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Archive for the ‘Pizza’ Category

Goat Cheese and Egg Pizza

In Eggs, Pizza on January 12, 2010 at 5:36 pm

Eggs on pizza? Yes! Trust me.

Pizza is one of my very favorite foods EVER! Hitherto, Mr. Gorilla and I would rejoice on Tuesday evenings because Rotelli has an amazing special – a large (16 inch) cheese pizza for $7.00! You can’t beat that with a stick! In fact, that became our justification for eating pizza every Tuesday – how else can you feed two people for seven dollars? But then, the excitement and cheesy pizza joy carried us away, and soon we were buying TWO pizzas on Tuesday nights. And eating them. Both. Completely, as in gone. Blart. Rotelli has excellent pizza, and if they’re going to make it cheap, too, we really can’t be blamed for our behavior.

But now that we’re tired of being fat, we’ve ended the Pizza Tuesday tradition. Sadness. But then I got a pizza stone for Christmas! Of course, I had to try it out. It’s only polite to use a Christmas gift, right? Right?

One of my favorite things about pizza is the variety. Of course, the best pizza I’ve ever had was in Italy – it’s a tie between the place in Naples (deep-fried pizza!) and the place in Siena (shrimp and arugula pizza!) – and I am a fan of the traditional hand-tossed thin crust. And I prefer New York style to Chicago style. That’s not even pizza. More like a casserole or something. Tasty, but not pizza.

So, yeah, I’m a pizza purist, but not an inflexible one! I can go in multiple directions with crust, sauce, cheese, and toppings, depending upon my ultimate goal for the meal. Tonight, I was really in the mood for goat cheese, and I didn’t have any kind of meat to throw on to make the dish heartier, so I used egg. I also wanted the crust to be nice and thick and chewy to sop up the yolk.

So, now that I’ve justified my wandering from the pizza gospel, here’s the recipe. It was as wonderful as it looks – warm, velvety yolk sliding over tomato and spinach, melt-in-your-mouth goat cheese… oh god. Now my mouth’s watering again! Thanks a lot!

Goat Cheese and Egg Pizza

*Makes one 14-inch pizza

Ingredients:

For the dough –

1 (1/4 ounce) package active dry yeast

1 cup warm water (about 110 degrees F)

3 1/2 cups bread flour

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons sugar

For the toppings-

4 cups fresh spinach

3 Roma tomatoes, roughly chopped

2 cloves garlic, sliced thin

1 sun-dried tomato, chopped

olive oil, parmesan cheese, basil, oregano

3 oz. goat cheese, crumbled

4 eggs

Directions:

Make the dough – Dissolve yeast in warm water, and let stand until bubbly (about 10 minutes). Then add 2 1/2 cups flour, olive oil, salt, and sugar, and mix until a stiff dough forms. Place in a greased bowl, turn once, then cover and let rise in warm place until doubled in size (about an hour). I like to let my yeast doughs rise in the oven with the light on – I get pretty good results that way, and it starts that yummy bread-baking smell. They should make air freshener of that.

When the dough is ready, punch it down (gently, though. Your bad mood is not the dough’s fault. Not yet. That will happen in a minute.) and turn it out onto a floured surface. You may have to gently knead in up to a cup or so of flour here to take the dough from sticky to manageable. But don’t knead too much! You don’t want your crust to be tough.

Now preheat the oven (with a pizza stone inside) to 350, and sprinkle a pizza peel with cornmeal. Shape the dough into a rough circle – no need to break out the compass here, it’s supposed to look rustic. There are many ways to shape the dough – rolling, patting, tossing, etc. I don’t like rolling because it does uninteresting things to the dough. I like tossing, but I inevitably end up with a hole in the dough and flour in my hair. I usually use a combination of tossing and patting. But that’s just me.

Here’s where the bad mood begins – when your dough is properly smooth and elastic, it can be difficult to make it keep the size and shape you’re aiming for. Just keep at it, my friend, and remember the dough will rise as it bakes, so don’t be afraid of making it thin.

Now have a quick shot of whiskey.

Okay. Now for the toppings. Top the unbaked crust with the spinach, tomatoes, garlic, and sun-dried tomato. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with parmesan, basil, and oregano. Carefully (CAREFULLY) transfer to the pizza stone and bake for 10 minutes, just to get the crust started.

Now, top with the goat cheese and bake for an additional 20 minutes. It will look like the goat cheese is burning, but trust me – when you bite into it, the little crumbles will burst and creamy goat cheesy goodness will happen on your tongue.

This is when it's ready for the eggs. It's almost done, but another five minutes won't hurt it.

Okay, last time, I swear. Now break the four eggs on top of the whole shebang. I know you will try to space them more or less evenly, but depending upon the topography of your toppings, they will wander hither and yon. It’s okay. It’s not your fault. Just pop that bad boy back in the oven for another five minutes or so, or until the egg whites are set.

When you take it out, LET IT COOL A MOMENT! I promise, the pizza fairy will not come take your pizza while you are away. I know you don’t want to let it out of your sight, but I promise it’s better than a scalded palate and blistered lip. And no, that’s not a threat.

See? My wandering eggs.

Okay, your pizza is ready to eat. Although it looks small, it’s quite filling due to the thick, chewy crust. Serve it with a mixed greens salad with a balsamic vinaigrette, and you’re golden!

See how thick my pizza is? Couldn't you just bite the picture?