I have a confession to make. I am a pizza addict. Seriously, I could eat pizza every day. It is my junk food of choice. We eat pretty healthy and I think fast food is a waste of calories. After I studied in Italy as a student, I was ruined for most American pizza though. My college days of ordering from chain pizza places are long gone. Those super thick crusts? No. Sub par cheese and sad wilted toppings? No. Once you’ve had a quattro formaggio, with a crispy thin crust and light, delicate toppings, that’s it. You are ruined for standard American delivery pizza. When I make pizza these days, I MAKE pizza. But the dough. What to do with the dough?
I had been buying ready made dough balls from Trader Joe’s. But we recently moved, and Trader Joe’s is quite some ways away. Plus, those dough balls were always a bit too sticky and not really pliable enough. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve made plenty of them in to delicious pizza, but they were a far from perfect solution. Too often, unless they had just arrived in the store THAT day and were super fresh, I’d end up with dough that would stretch too thin and leave me with holes. This makes for a messy pizza stone, and a less than perfect pizza.
I’ve also used a number of recipes to make my own crust. But two weeks ago I found this recipe from House of Yum which has changed my pizza making for the better. I found it late one afternoon at work when I was tired, hungry, and craving pizza. I had neither a ready to go dough ball nor any yeast in the house. And I did NOT want to make a trip to the store. But when I saw this recipe for a yeast free 15 minute crust, I figured, what the heck? And I am SO glad I tried it.
The recipe is as simple as it sounds. I did make a few changes, because I love herbs. What follows is my template for what I am calling a Jalapeno Popper Pizza, but any combination of ingredients is sure to be delicious. Is it the best crust EVER? Well, no. Is it quick, easy, and tasty? Yes, Yes, and YES.
Caramelized Onion and Jalapeno Pizza, aka, Jalapeno Popper Pizza
Crust Recipe From The House of Yum
I modified this recipe by adding a tablespoon of Basil and a Tablespoon of Oregano, because we like herbs in our crust. Do be careful to roll it out pretty thin, or, as some people i the comment section noted, it can get a bit biscuity. I did not find it to be that way at all though.
2 Jalapenos, sliced (if you like less spice, you can seed the jalapeno first. Remember, all peppers vary in spiciness, though)
1 onion, sliced
1 cup of spinach
Tomato Sauce (we keep a jar of marinara on hand to use for pizza sauce, but you can also quickly make your own, or use prepared)
1/4 cup goat cheese or creme fraiche
1/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese
Approximately 1/4 cup of olive oil
Sea Salt and Pepper to Taste
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Prepare the crust according to direction. Sprinkle some flour, or a bit of cornmeal on a pizza stone, or line a pan with lightly oiled foil. Once you have the curst on the pan, add your sauce, and sprinkle cheeses. I brush the edges of the crust with a touch of oil, but this is up to you.
Set a (preferably cast iron) skillet over low to medium heat. Add about 1/4 cup olive oil once the pan is warm (wnough to coat the surface with a little to spare), and add your onions. Salt well, and toss to coat in the oil. Reduce heat, and let simmer for a minimum of ten minutes (15-20 is recommended), stirring perhaps once or twice. This low and slow method is what produces that rich, caramel flavor. After ten minutes or more have passed, bring the heat back up to about medium, and begin browning the onions. Once they reach the desired color, add in the jalapenos, and continue to saute until they are softened, about 2-3 minutes. Toss in the spinach and stir until just wilted. Remove from heat.
Add onions and jalapenos to the top of the pizza, and arrange. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper to taste. Place pizza in oven and bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove when crust reacaches your desired level of crispiness/golden brownness, and allot to cool for 2-5 minutes (depending on your starvation, give-it-to-me-now level). Slice with a pizza cutter or kitchen shears, and serve. Leftovers reheat very well.
What is your favorite pizza topping combination?