May 13, 2012

My Mexican Pizza


In honor of Cinco de Mayo, here is a fresh take on a classic comfort food.  The pizza starts with a whole wheat base and fire roasted salsa.  Next, the pie is dotted with a southwestern bean dip, caramelized onions and roasted corn.  Finally, turkey chorizo sausage, pepper jack and cheddar cheese take the pizza to a whole other dimension.  Fortunately, this is one pie that you can turn to like a lost'll want to eat My Mexican Pizza once again.

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September 22, 2011

Better than Roxy's Grilled Pizza

The inspiration for this recipe came from a grilled cheese sandwich made by Roxy's Gourmet Grilled Cheese truck on a recent episode of the Great Food Truck Race.  The original sandwich contained caramelized onions and shallots, walnuts, granny smith apples and cheddar.  People were lining up in droves and raving about the sandwich.  "Clearly this combination of ingredients would work on a pizza", I thought.

The next step is transposing a grilled cheese sandwich into a pizza.  The cheese and toppings are no brainers, however using regular pizza sauce would detract from the overall concept.  Instead, I came up with a caramelized shallot roasted onion sauce.  The recipe is simple, but takes time.  The sauce turned out so zesty and delicious, that it could pair with poultry and fish or serve as a dipping sauce.

The final steps to pizza deliciousness are the dough and grill.  Both white and wheat crusts were used to determine which flour is best.  Ultimately, the whole wheat's hearty grain complimented the hearty ingredients perfectly, and is pictured below.  (Note: There is an awesome pizza dough recipe on this blog, too!)  The grill's smokey, outdoor flavor adds a nice kick to this classic New England mix of ingredients. 


Caramelized Shallots and Roasted Onion Sauce Ingredients

 Yields1 1/2 cups of sauce and makes four 10 inch pies

  • 3 shallots, diced
  • 1 large onion, quartered
  • About 10 - 14 petals of garlic
  • Olive Oil
  • Sea Salt
  • 5 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves broken from sprig
  • 1/2 sprig of rosemary, leaves broken from sprig
  • Pepper

Pizza Ingredients

Note: The ingredient measurements are per 10 inch pie.

  • Dough
    • Pre-made: Purchase frozen from whole foods, able to split white into two 10 inch crusts, wheat creates one 14 inch
    • Homemade pizza dough recipe
  • Cheddar cheese, grated, 4 - 6 oz per 10 inch pie
  • 1/3 granny smith apple, cut into thin small chunks, per 10 inch pie
  • 1/3 medium red pepper, cut into small segments, per 10 inch pie
  • 1/2 grilled chicken breast, pulled from the bone or cut in small chunks, per 10 inch pie 



  1. Create the sauce
    1. Heat oven to 300 degrees
    2. Place onions and garlic on separate foil squares
      1. Cover onion and garlic with olive oil
      2. Loosely wrap foil around vegetables and place onto a metal pan
    3. Place pan into the oven
      1. Cook garlic for about 10 - 15 minutes.  The petals will be soft to the touch.
      2. Cook onion for 45-60 minutes, or until well cooked, translucent brown and caramelized on the bottom
    4. Let vegetables cool, remove skin and place in blender, along with a 1/4 cup of water.  Puree and set aside.
    5. Spray a large skillet with olive oil or non-stick cooking spray.
      1. Place the shallots, a pinch of salt, 1 - 4 tbsp olive oil and 1/3 cup water in skillet on medium high heat.
      2. When water evaporates, reduce heat to medium, and cook shallot mixture until deep brown, translucent and well caramelized. 
        1. If the shallots start to burn, reduce heat slightly and add a few drops of water.
      3. Reduce heat to medium-low.  Add onion garlic puree, pepper, thyme and rosemary to the shallot mixture.
      4. Cook the mixture for 15-20, or until most of the water is cooked out.  The mixture's thickness should be similar to red pizza sauce.  Not soupy or watery, but also not dense. 
  2. Assemble the pizza
    1. Spray olive oil or non-stick cooking oil onto foil and place the pizza dough on foil.
    2. Add the sauce, apples, red peppers, chicken and cheese to the dough
  3. Grill for 20-30 minutes on low to medium heat, until cheese slightly browns and crust is cooked.



October 08, 2008


Pizza2_2 Pizza1_2

Growing up Italian, I have made homemade pizza my whole life - every Sunday all my relatives would come to our house for dinner and family craziness. This year, for father's day, my wife got me a cast-iron pizza pan....and that has made all the difference.   Forget the pizza stone - the simplicity and amazing crust that you get with this pan is well worth it.  To make many pizzas at once, I will start one pizza on the cast-iron pan, and start another pizza, about 10 minutes later, on a regular metal pizza pan. Once the first pizza (the one on the cast-iron pan) is done, I then transfer the pizza that is part-cooked from the metal pan, using 2 spatulas, to the already hot cast-iron pan, and let it finish.  This way I can bang out 4 pizza pies, and only use 1 cast-iron pan.

To make 4 crusts, use 4 cups flour (King Aurther is best) - you can mix whole wheat if you prefer.  For 3 crusts, use 3 cups flour

1 envelope package dry yeast

1 tsp honey

1 and 1/2 tsp salt

1 tbsp olive oil

1 to 2 cups water

Homemade sauce

Mozz Cheese and any other topping you like

For the pizza dough: 

Put dry yeast in small bowl, and add honey.  The add approx 1 cup warm water.  Stir together until mostly dissolved - this will be a cloudy mixture.   Let this rest approx 5 minutes.   Mix in a large bowl the flour, salt, olive oil.  Add yeast mixture to the flour mixture.  If you have an electric stand mixer, use your dough hook.   If not, mix by hand with wooden spoon, or with your hands.  Slowly add aprox 1.5 cups warm water, until it forms into a dough, with no loose flour left in the bowl.   Kneed on a flour-dusted surface for approx 1 minute, until the dough becomes smooth.  Brush a small amount of olive oil on the dough (to prevent sticking, put it covered (saran wrap) bowl, and let it rise for 3 hours.   After 3 hours, "punch the dough down", and then put it on a floured surface.  Divide in 4 pieces (if using 4 cups flour), and then make each piece into a round ball, and put on greased cookie sheet.  Cover with Wax paper, and let rest for 1 hour.   You are now ready to spread the dough on the pizza pan, or you can refridgerate or freeze the dough for later use.


Preheat oven to 475.   Spread dough on cast iron pizza pan.   Cover with Sauce, Mozz cheese, and any toppings you like.  I typicaly make one plain, one pepperoni, one with roasted red peppers, and one "white"...which means no red sauce, just olive oil, mozz cheese, garlic, oregano, basil.  Put pizza in oven, for approx 15 min, on bottom rack.   Check the pizza every 5 minutes or so, and once the bottom crust is dark brown, it is done.   If you want the top of the pizza darker, then move pan to top rack in oven.   Enjoy!

Here are some updated pictures of this fantastic Homemade Pizza