It has obviously been too long since I last posted (a few days-the horror!) and I am ready to be back on track! I can hardly believe I only have a semester left of graduate school, but I am so happy to be done for the semester and ready to enjoy what Will and I like to call “normal life.” Normal life involves me doing more cooking, catching up on many TV shows we’ve gotten behind on (30 Rock and SNL, get at me), practicing more clarinet, working, and cuddling more often with a certain kitty who is currently snuggled up, purring and snoozing in my lap. So with a glass of wine nearby and Oscar in my lap, it is time to catch up on blogging!
I just started reading a new book called Will Write for Food that I am hoping will assist me in bettering my food blogging skills. After a few pages, I already know some things I need to improve, as in not all food can be described as “yummy” or “delicious.” Terms like “savory” and “mouth-watering” are much more appropriate for what I’m trying to achieve. Also, after visiting north Georgia wine country this weekend I’m also contemplating a future wine blog upon returning to Virginia…we’ll see what this book has to say about running multiple hobby blogs!
Anywho, this first post back on schedule had to be about the mouth-watering (see what I did there?) caramelized onion and mushroom pizza we enjoyed about a week ago. It’s a new recipe on Budget Bytes and the second it popped up on my Facebook feed, I knew I had to make it and that it had to be immediately. See, what’s funny about this is that neither Will nor I liked mushrooms as kids. I actually kind of vehemently hated the sight of them. And Will didn’t even like onions as a kid-me? I have always loved them. But to combine these two veggies as the source of the pizza and make both of our mouths water at the sight of it the recipe title online? Miracles happen folks. Miracles happen.
Cooking Notes: We already had dough sitting in the freezer from the last time we made pizza, so we skipped that step. However my behind-schedule butt has never typed up the Budget Bytes pizza dough recipe, so I will include this version of it here! We also scaled back a bit on the onions and mushrooms since our pizza dough piece was a little smaller than it should have been, but per usual, the full recipe is included below! We also typically bake our pizzas at 450 instead of 500 degrees.
Caramelized Onion and Mushroom Pizza (adapted from Budget Bytes; serves 2 with 2 pieces each)
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp instant yeast
about 3/4 cup water
3 small yellow onions
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt & pepper, to taste
8 oz. button mushrooms
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1 cup shredded mozzarella
A handful, fresh parsley
1 tbsp butter
1 clove garlic
4 oz. cream cheese
1/2 cup milk
1/4 tsp salt
First things first: the night before, combine the flour, salt and yeast in a bowl. Stir to combine. Add just enough water to make the mixture form a ball of dough with no dry flour left on the bottom of the bowl. This will be around 3/4 cup of water. Loosely cover the bowl and allow the dough to rest at room temperature for 12-18 hours.
The next day, about an hour and a half before you plan to eat, thinly slice three small (or 2 medium/large) yellow onions. Saute the onions in a skillet over medium-low heat with 2 tbsp of olive oil for about 45 minutes, stirring the mixture every 2-3 minutes. The end result should be deep golden brown, soft, sweet onions. Definitely take the time to slow-cook the onions to caramelize-it is worth it! Also, if you’re using premade dough from the freezer, take it out now to start thawing.
While the onions are cooking, slice the mushrooms. Take the caramelized onions out of the skillet and add the mushrooms, along with a pinch of S&P and dried thyme. There should be some residual oil in the skillet to cook the mushrooms-if not, add a bit more. Cook the mushrooms until all of the moisture has evaporated away (approximately 10 minutes over medium heat).
While the mushrooms cook, prepare the cream sauce. Mince a clove of garlic and add it to a small sauce pot with 1 tbsp of butter. Saute over medium heat until softened (a couple minutes). Next, add the cream cheese, milk, and 1/4 tsp of salt. Heat and whisk until a smooth sauce forms (about 5 minutes).
Adjust the rack in your oven to its highest position and begin the preheat to 500 degrees (we usually do ours a little longer at 450). The dough at this point should be at least double in volume and very bubbly. Sprinkle it generously with flour and then scrape it out of the bowl and onto a floured surface. Pat the dough down into a circle about ten inches in diameter. Transfer the dough to a large (16-inch) pizza pan that has been coated with non-stick spray and stretch it the rest of the way out to the edges of the pan. Spread the sauce over the surface of the dough. Sprinkle the caramelized onions and sauteed mushrooms over top. Finally, add the shredded mozzarella. Bake the pizza in a fully preheated oven for 12-15 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley after baking (which we forgot).