Friday, November 29, 2013

Cook: Caramelized Onion, Spinach and Garlic Pan Pizza

The other type of pie I made for Thanksgiving, the one that needed no qualifiers, was a pizza pie. I knew my audience. They are pizza lovers for sure. So I decided to wow them with some J. Kenji action.

For those of you who don’t know, J. Kenji Lopez-Alt is the Chief Creative Officer for Serious Eats. He is also the man behind The Pizza Lab. In this lab, J. Kenji experiments and shares dozens of pizza recipes. Got a favorite crust, he has probably figured out the best way to make it at home. Need a regional version of pizza? He’s got you covered. Want a quick English Muffin pizza for breakfast?Done. The man knows his pizza. One of my favorite crusts of his is the easy to make pan pizza. The pan pizza dough requires no kneading, no finicky water heating to just the right temperature for the yeast to percolate and no sugar water mixtures. It is just a matter of having the right ingredients and the right amount of time.

I put aside the right amount of time to make it a part of our Thanksgiving meal. I made two pizzas from the crust recipe. J-Fur requested a spinach, garlic, and cheese version. For all the vegans (err…for the vegan) in attendance, I made a caramelized onion, spinach and garlic version. I heard from the brave souls that ventured a taste of both that the vegan version had much better flavor. No qualifiers were added.

Caramelized Onion, Spinach and Garlic Pan Pizza
(printable version)

-1 pan pizza crust (slightly under 1/2 of this recipe)
-1 onion, sliced thinly
-1/2 Tbs. olive oil
-1 garlic clove, sliced thinly and then halved
-handful of spinach leaves
-tomato sauce

1. Make the crust according to directions.

2. Preheat the oven to 550 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large saute pan heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the onion. Stir occasionally. Continue to cook until it is beginning to brown (about 10 minutes). Reduce the heat and continue caramelizing until the onions are brown and soft (about 3o minutes). Remove from the pan and set aside.

3. When the crust is ready (it has sat out for 24 hours and then sat in its container for another 2) spoon some tomato sauce over top. Take it all the way to the edge.

4. Put down a layer of spinach leaves being careful not to overlap. Add the sliced garlic in between spinach leaves.

5. Spoon the caramelized onions overtop. Place the pizza into the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Place in front of hungry Thanksgiving visitors and make them stare at it for a few minutes before allowing them to eat.

What does this meal sound like? Check it.