Tag Archives: Pizza

Pork Lover’s Pizza

Pork Lover's Pizza

Well, it happened – I caught my first (and last? Oh please, oh please) cold of the season. Compared to the last two years, this is actually pretty good for me, but damn if it wasn’t incredibly unpleasant for four days. First world problems though. It’s good to be back!

Pork Lover's Pizza

Since I’ve been gone so long, I wanted the first post back to be a knock-out. And really, what is more decadent and pleasing than a meat-lover’s pizza? Childhood favorite of mine, that’s for sure. But when I realized that the only meat on here is pork, I decided to embrace it and call it pork lover’s pizza instead. It’s no less delicious for lacking in beef.

pork lover's pizza

Homemade pizza is always better than commercial big chain take-out, we all know that, and this is no exception to that rule. This pizza is quite fine, the flavors melding together perfectly but each standing on their own, and more importantly, they aren’t muddled together by an overabundance of salt and salt flavorings so prized by the fast food industry. Yes, this is a salty paradise, but in a welcoming way that doesn’t blow out your palate.

Pork Lover's Pizza

I made this one twice, both times on a Friday night after a less-than-thrilling work week for both me and Matt. It was the perfect comfort food answer to cheer bad moods and soothe wracked nerves. Especially if paired with red wine – just sayin’! Enjoy!

Pork Lover's Pizza

{One Year Ago: Banana Split Brownies}
{Two Years Ago: Peanut Butter-Chocolate Stuffed French Toast; Lemon Risotto; Chocolate Pistachio Fudge; Classic Caesar Salad}

Source: lightly adapted from The Mozza Cookbook by Nancy Silverton

1 scant tbs olive oil
1 link uncooked Italian hot or sweet sausage, casings removed
2 thick slices Applewood-smoked bacon, chopped
1/8 lb. thinly sliced guanciale or pancetta
1 round pizza dough, enough for 1 (~ 12-inch) thin crust pizza
4 oz. tomato sauce
6 deli slices low-moisture mozzarella
5 thin deli slices of salami

Preheat your oven to 500 F if using a pizza stone, making sure you place your pizza stone in a cold oven.
Preheat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Drizzle in the olive oil, then add in the sausage in little clumps, sort of like free-form mini meatballs. Cook for a few minutes, turning the sausage to brown on all sides, until just cooked through. If a few pieces aren’t quite cooked through, don’t worry about it. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate.
Add the bacon to the same skillet and cook until crisped and browned. Remove with the slotted spoon to the same plate as the sausage.
Pour out any excess fat – you want to keep about a tablespoon in there. Now add the guanciale or pancetta to the skillet and cook until crisped. Remove with the slotted spoon to the same plate.
If you haven’t yet, roll the pizza dough to about 12 inches around (I know some pizza doughs have to be rolled out beforehand and some don’t). If your pizza stone requires parbaking, do so now.
Assemble the pizza for baking (either on a raw or parbaked crust): spread the tomato sauce all around with the back of a spoon, leaving a 1-inch border all around. Now lay the cheese slices all around – some gaps or some overlapping is fine.
Next lay the salami slices over the cheese. Now scatter the sausage, bacon and guanciale evenly over the pizza. Place the pizza in the oven and cook according to your pizza stone’s instructions. While I’m still experimenting with my new pizza stone, what seems to work for thin crust pizzas is 4 minutes parbaking the plain dough (rolled out to about 12 inches), then assembling the pizza and baking another 8 minutes.
When the cheese is melted and browned on the edges and the crust is cooked through, remove the pizza and let rest about 5 minutes. Slice into wedges and serve.

Buffalo Chicken Pizza

Buffalo Chicken Pizza

I think I’ve been on something of a buffalo chicken kick lately, as is evidenced by the fact that this is the second buffalo chicken dish I’ve posted this week, but this pizza is so delicious that I just can’t help myself. Y’all know I adore buffalo chicken anything, so of course the idea of buffalo chicken pizza always fascinated me.

buffalo chicken pizza

And yet… every version I tried fell flat and turned out to be a huge bummer. I mean, I’m aware that I never should have trusted the big chain pizza fast food places to do it right, but I’ve tried homemade versions that were hideously uninspiring and local, non-chain, reputable pizza joints have underwhelmed me too.

Buffalo Chicken Pizza

The concept of a delicious, cohesive buffalo chicken pizza still eluded me; and yet I have never truly lost hope. A small part of me always believed that flavorful buffalo chicken with good ingredients was out there somewhere.

Buffalo Chicken Pizza

Turns out, I was right! One of my lovely Christmas presents was Jessica Merchant’s recently published debut cookbook, Seriously Delish, and upon flipping through it and discovering that she’d included a recipe for buffalo chicken pizza, I knew that was getting made immediately.

Buffalo Chicken Pizza

Upon tasting my first bite, it seemed that my prayers to the buffalo chicken pizza gods had finally been answered. This version is so unbelievably delicious! It’s everything I thought and believed buffalo chicken pizza could be. I am beyond thrilled right now. Enjoy!

Buffalo Chicken Pizza

{One Year Ago: Roasted Broccoli Stem Dip with Parmesan-Black Pepper Pita Chips}
{Two Years Ago: Easy Cranberry Apple Cake, Adobo Salmon Salad Tartines}

Source: slightly adapted from Seriously Delish by Jessica Merchant

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into cubes
Kosher salt and black pepper
2 tbs olive oil
2 tbs unsalted butter
¾ cup buffalo sauce, divided
3 tbs sour cream
A splash of whole milk
2 oz. plus 1 generous tbs blue cheese crumbles, divided
1 uncooked pizza dough
12 oz. Fontina cheese, shredded
8 oz. white cheddar, shredded
Snipped fresh chives, for garnish
Torn fresh cilantro, for garnish

Preheat your oven to 425 F. Grease and flour a standard pizza pan and set aside.
Season the chicken with salt and pepper to taste. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the olive oil and butter. Once the butter melts, add the chicken and cook until it’s golden brown on all sides. Add ¼ cup buffalo sauce and stir to combine. Turn off the heat and set the chicken aside.
In a small bowl, combine the sour cream, milk, and the 1 tbs blue cheese crumbles to make a blue cheese sauce. Shape the pizza dough onto your pizza pan, stretching it all the way out to the edges. Spread the blue cheese sauce onto the pizza dough, leaving about a 1-inch border all the way around. Add the remaining ½ cup buffalo sauce and spread it onto the pizza dough, again leaving a 1-inch border all around. It’s fine if the buffalo sauce and blue cheese sauce swirl together.
Now cover the sauce with half the Fontina cheese. Add the chicken mixture all over the top of the Fontina. Cover the chicken with the remaining Fontina, the cheddar, and half of the remaining blue cheese. Bake the pizza until the cheese is golden and bubbly and the crust is just starting to brown on the edges, about 15-18 minutes.
Once the pizza is done baking, remove it from the oven and cover it with the remaining blue cheese crumbles. Garnish with chives and cilantro. Let it rest a few minutes to set up, then cut into wedges and serve hot.

Pepperoni Pizza Toasties

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Today is a very happy day. Why? Because it’s Secret Recipe Club reveal day, woohoo! This month I was assigned Annie’s Noms. Annie is the beautiful lady behind this baking-centric, UK-based blog. Annie lives in the UK with her adorable boyfriend, where they split the kitchen duties: she bakes, he cooks.

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Though Annie successfully obtained a degree in interior design, her heart belongs to baking. She blogs full-time, and has filled her page with insanely scrumptious, delectable baked treats. So of course, contrarian that I am, I had to pick one of the savory recipes on her site.

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These little pepperoni pizzas are simple, familiar (flavor-wise), and yet they couldn’t be more delicious. They are so cute, so easy to eat (maybe too easy!), and surprisingly addictive. Annie originally wrote this recipe for the oven, but I ended up grilling them. It was 78 F and sunny without a cloud in the sky. I mean, really, what choice did I have?

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Either way will work just fine, and I’ll include directions for both methods. Enjoy these, guys! And be sure to check out Annie’s fantastic blog!

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{One Year Ago: Creamy Cantaloupe and Guanciale Pasta, Zucchini Snack Cake, Mexico City Street Corn, No-Cook Tomato-Basil Pasta Sauce, Vegan Blueberry Muffins}

Source: adapted from Annie’s Noms

1 loaf Italian bread, sliced about 1-2 inches thick, on a diagonal (to get more bread surface per toast)
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
6 oz. melty cheese, such as cheddar, low-moisture mozzarella, or fontina, shredded
About half a package of pepperoni slices

Pour the tomato sauce into a small saucepan. Add the Italian seasoning, plus salt and pepper to taste. Warm on medium-low to low heat. Don’t let it boil, you just want it warm.
OVEN METHOD: preheat your oven to 400 F (or 200 C). Lay the bread slices on a baking sheet (use 2 if necessary). Toast the bread in the oven for just a few minutes; this is just to avoid the bread getting soggy with the toppings.
Remove the bread from the oven and spoon about a tbs of tomato sauce on each toast. Top with a nice pinch of cheese and spread it evenly. Lay 2-3 pepperoni slices per toast on top of the cheese. Bake 7-10 minutes, until the cheese is melted. Remove and serve immediately.
GRILL METHOD: make a 2-zone fire, with one side a bit hotter than the other. Working in batches if necessary, grill the toasts on one side until nicely toasted, about 3 minutes on the hot side. With tongs, remove to a plate, flipping them as you move them, so the toasted side is facing up on the plates. Add the tomato sauce, cheese, and pepperoni as instructed for the oven method. Carefully add them back to the hot zone, for 2-3 minutes. Make sure you’re not burning them. If the cheese has melted, then remove the toasts to a plate. If the cheese isn’t completely melted, then move the toast to the less-hot zone of the grill and leave them there for a few more minutes, until they are nicely melted. Remove to a plate and serve.

Pissaladiére with White Anchovies

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Concluding our week of The South, we are leaving America and traveling northeast to the south of France! I’ve personally only been to northern France, which I hope to correct at some point before I kick it. Provence and the French Riviera just sound so idyllic and romantic. And when I learned from David Lebovitz in his amazing new book that the southern French love rosé wine, it just cemented that desire for a visit even more firmly.

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I am quite the rosé wine lover, and Lebovitz tells us that in Provence, rosé is not a wine but a drink. They pour it into regular glasses over ice. As my husband said, “Oh. So it’s like… slammin’ wine!” I suppose so. Whatever you call it, I couldn’t wait to try it.

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Slammin’ wine is typically enjoyed in Provence with this traditional French pizza, Pissaladiere. Pissaladiere has no cheese; it’s a flatbread topped with caramelized onions, anchovies and Niҫoise olives. For some Americans it can be an acquired taste (it was for me – the first time I tried Pissaladiere a few years ago I wasn’t a fan, but then I also think my anchovies were past their expiration date, which could have contributed), but I highly recommend acquiring it, because it’s extremely delicious. The sweetness of the onions plays beautifully against the salty anchovies and olives.

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That said, I took a couple of liberties. I used Italian white anchovies instead of red French anchovies, simply because I like them better (and I had some on hand from this amazing salad); and I couldn’t find Niҫoise olives, so I used Kalamatas, which are technically Greek, not French. I used a dry rosé wine, instead of a fruitier sweeter one after a very cursory Google search led me to believe, hopefully accurately, that French rosé wine tends to be on the drier side.

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And whether this meal is inside or outside your culinary comfort zone, I’d highly urge everyone to give it a shot, including the wine over ice. I was thoroughly impressed by the elegance and deliciousness of the whole thing.

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{One Year Ago: Fourth of July Recipe Round-Up, Coconut Poke Cake}
{Two Years Ago: Beef Puffy Tacos}

Source: slightly adapted from My Paris Kitchen by David Lebovitz

4 tbs olive oil, divided
3 lbs. onions, peeled and thinly sliced
10 sprigs of thyme
4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
½ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp granulated sugar
Fresh cracked black pepper
1 lb. ball of pizza dough, at room temperature
30 pitted Niҫoise olives, or 20 Kalamata olives pitted and cut in half
16 or so good-quality, oil-packed anchovy fillets

First, caramelize the onions. Pour 3 tbs olive oil into a large, deep Dutch oven and heat over medium. Add the onion slices, thyme, garlic, salt, and sugar. Cook, stirring frequently for 30 minutes, watching carefully to make sure your onions aren’t scorching on the bottom. If they are, lower the heat to medium-low. Cook another 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are deep golden-brown. You can add more olive oil if needed. Stir in a few grinds of pepper, then pick out the thyme sprigs and the smashed garlic. Let cool.
Preheat your oven to 400 F and grease a baking sheet. Stretch the dough out into a loose rectangle on the baking sheet. If it is snapping back when you stretch it, cover it with a clean kitchen towel and let it rest 15 minutes, then try again.
Once your dough is fitted on the baking sheet, spread the caramelized onions on it in an even layer, leaving about a 1-inch border on all sides. Toss the olives on top, spacing them evenly, and then top with the anchovies. You can lay them about however, or you can decoratively crisscross them. Drizzle the whole pizza with the remaining 1 tbs of oil.
Bake for 20 minutes, until the crust is lightly browned. Remove the pizza to a cutting board and let rest a few minutes. Cut the pizza into squares or rectangles and serve warm, with plenty of slammin’ wine to go around!

Cherry Crumble Pizza

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My life has been a crazy mess of first world problems lately. And while none of these issues are signaling the world’s ending by any stretch, they have been stressing me out a bit, and I can tell my body is screaming at me to slow down a little. I’ve caught two bad colds in the past six weeks, the second of which turned into an ear and sinus infection, and while that really isn’t such a big deal in the grand scheme of things, it does tell me my immune system isn’t up to snuff. Which means I need to make some changes.

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So, I’ve made the decision to slow my blog pace a little bit. Make it more fun and relaxed. Remember why I started blogging in the first place. I’m making time to learn about the aspects of blogging about which I’m not so comfortable (or should it be said, outright clueless?) I can cook, bake and write. But food photography doesn’t come second nature to me, and I still feel like quite the HTML dunce. And that’s just for starters.

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So some weeks will be themed and others will not. There will absolutely still be #SundaySuppers and Secret Recipe Clubs. As always, it will be delicious and varied. Delicious, like this dessert pizza (did you like that little segway? Uh huh. Go me!)

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By the way, have y’all ever had a dessert pizza? For whatever reason, I don’t think I ever had! It just wasn’t on the radar growing up, and I hadn’t gotten around to making one at home since I’ve been on my own. I don’t know…. But I do know that you need to have a dessert pizza soon! Because they’re so scrumptious and so fun!! This one reminded me of summer (yes, please), and it was easy to pull off. I warn you, it’s messy; but completely worth it.

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Have an awesome, sunny and safe weekend, y’all. I’ll be back on Sunday!!

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{One Year Ago: Cheddar Risotto with Smoked Paprika, Cornmeal Biscuits with Cheddar Jalapeno Butter}

Source: adapted from Guy Fieri Food by Guy Fieri

¾ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup quick rolled oats
2 tbs brown sugar
6 tbs unsalted butter, at room temperature
Kosher salt
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ cup sliced almonds
1 lb. ball of pizza dough, preferably not whole wheat
2 (12 oz.) jars good quality cherry preserves
Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, for serving

Preheat the oven to 425 F. Grease a round pizza pan. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, butter, a pinch of salt, and the cinnamon. Mix with a fork or your fingers until well combined. Add the almonds and gently mix.
Roll out the dough to fit your prepared pizza pan and transfer, pinching and stretching the edges as necessary.
Parbake the crust for 7 minutes. Remove from the oven and spread the cherry preserves onto the crust, leaving about a 1-inch border. Top with the flour-oat mixture.
Bake about 10-12 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the cherries are bubbling.
Let the pizza rest about 5 minutes, then cut into wedges and serve with whipped cream or ice cream on the side.

Hamburger and Onion Bread Pizza

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I continue PIZZA WEEK with a rather humble offering. This is for sure not fancy, and maybe not even terribly varied considering I shared steak on a pizza yesterday. But it really doesn’t get any easier to prepare or more comforting than this, and well, I really need that right now.

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I’m getting over my second (second!!!) head cold in the past six weeks, and this one was extra nasty as it insisted on turning into a double ear and sinus infection (which I caught early, thank goodness!). So annoying…

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And on top of that, I’m having major drama with my new dining room table. What started out as a pleasant and promising transaction has unfortunately turned very ugly. When you trust someone because they initially treat you nicely and then promise to fix a problem they created, and they then do a 180 and not only deny any wrongdoing, but also deny admitting any wrongdoing, and further snap that they are only fixing it as a big favor to you, and that they’ll fix this on their time frame, thank you very much; well, it’s frustrating. Of course. I’m essentially being called a liar and having words put in my mouth that I simply never said.

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So yes, a *very* easy dinner that was tasty and comforting was in order. And yeah, it’s a bit messy, kind of like our lives (especially mine right now). But bread pizzas are just awesome. So here you go! Here’s to health and de-stressing.

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{One Year Ago: Battered and Fried Merguez Sausages, Three Cheese Beer Bread, Red Kidney Bean Curry}

Source: adapted from 365: No Repeats by Rachael Ray

1 baguette
1 tbs olive oil
1 lb. ground sirloin
1 tbs steak or barbecue seasoning
Kosher salt, if your seasoning is salt-free
1 large onion, chopped
1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
2 tbs Dijon mustard
12 slices deli-sliced Swiss cheese
Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish, if desired

Preheat the broiler to HIGH. Set a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil, then the sirloin. Cook, breaking up with a large spoon or potato masher, until it is crumbled and no traces of pink remain.
Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent and softened, about 5-7 minutes.
Now add the steak or barbecue seasoning, salt if needed, the Worcestershire sauce, and the mustard. Stir to combine. Remove from the heat.
Slice the bread in half crosswise, then each piece in half again lengthwise. Tear out the inside bread to hollow them out and make 4 bread boats. Place the bread boats on a baking sheet and broil until just toasted.
Remove from the oven and fill the boats with the burger mixture. Top each bread boat with 3 slices of cheese to cover all the hamburger mixture. Stick the baking sheet back under the broiler, moving the pan side to side or back and forth as needed, so that all the bread boats are exposed and the cheese gets melted and a little bubbly. Serve immediately.
This will serve 4 to 8 people, depending on appetites.

Steakhouse Pizza

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I’m continuing PIZZA WEEK with a very tasty offering I’ve adapted from one of Ree’s recipes (from her second book). She has several pizza recipes in this book, but the Steakhouse Pizza was the one that jumped out at me the most. My family and I are steakhouse kind of people. It’s pretty tough to beat a good, leisurely meal at a nice steakhouse. And it seemed like that was our go-to for special occasions.

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Something about the steakhouse atmosphere is so fancy, yet warm and inviting. The steaks are the main attraction, of course, but I know of no one who doesn’t also dine at steakhouses for the sides. The potatoes, ohhhhh the potatoes. Not to mention, salads always taste better from a steakhouse, don’t they?

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So here is quintessential steakhouse in pizza form. The crust stands in as the starch you would normally get from the potato, and this pizza is COVERED in medium-rare, tender, luscious steak slices. There’s balsamic vinegar and tomato sauce as a nod to those tomato salads with balsamic vinaigrette, and then just before serving, you drizzle on some Worcestershire sauce. Oh, it’s just heaven. Even just writing this is making my stomach growl, and is making me wonder when Matt and I are going to be visiting Ruths Chris’ Steakhouse again!

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{One Year Ago: Caramelized Onion, Pear and Goat Cheese Pizza}

Source: adapted from The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Food From My Frontier by Ree Drummond

2 (1 lb.) balls of pizza dough
1 ½ to 2 lbs. skirt steak or flank steak
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
1 large red onion, peeled and sliced into ½-inch thick rings
3 tbs balsamic vinegar
1 tbs olive oil, plus more for the grill
2 cups good-quality marinara sauce, store-bought or homemade
1 ½ lbs. fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
Worcestershire sauce, for drizzling
Shaved Pecorino Romano cheese, for finishing

Let the pizza dough balls come up to room temperature; this takes about 30 minutes. Preheat your indoor or outdoor grill to medium-high heat. Brush with oil if using an outdoor grill.
Season the steak with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Drizzle the onion slices with 1 tbs balsamic vinegar, then with olive oil. Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper.
Add the remaining 2 tbs balsamic vinegar to the marinara sauce. Stir to combine.
Preheat your oven to 425 F. Set a rack in the center of the oven.
Once your grill is good and hot, if you’re using an indoor grill, drizzle the side where the steak will cook with olive oil. Place the steak on one half of the grill, and carefully place the onion slices on the other part of the grill. Cook the onions about 8-10 minutes, flipping once with a metal spatula, or until they have nice grill marks and are cooked through.
Grill the steak to medium-rare, about 7 minutes total, flipping once. Remove the onions to a cutting board and roughly chop. Remove the steak to a rimmed cutting board and let rest at least 5 minutes. When the steak has rested, thinly slice it against the grain with a very sharp knife. Try to slice it on an angle top to bottom as you’ll get thinner slices that way.
While the steak and onions are grilling, work on the pizza itself. Shape the 2 balls of dough into circles or rectangles and place on 2 greased baking sheets or pizza sheets. Parbake them for 6 minutes.
Remove from the oven and spread 1 cup of the marinara sauce on each pizza crust, leaving a 1-inch border all around. Divide the mozzarella slices between the 2 crusts, lining them in a single layer to cover as much of the sauce as possible. Return the pizzas to the oven for another 10-12 minutes, until the edges of the crusts are golden and the cheese is melted.
Let the pizzas rest about 5 minutes, then top each with half the onions and half the steak slices. Drizzle a little Worcestershire sauce over the steak on both pizzas, then sprinkle the romano shavings on each. Cut into slices and serve.
Oh, and P.S. – I had some steak sauce drizzled onto the hot pizza for a slice of my leftovers, and may I just say: YUM!!! Just FYI.

Salade-aux-Lardons Pizza

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This is one of my all-time favorite pizzas. And it’s so perfect to feature on my blog, because it truly illustrates how reformed my once-picky palate has become. Growing up, pizza was always in the “special treats”, or “indulgences” category. We didn’t have it all the time, by any stretch. So as you can imagine, when it was permitted, I wasn’t about to let any veggies get anywhere near my slices! The cheesier and meatier, the better.

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It wasn’t until my late twenties that I started to come around and realize that oh, vegetables on a pizza isn’t some horrific crime against humanity, and that it really can be quite tasty. Not that you’ll ever hear me complaining about the meat lovers variety, but I truly have come around to genuinely appreciate different pizza toppings.

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And now, as a mature adult, salad atop a pizza is honestly one of my favorite things on earth. If only that little kid in the buffet line at Cici’s Pizza, scowling at the mere presence of the veggie supreme pizzas, could see me now…

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So this pizza basically takes the most basic and classic of French salads, which is greens dressed with a mustard-based vinaigrette and sprinkled with crispy bacon, and deconstructs it into a pizza. Dijon mustard is spread on the dough, with Swiss cheese on top. Then crisped, bacon bits are scattered on top of the melty cheese and the greens are dressed simply with vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. When the pizza is cooked completely you take it out of the oven and toss the greens on top, then dive in immediately. (Hey, the French haven’t solved all the world’s problems – the greens will eventually wilt.)

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And you dig in. All those French flavors come together in each bite. And it’s so delicious. I hope y’all enjoy it.

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{One Year Ago: Glazed Donut Muffins}

Source: adapted from Fine Cooking Magazine, Issue June/July 2010

1 lb. ball of pizza dough
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
8 oz. Jarlsberg, or Swiss cheese, grated
6 slices bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium shallot, sliced thin
4 cups baby arugula, or other light greens of your choice
1 tbs white wine vinegar
3 tbs olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper

Preheat your grill to medium-high heat. Oil the grate.
Roll out the pizza dough into a large rectangle that will still fit on your grill surface. Carefully transfer the dough to the hot grill and grill for about 4-5 minutes until the underside is getting some good grill marks. Carefully transfer the dough to a baking sheet, uncooked side down.
Spread the cooked side with the mustard, leaving a 1-inch border. Sprinkle the cheese on the mustard.
Transfer the pizza back onto the grill, uncooked side down. Close the lid and cook another 5-8 minutes, until the dough is cooked through and the cheese is melted.
While the dough is grilling, make the bacon bits. Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bacon pieces and cook, stirring, until bacon is crispy and the fat has rendered. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate.
Pour out all but 1 tbs of the bacon fat. Add the shallot to the remaining bacon fat in the skillet, over medium heat. Saute until softened, about 2-3 minutes. Set aside.
When ready to serve, remove the pizza from the grill and sprinkle the bacon pieces evenly over the top. Transfer the shallots to a large bowl. Add the vinegar and olive oil, then the arugula. Toss to combine, then immediately place the salad on top of the pizza. Cut into squares and serve right away.

Homemade Pizza Sauce

Homemade Pizza Sauce

Today’s post is quite exciting for me, because it is my first month as a new member of the Secret Recipe Club!! SRC is where a fun group of food bloggers gather and each month we are assigned a blog, and someone is assigned ours, and we make a recipe from each other’s blog, but keep it quiet until reveal day! Which is today, in case that wasn’t obvious. 😉

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So anyways, I was assigned A Couple in the Kitchen, a terrific blog I highly recommend you check out. It’s written by the adorable couple Chris and Amy (read their story here).

I had a hard time deciding what I should make from this scrumptious blog, but when I ran across a recipe for homemade pizza sauce, I immediately clicked on it. And then I found out that they learned this recipe while taking a pizza making class from an Italian chef! I knew I had found my secret recipe.

making homemade pizza sauce

A little background: y’all know I avoid processed foods (for the most part). But I kind of love a certain brand of canned pizza sauce. I’ve tried to make it myself before, and it just never passed muster. But, every time I buy the stuff, I do chide myself a bit for buying something canned. So I cannot tell you how happy I am to find this recipe!! Because this pizza sauce is LEGIT. It’s every bit as awesome-tasting as my canned kind, but so much better because it’s from scratch. Also, it’s easy to make, quick to make, and just tastes amazing. This is going in my arsenal of tricks, and will get busted out time and time again. Thank you, thank you, thank you Chris and Amy!!

Homemade pizza sauce

{One year ago: Penne alla Puttanesca}

Source: adapted from A Couple in the Kitchen

1 (15 oz.) can San Marzano whole, peeled tomatoes
1 tbs garlic powder
1/2 tbs dried parsley
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp dried marjoram
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 tbs olive oil
1 1/2 tbs red wine vinegar
Kosher salt, to taste

Place the tomatoes, with their juices, in the blender or food processor and blend until mostly smooth. Pour into a small bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Stir to combine thoroughly.
Place a fine-mesh strainer over a medium bowl and line with 2 layers of cheesecloth. Pour the sauce over the cloth and let stand for at least 30 minutes, and up to 1 1/2 hours. Taste for seasoning and adjust if needed. This makes enough sauce for 1 pizza.

Shaved Asparagus Pizza

Shaved asparagus pizza

Happy Sunday evening! I’m so excited because I am finally returning to my themed weeks!! I’ve missed blogging this way. So this week’s theme is….. drum roll please…… ASPARAGUS!! Asparagus and I have become great friends over the past several years (of course I hated it growing up), and to me it’s the perfect vegetable to usher in the spring season.

asparagus shavings (for pizza)

We’re starting the week with a delicious and beautiful pizza, which I couldn’t get enough of; Matt felt the same, and I’m sure we both deserve a medal for allowing the other their fair share of leftovers. I know either of us could have easily hoarded them all for ourselves.

shaved asparagus pizza

Shaved asparagus pizza

This pizza will go down as one of my favorites, one I will probably make every spring at least once. You should too. Enjoy!

Shaved Asparagus Pizza

Shaved Asparagus pizza

{One year ago: Tomato Cornbread}

Source: adapted from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman

1 lb. fresh pizza dough
½ lb. thick asparagus
2 tsp olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper
4 oz. goat cheese
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
5 oz. fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
1 scallion, thinly sliced

Preheat your oven to 425 F. Grease a round pizza pan and sprinkle with a touch of cornmeal if desired. Roll or stretch out your pizza to fit the pan. Par-bake it for 8 minutes. Remove from the oven, leaving the oven on.
Meanwhile, prep the asparagus. Do not snap the tough ends off the asparagus. Working with one spear at a time, hold it by its tough end and lay it flat on a cutting board. Use a vegetable peeler to shave the asparagus into long strips. Keep going until you physically cannot make it work anymore, then snap off the tough end. Discard the tough ends and place the shavings in a bowl. Toss them with the olive oil, plus salt and pepper to taste.
Remove the par-baked pizza crust from the oven. Crumble the goat cheese and place the crumbles evenly over the dough. Sprinkle the parmesan evenly over the crust, followed by laying the mozzarella slices on top. Pile the asparagus on top.
Bake the pizza for 10-15 minutes, or until the edges of the crust are browned. The asparagus might be lightly charred. That’s a good thing.
Remove the pizza from the oven and sprinkle with the scallions. Let rest about 5 minutes, then slice and eat!