Tuesday, November 26, 2013

It's Pizza Night!

Today I continued working on my Thanksgiving dinner meal prep. One of my sons came for dinner so I wanted to make something fairly simple, but really good. I accomplished that by making pizza! Everyone had their own pizza. Hubby had pepperoni, artichoke hearts and Kalamata olives on his...my son and I both had the exact same toppings of browned seasoned ground beef, pepperoni, thinly sliced onions and red, green and yellow bell peppers. It turned out delicious...one of the best yet! I made my wheat and grain free pizza crust to pile the toppings onto. I used the leftover Rao's Arabbiatta sauce from Sunday's lasagna...and a combination of both shredded mozzarella and dabs of fresh mozzarella cheese before adding the toppings. If you are looking for a quick and delicious meal to make on the night before Thanksgiving...pizza is always a great choice. I usually don't "cook" on the night before Thanksgiving, and in the past, it was always a good night to have take-out pizza. While this isn't take out...its almost the next best thing. I snapped a couple of photos as well as the recipe below for my pizza crust. Enjoy!

Almond-Flax-Parmesan Herb Pizza Crust
Makes 1 10-inch round pizza (approximately 2 servings)

Dry Ingredients:
1/4 cup almond flour
1/4 cup  golden flax seed meal (organic golden flax is milder in taste than brown)
2/3 teaspoon baking powder (aluminum free)
1/2 - 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder 
Dash cayenne pepper, optional
1/4 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste (decrease salt if using saltier cheeses and toppings)
Few grinds of freshly ground black pepper
4 - 5 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, finely grated

Wet Ingredients:
1 egg (or 1/4 cup egg substitute such as Egg Beaters)
1 tablespoon olive oil (a little more, if desired)
1 to 2 tablespoons water (start with 1 tablespoon of water and add the second, if necessary)

Toppings (Optional):  
Pizza sauce, pesto sauce, etc.
Cheese: shredded mozzarella cheese, sliced or diced fresh mozzarella, etc.
**Pre-cooked vegetables of choice: onions, green peppers, mushrooms, spinach, etc. 
**Pre-cooked meat of choice: sausage, ground beef topping, etc.
Other: artichokes, olives, pepperoni, etc.

**Tip: Fresh vegetable and meat toppings should be pre-cooked and drained to prevent crust from becoming soggy

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Mix dry ingredients together; add wet ingredients and mix well. Let the dough sit for approximately 5 minutes to thicken. 

Spread dough on a lightly oiled large pizza pan or cookie sheet lined with greased parchment paper (you can also use Reynolds non-stick foil, lightly brushed with olive oil).  Using a lightly oiled rubber spatula, press the dough out to desired shape and thickness (I usually make it about 1/4" thick -- *see note below).  Bake for 15-20 minutes or until cooked through (check crust after 15 minutes and remove from oven when it looks and feels done).  Spread with a thin layer of sauce, cheese and desired toppings (fresh vegetable and meat toppings should be pre-cooked to prevent soggy crust); place back into the oven to bake an additional 5-10 minutes to melt cheese.  If desired, run under the broiler for a few minutes to lightly brown the toppings and make the cheese bubbly (be careful not to burn it).

*Note:  For a crust that is flat, smooth and even in thickness, lightly spray a 2nd sheet of parchment paper with olive oil spray and place it on top (oiled side down) of the ball of pizza dough that is centered in the middle of your prepared pizza pan or baking sheet.  Using either your hands or the flat edge of an object (I use a big container of black pepper) press the dough smooth by swiping it the direction you want the pizza crust to go.  When it is the desired thickness and shape, carefully peel off the top layer of parchment paper...and "Voila"...perfectly flat, smooth, thin pizza crust! If you don't have parchment paper, pressing the dough out with a lightly oiled rubber spatula works just fine, too.


unter der laterne said...

Hi GG, I just wanted to let you know that I still enjoy your blog with all the fabulous recipes and I wanted to thank you for them.
I had a very sad incident and at the moment my heart is not *with it* for a lack of an appropriate word.
I hope that you have a wonderful Thanksgiving among your family and friends !
Fondly your Barbara!

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Barbara -- It is good to hear from you -- I have been thinking about you the last couple of weeks. I worried when I didn't see any posts from you for several weeks and wondered if everything was okay. While I am glad you are enjoying the blog...I am so sorry to hear you've had a sad incident -- just know that I am thinking about you and hope that everything will be okay. I hope you have a nice Thanksgiving and know that I am thinking about you and sending you a hug!!!

Anonymous said...

I use wax paper and a rolling pin to shape our pizza.

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Cathy -- glad to know that wax paper works too! I usually use parchment paper but for those that don't have easy access to it, that's a great idea! :-)