Last week in the kitchen was full of humble pie. So many fails! First, there was a no-churn semifreddo with tahini that never whipped up properly. Apparently tahini is too heavy for whipped cream. Lesson learned. Luckily, I switched things around and I think it finally worked (currently in the freezer!). Fingers crossed. And then there was a sesame tuile. Have you ever made one? I wanted to make one so I could feel like the fancy pastry chef that I’m not. They’re insanely strange (or at least the start is). I burned, like, the first two or three batches but the last one worked and was really good! Definitely needs some work. I’m thinking more salt and more sesame but mostly, kewl!
As health-conscience as my mom was growing up, she was not above shoving a frozen French bread pizza in the oven. I’m so glad I was privy to that childhood experience!
Lately I dunno why–maybe I’ve been browsing Pinterest too much–but I’ve been craving really trashy French bread pizza. But since I am a person who cooks stuff for a living, I figured I’d make a non-frozen version that is slightly classy. I figured I’d try and give it a bit of a facelift (not that it really needs it!).
I’ve seen cauliflower pizza crusts around for a while. And each time, I shook my head like oh hell no. Because I’m what you call a real pizza lover type of person. I like real crust, real gluten, real carbs.
But for the past few months (since the beginning of the year), I’ve been working out like crazy (mainly because I’ve started to really like it) and have been searching for something healthy-ish to eat at night when I want pizza.
Let’s get weird. Let’s get pizza weird.
A few months ago when I was fishing around Google Images for pizza inspiration, I came across this gem of a photo and my mind was straight blown.
It took me a long time to figure out how I would actually do this/if I should do this. Initially I wanted to make it slightly classier but then I was like whatever, this is Pizzaception! let’s make it fun!
Before I forged forward with this recipe, I had a few concerns:
1st concern: Would it be too dough-y. Is there such a thing as too many carbs? I think yes.
To solve this issue, the dough is not allowed to proof, like, AT ALL. The first time I did this, it rose on the cutting board while I was making the mini pizzas and it was way too dough-y. SO, to prevent this, when we divide the dough, we put it in the fridge to stop the rise.
When we’re done assembling the mini pizzas, then those too go in the fridge.
2nd concern: What’s the point? Why don’t we make little mini pizzas and end there?
Well, what if I told you that you could have different flavored pizzas in one slice! This is achievable here.
Also, this pizza is fun.
I didn’t grow up ordering meat lover’s pizza from Pizza Hut (or is it Domino’s?). I was a junk food deprived child who would watch lustfully at the commercials that promised cheesy, carb goodness. Those slo’ mo shots: AHHH!
But now that I’m an adult, I DO WHAT I WANT.
A few weeks ago I was having lunch with Stephanie and she told me she was planning on making a meat lover’s pizza later that night. I was jealous. And then I thought, I kinda want to make one with vegetables. So when I was at the farmer’s market this past Sunday, I bought up a bunch of late-summer produce: okra, yellow summer squash, these beautiful variety of tomatoes and basil. So much basil.
I used the crust recipe from How Sweet Eats. I let it rise a tad bit longer than she did because I’m badly at moving quickly apparently but I ended up really loving the rise time of 10 to 15 minutes. It’s the perfect intersection of thin crust with a bit of volume. It’s not super thick but not super thin either.
Today we’re trashing it up. There’s nothing artisanal about this pizza. It doesn’t wear suspenders, a pageboy hat or do the whole fancy-talk about coffee. Think Lindsay Lohan passed out in the front seat kinda trashy. I’m pretty sure that’s where buffalo chicken pizza ranks on the scale of trash.
If you know me, you know that chicken wings of any form are my favorite food ever. I like Korean chicken wings, Japanese-style fried chicken, Thai chicken wings and of course, good ol’ American buffalo chicken wings.
This pizza exploits all those delicious flavors: hot sauce, chicken, ranch dressing and for good measure, some fresh Italian parsley and green onion.
In other pizza-making news, I haven’t made pizza for this blog for a very, VERY long time. It’s mainly taken me so long because I broke my pizza stone during a move and hadn’t replaced it…until…Baking Steel got in touch with me and sent me one.
This pizza is delicious. Like, really delicious. I think you should make it. And then I think you should take the next logical step and eat it…just don’t go eating it and then go shopping for a bathing suit, ’cause that’s just an awful idea.
I know it’s an awful idea because that’s just what I did. From said horrific shopping experience, I have a few ideas on how to make buying “outside underwear” a little more tolerable.
Rule 1: Don’t go to a place that rhymes with Schmorever 21 and expect bathing suits to fit well. They’re $7 for a reason.
Rule 2: Get “dressed” to go shopping. By “dressed” I mean put on some makeup, brush your hair. Look, you’re gonna be super annoying and overly self-critical, so at least look your very best. It helps.
Rule 3: American Apparel swimsuits are all a lil’ slutty looking. I think that’s the point. Sadface.
Rule 4: Like seriously, don’t go trying on swimsuits after a big meal. It’s just a sucky idea. Even if you don’t look full, you feel full. Just ugh.
Rule 5: Basically, don’t go to stores to try on swimsuits. Period. Buy them on a credit card and try them on at home and returns the ones that don’t work. Lesson learned.
For some reason, though stores have been selling clothes for, like, hundreds of years, most of them still haven’t figured out flattering dressing room lighting. WHY? It really can’t be THAT difficult. I mean, they put people on the moon…and have, like, multiple times.
*Annnnd, end swimsuit rant*
Uh-oh…this calzone shouldn’t be a calzone.
Nope. It totally should be a picture of a pizza…topped with layers of ricotta, melted mozzarella, cubes of roasted butternut squash and broccoli rabe. That was the plan.
This pizza was supposed to convince me that broccoli rabe isn’t this gross, bitter leaf situation…well that failed. I tried. I did. I blanched it, I sauteed it with garlic, seasoned it…even paired it with something like the butternut squash to offset its disgustingness. Didn’t work. It’s just gross. It just is.
I was gonna post it anyway, thinking some of you lunatics actually might like it…but I dunno…looking at the pictures of the pizza bummed me out, so I decided to turn the leftover ingredients (from the pizza) into something more awesome!!
Meet this calzone…
Sometimes I do things I’m not so proud of. This is true.
Like…putting ice cubes in white wine. I’m impatient. I dunno…in the privacy in my own house I like “mom” wine. Gross.
I sometimes buy three bags of groceries and then decide I don’t want to cook and go out to eat instead. Total brat.
I’m also known to back out of Saturday night plans…because sometimes sitting on the couch internet stalking–for some reason–sounds like WAY more fun. Lame. Totally lame.
I’m really bad at returning library books. I found two under my bed. I’m guessing I now owe LA County Library like thousands of dollars for two $10 books from the 70s. I’m also pretty convinced that those fees are going to end up at the DMV. LA doesn’t play.
Sometimes though…sometimes I do really good things.
Like look at my friends dead in their eyes and tell them that I love them. This makes them super awkward and squirm in their seat. And then they usually just tell me to shut up.
I really dig telling strangers “bless you” when they sneeze. They’re always pleasantly surprised.
Whenever a boy, who I don’t know, opens the door for me, I look at them in their face and smile extra hard. And not in a I-like-you-let-me-make-you-eggs-and-bacon kind of way, but in a thank-you-for-being-a-damn-gentlemen way…now let’s get married!! JK.
No, no. I just like saying thank you the proper way, that’s all.
If I’m feeling particularly rich, I’ll put $2 (instead of $1) in my barista’s tip jar. They totally deserve more. Maybe more money and a hug? I’m a handful without coffee.
I can also turn a sandwich into a pizza. I think this qualifies as one of the good things I did recently.
Summer’s totally in full effect. I haven’t watched TV in days, my nails are bright pink, I can’t leave the house without sunglasses, and all I want to do is sit outside while drinking pink wine and eating pizza.
And iced coffee. I’m eating that like crazy, too.
I’ve been playing with a lot of pizza topping combinations and I’m really digging the whole sweet fruit thing with cheese and some sort of salty meat. It’s a winner of a combo; made only better with a drizzle of this balsamic/honey reduction thing I made. Sounds fancy (meh)…nah! Totally easy.