Wednesday, July 6, 2011

American Geek Mom's Recipe Box #2

Like many Americans, I love pizza.  If it didn't love my midsection quite so much, I could probably eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  OK, maybe not that often, but you get the idea.  In my opinion, pizza is the perfect food because it is so versatile.  You can create dozens of flavor combinations and it is all neatly packaged on a crisp bed of crust.  Whether you are a vegetarian, meat lover, or anything in between, pizza is an easy meal to prepare for any gathering.  Of course, there are the classics: Pepperoni and Cheese, Peppers and Mushrooms, Ham and Pineapple, but why not get creative?  Here is my gourmet take on a classic pizza and game night.

Barbequed Eggplant, Red Onion, Kielbasa, and Goat Cheese Pizza
(For a Vegetarian Version simply omit the Kielbasa)

You will need:
1/2 small eggplant (cut into rounds and quartered)
1/2 small red onion (sliced into thin rings)
1 cup kielbasa (halved and sliced)
4 oz. goat cheese (crumbled)
1/2 cup mozarella (shredded)
1/2 cup your favorite barbeque sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbs. butter
1 ready made pizza dough or try my handmade dough (see below)

Saute eggplant, red onion, and kielbasa with butter and brown sugar over medium heat until it begins to caramelize.  Remove from heat and drain.  Preheat oven to 425 F.  Stretch crust into a 14-16" round and place on a pizza sheet or stone.  Add barbeque sauce and spread evenly over crust.  Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.  Spread the caramelized mixture evenly over the crust and sprinkle with goat cheese.  Bake in oven for 10-12 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.  Let cool and serve. 

"Hand-made" Bread Machine Pizza Crust
1 cup water  
1 tablespoon olive oil  
3/4 teaspoon salt 
2 cups bread flour  
2 teaspoons sugar  
1 teaspoon quick-acting active dry yeast (for bread machines) 
2 teaspoons pizza seasoning (basil, oregano & parsley)
cornmeal for dusting

Add all ingredients except cornmeal to bread machine and set on "dough."  After the cycle is completed, lightly coat dough ball with flour and roll or stretch to desired size.  You can sprinkle some cornmeal onto the pizza stone to prevent sticking.  Add toppings as above.

This is by far one of my favorite flavor combinations.  It's sweet, melts in your mouth, and unique.  Give it a try during your next family game night and let me know how it turns out!

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