Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Mini Pizzas

Oooh, take a look at this!

Look here:

And here:

Those are mini Lively Pizzas, made by yours truly for ML's birthday party the other week. Super fun! And fairly painless!

Just divide your dough into about 30 balls instead of 3. ML made the dough the day before the party, divided it into mini balls and stored them in the refrigerator, layered in a pizza box with parchment paper in between. Party-day morning, he rolled them out and par-baked them. Then just before the party I threw some toppings on, popped them in the oven 8 or 9 at a time (using a cookie sheet instead of the pizza stone for convenience) and ended up with super fun party food. Took a little bit longer than making ordinary-sized pizzas, but they were easier to munch on while playing pin-the-flag-on-the-treasure-map. (Pirate-dinosaur theme, you know...)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Brussels Sprout Pizza

Reasons why 2 and 1/2 months have passed since our last pizza post:
  1. We got married in November
  2. I started a new job in November
  3. There was the usual sequence of holidays and holiday-related chaos
  4. We had a lot of leftovers to wade through after said holidays
  5. ML had a very significant birthday (starts with 4, ends with 0), accompanied by a significant party in January
  6. We're sort of intimidated by our own Bacon Jam Pizza recipe
I know, I know ... what kinds of silly reasons are those? What sorts of pizza enthusiasts let such mundane excuses get in the way of pizza-making?!


We're ashamed.

Fortunately, we re-commenced our pizza-making endeavors with great success. We may even have overcome our fears from #6. Because in addition to these...

...you also get all of these:

(Shout out to Alton Brown for the flavor combo idea.)

In defense of our pizza-making neglect, we made this one twice. The beta version needed some tweaking to get the right balance of flavors, so here's the final product. Be generous with the Brussels and apples and a little stingy with the blue cheese. Trust me, it evens out in the end.

  1. If making your own dough or using store-bought raw dough, roll it out and par-bake it for about 3 minutes. (Curious why? Read our explanation here.)
  2. Cook the bacon in a heavy skillet until it's almost-crispy-but-not-quite. Drain it on paper towels.
TOPPINGS (layered in this order):
  1. Very Best Pizza Crust Ever, par-baked
  2. Thin spread of Dijon mustard - enough that the surface is slathered but not goopy
  3. Tiny crumbles of blue cheese (something generic is fine) - just a small amount, it doesn't take much to get the flavor across
  4. Grated mozzarella
  5. Thinly sliced onions
  6. Sliced Granny Smith or other tart apple
  7. A generous amount of thinly sliced Brussels sprouts - they shrink a lot in the oven, so put on more than what looks reasonable
  8. Chopped bits of bacon (optional; veggers, if you omit the bacon, add an extra sprinkle of salt)
  9. Sprinkling of crushed red pepper flakes
Bake that guy at 450 degrees F for about 10 minutes, or until the edges of the Brussels sprout leaves start to blacken. Drizzle it with extra virgin olive oil and overcome any residual childhood vegetable trauma.



While eating:

(Skeptical about the sprouts? Let the Produce Geek himself tell you how great they are.)