Thursday, June 6, 2013

Delicious pizza out of nothing

On my way home from work today I realized that I hadn't taken any meat out of a freezer, which was a disappointment because there wasn't much else to cook. Take-out was not an option either, because MJ and I both went out for lunch, so a take out just didn't seem economically appropriate. As I was walking to the garage, I was trying to figure out what I was going to feed my family with having a pretty poor grocery selection, as it often happens on Thursday nights. 

Pizza! Perfect. All you need for pizza is make a dough, which is very easy if you have a mixer or a food processor (or better yet, if you have frozen dough in your fridge, which is a good thing to have at all times, for cases like that) and a bunch of leftovers. If you're making it from scratch, remember to plan accordingly, because it takes about an hour to rise. I had half a jar of tomato sauce, some peppers, definitely onions, because I always have them, Swiss cheese that noone wanted to eat anymore and some leftover bacon that didn't fit into a baking sheet when I cooked it for breakfast the othermorning, so I had to store it. The leftover collection was shaping up into a pretty decent pizza!

I am posting this recipe because, like many recipes go, this one turned out to be such a pleasant surprise, when all I was trying to do is put together something out of nothing. It was delicious! Especially the caramelized onions part. Keep it vegetarian and hold the bacon or do what I did and crumble some right on top of cooked pizza.

Pizza with caramelized onions and bell peppers.

About a pound of any pizza dough you like. Store bough is fine or if you are making your own, I usually use Ree Drummond's recipe, only instead of 4 cups of while flour, I use 2 cups white and 2 cups wheat flour.

1 1/2 C tomato sauce 
1 1/2 C shredded cheese (most cheeses will work. Tonight I used Swiss)
1 1/2 bell peppers, sliced 
1 onion, sliced
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp butter
3 garlic cloves, minced or put through a garlic press
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
4-5 strips of bacon
olive oil
salt and pepper

Get the onions started first because they take quite a while to cook, about 30 to 40 minutes. Heat some olive oil and butter and add all of your onions. Season them with sugar, salt and pepper, stir, turn the heat down to low and leave them cooking, while stirring occasionally.

Next get the bacon into the oven, I like to season it with ground pepper.

Now get your toppings ready. In my case it was slicing peppers and shredding cheese. Depending on what you have, you may be dealing with eggplants, zucchinis, mushrooms, etc.

By now your onions (that you remembered to stir once in a while) are about half way cooked. Add in some garlic and balsamic vinegar. Stir together.

The smells that all this stuff is producing: bacon in the oven, onions, fresh garlic and balsamic vinegar getting heated are AMAZING!

Now get your pizza dough ready. You can just stretch it right in your hands or in the baking sheet, but this time I gave it a little roll first to make it a bit easier.

Make sure you check on your bacon and take it out of the oven when it gets crispy.

Increase the oven temperature to 450 degrees.
Start placing toppings on pizza. Spread the tomato sauce in an even layer. Top with cheese, peppers and caramelized onions that are definitely ready by now.

 Get it into the oven for about 15 minutes. When it comes out, all the toppings are nicely melted into the crust together. Delicious! Crumble some bacon on top, if using it.

I also added some fresh arugula drizzled with some olive oil and salt for a little fresh and peppery flavor (I only did it on a half, since Allie is not so much into arugula these days).

For such an occasion (pizza outside) we broke out our fancy paper plates!

This is easy, quick and requires just some basic ingredients. I hope you'll enjoy! 
Check out my other pizza recipes
Whole-wheat pizza with chicken, veggies and white sauce
While-wheat spinach and mushroom pizza

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