven, you assemble the rest of the salad right on top! A little drizzle of dressing and some extra shredded Parmesan, but leave off those croutons because you will find them transformed into a pizza crust.
One year ago: Apple Harvest Oatmeal
CHICKEN CAESAR SALAD PIZZA
Serves 3 to 4
1 recipe pizza dough
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp basil pesto
1/2 cup cooked chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 cup shredded Mozzarella
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan, plus more for garnish
2 cups leafy romaine
1 Roma tomato, sliced
1/4 cup light Caesar salad dressing
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees with a pizza stone placed on the center rack for 15 minutes.
- On a cornmeal dusted pizza peel, roll out the pizza dough. Spread the olive oil and pesto over the dough within a 1/2 inch of the edge. Top with chicken pieces and sprinkle cheeses over top.
- Shimmy onto the preheated pizza stone and bake for 10-12 minutes or until crust is golden and cheese is bubbly.
- Allow pizza to cool slightly then top with romaine, tomato and dressing. Add additional Parmesan is desired.
Source: Inspired by Mellow Mushroom’s “The Caesar!” pizza.