Sometimes the best recipes come from people who don't cook. Case in point is my friend Silvia who can't cook but surely knows how to order. Every time we go to a restaurant, no matter where in the world, I always end up wishing I had ordered what is on her plate. She's smug about it, and practically makes me beg to get a taste of what I wished I had ordered. She's the one who introduced me to grilled vegetables as an appetizer, hanger steak and potato and sweet potato puree, all favorites now; and started ordering thin pizzas for lunch and Veuve Cliquot for cocktails long before they were on my radar. But then again, she has always been a fan of my cooking and a great buddy with whom to give a dinner party. The Sous Chef could certainly learn a thing or two from Aunt Sil!
This is one of the recipes she shared with me when I told her I had started baking my own pizzas.
The pizza dough recipe is from Mark Bittman and can be made at the blink of an eye. You can also purchase ready made dough from Publix Markets, Trader's Joe's or your favorite pizzeria. Take a look at the video, though, it comes together in no time; but make sure you buy the quick rising yeast.
Pizza With Caramelized Onions, Figs, Bacon And Blue Cheese
Makes 1 pizza, serves 2
2 tablespoons butter
1 large Spanish onion
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
2 bay leaves
4 thick slices bacon, cut into 1/4-inch thick batons
1 ball pizza dough
Flour, for dusting surface
12 dried mission figs, stems trimmed, cut into quarters or small pieces
3/4 cup crumbled Gorgonzola
Extra-virgin olive oil, to drizzle
Freshly cracked black pepper
1. At least 45 minutes before cooking, preheat the oven and pizza stone to 500 degrees.
2. Melt the butter in a large sauté pan over high heat. Add the onions, thyme and bay leaves. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring often, until the onions begin to wilt. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions have softened and turn a deep, golden brown, about 25 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove the bay leaves and transfer the onions to a small bowl.
3. Place the bacon in the pan and set over high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until brown and crispy. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a small bowl.
4. Place the pizza dough on a heavily floured surface and stretch and pull, using your hands or a rolling pin, into about a 14-inch round. Place on a lightly floured pizza peel or rimless baking sheet. Cover with the toppings, careful not to press on the dough and weigh it down: the caramelized onions first, then the figs and bacon, and finally the Gorgonzola, leaving roughly a 1/2 inch border. Shake the pizza peel slightly to make sure the dough is not sticking. Carefully slide the pizza directly onto the baking stone in one quick, forward-and-back motion. Cook until the crust has browned on the bottom and the top is bubbling and browning in spots, about 7 minutes. Drizzle with a little olive oil and some cracked black pepper. Serve hot. Makes 1 pizza.
*the pizza dough recipe is for 2 pies so slice the dough in half and save one half for another time
I strongly suggest you read this article from Mark Bittman on pizza dough
Recipe from the New York Times