Tag Archives: pizza

So-Called Pizza Puffs

21 Jan

So-called? Yes, so-called. Because I’m not sure these puffs deserve the name of “pizza.” They certainly didn’t taste like pizza. They tasted kind of like little bread muffins. Which I guess is what they are.

Look at that puff!

On principle, I don’t believe in taking a healthy recipe and making it healthy. I don’t think that ever turns out well. I’d rather just eat a small amount of the unhealthy thing every now and then. I don’t need to stuff myself full of bland fat-free mac-and-cheese or one-point Weight Watchers “desserts.” And don’t EVEN get me started on frozen yogurt, because I can’t tell you how angry I am that I can’t find a dang ice cream store anymore while there’s bland frozen yogurt bars on every street corner. All those exciting neon colors are false advertising, in my opinion.

I guess my issue is that I’m terrible at denying myself anything, but I’m pretty fantastic at portion control, IMHO. I guess most people have the opposite problem. But since I don’t, I’m going to continue buying the Double Stuf Oreos, but only eat 2 (okay, 3) after dinner tonight. I’ve never been the person who accidentally eats the whole bag.

The point here is that this recipe is way too healthy to be called Pizza Puffs. Puffs, sure, no problem. But pizza? You can barely taste the cheese, it’s whole wheat, AND there’s vegetables in it. That’s 3 things that would never be true about any pizza I’d eat.

So why I am sharing it? Well for one, I’m not arrogant enough to believe that everyone thinks the same way I do, and I imagine many people might appreciate this recipe. But also, I think my poor reaction to this recipe was one of expectations. I was expecting pizza, and upon not tasting pizza, I was mightily disappointed. But if they were called Whole Wheat Puffs with Marinara Dipping Sauce, then I think I’d be pretty happy.

So go ahead and make this recipe. They’re great for a snack or for serving at a party. They’re also great on the side of an Italian meal. Maybe I’ll make them again. Or maybe I’ll make real Pizza Puffs.

"Pizza" Puffs

Whole Wheat Pizza Puffs adapted from Cooking With My Kid

3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup lowfat or skim milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
3/4 cup shredded mozarella cheese
1 cup broccoli
1/2 marinara sauce, for dipping

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and grease a 24-cup mini-muffin pan.

Blanch the broccoli: Boil for about 2 minutes and then remove and immediately place in a bowl of ice water for 20-30 seconds. Remove from water. Chop finely. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder. Whisk in the milk and beaten egg. Stir in the mozzarella and broccoli. Let stand for 10 minutes.

Stir the batter and divide among the mini-muffin cups. Bake until puffed and golden, about 20 to 25 minutes.

Serve with warm marinara sauce.

Linking up with:

YOLO Mondays from Still Being Molly and Lipgloss and Crayons
Monday Meet Ups from Covered in Grace
Made by you Monday from Skip to my Lou
Make Something Monday from Sarahndipities
Time for a Party from Fine Craft Guild

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A-Pizza Pie!

26 Apr

Last weekend, I cooked up a storm. The BF was at some boring conference that I opted out of, so I spent the afternoon in the kitchen. Among other things, I made homemade pizza. And I mean, homemade – dough from scratch, sauce from scratch.

Speaking of the term “from scratch,” here’s a little rant for you. (If you’re not interested, just skip this paragraph.) In my mind, “from scratch” means using real ingredients, no short cuts. So when I find a recipe for tomato sauce called “tomato sauce from scratch” that calls for a 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes, I just feel like that’s a little bit of false advertising, you know? Don’t get me wrong, I don’t necessarily oppose cooking with canned goods. I just oppose cooking with canned goods when it’s supposed to be “from scratch.”

Okay, rant over, because you need to see all the amazing pictures we got of this pizza. Mark Bittman ran a piece in the NY Times about homemade pizza, so along with about 1,453,7459 other pretentious hipsters, we tackled the project. I started with his basic pizza dough recipe, though I altered it a bit to feature whole wheat flour. Although this whole project did take a while, it was easier than I expected it to be.

The Dough

I set up my food processor and added in 1 cup whole wheat flour3/4 cup white flour1 1/2 teaspoon fast-rising yeast1 teaspoon salt, and 1 tablespoon olive oil. I turned it on and poured in 1/2 cup water through the tube. It took about 20-30 seconds to process it into a sticky ball – a large clump of dough was swirling around and around inside. (If yours is too dry, add 1 tablespoon of water at a time. If too mushy/sticky, add 1 tablespoon of flour at a time until it comes together.)

I rubbed a little olive oil on my palms to keep the dough from sticking to me when I pulled it out of the processor. I shaped it into a ball and wrapped it in plastic wrap. I left it out on the counter for 2 or 3 hours while I attended to other things. (Mark gives you a few more options in his recipe if you’re tight on time.) (Also, sorry for the lack of pictures – my hands were really messy and I was flying solo on this mission.)

Tomato Sauce

On to the tomato sauce. Before I put the food processor away, I pureed 4 small tomatoes  into mush. In a sauce pan, I heated 2 tablespoons olive oil1/2 diced yellow onion, and 4 cloves minced garlic over medium high. Once the onions started to look a little clear and smell more fragrant, I added the tomato puree in. Then I added about 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning blend and 2 tablespoons white wine. I let that simmer over low heat for about 20 minutes. (Near the end it seemed a little thin, so I turned the heat up high and cooked it without a lid to get some of the extra water to steam off.) FYI, we both thought this was a little heavy on the onion – could have cut that down a bit. And we both thought it could have used more tomato flavor – though if I bought tomatoes in tomato season, that probably would be way better.

Pizza

Fast forward a couple hours, and I’m ready to cook my pizza. I took the dough ball and unwrapped it, shaping it into a ball and dusting the outside with flour. I let it rest for a bit while the oven warmed up to 500 degrees (HOT!) and I prepared the ingredients. I shredded up a whole ball of super high quality mozzarella. And trust me, when you splurge on super high quality mozzarella, you really notice the difference. I sliced up some mushrooms, the BF halved some cherry tomatoes, and I sauteed a handful of spinach with some olive oil and garlic for about 4 minutes.

Mmm... Cheese. Is that a little mushroom I see back there?

Aren't you just the cutest little tomatoes I've ever seen?

Spinach Saute

After that, I turned back to the dough and worked on pressing it out. I just used my hands to press it on the counter to about a 1/2 inch thick flat round. I added a little flour here and there when it got sticky. I didn’t worry about making it too thin, (1) because I’m impatient and (2) because I like thick, soft crust. The BF probably would have preferred a thin, crunchy crust, but he wasn’t the one making the pizza all day.

Dough!

I transferred the dough from the counter to my pizza stone. (I spread some olive oil over the crust, but after cooking it, I realized that was really unnecessary – it was pretty greasy.) I baked the crust for about 5 minutes at 500 F. After that, I pulled the crust back out and added my toppings – spinach and mushrooms on my side, spinach and tomatoes on his side. And course, a very large amount of mozzarella cheese for both of us. (If I’d had some, I would have loved to mix some rosemary into the crust.) I popped it back into the oven for 5-7 more minutes.

Totally Sauced

Ingredient #1

PIZZA

And when we pulled it out – omg gooey deliciousness. I sliced up our pizza, the BF cracked open a soda, and we settled down for a movie on the couch. AMAZING. It was SO GOOD.

PIZZA FTW