Three Pizzas

Potato, bacon, cheddar, roasted garlic and sage better than a baked potato pizza

Yams, onions, potatoes, winter squash, kale, chard, beets, and mushrooms are all excellent winter veggies. Its even possible to get some of these winter garden foods at the farmer's markets around New York City. I know, because I've been eating them all winter. I needed a break from winter and with my favorite mid-winter holiday upon us, the Super Bowl, I decided I would make pizzas. Even if the fresh stuff isn't around cheese, olives, artichokes, garlic, meat, canned tomato sauce are all excellent toppings which can be locally sourced. Baking pizza in a hot oven is appealing in winter, and gruesome in the summer.

I used the crust recipe from Serious Eats because they suggest techniques I've tried, but in different proportions. I think the Serious Eats is a keeper. Mine has too much yeast, and theirs has more flavor with sugar and salt. The recipe makes 3 medium pizzas that would happily feed 2-3 people each. Dress them up how you like. My potato, bacon, cheddar, roasted garlic and sage pizza (pictured up top) KILLED!

Potato, Bacon, Cheddar, Roasted Garlic and Sage Pizza
1/3 recipe pizza crust here
1 head roasted garlic
1/2 cup olive oil
6-8 torn sage leaves, divided
salt and pepper
4 pieces of bacon
4 small russet potatoes
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon white wine
1 tsp cornmeal
6 oz sharp white cheddar, sliced thin or grated

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Cut the top of the garlic head and place in a small oven proof bowl or ramekin. Cover with oil, add salt and pepper and a few pieces of sage leaf. Cover with foil and let roast for 60-90 minutes. Flip garlic head over half-way. Cook until garlic cloves are soft. Remove from oven and let cool. Can be made up to 4 days in advance.

Meanwhile cook bacon in a skillet until browned. Do not cook until crispy. The bacon will crisp up in the oven. Reserve 1 tblsp bacon fat.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Slice potatoes 1 cm thick by hand or on a mandolin. Place in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover with water and wine plus reserved bacon fat. Bake in oven for 20-30 minutes until soft and golden brown.

Assemble your pizza. Crank the oven to 450 degrees. Pull your dough out to a 12x9 inch rectangle or whatever shape you can manage. I find that after you pull the dough it snaps back. If you let it rest for 30 seconds it will stretch a bit farther then the previous. Be patient when working the dough. Place dough onto a baking sheet which has been sprinkled with cornmeal.

Squeeze the cloves out of the roasted garlic head. Gently rub onto dough with some of the garlic oil. Cover with a layer of cheddar, followed by potatoes. Sprinkle sage and bacon on top. Follow with a drizzle of garlic oil. Place in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until the bottom of the crust is brown. Remove and cool. Cut up and serve warm. Salad, wine, beer, hockey, football, music all go great with pizza.



Olive and Artichoke Heart Pizza
1/3 recipe pizza crust here
1 tsp cornmeal
1/2 cup tomato jarred sauce
6 oz fontina cheese, sliced or grated fine
15 kalamata olives, pitted
10 preserved artichoke hearts
(canned, jarred are fine, but also look for them at your deli near the olives so you don't have to buy more than you need)
olive oil

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Shape dough into a 12-14 inch circle, as above. Place on a baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal. Spoon an even layer of tomato sauce over the crust. Cover with a layer of cheese. Top with olives and artichokes. Drizzle with olive oil. Bake for 20-25 minutes until bottom is browned. Serve warm. This one pairs with white wine.



Turkey Meatball Pizza

1 small onion finely chopped
1 tblsp olive oil
1/2 bunch parsley finely chopped
1 tsp milk
1/3 cup bread crumbs
pinch of red pepper
1/4 tsp allspice
1 egg
1/2 lb ground turkey

1/3 recipe pizza crust here
1 tsp corn meal
1/2 cup tomato jarred sauce
6 oz fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced into rounds
2-3 torn sage leaves
1 tblsp grated Parmesan cheese

Make meatballs first. Preheat oven to 35o degrees. Saute onion and olive oil in a pan over medium heat until translucent. Turn off heat and stir in parsley, bread crumbs, milk, and seasonings until clumpy. Let cool 10 minutes and mix in turkey and egg until evenly combine. Shape into 1/4 - 1/2 inch clumps on a baking sheet leaving an inch in between. Bake for 15 minutes until cooked through and browned. Can be made 3 days in advance.

Assemble the pizza. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Shape dough into a 12-14 inch circle, as above. Place on a baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal. Spoon an even layer of tomato sauce over the crust. Cover with mozzarella rounds. No need to overlap, they will spread when cooked. Top with meatballs. Sprinkle with sage and Parmesan. Bake for 20-25 minutes until bottom is browned. Serve warm.



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