23 March 2008

Taste & Create: Finger Licking Food

I decided to sign up for this month's Taste & Create event, and I was paired up with blogger Finger Licking Food. I had some trepidation when I noticed that a lot of the recipes were Indian, because of the whole ingredient-finding qualm and my lack of a car, but then I noticed a recipe for pizza! I've been wanting to make my own pizza dough for some time now, so I tried it. I used her idea for Mini Pizzas, though I chose my own toppings. I also invited a friend over, so I'm not entirely sure I could do the kneading on my own. Hmm.

First, I did a little special prep because I wanted caramelised onion on one of my pizzas. I used two big sweet onions and sliced them into very thin rings, then melted 2 T butter into 1 T olive oil over medium heat. The onions pile up very high in the pan, but they do reduce a ton, so it's not a big deal. Add a wee bit of salt and pepper, and keep stirring them around, getting them all nice and coated, for about five minutes or until they're starting to soften and reduce. Then add a couple of scant teaspoons of sugar to the pan, stir it all around, and cook about twenty minutes, stirring every now and again and scraping the pan, especially if it's not non-stick. Your onions should have a nice caramel colour like this when they're ready to go.

I'm not a hundred percent sure about this dough, but it was pretty good for a first attempt. It's more like a flatbread than a pizza I think, and I might like a pizza crust that's either a little chewier or super thin and crispy. I do like, however, that you can use the food processor at first, so you only have to knead a few minutes. The recipe for the dough can be found linked on the blog post above, and I followed it more-or-less. I have a small Cusinart, so I started with only a cup of flour, pulsed a bit, added another cup, and then just scraped the (very sticky) dough out onto my surface to add the rest of the flour by hand while kneading. Here you can see Liz's awesome kneading technique.

I preferred to roll mine out quite thin, though they did puff up a little in the oven. We were able to bake four at a time, on two cookie sheets. Above you see Liz's pineapple pizza, which she deemed quite tasty. I am not a tomato sauce lady, so I went with several sauceless versions. Pictured are the caramelised onion pizza with olive oil base and pizza cheese on top, and my tomato basil pizza (olive oil, minced garlic, four peppers goat cheese, chopped tomato, lots of fresh basil, and pizza cheese). I also did a pizza with ranch dressing as a base, thawed spinach, pineapple, a bit of caramelised onion, and cheese, which was quite good.

The Bottom Line

Taste: ***
Appearance: ***
Ease: **
Cost: $$$
Overall: ***

3 comments:

LisaRene said...

Caramelized onion pizza would be the best! Homemade pizza is such fun and having a friend over to prepare it with you makes it even better. I love the creativity in that the topping possibilities are endless.

nicisme said...

That looks mighty good! Great toppings.
I really love this event, seeing what everyone chooses.

Judith said...

Lisa - It is sooo tasty. One of the best things about homemade pizza I think is not having to deal with the *very* limited vegetarian options at local delivery spots. This town doesn't have any "gourmet" pizza joints, which is a shame. Anyway, now I have a pizza stone, even, so I'm completely in business!

Nicisme - It is a great idea. I use fellow bloggers' recipes fairly frequently, but this is a good chance to visit blogs I don't normally read.