Hey folks, it’s been awhile since I posted here, hasn’t it? I had to take a break from blogging about food in order to grow some! Late April to early June is prime time in our garden, when the seedlings start growing into actual plants and lots of care is needed to make sure they become strong and healthy. So far, so good as far as all that goes. And with all the good that has been going, meal time has become something of a challenge, especially on the weekends when we do most of our garden work. After being out in the yard all day, the last thing we want to do is cook.
This is where pizza comes in.
I love pizza. You love pizza. We all love pizza! And homemade pizza gets lots of love in our house, partly because it’s so easy to manage when we’re bone tired. And while you can’t go wrong with the basics – tomato and cheese, pepperoni and sausage, pepper and onion, etc., sometimes it’s nice to branch out into other flavor territories. So here are a couple recipes that we came up with when more than the basics are required: Buffalo chicken white pizza and artichoke, sun-dried tomato, and feta pizza. (So delicious, both!) I’ve also included a sauce recipe that’s become a staple whenever fresh tomatoes are not available. Either recipe can be made on the pizza crust of your choice — fresh, pre-made, flavored, wheat, white — the sky’s the limit! Cooking the pizza is up to you, whether you use a pan, pizza stone, or are maybe lucky enough to have a pizza oven. For our usual setup of individual pan pizzas, I cook the crust alone first for about 10 minutes at 375-400 degrees. Then I take the pizzas out of the oven, add the toppings, then put them back in for 13-15 minutes.
Semi-homemade pizza sauce
- 1 can of diced tomatoes with basil, oregano, and garlic (If you like a lighter sauce, only drain the tomatoes slightly. Drain fully if you want a thicker sauce.)
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- dash of ground pepper
- 1/2-1 tablespoon agave nectar (Recommend the agave over white sugar as it mixes better, but you could use white sugar. Go with a smaller amount of sweetener at first and add more to taste.)
Blend all ingredient together using a blender or stick blender. Let rest for about 30 minutes prior to using to let the dried herbs soften up a bit. Recipe makes enough for 2 large pizzas.
Buffalo chicken white pizza
- chicken (white and/or dark meat, whatever your preference)
- egg white
- panko or white bread crumbs
- corn meal
- oil, sliced or diced
- hot sauce
- garlic powder
- whole milk mozzarella cheese (really, don’t skimp on the cheese! A little goes a long way.)
For buffalo chicken, cut up chicken into strips about an inch wide. Coat in flour, then dip into a mixture of 1 egg white and 1 tablespoon of water, then coat with a mixture of panko, corn meal, salt, and pepper. Fry chicken strips in about 1/2-inch of oil over medium heat, about 4-6 minutes per side or until golden brown. Drain chicken on paper towels and let cool.
For the buffalo sauce – whisk together 1/2 cup of melted butter and 1/2 cup hot sauce. (Can adjust to taste.)
One chicken is cool to the touch, cut into small chunks and place in a ziploc bag. Pour in a enough buffalo sauce, and shake everything around, so that it liberally covers the chicken. (You’ll want to have enough sauce left over for two drizzles over the pizza.)
Also saute or caramelize the onions.
For garlic butter sauce, in a small container with a lid, add 2 tablespoons of melted butter and 2 teaspoons garlic powder. Put lid on a shake vigorously.
Prepare pizza: Brush garlic butter on crust. Sprinkle with shredded mozzarella cheese. Add chicken and onions. Drizzle a little buffalo sauce over the top. Cook until crust is golden brown. Drizzle a little more buffalo sauce over pizza before serving.
Artichoke, sun-dried tomato, and feta pizza
- artichoke hearts, quartered and marinated
- sun-dried tomatoes (dry packed, not the ones in oil)
- feta cheese
- whole milk mozzarella cheese.
- semi-homemade pizza sauce
Throw the sauce and cheeses on your pizza crust. Cut up a desired amount of artichokes and sun-dried tomatoes, and place liberally on top. While cooking, you may want to keep an eye on the pizza as sun-dried tomatoes have tendency to burn. (P. S. If you happen to like black olives, they work well on this pizza, sliced and in small quantities. Too many and it gets too salty.)
While Cary’s happy to talk food here, she’s also pretty good at doling out words about video games at United We Game while simultaneously maintaining her own blog, Recollections of Play. You can also find an archive of fun, geeky articles from her and like-minded souls at Geek Force Network.