Corn and Jalapeno Pizza

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Pizza, both in regular form and quesadilla form, have become a staple around here for dinner. N (the bf) is pizza-obsessed, and would be content eating cheese or pepperoni pizza two to three times a week.

Now I thought I was an avowed pizza-lover, but I am not coming close to him. Although he has insulted my pizza sauce (the sauce my mother makes mind you!), I try to work in pizza every-so-often for dinner to keep his pizza cravings met. Where we get in to trouble is his traditionalist vs. my funky toppings view. This pizza recipe is where N and I meet in the middle. It is not your typical pizza with tomato sauce and cheese, but it’s nothing crazy like blue cheese or pineapple.

This pizza is perfect to make during the summer with fresh sweet corn, but frozen corn can work as well. It’s a good mix of cool and sweet from the corn and cheese and spicy from the jalapeños and pepper flakes. Grill it up or bake it in the oven, just make sure you make it!

CORN AND JALAPENO PIZZA
From Cinnamon Freud (dough recipe from my mom)

INGREDIENTS

For the dough:
2 1/4 teaspoons yeast (1 package)
1 cup warm water
Pinch of sugar
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon olive oil
Pinch of salt

For the pizza:
Cornmeal
2 cobs of corn, corn sliced off the cob
4 green onions, sliced
1 jalapeño, minced
4 to 6 ounces mozzarella, sliced or shredded
Red pepper flakes
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS

For the Dough:

In a bowl combine warm water, yeast, and sugar. Let sit for 10 minutes, until yeast begins to foam. Combine yeast mixture, flour, olive oil, and salt. Stir with a wooden spoon. Transfer dough to a floured surface. Knead for 5-10 minutes until dough is elastic.

Coat bowl with oil. Place dough in bowl. Covers and keep in a warm place until dough doubles in size, about 30 to 45 minutes.

For the Pizza:

Preheat one as high as it will go (around 450-500 degrees). Warm pizza stone, if using. Roll out dough to size of pan. Sprinkle pan with cornmeal and transfer dough to pan.

Spread olive oil on crust with brush. Top pizza with corn, green onions, jalapeño, and mozzarella. Season with salt and pepper. Bake until pizza crust is browned and cheese is melted, about 10 minutes (Depending on temperature of oven). Sprinkle red pepper flakes on top. Slice and serve.

 

Pizza Quesadilla

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There have been multiple reasons for my radio silence for the past few months (!?). I was eating out more often, was busier with work, got a puppy that demands 99.9% of my attention at all times, and while I was still cooking, it was nothing that I considered “blog worthy.”

So, my cooking has changed. I still like to cook from scratch as much as I can (cheaper and healthier!), but I am definitely into faster meals now, and I am really into cheese in my meals even more so than before. So that’s where this pizza quesadilla comes in. The picture ain’t a beauty, and that’s because I snapped it with my iPhone in my horribly lit kitchen on my ugly countertop (before I burnt the countertop though at least), but this is a genius idea.

Pizza quesadillas are more quesadilla than pizza, but it is great. I find it more filing than the typical quesadilla fare, but still super simple to make!

Pizza Quesadilla
Barely adapted from Buzzfeed

Ingredients

2 tortillas
Tomato sauce
Mozzarella cheese, shredded
Additional toppings as desired (onion, pepperoni, peppers, sausage, olives, etc.)
Oil

Directions

Preheat broiler.

Heat a pan over medium-high heat. Spread on tortilla one lightly with tomato sauce and sprinkle mozzarella on top. Add any other desired ingredients. Coat pan lightly with oil and place tortilla in pan. Place another tortilla on top and press.

Cook until tortilla is lightly brown, about 5 minutes, and carefully flip the tortilla. Cook for 5 additional minutes, or until other side is golden brown. Transfer quesadilla to a baking sheet. Lightly spread tomato sauce on top of quesadilla and add any desired toppings, including cheese. Broil for 2-4 minutes, until crispy.

Strawberry Balsamic Flatbread with Goat Cheese

 
 
 
Do you ever yearn?  For warmer temperatures?  For spring?  For strawberries?  I am in the midst of some serious spring yearning.  Warmer temperatures, pink lipstick, strawberries, flowers, and capris.  This is a very eclectic spring list, but I got the spring fever.
 
I never thought there would be a time when I would be yearning for warmer temperature here in Texas, but here we are.  While I am not ready for the blazing heat of summer summer and sweating the instant I step outside, I am just tired of being cold. The cold is nice when you can cuddle up in bed under lots of covers, but when you have to get up to function, not so much. I am looking forward to at least not having to double layer my clothes anymore just to stay warm when I leave my apartment in the morning. Yes, I run freakishly cold and have to double layer my clothes in Texas.  Judge away.
 
By the way, a few months from now when I am melting in the summer heat, please do not remind me of this time when I was begging for heat.  I will be hot and sweaty and not receptive to this information.
 
Even though there is some oscillation between cold and warmer temperatures still happening here, I am hoping to finally convince spring to stick around with this pizza recipe using fresh spring flavors. It’s light and a great combo of warm pizza crust and cool, refreshing toppings.  It would be wonderful to eat outside at a picnic table while rabbits hop around you and the birds sing a sweet song. And with one layer of clothing on.  Is it spring yet?
STRAWBERRY BALSAMIC FLATBREAD WITH GOAT CHEESE
Adapted from The Sweets Life
 
INGREDIENTS

For the Crust:

1 package active yeast
1/2 cup water, at 110°F
1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
 
For the Flatbread:
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup Italian parsley
2 tablespoons water
1 tomato, seeded and chopped
1 cucumber, chopped
1 1/2- 2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
Salt and pepper, to taste
DIRECTIONS
 
For the Crust:

Preheat oven to 475°F.

In in small bowl, dissolve yeast in water with granulated sugar.  Let sit about 10 minutes, until foamy.  In a large bowl, combine flour and salt.  Pour dissolved yeast over flour.  Stir together with a wooden spoon until a soft dough forms.  On a lightly floured surface, knead dough for about 10 minutes.  Let sit in a warm place and rise for at least 45 minutes to 1 hour.  

For the Flatbread:

Place balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Bring to a boil and cook until thick a syrupy.  Keep warm.
In a food processor combine parsley and water.  Process until a chunky paste forms.  Set aside

Divide the pizza dough into 2 equal sized pieces.  Roll out to desired thinness.  Sprinkle about half of the parsley mixture on top of the flatbreads.  Sprinkle flatbread with salt and pepper.  Bake for 10-14 minutes, until golden brown.  Top warm crust with remaining parsley paste, strawberries, cucumbers, and tomatoes.  Drizzle balsamic sauce on top  Season with salt.  Top with crumbled goat cheese.

Serves 2-3.

 

 

Veggie Flatbread

 
 

What is the difference between a flatbread and a pizza?  Besides an extra $3 at most restaurants for a fancier name, I am not really sure.  In my mind, pizzas usually have a sauce base and cheese while flatbreads are often dressed in oil and vinaigrettes and don’t require cheese.  So I define this dinner as a flatbread.  Call it whatever you want- it will be delicious under any name.

This dish is inspired by a sandwich I tried in Lubbock within my first few days of moving.  After unpacking boxes, assembling furniture, and waiting on movers for two days, my parents and I were in need of a filling lunch that would be quick.  I ate the most amazing vegetarian sandwich at a deli nearby my apartment.  It was so delicious that we ate there again the next day. My parents left, I finally finished unpacking and started adjusting to my new life, but I could not stop thinking about that sandwich.

Since I am a poor student that is often too tried to change out of my PJs and get off my couch, I decided to replicate this dish at home.  I was a little skeptical that my version would not taste as good either due to my cooking ability or the fact that I was really hungry when I first ate the sandwich (and stressed, stressed eating is always a tricky memory).  But my worries were for nothing- this flatbread turned out DELICIOUS.  So delicious that I have eaten it many times, which is huge for me since I tend not to remake the same dinner often. Adding some chicken would be a great addition for those who need their meat.

It’s a vegetarian, filling, and unique flatbread.  Don’t wait- go make it now.

VEGGIE FLATBREAD
 
INGREDIENTS
For the Crust:
1 package active yeast
1/2 cup water, at 110°F
1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
 
For the Flatbread:
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 portobello mushrooms
Salt and pepper
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
2 carrots, chopped
3 ounces pimento stuffed green olives, sliced
Pinch of madran curry powder, to taste
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/2 cucumber, thinly sliced
Olive oil, for brushing
DIRECTIONS
 
For the Crust:

Preheat oven to 475°F.


In in small bowl, dissolve yeast in water with granulated sugar.  Let sit about 10 minutes, until foamy.  In a large bowl, combine flour and salt.  Pour dissolved yeast over flour.  Stir together with a wooden spoon until a soft dough forms.

On a lightly floured surface, knead dough for about 10 minutes.  Let sit in a warm place and rise for at least 45 minutes to 1 hour.

For the Flatbread:

Heat a large skillet over medium heat.  Add olive oil and mushrooms.  Season with salt and pepper and cook until tender, 5-6 minutes.  Add red onions and cook an additional 3-4 minutes.  Remove from pan and set aside.

Add carrots and olives to pan. Season with madran curry power and salt. Cook for 4-5 minutes and add sugar and white wine vinegar.  Cook for 3-4 minutes, until most of the vinegar has evaporated.  Add mushrooms and red onion to pan.  Toss and set aside.  Keep warm.

Prepare pizza stone or baking sheet.  Roll out dough to desired thickness.  Brush with olive oil and season with a pinch of salt.  Bake for 12-15 minutes, until the dough is golden brown.  Top baked dough with mushroom, onion, carrot, and olive topping.  Top with cucumber slices.  Cut into slices and devour.

Serves 2-3.

Pear and Sour Cream Pizza

It is no secret that I love some wacky pizza toppings (like blueberry jam).  Fruit especially is one of my favorite toppings.  While the pizza bakes, the fruit gets warm, soft, and sweeter than their raw counterpart, adding a great natural sweetness to any pizza (and I love me some sweetness with dinner).  This particular pizza focuses solely on that sweet factor with a sweetened sour cream, pears, currants, and nuts. Really, this is a dessert masquerading as dinner.

The combination of pear and the sour cream topping is ahhhhh-mazing.  Sweet sour cream may not sound like the most appetizing thing to put on top of your pizza, but trust me, it is delicious: sweet and tangy.  The pears get sweet and soft while you bake, and the currants add an extra bite of sweetness.  Although forgotten on this batch pictured above, nuts (walnuts or pecans- candied nuts even if you dare) add a great crunch.

Trust me when I say that you will want to make the entire pizza just for yourself.  You will eat it all and love it.  And you will love life because any life with pear and sour cream pizza in it is great.

PEAR AND SOUR CREAM PIZZA
Slightly Adapted from Heat Oven to 350


INGREDIENTS

For the Crust:
1 package active yeast
1/2 cup water, at 110°F
1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

For the Pizza:
1 pear, thinly sliced
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1/4 cup walnuts, pecans, or candied walnuts
1/4 cup currants

DIRECTIONS
For the Crust:
Preheat oven to 450°F.


In in small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water with granulated sugar.  Let sit about 10 minutes, until foamy.  In a large bowl, combine flour and salt.  Pour dissolved yeast over flour.  Stir together with a wooden spoon until a soft dough forms.

On a lightly floured surface, knead dough for about 10-15 minutes, until dough is soft and no longer sticky.  Transfer dough to an lightly oiled bowl.  Cover with a towel.  Let sit in a warm place and rise for at least 1 hour, until dough doubles in size
For the Pizza:

Prepare your pizza stone or baking sheet. Roll dough out to desired consistency.

In a small bowl, combine sour cream, honey, and brown sugar. Spread a layer of the sour cream topping on pizza dough, leaving an edge for the crust. Fold pear slices in half and place in an overlapping layer on top of sour cream mixture. Sprinkle lightly with salt. Sprinkle with currants and nuts on top. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until crust is golden brown, and the edges of the pears begin to brown.

Serves 2-3.

Pear and Blue Cheese Pizza

It’s no secret that I love pizza. Once upon a time, I was a cheese-only pizza girl.  On the rare occasion I’d add sausage or extra cheese if I was feeling particularly adventurous, but topping such as pineapple? Ham? Pesto? Fruit? No way.  Then, as I grew older, I found myself craving different types of toppings for my pizza.  Dare I say it, but I was slowly evolving into a foodie.

This pizza is inspired by the dish that I would label as my landmark meal for my transition into a foodie.  Having pears on pizza is something I would have never liked before, but I tell you it’s life changing.  The pears become soft and sweet after cooking, the blue cheese is salty, and the pecans add crunch.  And do not skip the arugula salad on top- it cuts through all the rich toppings and adds a nice depth to the flavor profile (look at me and my fancy food talk now!)

PEAR AND BLUE CHEESE PIZZA
From Cinnamon Freud, Inspired by The Cheesecake Factory
INGREDIENTS

For the Crust:
1 package active yeast
1/2 cup water, at 110°F
1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

For the Pizza

Salt and pepper
Olive oil
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1 pear, thinly sliced
1/3-1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles
Handful of arugula
Vinaigrette (such as Raspberry or Balsamic)
1/4-1/2 cup toasted pecan halves

DIRECTIONS

For the Crust:

Preheat oven to 475°F.

In in small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water, stirring in granulated sugar. Let sit about 10 minutes, until foamy. In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Pour dissolved yeast mixture over flour. Stir together with a wooden spoon until a soft dough forms.

On a lightly floured surface, knead dough for about 10 minutes. Let sit in a warm place and rise for at least 1 hour until doubled in size.

For the Pizza:

In a small pan over medium heat, cook red onion in a little olive oil (about 1/2 tablespoon) for 15-20 minutes, until slightly caramelized. Set aside and let cool slightly.

Prepare your pizza stone or baking sheet. Roll dough out to desired consistency. Brush crust with olive oil. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Spread pears in a single layer across pizza. Brush with lightly with olive oil. Spread onions and sprinkle blue cheese crumbles on top of pears. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until crust is golden brown and pears are cooked through. Meanwhile, toss arugula with vinaigrette (About 1-2 tablespoons). Remove pizza from oven an top with arugula salad and toasted pecans. Cut into slices and serve.

Serves 2-3.

Clam Pizza

Yes, clams on pizza.  It’s salty, cheesy, and delicious.  Don’t doubt me now, people, just try it!

Nothing more to say other than: YUM.

CLAM PIZZA
From Cinnamon Freud
INGREDIENTS
For the Crust:
1 package active yeast
1/2 cup water, at 110°F
1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
For the Tartar Sauce:
2 tablespoon mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Greek yogurt
1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 sweet pickle, chopped
1 tablespoon minced shallot
Salt and pepper
For the Pizza:
6 ounces canned clams, drained
2-3 ounces Fontina cheese, sliced
1/4 cup chopped sweet onion
Garlic  powder
2 scallions, chopped
DIRECTIONS
For the Crust:
Preheat oven to 475°F.


In in small bowl, dissolve yeast in water with granulated sugar.  Let sit about 10 minutes, until foamy.  In a large bowl, combine flour and salt.  Pour dissolved yeast over flour.  Stir together with a wooden spoon until a soft dough forms.

On a lightly floured surface, knead dough for about 10 minutes.  Let sit in a warm place and rise for at least 1 hour.
For the Tartar Sauce:
In a bowl, combine mayonaise, yogurt, mustard, pickel, and shallot.  Season with salt and pepper and stir together.  Let chill for at least 30 minutes (great to have sit while the pizza dough is rising).For the pizza:
Prepare your pizza stone or baking sheet.  Roll dough out to desired consistency. Spread tartar sauce over the base of your pizza, leaving a border for the crust.  Top with clams, cheese, and sweet onion.  Season with garlic powder and salt and pepper.  Bake for 10-15 minutes, until crust is golden brown and cheese is melted.  Top with scallions.

Serves 2-3.

Eggplant Calzone

This is not delivery, nor is it DiGiorno.  It’s better- much better.  Homemade pizza is so much better than your local chain delivery or your store bought frozen pizza.  Now, those pizzas are a perfect fix when you need a quick, easy meal, but when you have a little more time, homemade pizza is completely worth the extra effort.
Homemade pizza is not hard at all, just requires a little waiting often for your crust.  A homemade calzone only involves one additional step: fold your pizza dough over your toppings.  And instead of putting your pizza sauce inside, you use it as a dipping sauce.  Eggplant is a perfect filling for calzones: it’s soft and tender.  And if you eat your vegetable for dinner, it’s a perfect justification to eat a lot of cheese.
EGGPLANT CALZONE
From Cinnamon Freud
INGREDIENTS
For the Dough:
1/2 cup water, 110°F
1 package active yeast
1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
For the Tomato Sauce:
3/4 cup tomato sauce
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
For the Calzone:
1 medium eggplant, sliced
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup ricotta cheese
2 ounces fresh mozzarella
Italian herbs
INGREDIENTS
For the Dough:
In a bowl, combine water, yeast, and sugar.  Stir together.  Let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes.
In a separate bowl, combine flour and salt.  Pour yeast mixture over top and stir together with a wooden spoon until a soft dough forms.  Transfer dough on to a lightly floured cutting board.  Knead until soft and elastic, about 10-15 minutes.  Divide dough into two pieces. Let rise in a warm place until approximately doubled in size.
For the Tomato Sauce:
In a saucepan combine tomato sauce, granulated sugar, oregano, and basil.  Bring to a boil over medium heat.  Reduce heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes, until sauce is thickened.  Set aside and keep warm.
For the Calzone:
Preheat oven to 475°F.
Layer your eggplant in a single layer on paper towel.  Sprinkle liberally with salt and let stand for at least 20 minutes.  Wipe away the excess moisture.  Chop into bite-size pieces.  Toss with olive oil and spread in single layer on a baking sheet.  Bake for 10-20 minutes (will vary depending on the size of your eggplant), until cooked through and tender.  Set aside.
Prepare your pizza stone or baking sheet.  Roll dough out.  Spread ricotta cheese on half of the pizza, leaving a border at the edge.  Sprinkle eggplant and mozzarella on top.  Season with salt and pepper.  Carefully fold your pizza dough on top of your filling and roll the edges up to seal.  Brush the outside with olive oil and sprinkle Italian seasonings on top.  Bake for 15-18 minutes, until golden brown.  Serve with tomato sauce
Makes 2 calzones.