Saturday, May 10, 2008

Pizza Creation!

I've recently been trying out some new things at home to give us a bit of variety in our weekly menus. I found 2 recipes on the Food Network website that I've tried out - one for Moroccan Style Chickpea Soup (which I mentioned previously) and one for Roasted Red Pepper and Feta Fettucine. Both were quite tasty and I thank the Food Network chefs for making these available on the in-tar-web.

After those two successes, I've been getting a bit more experimental with what I've been making. The first thing I tried that worked out really well was a pizza that broke out of the normal "pizza" tradition a bit. Instead of using a tomato based sauce, I used a roasted red pepper based sauce and also used feta cheese instead of the traditional mozzerella. Steve declared that I should share this with the world, so - here goes. Maybe someday I'll find it pop up in a pizza joint someplace (but I doubt it).

Danielle Athanas' Roasted Red Pepper and Feta Pizza

- 1 premade whole-wheat pizza crust (I got mine at Whole Foods)
**Pizza crust stretches easier at room temperature. I usually buy mine same-day and leave it out while I'm prepping everything else and it does the trick.
- For pan/dough prep: 1/8 cup flour, 1 tbsp. EVOO
SAUCE (makes enough for 2 pizzas, so you'll be able to store some):
- 2 tbsp. EVOO
- 1/2 Sweet Onion, chopped*
- 3-4 cloves garlic, pressed
- 19 oz. Roasted Red Peppers (I used a 12 oz. and a 7 oz. jar), drained and chopped*
- 1-1.5 tbsp. crushed red pepper
- 1 tbsp. basil
*The chopping can be larger chunks; I usually just do strips.
TOPPINGS (for one pizza):
- 1 cubanelle pepper, "cored" and sliced in rounds
- 1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes (not the ones soaking in water, the freeze-dried ones)
- 1 cup feta cheese (or more, to your taste)
- 1/4 cup romano cheese, shredded lightly (I use a microplane)

- Preheat oven to 450 degrees (I have a conventional oven in New England, adjust other ovens as necessary)
- Heat 2 tbsp. EVOO over medium-high heat.
- Saute the onions, and as they start to heat press the garlic cloves into the pan.
- When the onions have started to become translucent (approx. 5 min.), add the roasted red peppers, crushed red peppers, and the basil. Heat for 2-3 min., remove from heat.
- Cut the top off of the cubanelle pepper, remove the inner seeds and slice in circles until you run out of pepper. Set aside.
- By now the onion/pepper saute should be cooled slightly. Put all contents of the pan into a food processor and process until it looks like a sauce (approx. 1 min. or so).
- On a cookie sheet, pour approx. 1. tbsp. EVOO and spread with a brush (or spoon) to cover the bottom of the pan.
- Remove the pizza dough from its packaging and sprinkle both sides with flour. Stretch the dough on the cookie sheet; don't worry if it doesn't touch all the edges, you don't want it to have holes. I usually get it to touch the 2 shorter edges and about 2-3 inches away from the longer edges of a standard cookie sheet. If it's not at room temperature or close, be prepared to fight to get it where you want to be before you add the toppings.
- Scoop half the sauce onto the pizza
- Distribute the cubanelle peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, feta cheese, and romano cheese evenly across the top of the dough.
- Cook in your preheated oven for 12-15 minutes. Slice and enjoy!

(Makes 4 servings of 2 slices each)

The problem when I experiment with stuff like this is that I usually don't write it down. I have two things I made for a picnic tomorrow that I could probably replicate by sight... but hopefully no one will ever ask me for the recipe.


Kat said...

That looks so delicious, seriously you are making me hungry now. Very well done. If it tastes only half as good as it looks (and sounds) it must be great.

Love, love, love pizza. In winter time we do the whole put your own stuff on your pizza, which is fun because hubby and I have totally different tastes when it comes to our pizza toppings.

Mags said...

Sounds good!!!!!!!