Gameday Gourmet Butternut Squash Pizza

2013-10-20 19.12.26-2As promised, here is this week’s gameday recipe for an exciting weekend of games. I love this recipe because it’s a great way to use a healthy fall gourd that is abundant this time of year; we all know how much I love fall ingredients! Also, goat cheese of boring old mozzarella. So feel free to impress all of your football fanatic friends with this gourmet ‘za, or, if you’re like me and hate to share something so delicious, keep it all to yourself.

Gameday Gourmet Butternut Squash Pizza

  • basic pizza dough
  • 2 cups cubed butternut squash (1/2-inch pieces)
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1 medium red onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 ounces crumbled goat cheese

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Toss squash with 1 teaspoon oil, 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. On a baking sheet, cook squash until soft and lightly browned, 25 minutes, stirring halfway through; set aside.

2013-10-20 18.27.51Turn out prepared pizza dough onto lightly floured baking sheet or pizza pan and mold into desired shape. Let rest for 10 minutes. While dough is resting, in a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Cook onion (season with remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper), stirring, until light brown, 10 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons water; cook, stirring, until brown, 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

2013-10-20 18.57.39Sprinkle pizza dough with squash, onion, and cheese. Place baking sheet or pizza pan into the oven and bake until the crust edges brown and the cheese is slightly golden brown in spots, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven, slice (carefully!) and serve.

Namas-tasty!

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Gameday Pesto Portabello Pizza

2013-12-01 17.47.17Football season is upon us once again!! One of my very favorite times of the year, there are few things I find more comforting than posting up on the couch to watch my favorite players in pads tossing that pigskin. Several components are required for the optimal football viewing experience, including friends, good beers, and of course, lots of delicious food. Thus, every Thursday for the rest of the season I will be posting a new gameday recipe in anticipation of the exciting weekend of football ahead!

I may be partially biased because of my own personal passion for it, but I think most people would agree pizza and football are the perfect match. Anything you can eat with your hands ensures maximum viewing time, and pizza is less messy than most finger foods (as long as it has a good, sturdy crust). Plus, load it up with veggies (or even fruits) and you’ve got all the major food groups in one neat three-sided package!

My Gameday Pesto Portabello Pizza is less of a traditional style pizza (no tomato sauce, gasp!), but it is loaded with some awesome and complex flavors. When paired with a nice Belgian Strong Ale from Three Floyds Brewing Co., one of my favorite brews from a popular midwest pub, this pie sure didn’t last long 🙂

Pesto Portabello Pizza

Adapted from Brown-Eyed Baker

  • 2013-12-01 17.22.40basic pizza dough
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 lb. cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • ¼ of a red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup pesto (homemade or store-bought)
  • 8 ounces provolone cheese, shredded
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Heat oven to 500 degrees for at least 30 minutes.

Turn out prepared pizza dough onto lightly floured baking sheet or pizza pan and mold into desired shape. Let rest for 10 minutes. While the dough is resting, prepare the mushrooms and onions. In a skillet, melt the butter over medium heat and add the sliced mushrooms and onions. Cook, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until the mushrooms have released all of their liquid and both the mushrooms and onions are soft and browned, 10 to 15 minutes. Set aside.

S2013-12-01 17.27.27pread the pesto over the pizza dough, just as you would pizza sauce, leaving a ½-inch border uncovered. Spread the mushroom and onion mixture evenly over the pesto, and then top with the provolone and Parmesan cheeses.

Place baking sheet or pizza pan into the oven and bake until the crust edges brown and the cheese is golden brown in spots, 8 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven, slice (carefully!) and serve.

Namas-tasty!

Pear, Proscuitto and Gorgonzola Pizza with Balsamic Glaze

DSC02223As previously mentioned in this blog, I have a bit of a pizza obsession. This recipe came about after I had some gorgonzola cheese leftover from another recipe; the rest is history! Using some super gourmet ingredients, this pizza looks impressive and is a real crowd pleaser. Serve it as an appetizer, or alongside a nice green salad for a complete meal, as I did.

DSC02220Pear, Proscuitto and Gorgonzola Pizza with Balsamic Glaze

  • basic pizza dough
  • 2 semi-ripe pears, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • pinch salt
  • pinch nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 6 ounces parmesan cheese, freshly grated is best!
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 slices prosciutto
  • 6 ounces gorgonzola, crumbled
  • balsamic for drizzling

Turn out prepared pizza dough onto lightly floured pizza pan and mold into desired shape. Let rest for 10 minutes. While the dough is resting, heat a large skillet over low heat and add olive oil and butter. Add in the pears with the salt and nutmeg and cover, cooking for 15 minutes and stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat more if they begin to brown too much. Stir in the brown sugar and cook for 5 to 10 more minutes until golden. Set aside.

DSC02225Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Add about three fourths of the parmesan on the dough along with the garlic. Spread the pears all over the pizza and cover them with the prosciutto. Crumble the gorgonzola cheese over top. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the crust is golden and the cheese is bubbly. Remove and drizzle balsamic on top.

Namas-tasty!

Basic Pizza Dough

Recently, I have become a huge fan of homemade pizza. Maybe it was the move to Chicago (a.k.a. the pizza capital of America), or maybe it was the realization that there are literally THOUSANDS of  possibilities and they are pretty painless to make; whatever the reason, I am slightly obsessed. So, for the sake of the plethora of pizza recipes that are sure to appear on this blog, I thought I’d begin by sharing my recipe for basic pizza dough.

This recipe makes (in my experience) enough dough for two full pizzas. What I usually do is, after letting the dough rise, I cut it and freeze half in an air-tight plastic bag. When you’re ready to use the saved portion, just let it thaw at room temperature for a couple of hours; then, roll it out to the desired form and let it rest for about 30 minutes before topping and baking.

Basic Pizza Dough

  • ½ cup warm water
  • 1 envelope (2¼ teaspoons) instant yeast
  • 1¼ cups water, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cups bread flour
  • 1½ teaspoons salt

Measure the warm water into a 2-cup liquid measuring cup. Sprinkle in the yeast and let stand until the yeast dissolves and swells, about 5 minutes. Add the room temperature water and oil and stir to combine.

Process the flour and salt in a large food processor or stand mixer with a dough hook, pulsing to combine. Continue pulsing while slowly pouring in the liquid ingredients (holding back a few tablespoons). If the dough does not readily form a ball, add the remaining liquid and continue to pulse until a ball forms. Process until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 30 seconds longer.

Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead by hand for a few strokes to form a smooth, round ball. Put the dough into a deep oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled in size, 1 to 2 hours. Press the dough to deflate it. Split the dough and freeze half, if desired.

Turn out the dough and press into desired shape. Let rest for 20 minutes before topping and baking.

Namas-tasty!