Jessica's Jottings:

On faith, food, family and frugality

Pizza! Pizza!

on June 3, 2011
My, oh my, what a tasty pizza pie!

My, oh my, what a tasty pizza pie!

(To the tune of “The Brady Bunch” theme song)
It’s the story of a store named Sav-Mor
And the portobellos that Sav-Mor had on sale
They were lovely and they needed eating
So I bought them and now have a Pizza Tale
A pizza tale! A pizza tale!
I marinated these portobellos for a pizza tale.
Yes, it’s corny. These are the types of things that pop into my slighty bizarre cranium. Have I mentioned that my husband knows this and still loves me? 😀  😀  😀
 So…I’ve gotten really, really bad about not having anything resembling a monthly menu plan over the last few months.
I know, I know…I’ll get better about it. It’s June 2 and I thought about doing a meal plan a few days ago. That counts for something, doesn’t it?
All too frequently, dinner isn’t thought of until, oh, 4:30 – 5. And, yeah…it’s kind of hard to do anything more elaborate than the dinner of champions: peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
I kid, I kid. We had that for lunch. (And, the West Swain 4-H club’s strawberry jelly is amazing!)
Pizza. Pizza is the dinner of champions. Especially if it’s homemade…no preservatives, no sugar, nothing goes in that bad boy except what you put into it. (Control freak much?) 😀
 Also, making pizza can be a family activity. My girls come running when it’s time to press out the pizza dough. 🙂
The rising pizza crust

The rising pizza crust

So…let’s get started on how to make an amazing pizza!
 Step One: Ze Crust
 I’ve been maintaining a sourdough starter for the last couple of months, primarily out of sheer stubbornness. My family doesn’t like the sourdough pancakes I tried, they’ll maybe eat the Honey Whole Wheat bread, and the last pizza crust recipe was a bust.
So, it was with great relief that I found a Sourdough Pizza Crust Recipe on the GNOWFGLINS website. Even better? It’s an easy recipe. Four ingredients, five to seven minutes and then nothing for a couple of hours during the rise time…my kind of recipe!
Now…I do personalize my dough. Those specks that you see are a little bit of dried basil and oregano that I added at the beginning, during the kneading process. I like my pizza savory – the more herbs, the better. At this point, though, maybe 1/8 – 1/4 tsp. of each. We’ll add more later. 🙂
Cover your dough, set it in a warm place and prepare for…
Step Two: Portobello Marinade
And, here’s where we come back to our Pizza Tale theme song. Catchy, isn’t it?
$0.99 for a perfectly good package of pre-sliced portobellos? Yes, please!
While Nathan was in Alabama helping with tornado recovery, I had made the Vegetarian Times recipe, “White Pizza with Broccoli and Mushrooms” as my first test of the sourdough crust linked above.
However, it was so tasty that there was none left for him when he got back. So…as Sav-Mor also had broccoli for $0.99/package, I thought I’d make him a special one. Enter the Portobello Mushroom Burger Marinade.
Confession: I didn’t follow the recipe exactly. I guestimated on ingredients. I layered the mushrooms in a small tupperware style container, pouring a little balsalmic vinegar over each layer. Then, after I looked at the recipe again, I added the various ingredients (oil and spices) on top of the shrooms, put the lid on and flipped it over and back several times. I also left them to marinate for about 45 minutes to an hour, flipping and shaking it every time I came near it. (Make sure the lid fits tightly!)
While your mushrooms are marinating, you can begin to…
Step Three: Prep ze Veggies!
Chop your broccoli. Cut your onions. Finely chop your sundried tomatoes. Mince your garlic. Mmmm…garlic.
Step Four: Prep ze Crust
Prepping the pan

Prepping the pan

 Here is the key part to a deliciously savory pizza crust:
Pour some Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) onto your pizza pan. Add basil, oregano, course sea salt or kosher salt and a minced garlic clove or two. (You can add other herbs if you like. Rosemary is always a nice addition or you can use an Italian herbs seasoning mix. The mix can be whatever you like or you can base it around what kind of pizza you’re making. If it’s a Mexican-style pizza, leave out the green herbs and add cumin instead.)
Adding the dough

Adding the dough

At this point, you just plop your dough into the mix.
Roll the dough ball around in the oil.
You’re doing a couple things here:
1. Oiling your pan, and
2. Working some of those yummy flavors into your dough.
You have to be a bit careful, though. You don’t want to start tearing the dough. It’s very delicate and elastic at this point. I’m sure there are technical terms for the feel and condition of the dough, but I don’t know them. :p
Regardless, don’t go overboard and rip the dough apart. We’ve already worked some herbs into the dough before it started rising. We don’t need to do it again. 
The finished crust

The finished crust

After you’ve coated your dough, begin to gently push on it and ease it to cover your pan.
My girls LOVE to help with this part. 🙂
After you’ve finished with the crust, briefly admire your handiwork and proceed to:
Step Five: Cook Your Veggies and Prep Your Sauce
Here we pretty much follow the recipe, except:
1. Always use butter or EVOO. Margerine is not good. Ugh.
2. Don’t put your pizza crust in the oven while you’re getting everything else ready. Just preheat and put the finished pie in when it’s topped.
Oh, the veggie goodness!

Oh, the veggie goodness!

3. Before you add your marinated mushrooms to the skillet, put your sundried tomatoes and onions in first. Let them saute for a few minutes. Then, dump your bowl of mushrooms and marinade into the skillet. Breathe deeply of the wonderful smell. Ahhhh!
4. Proceed as normal until the optional sauce addition.   
White sauce with spinich = bliss!

White sauce with spinich = bliss!

 White Sauce
5. If you want to boost the nutritional content/flavor a bit more, add some thawed frozen spinich to the sauce as it’s beginning to bubble.
 After your sauce is done, grab a spatula and spread it out onto your crust. Then, get a slotted spoon and fish your finished veggie mix out of the marinade. You can toss or, if you want the vitamin content, drink the marinade. (It might also make a tasty salad dressing if you are going to have salad with your pizza.) Evenly distribute the veggies on the sauce. Top with the parmesan and mozzarella (or other cheese).
The recipe says to bake it at 425* for 18-20 minutes. Our pizza was done at 15 minutes…but your mileage may vary, depending on how hot your oven bakes.
Oh yeah!

Oh yeah!

There…now, wasn’t that worth it?
 One last thing…

Why can't washing dishes be as much fun as getting them dirty?

 Now that we’ve polished off the pizza, who wants to help polish off the dishes? ;D
Hope you like it!  Be sure to tell me how it turns out for you.
As always, thanks for reading,

8 responses to “Pizza! Pizza!

  1. Heather says:

    That looks so delicious! I didn’t fare too well on my sourdough starter. I had it for a while and then checked on it one day and it smelled of nail polish remover. /shrug. Marinated portabellos are the bomb.

    • jboniface says:

      I’ve grown mine back up to where I can share some if you would like it. You can also store it in the refrigerator if you don’t want to have to feed it more than once a week. Just let me know. 🙂

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