Monday, October 5, 2009

FUN dinner for a fall night

pear & gorgonzola pizza

I've been making this pizza for a few months now and can't stop thinking about it. If you know John, you know he deems some foods "fun" and others "sad". For example, if I made a pot roast with vegetables and mashed potatoes on a Saturday night, he would want to cry. Not that I ever made pot roast, but just an example. Most things would be considered sad, actually. Anyway, it mostly has to do with the day of the week. I can't make a "sad meal" on a Thursday, Friday, Saturday, or Sunday night. And now John is gone every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday night, so do the math. I must come up with 100% fun meals 100% of the time. Anything in the pizza or Mexican family is fun. That's pretty much it though. So I have made about 237 varieties of tacos, quesadillas, and the like. I make pizza a lot too, and our old standby used to be one that we tried to copy from one of our old favorite restaurants from when we lived intown (pre-kids), called fritti. Theirs, called pancetta e cipolla, is with carmelized onions, pancetta, and hot pepper flakes. So perfect in every way. Mine was carmelized onions, ham (pancetta is obviously way better, but I use ham to keep the calories down), and hot pepper flakes. It's super good and I highly recommend you try this sometime. Let me know if you want more details on how to make. Now that's what brings me to my point here. I have made that ham and carmelized onion pizza probably about 100 times. But then I discovered my true pizza love...pear & gorgonzola pizza.


This one I copied from California Pizza Kitchen. Every time I make pizza now I want to make this one. I love my fritti knockoff, but it does not compare to this. This is probably a bizarre combination to many people, but you must try. Here's what I do:

Carmelize a red onion. Start with a small red onion or half of a large one (or whatever you like...I like onions so I might use more). Cut the onion in half and then slice it into half-rounds. Throw it into a pan with a little olive oil and about a half teaspoon brown sugar and cook it on very low until it's all sweet and perfect, about 45 minutes (I know, that's a long time, but just plan ahead. Sometimes I do this in the afternoon so it's ready).

Roll fresh dough out to desired size and bake on pizza stone preheated to 500 degrees for about 5 minutes, or until it just starts to brown on top. If you don't have a pizza stone, that's OK...just do it on a round pan. You'll have to prick the top with a fork all over about 2 minutes after it goes in. You could do this before it goes in, but I don't like to because it screws up the shape of the dough that I just spent 5 minutes rolling out.

While the dough's in the oven, get the pears ready. I use 2-3 pears...peel them, core them, slice them. The onions should be done, so take them out of the pan and set aside. Use the same pan for the pears, just throw a pat of butter in there, melt it on medium and then cook the pears until soft, flipping them over once. You probably don't have to use the butter, but c'mon people........this is Saturday night! You didn't get to go out because you have two little gremlins up in have some fun here! the dough is out and has had some time to cool. You could brush it with a little olive oil around the outside crust, but I don't always do this. Cover with mozzarella cheese (half the amount you want to use), then cover evenly with the pears, onions, & the other half of your cheese. Now sprinkle it with some chopped walnuts or hazelnuts. Oh my gosh.

Put it in the oven for about 10 minutes. Watch it closely, I don't want to be responsible for all your chopping, slicing, rolling, carmelizing, and assembling coming to a blackened, fiery end. Mine is usually in there about 10 minutes, but that's at 500 it's hot in there.

When it comes out, it looks like this:

pear & gorgonzola pizza, fresh from oven

Then, you toss some field greens (or some people call this spring mix?) with a little bit of blue cheese dressing (!!!) and throw it on top of the pizza. I use Ken's light. You probably don't have to do this if lettuce on pizza is just too weird for you, but if you're making a pear pizza to begin with you might as well just go with it. Sprinkle evenly with crumbled gorgonzola cheese.

pear & gorgonzola pizza

And there you go. Heaven on a plate on a Saturday night (or a Thursday, Friday, or Sunday, but definitely not a Monday). Let me know if you make this and how you like it. Just remember to have a cocktail while you're making and eating it. And you can definitely come over and I will make it for you so you don't have to do any of this. Because then I get to have some too. But poor John, well...he'll have to have fish sticks.


Meredith said...

Definitely want to know how to make the other pizza too!! both sound delish (minus the bleu cheese dressing on the lettuce on the pear pizza... wonder how ranch would work? hmmm) EMAIL ME directions for the other puh-lease!!!

Heather said...

YES...they are both great! I just emailed you with the directions for the fritti ham/carmelized onions pizza. ENJOY!

Anonymous said...

Those sound sooo good! I love pear and gorgonzola salads so the pizza sounds heavenly!
These will be great Fall recipes, I think Eric is pretty tired of mine so I am trying to expand my box a little bit :)
PS Fritti is one of our favs too!

Anonymous said...

Sorry, that last comment was from me, I forgot to put my name.