Pizza party

Or the proper way to work from home.
Last week my team moved from our old office building in one of the coolest buildings in Seattle to our new offices. I like the new offices because they are walking distance from my apartment but the view, while nice, is not as epic and it is not in the immediate vicinity of avocado bubble tea (I know it sounds weird but it is seriously one of my favorite things).

The Thursday before the move we had to pack up our desks.  Some people did this on Wednesday because it was supposed to snow on Thursday.  It did actually, all of a half inch, which apparently is a big deal in Seattle.  Anyway, Friday was when all our stuff was actually being transported to the new building so we weren't supposed to go to work, and instead were supposed to "work from home", which we took to mean hang out and make homemade pizzas, drink beer and play rock band.  I'm sure someone actually did work that day but certainly not me.
Our hosts made a ton of pizza dough and everyone brought toppings and let me say I was blown away by the amazing variety and sheer deliciousness of pizza toppings provided.  Yes, that above is a sauerkraut pizza, with tomato sauce, spicy sausage, mozzarella and fresh basil which was totally yummy.
This is the awesome thing about pizza.  It is so infinitely adjustable and always delicious.  You just need a good recipe for pizza dough, here is mine but the one Eva made was also great so I will have to get it from her.  Your topping selection is limited only by your imagination.  Because this so fits in my philosophy of food, namely easy recipes which allow for endless variation and result in deliciousness and possibly appear to be more effort than they actually were, I wanted to share some of these amazing options with you.
I can't claim credit for most of these, but the one above was of my creation (so was the dessert one, more on that later).  It is pesto (store bought but homemade would be even better), sauteed mushrooms and onions, and three types of cheese (fresh mozzarella, low-moisture mozzarella, and goat cheese).  I thought it was awesome but that would be expected since I picked the toppings.
Here is one with pizza sauce, roasted red peppers, sauteed mushrooms, basil and fresh mozzarella.  One thing Eva and Ben (the hosts) do when cooking pizza is cook the crust briefly first, maybe 5-10 minutes, until it is firm but not brown.  Then the toppings go on and it cooks for long enough for the crust to brown and the cheese to melt (we weren't really timing it, but probably another 5-10 minutes, keep your eye on it).  This resulted in really crisp crusts, just the way I like them.
Those roasted red peppers were so good, you can get a jar of them so no extra work involved.  We did heat up the sauce before putting it on the pizza.  If you're par baking the crust, you need to be aware that the toppings won't be in for as long, so things like onions and mushrooms probably should be cooked first, if you want them cooked through.
Garlic slices, as seen above, need not be cooked first.  Use a mandolin (or carefully with a sharp knife) to get nice thin slices of garlic.  When it goes in the oven the garlic turns into crispy garlic chips and is absolutely amazing.  This was the meaty pizza, with ham, bacon and sausage (I think), garlic, pizza sauce, mozzarella and maybe sauteed onions.  After it was cooked, it got eaten so fast I didn't have time to take a picture.  Eva is an artist who does ceramics and the pizza stones she had were kiln shelves.  Other cheap options for pizza stones are unglazed quarry tiles and terra cotta flower pot bases (also unglazed).  Although I got mine for I think $25 or $30 from Crate and Barrel and have been very happy with it.
Same with the salami, mozzarella, onion and green pepper pizza above.  I am so excited to tell you about my dessert pizza.  It was a masterpiece if I do say so myself.  I took a regular pizza dough recipe and folded in 2 tbsps of sugar and 1 tsp of cinnamon sugar when I kneaded it.  The crust is topped with caramel sauce (from Fran's Chocolate, a local Seattle shop).  Then I put thinly sliced apples, cinnamon sugar, walnuts and slices of brie along with another drizzle of the caramel.  It was absolutely amazing.
I haven't got a recipe for you today because most of this was made up as we went along and I think you are smart and creative enough to come up with your own perfect pizzas.  Feel free to share your brilliant ideas with me; I'd love to have more pizza ideas.

No comments:

Post a Comment