Friday, November 27, 2009

Taking Some Pizza For a Spin

In July we had our annual family BBQ party at my parents' cottage. It being a potluck affair, I was expected to bring some sort of food item. They didn't have to twist my arm. However, I was faced with the problem of cooking something that was different than my previous summer offerings. I talked it over with Dar, and originally thought about making some sort of pinwheel sandwich but wasn't terrifically enthused until I thought about making pinwheel PIZZA sammies. I checked the internet for recipes, but was only really concerned about how hot to have the oven and how long to cook the little suckers. Turns out, the general consensus is 400F (205C) for 15 minutes. OK.

Now for the toppings. I decided to keep them vegetarian as I have some family members who are veggie, and it just makes it simpler. This of course meant - no bacon. Oh well, there'll be other times and other pizzas...

...what was I saying? Oh yeah, the toppings.

I first sauteed some sweet red peppers and red onions in some olive oil and crushed garlic. Gotta have the garlic. While they were cooling, I tackled the pizza dough.

I actually went to the trouble of buying a couple of balls of pizza dough instead of going with my first instinct - easy-peasy Pillsbury all-you've-gotta-do-is-unroll-it pizza dough. But NOOOOOOO.... I had to get 'authentic'. Not a mistake I'll make again. If I ever use real spin-it-around-your-head-while-trying-not-to-hit-yourself-in-the-face pizza dough, it'll be because I made it from scratch.


I mixed the two balls of dough together, and finally wrestled them into some semblage of a pizza crust and placed it on my plastic wrap-covered upside-down baking sheet. The plastic wrap is supposed to make the rolling up part 'easier'. We'll see.

After spreading a mixture of cream cheese and pesto on the pizza crust, I added some nice black olive tapenade, and then the cooled veggies.

On top of that, I added (as it turned out, not quite enough) shredded cheese then took a step back and thought over how I was going to tackle rolling up this squidgy, gooey yummy thing.

Turns out, it's a lot like rolling up a sleeping bag. You've got to keep tucking in the middle of the roll to keep it aligned with the outside edges as you roll the thing up. Plus, you've got to be careful that you don't tear the dough. D'oh!

So, OK. I got it rolled up and fully wrapped in the plastic, and it looked like this:

Nice, right? I thought so. In to the freezer it went, and there it stayed overnight. Why, you ask? Well, let me ask you this - have you ever tried to slice room-temperature raw pizza dough? I bet you haven't, or if you have you know that you just end up with a pile of yucchh on the table. Slicing it when frozen is so much easier.

After that, it was into the 450F oven for 15 minutes, or until the cheese started to bubble. These can be served hot or cold, and they taste fantastic. Next time though, I'll use a lot more cheese, because they tended to fall apart pretty easily.