Fiorentina Pizza

If you’ve followed my blog for any length of time, you already know I have a penchant for not-so-common pizza toppings. And here is another – eggs! Ok, wipe that look off your face….I know it sounds completely inappropriate, but to date I have a 100% success rate in changing the Ewww’s! to Ooooh’s! when presenting this pizza to guests.

Fiorentina Pizza

The Fiorentina Pizza is not my unique idea. It is one of the many delicious pizzas created by UK-based pizza chain Pizza Express. While living in London in the 90’s, Pizza Express was a staple in our family’s diet. Weekly (sometimes daily….) visits were a must. My go-to was always the Margherita (mozzarella and tomato) until I was introduced to the Fiorentina by best friend Kelly. Despite being topped with ingredients I thought I didn’t like (spinach, olives, runny eggs), I ignored my gut instincts and had a bite. Oh. My. God. That sh*t was good! The salty olives, earthy spinach and just enough run in the egg yolk to create a bonus sauce – everything melded into awesomeness.

Fiorentina Pizza

  • Pizza dough
  • Pizza sauce (store bought)
  • 4 – 6 Oz. frozen spinach, thawed and drained
  • Fresh mozzarella, shredded
  • 6 – 8 black olives, pitted and chopped
  • 2 – 3 eggs, room temperature

Preheat gas grill and pizza stone on high heat. Spread dough out on a floured pizza peel. Shimmy, to ensure it is not sticking. Spread the pizza sauce evenly around the crust. Scatter the spinach, olives and cheese evenly. Transfer to the pizza stone, and lower heat to medium. Crack each egg onto the pizza, trying not to let them overlap. Allow to cook for 10 -12 minutes, until cheese is bubbly and dough is cooked through. Also make sure that egg whites are cooked through. Transfer back to the peel. Allow to cool for 5 – 10 minutes before cutting.

Pizza Dough (for one pizza)

  • 1 C. flour
  • 1/2 tsp. yeast
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 – 1/3 C. warm water

Combine flour, yeast and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Slowly add water until you reach desired consistency. Turn to “stir” and knead for 7 – 10 minutes. Dump into oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise for until doubled in volume. Punch down dough, and divide into balls (one for each pizza). Cover until ready to use.

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Tomato & Pesto Pizza

For you purists out there, here is a more traditional pizza….

tomato and pesto pizza

Being that it is January, my tomato and basil selections are extremely disappointing. So I’m using canned tomatoes and store bought pesto. In the spring, when my Basil plants are big and happy, we’ll talk more about pesto.

tomato and pesto

For more details about pizza dough and baking pizza, please check out my Thai Chicken Pizza post. Enjoy!

Pizza Dough (for one pizza)

  • 1 C. flour
  • 1/2 tsp. yeast
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 – 1/3 C. warm water

Combine flour, yeast and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Slowly add water until you reach desired consistency. Turn to “stir” and knead for 7 – 10 minutes. Dump into oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise for until doubled in volume. Punch down dough, and divide into balls (one for each pizza). Cover until ready to use.

Tomato & Pesto Pizza

  • Pizza dough
  • Diced tomatoes, fresh or canned
  • 2 – 3 T. pesto, fresh or store-bought
  • mozzarella cheese, freshly grated

Preheat gas grill and pizza stone on high heat. Spread dough out on a floured pizza peel. Shimmy, to ensure it is not sticking. Spread the pesto evenly around the crust. Scatter the tomatoes and cheese evenly. Transfer to the pizza stone, and lower heat to medium. Allow to cook for 10 -12 minutes, until cheese is bubbly and dough is cooked through. Transfer back to the peel. Allow to cool for 5 – 10 minutes before cutting.

Who Puts Peanut Butter On Pizza!?

I do! I put peanuts on there too….But it’s not what you think (because I’m sure you think it’s disgusting). Thai Chicken Pizza is The Man’s favorite pizza. In lieu of the traditional red sauce, I use a slightly spicy peanut sauce. Then top it off with the veggies you may find in a stir fry dish – red bell peppers, scallions, cilantro….and of course a little chicken (tossed in Hoison sauce). Does that sound a little better? Maybe the pictures will help convince you….

Thai Chicken Pizza

We’ll start with something normal – traditional pizza dough. Nothing strange here –  flour, water and yeast. A little salt for flavor and a little olive oil too. I use a stand mixer, but this can easily be done by hand. I measure out the flour first – using 1 Cup for each pizza. This will make about a 10-12 inch pizza. Then I add in the other dry ingredients (yeast and salt). Warm up a cup of water to around 115F. Slowly pour the water in until you have the right consistency. The dough should form into a ball (no crumbly bits) and should be slightly sticky. About 1/3 to 1/2 Cup of water per 1 Cup of flour. If you are using a mixer, turn it to “stir” and knead the dough for about 10 minutes. If making by hand, dump the dough onto a floured surface, and knead with your hands. You want the dough to be smooth and elastic – it should no longer be sticky. Oil up a clean glass bowl, dump the ball of dough in, and cover tightly with plastic wrap.

Dough

kneaded dough

I like to make my dough in the morning, and let it rise in the fridge. This acheives two equally important goals. First, it gives me more time in the evening for prepping toppings, tending to the child, and relaxing with (i.e. sipping a glass of vino with) The Man. Secondly, the cold fridge causes a slower rise. The longer the dough rises, the more time it has to develop flavor. And obviously, more flavor is good! I check the dough about an hour before we want to eat. If it’s already doubled in size, just leave it in for another half hour. If it hasn’t done a whole lot, pull it out and let it warm up. Within an hour, it should be up to size.

dough is risen

Alternatively, you can make the dough 1 – 2 hours before dinner time. Leave the bowl in a warm dry place, and allow it to double in size. On a perfect day, I let the dough rise outside. On a not-so-perfect day (too cold, too hot, windy, rainy, etc.) I use the “proof” setting on my oven. Within an hour, the dough is ready to use. Punch down the dough, and divide it into balls (1 per pizza…). Cover loosely with plastic wrap, and allow the dough to rest while you prep your toppings. That’s right, back to the peanut butter….

dough is ready

We love peanut butter in this house (my 3 year old “needs” a spoonfull at least once a day). We also love peanut sauce! And it’s exactly what it sounds like – peanut butter that is thinned down (using water or stock) and kicked up with garlic, ginger, and soy sauce. It makes a great dipping sauce (chicken satay), or is great over stir fry. But my favorite usage is on pizza.

peanut sauce

Now that we have sauce, we need toppings – we’ll start with the meat. I have some leftover chicken from making stock on Sunday – but any cooked chicken will work. Cut or shred it into bitesized pieces, coat it in a few Tablespoons of hoison sauce. Next for the veggies. I like red bell pepper, onion, scallions and cilantro. But I think carrots, broccoli, mushrooms, bean sprouts, corn, or shredded cabbage would all be good additions. So use what you like and what you have (Pizza is an ideal way to clean out the fridge!)

thai chicken toppings

When I make pizza, I use a stone, a peel and the gas grill. If you don’t have these things, make your pizza on a cookie sheet and bake it in a hot oven 450F +. Why do I use the grill? Because it reaches and maintains high heat and mimics a traditional brick oven in flavor. Put the pizza stone in the cold grill and let them heat up together on high – this will prevent the stone from cracking. In theory. Personally, my pizza stones always crack (some quicker than others). But as long as it’s a clean break you can still use it…see??

cracked stone

Start by working your dough on a floured surface. When it is about halfway stretched out, move it to the floured peel. Everyone says to use cornmeal – but I have had zero luck with cornmeal. A thin layer of flour works great (too much, and it can burn the bottom of your pizza). Stretch the dough out, then give the peel a shimmy – to make sure the dough isn’t sticking. Start your toppings with a thin layer of sauce, followed by a sprinkling of cheese around the outer edge. The Man worked at Pizza Hut in high school – he says you need to do the cheese around the edge before you place on the toppings. I’ve never worked in a pizza joint – so I trust his word on it. Next layer on your toppings, and top with the remaining cheese. Leave the cilantro off – that will go on after the pizza comes off the heat.

Thai Pizza prebaked

Slide the pizza onto the cracked up stone (oh, you have one that isn’t cracked? Well aren’t you fancy….) and turn the heat down to medium. Check the pizza after 5 minutes. Take it off once the cheese is melted and bubbly, and the crust is starting to color. Once the pizza is off the grill, give it 5 – 10 minutes to rest. Then chow down.

Thai Chicken Pizza

Pizza Dough (for one pizza)

  • 1 C. flour
  • 1/2 tsp. yeast
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 – 1/3 C. warm water

Combine flour, yeast and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Slowly add water until you reach desired consistency. Turn to “stir” and knead for 7 – 10 minutes. Dump into oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise for until doubled in volume. Punch down dough, and divide into balls (one for each pizza). Cover until ready to use.

Peanut Sauce

  • 1/4 C. peanut butter
  • 1 tsp. oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 – 1/2 C. chicken stock (or water)
  • 1 tsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp. ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp. hot sauce

Heat up oil in a small sauce pan. Saute garlic for about 2 minutes. Add in peanut butter and remaining ingredients. Allow to simmer then remove from heat. You want the sauce to be slightly runny. Set aside until ready to use.

Thai Chicken Pizza

  • pizza dough
  • peanut sauce
  • 1/4 C. chicken, cooked and tossed in hoison sauce
  • 2 T. hoison sauce; extra for drizzling
  • 1/4 – 1/2 C. montery jack cheese
  • red bell pepper, sliced thin
  • onion, thinly sliced
  • scallion, sliced
  • small handful peanuts, roughly chopped
  • cilantro leaves

Preheat gas grill and pizza stone on high heat. Spread dough out on a floured pizza peel. Shimmy, to ensure it is not sticking. Spread on a thin layer of peanut sauce. Sprinkle 1/4 of cheese around the outer edge. Layer on all toppings (except for cilantro) and cheese. Transfer to the pizza stone, and lower heat to medium. Allow to cook for 10 -12 minutes, until cheese is bubbly and dough is cooked through. Transfer back to the peel, and sprinkle with cilantro. Allow to cool for 5 – 10 minutes before cutting.