Friday, July 9, 2010

Whole Foods Pizza

I have now found the easiest solution for dinner ever. Whole foods sells some pretty fantastic raw pizza dough which is good for me because I have a phobia of yeast. The best part about it though as opposed to going to some pizza shop and getting their dough: only seven ingredients! no scary dyes, preservatives, or corn products. So all in all, very little skill necessary and the final product is delicious.
So i let my dough rise and get to room temperature for a few hours and then split the dough into two halves. Since I am by no means a professional pizza maker (I spent a grand total of three days working at a Little Caesars about 2 years ago... the skills I learned there really hasn't helped me out here) the dough becomes much more manageable in smaller portions. I really just looked through my fridge for toppings, I had no real desire to buy anything else and I am really very liberal with my toppings. I don't care if it's a so called "traditional" topping or not. Really, the toppings are just leftovers from the quiche I made earlier. The quiche tasted good so why shouldn't the same ingredients on a pizza taste equally good? And the pizza did taste good! The dough was bready and fluffy and the ingredients were just salty and flavorful enough. This is just my version though, the dough is a canvas that you could put anything on. ANYTHING!! recipe after the jump

I may have mentioned last time that I wasn't overly fond of asparagus. Well I do like it. I have an ambivalent relationship with it to say the least. But let me tell you, add it to something I already like such as a pizza or a quiche and suddenly it's awesome. Use the same trick as last time too that I learned from the food network where you break the asparagus in half and where it naturally breaks is where you should cut it. That way you're left with only the most tender part of the spear.
I don't know when it happened but lately I've been very fond of sliced tomatoes on top of pizza.
These are my pathetically thrown doughs. See! no need to feel bad about whatever comes from your own dough because I'm sure mine looks worse. Looks bad? yes. Tastes bad? not at all. It's purely an aesthetic quality I promise.
So with two different pizzas it seemed silly to use the same toppings on both of them. So they are similar but I definitely changed it up a little bit. Truth be told I preferred the pizza on the left but they were both good. To each his own.
O the final slice. Delicious. I have two different sets of recipes for the two pizzas but the same preparations.

Pizza A (left)
1/2 ball whole foods pizza dough
1 Tbsp store bought pesto
10 stalks of asparagus cut into 1 inch pieces
4-5 sliced porcini mushrooms
Olive oil
handful of fresh spinach
1 roasted red pepper chopped
1/2 cup grated Monterey jack cheese
sprinkle crumbled feta cheese

Pizza B (right)
1/2 ball whole foods pizza dough
1 Tbsp store bought pesto
10 stalks asparagus cut into 1 inch pieces
4-5 sliced porcini mushrooms
Olive oil
1/2 cup grated monterey jack cheese
1 roma tomato cut into thin slices

1. Purchase dough about four hours in advance. open the container and allow to sit and rise in a room temperature area until ready to use. once ready, preheat the over to 500 degrees and cut the dough in half with a sharp knife. Toss one half at a time by going around in a circle with your hands and tugging gently at the edges. place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper when you have gotten it as big and thin as you can. toss the second ball. I was able to fit both on one cookie sheet.

2. Fill a skillet 1/3 of the way with water. When it's boiling add the asparagus for 1 minute and then drain out the water and put the cooked asparagus on a paper towel. wipe out the skillet and add a tablespoon of olive oil and heat it up on medium high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook for about three minutes. Toss in the asparagus quickly and then remove the mixture from the heat.

3. Place the dough in the oven and let it cook for 4 minutes. Pull them out and you're ready to add the toppings! coat both with the pesto as a sauce.

For pizza A, layer red peppers, spinach, cheese, then half of the asparagus/mushroom mixture, and top with a sprinkle of feta.
For pizza B, sprinkle grated cheese, spread the other half of the asparagus/mushroom mixture and then top with sliced tomatoes.

4. Put the pizzas in the oven for 7-8 minutes until the cheese is melted and everything looks cooked and delicious. Remove from the oven, place on a serving dish, cut into slices and enjoy.

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