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Monday, March 28, 2011

what's for dinner? - pizza

i suspect i'm not alone in having a daily struggle with figuring out what to make for dinner. so i thought i'd share that struggle with you here, all week. some days are more inspired than others. it's hard when you've worked all day to find the energy to make a meal for the family. while i do cook to unwind, sometimes, i simply don't feel like cooking. but the fact is, we've got to eat, and so i find ways to put dinner on the table anyway. so i hereby give you the first installment in a week of everyday meals.

when you don't feel like cooking, the temptation to run down to the local pizza place is strong. however, making homemade pizza is easy and so much more delicious than any pizza from the local pizza joint. if you get creative, you can probably use the ingredients you have in the fridge and not even have to go to the grocery store.

potato slices, chicken, mozarella, prima donna cheese
pizza crust

250ml (1 cup) warm water
1/2 package of yeast (half a cube of fresh yeast is what i use, but dry is fine too)
1 squeeze of runny honey
1 tsp. salt
2 T olive oil
3 C flour (you may need a bit more if the dough is too wet)

mix the warm water, yeast and honey in the mixer bowl and let them sit for 5 minutes 'til the yeast begins to bubble. add the salt, olive oil and flour and allow the mixer to knead it for you (or mix it well and knead it for a few minutes if you don't have a mixer with a dough hook). place it in a large bowl, greased with olive oil and allow it to rise in a warm spot while you prepare the toppings. it's enough for two crusts. 

suggested toppings:

for all: 3 kinds of cheese - 1 ball of fresh mozzarella, sliced, freshly-grated parmesan, grated prima donna (or whatever cheese you have on hand)

olive oil & garlic base:

3 T good olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, minced

mix the olive oil & minced garlic in a bowl, spread it over the crust. top with cheese. you can also add leftover chicken if you have some. a couple of thinly-sliced potatoes are good too. or maybe carmelized onions.

tomato sauce base:

the quick version: keep a jar of good quality tomato/pasta sauce on hand (ours is called dolmio). (i know this goes against our own "what is not a domestic sensualist" philosophy, but sometimes, it's needed.)

toppings:

sliced tomato + cheese (the classic margarita)
grated zucchini
thinly-sliced mushrooms
chorizo

pesto base: 

keep a jar or tub of good quality pesto on hand for those don't-want-to-cook days. but pesto is also easy and can even be made of arugula, pine nuts and a dash of olive oil in the food processor in a hurry. but sometimes, you don't have basil or fresh arugula at hand, so a jar of it is fine.

ideal topped with leftover chicken or leftover flank steak and a few fresh veggies - peppers, mushrooms, eggplant.

bake for 20+ minutes in a 180°C/350°F oven, 'til the crust is crispy. eat immediately.

not the best pic, but it was getting a bit dark.
you can throw some mixed salad leaves right on top, for a healthy kick.

get as fancy and creative as you want with the toppings, but the simpler the better. and don't be afraid to use up leftovers as toppings.

7 comments:

Sandra said...

I have never considered potatoes on pizza. I'll have to give this a try.

Sarah said...

I'd never thought to use grated zucchini, that's a great idea!

My pizza dough recipe also makes enough for 2 pies and I like to freeze half of it (directly after mixing it up, don't let it rise first)--then I can have homemade pizza for dinner when I don't even have the energy to mix up a batch of dough!

Johanna said...

Wow this proves you have got cooking skills and a creative mind!
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M said...

well done! we use all sorts of crazy leftovers for pizza toppings too... we have also invented the "panini and martini" party, which throws all those leftovers into a panini!!! and then when you have the martini you don't really care what is in your sandwich!
michelle/madison

Char said...

i do love a good pizza

Lisa-Marie said...

You know, it'snice to see someone with a cookery blog actually talk aout food in a real life setting. I love cooking, but we get home at 9pm on my work days, which means we have extremely basic meals (pasta with sauce or veg with some sort of meat)! I flavour everything, but I do feel we eat the same stuff often.

Lisa-Marie said...

Oh, and this recipe looks like I might be able to do it, so I am going to try today!

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