BLT Pizza

BLT Pizza with White Sauce

BLT Pizza with White Sauce

All the world seems to love bacon.  Although I am not really a bacon fanatic, I do love a good BLT sandwich, so the thought of enjoying all the flavors of the classic sandwich in the form of a pizza seemed fantastic.  I wish I had thought of it myself.   I knew that I had an open package of bacon from our favorite meat shop in the fridge, and some fresh ripe tomatoes from our local farm stand.  I also had a package of arugula and baby greens intended for a salad, so the moment I saw this pizza, I knew it was meant to be.

IMG_7855

This turned out to be so good I thought about it for days afterwards.   Mr. D. says it’s the best pizza I’ve ever made.  All the components of your favorite sandwich are here including the mayonnaise.  By adding some oil to the mayo it makes a creamy sauce that is used to fully cover the dough and gives a richer taste to the pizza.   We both enjoyed this pizza so much that I know that I’ll be making this one again and again.   It’s a keeper!

BLT PIZZA WITH WHITE SAUCE

Yield:   1 10-inch pizza

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ripe tomatoes, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh chives, or green onions (tops only)
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated, or finely minced
  • 4 center-cut slices lean bacon
  • 1 pound fresh pizza dough
  • 1 tablespoon cornmeal
  • 2 ounces part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • cooking spray
  • 1 cup baby arugula
Roast tomatoes, cook bacon, prepare sauce.

Roast tomatoes, cook bacon, prepare sauce.

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 400*F.  Place a pizza stone in the oven to preheat.  (If you don’t have a pizza stone, use a round or flat baking sheet)

2.  Arrange tomato slices on a piece of parchment paper;  sprinkle with oregano and pepper. Place on a baking sheet or pizza stone, and bake for 20 minutes or until tomatoes are no longer wet.  Remove tomatoes and and allow to cool slightly while you make the sauce and prepare the dough.

3.  Combine mayonnaise, oil, chives, and garlic in a small bow.

4.  Cook bacon in a skillet over medium heat until crisp;  drain on paper towels.  Break into pieces.

5.  Increase oven temperature to 450*F.  Using floured hands, pat dough into a 10-inch circle.  Place on the baking sheet or pizza stone that has been sprinkled with corn meal.  Pierce dough with a fork; transfer to preheated oven.  Bake at 450*F for 5 minutes.

6.  Carefully remove from the oven.  Brush mayonnaise mixture over crust, leaving a small border;   top with tomatoes.

Cover crust with mayo mixture then top with tomato slices.

Cover crust with mayo mixture then top with tomato slices.

Sprinkle with bacon and cheese; coat crust edges with cooking spray.

Add bacon and cheese next.

Add bacon and cheese next.

IMG_7853

7.  Bake 10 minutes or until cheese melts and crust browns.  Before serving top with arugula.  Cut into 8 wedges.

A BLT on a pizza--the best of both.

A BLT on a pizza–the best of both worlds.

 

SOURCE:   Cooking Light

Advertisements

Chicken Fajita Pizza

Chicken Fajita Pizza

Chicken Fajita Pizza

We first tasted Chicken Fajita Pizza at Uno’s Restaurant.  After that first time we ordered it every time we went there.  But then  for unknown reasons the Uno’s nearest to where we live closed, so I was forced to make it at home if we were ever going to enjoy it again.  And that is the story of how this recipe came to be.  It may not be an exact copy of the original, but we like it a lot, and its one of several pizza flavors that I make on a regular basis.

When I first attempted to make it I was experimenting with the seasonings, trying to recapture that fajita flavor.  Then I discovered that Lowry’s makes a Fajita Seasoning Mix, so now I cheat and use that, and we are happier with how it tastes.

CHICKEN FAJITA PIZZA

Yield:   Makes 1  10-inch pizza,  serves 2

Ingredients:IMG_5762

  • 1  1-pound package pizza dough, thawed if frozen
  • 1  pound skinless, boneless, chicken breasts, or chicken tenderloins
  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 pkg. Fajita Seasoning mix
  • 1 medium pepper, any color, cut into strips
  • 1 medium onion, cut into wedges
  • 2 cups shredded Mexican Blend cheese

Directions:

1.  On a 10-inch pizza baking pan, or baking stone,  roll or stretch the dough to fit the pan/stone.  If the dough resists stretching, let it rest for 5 minutes and continue, repeating if necessary.    Preheat oven to 425*F.

2.  Spread 1 cup of the shredded cheese over the dough.

Spread some of the cheese over the dough.

Spread some of the cheese over the dough.

3.  In a large skillet, over medium-high heat,  add the vegetable oil and get it hot, then add the chicken and sauté quickly,  just to brown lightly.    Don’t crowd the pan, do it in two batches if necessary.  Remove chicken to a platter and set aside.

4.  In the same skillet, add a drizzle more oil if needed.  Add the peppers and onion, and sauté them lightly.

Sautéing peppers and onions.

Sautéing peppers and onions.

They should not be thoroughly cooked.  Add the chicken back into the pan.

Chicken with seasonings sprinkled over it.

Chicken with seasonings sprinkled over it.

Everything mixed together.

Everything mixed together.

5.  Sprinkle Fajita Seasoning over all, then add the water.  Cook uncovered over medium heat for about 5  minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are crisp-tender.  Remove from heat.

6.  Spoon chicken mixture over the dough and cheese.   Sprinkle remaining cheese over the top.

7.  Bake at 425*F. for 15 minutes, checking  that it is not getting over browned.  Crust edges should be lightly brown, and topping melty and gooey.

Tastes just like chicken fajita without the tortilla.

Tastes just like chicken fajita without the tortilla.

Note:  for a crispier crust, dust the pizza pan or baking stone with cornmeal before laying out the dough.

SOURCE:   a Carolyn Original

Zucchini Pizza Bites

Zucchini Pizza Bites

Zucchini Pizza Bites

Here it is Theme Thursday, and I have another recipe for you that makes use of zucchini, this time in a slightly different way.  These little bites of zucchini with  pizza toppings  treat the zucchini like the crust of your favorite pizza so there are fewer calories because you’ve eliminated the carbs!   Small enough for just a bite or two they could be appetizers, snacks, something to go with soup or a salad, just about any way you want to use them.  They are gluten-free , low cal, and perfect for a meatless meal.

So cute, and you can enjoy them guilt-free.

So cute, and you can enjoy them guilt-free.

If you have a big zucchini to use, slice it straight across and get fairly large rounds,  if you have a smaller zucchini, cut it on the diagonal for large ovals.  Top them with some sauce, any kind of topping,  basil and melted cheese, or whatever you like on your pizza.  These are a must to try while zucchini is in season and plentiful.

ZUCCHINI PIZZA BITES

Yield:   Quantities listed are for 1 serving.  Increase as desired to make more.

Ingredients:

  • 6 slices large zucchini, 1/4-inch thick ( or 1 medium zucchini, cut on the diagonal)
  • olive oil, or olive oil spray
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. marinara sauce
  • 1/4 cup crumbled, cooked sausage, or other toppings
  • 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

Directions:

1.  Cut zucchini about 1/4-inch thick.  Brush or spray both sides lightly with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Cut zucchini into circles or ovals about 1/4-inch thick.

Cut zucchini into circles or ovals about 1/4-inch thick.

2.  Broil or grill the zucchini for about 2 minutes on each side.  Top with sauce, topping of choice and cheese and broil for an additional minute or two.  Be careful not to burn the cheese.

The ones that are pictured here are topped with fried peppers and onions and some have crumbles of sausage on them.  I’ve also made them with a slice of pepperoni.  All equally good.  You can’t go wrong with these.

So cute, and you can enjoy them guilt-free.

So cute, and you can enjoy them guilt-free.

SOURCE:   slightly adapted from Skinny Taste

Sausage, Fennel and Ricotta Pizza

Sausage, fennel and ricotta pizza.

Sausage, fennel and ricotta pizza.

Friday evenings feel like pizza night to me.  Not always, but quite frequently I make it for dinner.  When you make it often you need a variety of toppings to fall back on- at least I do.   As I have said previously,  variety is the spice of my life.  I get bored easily with the repetition of the same foods, and pizza is one of those foods that lends itself to whatever you may have on hand to put on it.

Last week’s version ended up with a crazy combination of things, that somehow worked together, and became an instant favorite.  I’m writing this down so that I don’t forget it.   It started with a roll of refrigerated pizza dough from the supermarket.  This was my first time using this particular product.  I usually use a ball of dough from the bakery department.  The pizza dough was very easy to use.  Just unroll it onto your pan and with your fingers press it out to fit.  Make it thick or thin;  however you like it.

IMG_3573

The toppings consisted of half pound of sausage meat,  half a fennel bulb, thinly sliced, some sliced red onion, and ricotta cheese to which I added some Italian herbs and minced garlic.  A pizza like this could be vegetarian by omitting the sausage and adding in some other vegetables like broccoli, and/or peppers.  In place of the fennel, you might use baby spinach.

SAUSAGE, FENNEL AND RICOTTA PIZZA

YIELD:   8 slices

INGREDIENTS

  • 1   12 oz. roll refrigerated pizza dough
  • 1 -2 links Italian turkey or pork sausage
  • 1 cup thinly sliced fennel bulb
  • 1 Tablespoon cornmeal
  • 2 Tablespoons pesto
  • 1/3 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry Italian seasoning
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

1.   Remove pizza dough from refrigerator and bring to room temperature while oven preheats.   Preheat oven to 450*F.  Lightly grease a pizza pan,  baking sheet, or pizza stone.   Sprinkle cornmeal evenly on baking pan or stone.

2.  Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Remove casings form sausage.  Crumble and add to pan, cook 4 minutes or until lightly browned.    Add fennel bulb; cook 4 minutes or until tender.

3.  Roll pizza dough into a 16 – inch oval and place on baking sheet, or press into the pan with your fingers.

4.  Brush the dough evenly with the pesto.  Sprinkle the sausage mixture evenly over the dough.  Combine ricotta with the minced garlic and Italian seasoning in a small bowl;  top pizza with teaspoonfuls of ricotta mixture.  Sprinkle red onion and remaining ingredients evenly over pizza.

Layer on all the ingredients.

Layer on all the ingredients.

5.  Bake at 450*F for 10 – 11 minutes or until golden.  Cut into 8 slices.

In my version, the crust was thin and crispy.

In my version, the crust was thin and crispy.

Served with a hearty salad this made a very filling meal.

We never get tired of pizza.

We never get tired of pizza.

SOURCE:    My own creation

Cheeseburger Pizza

Cheeseburger Pizza

Cheeseburger Pizza

“Two all beef patties, lettuce, cheese,…….. on a sesame seed bun”.  Sound familiar?   Today, I’m going to show you a fun way  to recreate this fast food burger without a trip to the drive-in.

I was somewhat doubtful that the sauce would come close to tasting like the one on the well-known burger, so I made up a half-recipe just to try it.  My gosh, it is spot on!   This is a great sauce to have made up ready to top off your burgers even if you don’t use all the other toppings.  You could surprise your friends/family this summer with a cookout, serving this “secret” sauce on the burgers.

With that piece of the recipe having proven itself, I was ready to make the whole thing.  Included here is  a good recipe for the dough, but if you don’t want to make you own dough or don’t have the time, a one pound package of pizza dough purchased at the supermarket will do just fine, and it’s a great time saver.

CHEESEBURGER PIZZA

YIELD:   1 large pizza,  8 – 12 pieces

For the crust:

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons lukewarm water
  • 1-2 Tablespoons sesame seeds

1.  Combine all the above ingredients (except sesame seeds) and mix and knead to make a smooth, soft dough, using a stand mixer, bread machine, or your hands.

2.  Place dough in a lightly greased bowl ( or leave it in the bread machine to rise) and let it rise until it’s very puffy, about 1 1/2 – 2 hours.

3.  Spray a large rimmed baking pan ( 15″ x 10″ is good ) with non-stick cooking spray.  Sprinkle sesame seeds into the pan, if desired;  they’re there to mimic the burger’s ” sesame seed bun.”

4.  Deflate the risen dough, and stretch it into and oval with your hands.  Plop the oval onto the baking sheet, and then press it towards the edges.  When it starts to fight back, walk away for 10-15 minutes.  When you come back, you should be able to continue pressing it to the edges, nearly to the corners.  If you can’t, give it another rest and try again.  The dough should cover as much of the pan as possible—without making yourself crazy over it.

Spread dough in the baking pan.

Spread dough in the baking pan.

5.  Cover the dough, and let it rise until puffy, about 90 minutes.  While the dough is rising, prepare the toppings.

TOPPINGS

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and diced
  • dill pickle slices
  • 10 -12 slices American cheese
  • shredded lettuce

6.  Season the ground beef with 3/4 teaspoon salt, and fry until brown;  drain off the fat.  Dice the onions, and shred the lettuce.  If using whole dill pickles, slice 1-2 large pickles.

Brown the ground beef.

Brown the ground beef.

Chop the onions and slice the dill pickles.

Chop the onions and slice the dill pickles.

SAUCE

Sauce ingredients.

Sauce ingredients.

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup green pickle relish
  • 2 Tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika (can substitute smoked or hot paprika, if desired)

7.   Combine all the ingredients, mixing until smooth.  Refrigerate  until you’re ready to use.

Mixing up the sauce.

Mixing up the sauce.

8.  Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 425 *F.    Bake the crust for 10 minutes, or until very light brown.

9.  Remove crust from the oven, and top it with the diced onion, then the ground beef.  Return pizza to the oven, and bake for 10 minutes.

First layer:  chopped onions and ground beef.

First layer: chopped onions and ground beef.

10. Remove from the oven, and top with the pickle slices, then the sliced cheese.  Return to the oven, and bake for 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the edges of the crust are brown.

Second layer:  sliced pickles and melted cheese.

Second layer: sliced pickles and melted cheese.

11. Remove the pizza from the oven, and spread with the sauce.  Finally, sprinkle with the shredded lettuce.  Cut into 8 – 12 pieces and serve immediately.

IMG_2629

This size pizza was more than two of us could eat, so we spooned some sauce and then some lettuce on each piece as we ate it.  This tasted just like the famous burger it mimics.   The next day I wrapped the remaining piece in foil and heated it in a low oven,  spooning sauce and topping it with lettuce as we had before.   We loved it and I will definitely be making it again.

It tastes just like the burger, without going to the drive-in.

It tastes just like the burger, without going to the drive-in.

SOURCE:    King Arthur Flour

Bacon, Tomato, and Arugula Pizza

It all started with a Buy-One-Get-One-Free special at the market.  I don’t normally take advantage of these deals because for two of us its often too much of something and it goes to waste.  But for some unknown reason I bought the grape tomatoes being offered, and got the other one free.  OK, now what to do with them?  Other than put these sweet little tomatoes in salad,  I really don’t  cook with them, although I’m starting to.  Coexisting in my refrigerator there was also half a bag of arugula that I wanted to use up, and four slices of thick bacon.  Put all those items together and they spell BLT.  What could taste like a BLT sandwich but be substantial enough for a Friday evening supper?   How about a  pizza!

I always have a bag or two of frozen pizza dough on hand, so I took one out of the freezer to defrost, and in about 2 hours I was ready to get creative with my pizza.  First I cooked the bacon till crisp, drained it and broke it into pieces.  Then in the drippings remaining in the pan I briefly cooked the tomatoes with a little salt and the red pepper.

I always use a pizza stone to bake pizza,  so I sprinkled a little cornmeal on that and patted and stretched the dough into a 12 inch circle to cover it.  Cornmeal helps to get a crispy crust and keeps the dough from sticking.  Next I spread a little pizza sauce on the dough, topped that with the tomatoes, then the bacon pieces and of course lots of cheese.   Once baked and out of the oven I scattered a layer of arugula over the top.   The smell of this pie baking brought Mr. D. to the kitchen without being called, so I knew I was on to something good.  Mouthwateringly delicious is what it was.   I know I’ll be making this one again–and again!

BACON TOMATO AND ARUGULA PIZZA 

Makes one 12 inch round pizza

Ingredients

  • 1 pound refrigerated pizza dough, preferably whole wheat
  • 4-5 slices smoked bacon
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 tablespoon yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup jarred marinara or pizza sauce
  • 3/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup baby arugula

Directions

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Sprinkle a baking sheet or pizza stone with cornmeal;  roll or stretch dough into a 12-inch circle, and place on prepared pan.

Cook bacon in a skillet over medium heat until crisp.  Remove to paper towel.  Break into pieces or crumble.  Add tomatoes, red pepper and a little salt to drippings in pan; cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Spread sauce evenly over dough, leaving a small border.  Top with the tomatoes and bacon.

Sprinkle cheese over top.  Bake at 450 degrees for 17 minutes or until crust is golden.

Remove from the oven and sprinkle arugula over the top.  Cut into 8 wedges and serve immediately.

Source:  a Carolyn Original

Making Homemade Pizza

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like pizza.  Do you?  But it’s hard to please everyone as they all have their favorites.   Well, with my family I have pretty much solved this problem.  I make pizza at home, and everyone can choose their own topping.  Depending on what I have on hand, I present them with 3-4 choices, and we go from there.

Today, I am going to share with you the three most commonly chosen pizzas at my house.  They all start the same way with the basic crust. Depending on how much time I have to prepare, I use one of the following types:

  1. Made from scratch pizza dough.( Please see separate post for my dough recipe)  Again, I rely on my bread machine to make a basic dough, which produces about  2 pounds.  I do this periodically, and freeze it in 1 pound balls.  Defrost at room temperature, stretch to fit your pan, and you’re ready to build your pizza.
  2. Frozen dough from the grocery store.  Defrost and use as described above.
  3. Preformed pizza shell like BOBOLI.  This gives you the option of making one 10″ pie, or choose a package with 4 smaller individual pies.

Always prepare your pan in advance.  This can be a pizza pan, a pizza stone, or large baking sheet.  Mist or brush with olive oil, and sprinkle lightly with corn meal. This is optional, but it gives the crust a nice crunch.  Roll or stretch the dough to fit the pan.  Note:  yeast doughs like to fight you; the more you stretch them the more they seem to shrink back. To  win this fight, take it slow.  Stretch a little, wait, let it rest.  Stretch some more,wait, let it rest.  Be patient, and you will win.   Try to have as uniform a thickness as possible.  There will be some air bubbles throughout. They are what give lightness to your crust.  Before layering on the toppings, mist or brush the crust with olive oil, especially the outer margin, so it will brown nicely.       Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Pizza Deluxe

  • 2-3  links Italian Sausage, hot or sweet, casings removed
  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and cut into strips
  • 1 large onion, cut in half, then into wedges
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup basil pesto
  • 1  cup marinara sauce
  • 1 cup shredded cheese ( pizza blend is good, or any combination you prefer)
  1. In a large skillet crumble the sausage and ground beef together, and cook until browned.  Remove meats to a bowl, and drain pan, leaving a small amount of drippings.
  2. Place peppers and onions in skillet over medium heat and saute until beginning to soften.  Add mushrooms. and cook 2-3 minutes more.  Remove from heat.

.

3.  Spred the basil pesto evenly over the dough. Top with the marinara sauce.

4.  Add the cooked meats over the sauce.

5.  Top evenly with the vegetables.

6.  Before topping with the cheese, I like to sprinkle a little dried oregano, and red pepper flakes over the vegetables.

      Top with cheese(s).

7.  Bake at 400 degrees for approximately 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Kickin Chicken Pizza

  • 5-6 slices bacon, cooked crisp, drained and broken into small pieces
  • 1 tesp. olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup barbeque sauce–your choice
  • 4 oz. pepper-jack cheese
  •  1 1/2 cups cooked chicken, shredded.  (Rotisserie chicken is good here)
  • 8 oz. Mexican cheese blend
  • 1/2 tesp. red pepper flakes, optional
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Follow directions given above for pan preparation.  Mist dough crust with olive oil.  Set aside.
  2. Heat a medium skillet on med-high, cook bacon, drain and crumble.  Reserve 1 teaspoon bacon drippings, add 1 teaspoon olive oil, swirl to coat pan.  Saute onions and peppers until tender crisp, add garlic and continue sauteing for 40-45 seconds or until garlic is aromatic.
  3. Remove from heat and set aside.  Spread BBQ sauce over crust, leaving a small margin at edges. Layer ingredients in the following order:  pepper-jack cheese, shredded chicken, onion-pepper mixture, Mexican cheese blend, top with crumbled bacon and red pepper flakes, if using.
  4. Bake at 400 degrees until golden brown, approximately 20 minutes.

Hawaiian Pizza

  • 1 cup Alfredo Sauce with Cheese  (like Classico)
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 cup cooked ham steak, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup fresh or canned pineapple, in chunks
  • 3 slices bacon, cooked crisp, and broken into small pieces

 Prepare pizza crust and pan as directed above, misting with olive oil, especially the edges.

1. In small sauce pan, heat Alfred0 Sauce, thinning with 1/4 cup milk.   Add 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, and mix until smooth.

2. Spread Alfredo Sauce mixture on pizza crust, leaving a small margin at the edges.

3. Top with ham pieces, pineapple chunks and bacon pieces.

4. Sprinkle on remaining 1/2 cup cheddar cheese.

5. Bake at 400 degrees for approximately 20 minutes or until browned.