Last week Eric came home for dinner and took a whiff in the kitchen and thought I had made pizza for dinner. I could tell he was slightly disappointed when I told him that I made turkey meatball sandwiches instead. This week I wanted to surprise him for dinner and make homemade pizza to make up for his misconception. We usually like to enjoy pizza from Papa John's, CPK's, and my favorite place, Zito's Pizza - we either decide inexpensive, gourmet fancy pizza, or the deluxe-pricey-delivery pizza. I chose a recipe that was gourmet and fancy and easy enough to make at home, and knew that this recipe would be appealing. The combination of ingredients of potatoes, leeks, bacon and goat cheese on a pizza was quite eccentric, but since Pioneer Woman loved it and raved about it in her cookbook - I knew it was worth a try.
Potato Leek Pizza
Adapted from The Pioneer Woman Cooks
recipe for Pizza Crust (recipe below)
extra virgin olive oil
6 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 leeks, rinsed well to remove grit and thinly sliced
3 small red potatoes, sliced paper thin
1 lb fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced thin
4 oz goat cheese, crumbled
grated Parmesan cheese
freshly ground black pepper
1. Prepare the pizza crust by drizzling lightly with olive oil and sprinkling lightly with salt.
2. In a skillet over medium heat, fry the bacon until cooked but not crisp, then remove and set aside. Pour off most of the grease, but do not clean the skillet. Return it to the stove and, over medium-low heat, saute the leeks until soft, about 3 minutes. Remove the leeks from the heat and set aside.
3. Using a sharp knife or mandoline, slice the potatoes very thin. Be careful not to allow them enough time to oxidize. **No need to remove the skin of the potatoes either, the skin of the potato is thin enough to eat.** Arrange the potatoes in a single layer all over the crust, slightly overlapping the edges. Sprinkle the potatoes lightly with salt, then lay the mozzarella slices in a single layer on top of the potatoes. Place the leeks on top of the cheese, then sprinkle the fried bacon pieces over the top. Add a generous dose of crumbled goat cheese, grated Parmesan, and a sprinkle of pepper.
4. In an oven preheated to 500 degrees F, bake the pie for 8-11 minutes, until the edges of the crust are golden brown and the cheese is melted and bubbly. Slice it into wedges or squares and serve immediately.
Yield: 2 pizza crusts
1 tsp or 1/2 packet active dry yeast
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp kosher salt
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1. In a mixing bowl, pour the yeast over 1 1/2 cups of warm water, stirring gently. In a separate bowl, combine the flour and salt. Using an electric mixer on low speed, drizzle in the olive oil until just incorporated. Add the yeast mixture to the flour mixture, mixing until the dough forms a ball. (You can also do this by hand.)
2. Drizzle a little olive oil into a clean bowl. Toss the ball of dough in the bowl and turn over to coat in oil. Cover the bowl with a moist kitchen towel and set in a warm place for 1-2 hours, or cover with plastic wrap and store in the fridge for up to 2 days. **From previous yeast experience, preheat the oven to 350 with your bowl (I use my KA mixer bowl), and when you are ready to let your dough rest for 1 to 2 hours. Turn the oven off and keep the oven door slightly open. It will be a warm enough place for the dough to rise during these cold winter months.**
3. Divide the dough in half, then using your hands, stretch the dough to the desired shape, pressing it into an oiled pan with your fingers. The thinner the better. The surface of the dough should be lumpy from finger marks -- all the better to receive and hold toppings. The other half of the dough may be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerated up to 3 days before use, or frozen for up to 6 months.
Review: Husband was happily delighted that we were having pizza for dinner. He was proud of my "homemade pizza dough" said it looked like CPK's. This was an explosion of flavors with the pungent goat cheese, light and thin potato slices, baconized leeks, gooey mozzarella and crisp sweet bacon. It was a little messy, and we ate the pizza with a knife and fork. Seriously, anything with bacon is a WINNER! The combo of flavors might scare you, but don't be fooled, you gotta try it. We each had two slices, and it was quite filling versus a traditional pie. Next up, I'll be making calzones with the other half of my pizza dough.