I understand. It's Friday evening and you've had a hard week. The cupboard is bare, but you can't face the idea of fighting the crowds at a restaurant and standing around for an hour until your little square gizmo starts jangling and lighting up. You finally get to a table, but it's a good twenty minutes before anyone shows up to take your order. You figure if you finally get something to eat by 9:00 you'll be lucky. So instead, you go home and pick up the phone and call for pizza delivery.
You wait and wait. Finally, after three or four calls from the delivery guy who can't find your house, a tepid pizza arrives. You hope against hope that they got your order right for once.
Isn't there a better way? Yes there is!
I love pizza, but I don't love overly salty, greasy commercial delivery pizza. Pizza says casual. Pizza says fun. Pizza says weekend. But you want it hot, fast and delicious with all your favorite toppings. So put down that phone because you're not going to need it anymore. I'm going to share two of my favorite fast and easy pizza recipes. One is an old friend and one is new. One is for the sophisticated foodie palate and one is for the kid in you ( or the one in your house).
The first is Caramelized Onion and Goat Cheese Pizza and it's easy as pie...
First preheat your oven to 450 degrees. While it's preheating, you are going to caramelize two cups of sliced onions. One nice big Vidalia onion, or other sweet onion is generally two cups. Heat 2 tsps of olive oil in a large skillet on medium high heat. Add the sliced onions and cook them covered for 3 minutes. Then cook them uncovered until they are a deep golden brown. You may end up turning your heat down a little because you don't want the onions to burn. It takes about 12 – 15 minutes to get them nicely caramelized.
Next, mix one half cup prepared pizza sauce with one quarter cup chopped and drained sun dried tomatoes. The last time I made this pizza I used Classico Fire Roasted Tomato Pizza Sauce. Now spread the sauce mixture on a precooked pizza crust. I like Boboli original crust, so that’s what I recommend. Spread your onions over the sauce and then top with 3 ounces of crumbled goat cheese. I used Chavrie brand, crusted with sun dried tomatoes and herbs.
Put it in the oven for 10 minutes and top it with ¼ cup of chopped fresh basil when it comes out. Oh, Baby is that good or what! The mix of flavors is nothing short of fantastic and the sun dried tomatoes and onions impart a satisfying chewiness. You won't miss the meat. You'll just be in heaven. And this ain't like anything you can get from Dominoes, trust me. Now for the second recipe in our tale of two pizzas. This one is for your burger lovers, and that includes me!
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Mix two tablespoons of mayonnaise with two tablespoons of ketchup. The recipe calls for canola mayonnaise and unsalted ketchup, but I used light mayonnaise and good old Heinz. I have never seen unsalted ketchup in my grocery store and I wasn't about to go looking. In the meantime, heat your baking sheet or pizza pan in the oven. Now sauté ¼ pound of ground sirloin with ½ cup of chopped red onion for several minutes until the meat is well-browned. When your oven has preheated, remove your pan from the oven and set a Boboli pizza crust in the pan. Spread your ketchup and mayonnaise mixture evenly over the crust. Next add the meat and onions. Sprinkle with ½ cup shredded mozzarella and ¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese ( low fat, preferably). Thinly slice one Roma tomato and arrange the slices over the pizza. Finally, top with ten hamburger dill pickle slices. Cook the pie for 10 minutes.
Now bite into utter bliss. I really love this pizza. When I first read the recipe in Cooking Light this month, I couldn't decide if I would love or hate it. Once I made it, I was obsessed. I have now made it twice within 7 days. This is kid-pleaser that adults will enjoy also.
So, don't pick up that phone on Friday night. Keep a Boboli crust, pizza sauce, shredded cheese and your favorite toppings on hand and you can enjoy a wonderful pizza that will take less time to make than it does to wait on delivery. Best of all, you don't have to tip the driver. So, give yourself a couple of bucks instead. You deserve it. You saved time, money,calories and loved every bite.
“Cooking is one of the strongest ceremonies for life. When recipes are put together, the kitchen is a chemical laboratory involving air, fire, water and the earth. This is what gives value to humans and elevates their spiritual qualities. If you take a frozen box and stick it in the microwave, you become connected to the factory.”
“If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.”
― Mark Twain