Gorgonzola Chicken Pizza with Shaved Brussel Sprouts and Sun-dried Tomatoes

I was craving pizza and I knew it was an activity that my kid would enjoy. So, I grabbed a bunch of ingredients and surprised him after his summer program. He made a pepperoni pizza. I made a pizza topped with chopped chicken, shredded Brussel sprouts, gorgonzola, sun-dried tomatoes and a balsamic reduction. It is SO good.

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I contemplated buying pizza dough but I wound up making the dough as I usually do. I amped it up by seasoning the dough with garlic and herbs. A nice béchamel serves as the perfect anchor for the cheese and toppings.

 

Pizza Dough:

 

  • 4 cups of flour
  • 2 packets of yeast (I use Hodgson Mill Fast Rise Yeast)
  • 1 ½ c warm water
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp Italian herbs
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ olive oil

Pizza:

For a medium (thick) white sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • Season to taste with salt, pepper, garlic and Italian herbs

 

Toppings:

  • 2-4 shaved Brussel sprouts (I use a mandolin slicer)
  • 4-6 sliced grape tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp of sundried tomatoes, sliced
  • 2 chicken thighs, sautéed and chopped
  • Generous handful (to taste) mozzarella
  • Handful (to taste) italian blend cheese
  • 1/4c to 1/2c of gorgonzola
  • Balsamic
  • Olive oil to coat the crust

 

Directions:

  1. Prepare your dough
  2. Proof your yeast with the warm water
  3. Add the seasonings and oilpiz
  4. Slowly add the flour
  5. The dough will be a little sticky but your fingers should be mostly clean to the touch
  6. Knead once or twice then add to a greased bowl and top with a greased plastic wrappiz2
  7. Allow to rise for about an hourpiz4
  8. Preheat your oven to 500 degrees F
  9. Punch it down and knead once or twice
  10. You can use it all or divide, the recipe yields about 2lbs of dough (I used half for my pizza and half for my son’s)
  11. Roll out your dough and spread it in an ungreased cast iron skillet, pizza stone or cast iron griddle
  12. Use a fork to puncture the center of the dough, leave at least ½” space for your “crust”piz3
  13. Bake for about 5 minutes, or until the crust starts to rise then remove

 

For pizza:

  1. Slice your chicken and cook it on high heat, season with salt and pepper
  2. Remove from heat to rest
  3. Slice your Brussel sprouts, tomatoes and sun-dried tomatoespizz
  4. In a small pot, melt your butter and add flour
  5. Add milk and whisk to remove lumps
  6. Season to your preference

 

  1. Spread the white sauce on your doughpiz5
  2. Top with some cheese
  3. Top with tomatoes and Brussel sprouts
  4. Top with chicken and sundried tomatoes
  5. Top with cheese
  6. Brush crust with olive oilpiz6piz7
  7. Put back into oven until its bubbling and the crust is brown

 

  1. In a small pot, bring a few tablespoons of balsamic vinegar to a boil
  2. Add a half tsp of sugar and stir
  3. Bring to a simmer until it coats the back of a spoon
  4. Remove from heat! (Overdone balsamic reduction is no good. Trust me!)
  5. Remove your pizza from the oven
  6. Drizzle with the balsamic reduction

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© 2018 by Alexa Mason. All Rights Reserved

Zucchini Ricotta Pizza with Shaved Brussel Sprouts, Tomato and Feta

This pizza is packed with veggies, herbs and several different kinds of cheeses. You can find a simple pizza dough recipe here. If you have a pizza stone, by all means use that. I do not have one so I tend to just use my cast iron griddle and cast iron pans to make my pizzas.

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Please be careful as there is a lot of putting in and taking out of the oven. You need to move pretty fast once you start the baking process so I strongly recommend prepping everything before you begin.

 

Balsamic reduction is a favorite of mine when it comes to tomatoes and Brussel sprouts, so I whipped up a small amount to drizzle over the pizza. That seriously took the whole dish to the next level. You can adapt this to use up whatever veg you have on hand. Season and adjust ingredients to suit your taste! At the base, it’s a simple dough and a simple ricotta mixture, feel free to customize and build upon it.

 

Ingredients:

 

Simple Pizza Dough

Ricotta Cheese

Milk

Parmesan

Italian Cheese Blend

Feta Cheese

Garlic cloves

Mint

Basil

Salt

Pepper

Olive oil

Thinly sliced, or shaved Brussel sprouts

Shaved zuchinni

Sliced tomato

Balsamic vinaigrette

Sugar

 

Directions:

 

  1. Preheat your cast iron (or pizza stone) in the oven at 500 degrees
  2. Slice and shave your vegetables
  3. In a small bowl, mix the shaved brussels with a little bit of oil (and s&p)
  4. In another small bowl, toss the zuchinni with a little bit of oil (and s&p)
  5. Slice tomatoes, set aside.pizza4

  6. In a small bowl, mix ricotta, herbs, salt, pepper, parmesan and grate fresh garlic into the mixture.pizzapizza2
  7. Slowly add milk a bit at a time and whisk until it is smooth and spreadable
  • Taste and adjust seasonings (including herbs) to suit your taste.
  • I used a fair amount of dried herbs in this. You can absolutely use fresh if you have them on hand.
    • Set aside.pizza3

  1. Prepare your dough.pizzadough4pizza5
  2. Roll out the dough to suit your baking vehicle (cast iron skillet, griddle, pizza stone, etc).
  3. Carefully remove baking vehicle from the oven, sprinkle with flour or corn meal.
  4. Carefully place your dough onto it.
  5. If you have ‘extra’ dough hanging, carefully roll it up and make a ‘border’ and brush it with oil
  6. Gently pierce the bottom of the dough with a fork to ensure it doesn’t bubble up too much when in the oven.pizza6
  7. Pre-bake the dough for about 3-4 minutes.

  1. Remove from oven.
  2. Spread ricotta mixture and make sure you leave about ½” space
  3. Sprinkle a bit of the shredded cheese
  4. Arrange the zucchinipizza17pizza15
  5. Bake for about 5 minutes

  1. Remove from oven.
  2. Sprinkle more cheese.
  3. Arrange tomatoes and distribute the shredded Brussel sproutspizza16
  4. Bake for about 5-10 minutes.

For simple balsamic reduction:

  • Pour about a quarter cup of balsamic vinegar into a pot over medium heat
  • Add about 2 tsp of sugar
  • Whisk to combine
  • Bring to a boil and then reduce heat
  • The liquid will reduce and coat the back of a spoon)

  1. Remove from the oven, sprinkle feta.pizza13pizza12
  2. Turn on broiler and broil until crust browns a bit. Be careful. Your pizza will burn. And you will cry.2pizza11pizza10

  1. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
  2. Drizzle with reduction and enjoy!

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© 2017 by Alexa Mason. All Rights Reserved

Simple Pizza Dough

When I was younger I lived in Long Island, NY. We had amazing pizzerias. I have fond memories of walking to the pizzeria and asking for a little bit of dough to play with. When I began cooking, I was queen of the Semi Homemade. I’d try store bought dough that came in the canister like biscuits (bleh). I’d tried a certain powder dough mix that came in a bag (also bleh). Occasionally I’ve lucked up on bagged fresh dough at the supermarket and that’s not too bad. I’ve come to prefer homemade dough. There’s nothing like the smell of fresh dough in the kitchen.

 

It’s easy to make and it yields enough for two smedium pizzas or several calzones or a shit ton of garlic knots. You can make this recipe ahead of time and store the dough in the freezer. Simply thaw it overnight in the fridge and you’re ready to go when it’s time to cook. Or you can use it straight away as I did this evening.

 

Ingredients:

 

3-4 Cups of AP flour

1 ½ tsp salt

3 tbsp of olive oil (plus extra for brushing)

1 tbsp of sugar

1 pack of fast rise yeast (2.5 tsp)

1 1/3 cups of very warm water

 

Directions:

 

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees F and turn it off.

 

  1. In the bowl of your mixing bowl, dissolve the sugar and the warm water.
  2. Add the yeast.pizzadough
  3. Allow it to proof for about 10 minutes. It will become frothy and fragrant.
    • If nothing happens, you’re yeast is dead. Scrap it and try again.

 

  1. Combine the flour and salt.

 

  1. In your mixing bowl attach your hook attachment, add the oil and turn the mixer on low.
  2. Carefully add your flour+salt mixture.

 

  1. Mix on low until combined well.

 

  1. If the dough is sticky add flour one tbsp a time. If you touch it, it should spring back without sticking to your fingers.

 

  1. Beat for 5 minutes on medium-low

 

  1. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for about a minute.

 

  1. Form into a bowl.

 

  1. Oil a bowl, place ball into bowl. Turn so it is coated in oil.

 

  1. Cover tightly with plastic wrap.

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  1. Place in oven (make sure you have turned it off after it preheated to 200). Keep the door ajar.

 

  1. Allow to rise for about 30 minutes then punch it down.pizzadough3
  2. Place back in oven and allow to rise until it is doubled in size.pizzadough4
  1. You can portion this for freezing, use right away or both.
  • If you’re going to freeze, carefully and tightly wrap in plastic wrap and store in a ziplock bag for up to a month.