“What?” As if she didn’t know that he was asking about what she’d found in the rear of the wreck. At least if the engine fell on them, it would crush her first before putting him out of his misery.
Fine, two could play that game. Mike wouldn’t be the first to ask what she’d learned while he’d been sweating out his distraction across the Nevada desert. “Favorite pizza?”
“Weren’t you paying attention? I ate pizza just last night.”
“A loaded, a vegetarian, and two pepperonis.”
She only blinked once in surprise that he had noticed, then recovered with, “Well there’s your answer, mate.”
“No. It either means that pepperoni is your favorite with two votes or that if I was to spread refried beans and chocolate mole sauce on a pizza crust and bake it, you’d eat it.”
“You should really learn to listen better. I told you, ‘There’s your answer’.”
“All of the above,” he sighed. Another round to Holly.
NOTE: Pizza is a serious business in my life. My one food on a desert island? Probably pizza. With pasta and Chinese food a close second. Here are two versions of pizza that we often make in our house. One takes some planning, and one takes some minutes. We love both of them.
Active time: 30 minutes / Total Time: 2 hours
Serves 3 (4 with a side salad or a smoothie)
- 1 pkg yeast granules
- 1/2 c. warm water
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 2 c. flour or [a little more toothsome and healthy]
- 1-1/2 c. flour
- 1/4 c. whole wheat flour
- 3 T. wheat germ
- 1 T. soy flour
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 1 egg
- 1-1/2 tsp. oil
- Put warm water in small bowl, dissolve sugar. Sprinkle yeast over top. Let sit 10 minutes until yeast blooms.
- Stir in other ingredients, transferring to larger bowl when you need to.
- Knead: flour the counter a bit. Form dough into a ball. Push away from you with the heels of your hands. Pull the back end toward you and fold in half, turn 1/4 turn, do again. Do that 5 minutes, or put into mixer with dough hook and let it go (fairly slow speed) for 10 minutes.
- Place in oiled bowl, then flip dough ball so oil is on top. Cover with damp kitchen towel. Or I’ll toss a dinner plate or pot lid on top of the mixing bowl.
- Let rise in a warm (not hot) place until about double, about 1 hr. [Tip: No handy warm spot? Pop it in a cold oven with the oven light on and the door closed.]
- Now, after making sure you took your dough out of the oven, is the time to preheat the oven to 450° F / 230° C. [Tip: We don’t have a pizza stone, because they take like an hour to heat up. We toss in a pair of stacked cookie sheets face-down while preheating the oven. Slide the pizza pan onto that for a nice crispy crust.]
- Punch down and roll out about the diameter of the pizza pan or a little larger for edge crimping. [Tip: Use a little flour on the rolling pin. Flip the crust over a few times while rolling, flouring the counter with just a rub of a floured hand.]
- Sprinkle pizza pan lightly with cornmeal.
- Fold in half over the rolling pin and move over to pizza pan.
The Pizza toppings:
- Thin-slice enough veggies to put on top: 1/2 onion, 1 pepper, two fistfuls of mushrooms, olives, etc. Set aside.
- Grate about 1 to 1-1/2 c. mozzarella, about 1/2 c. Parmesan cheese. Set aside.
- Use jarred pizza sauce or homemade spaghetti sauce (boil down a little to thicken). Jarred spaghetti sauce is just too liquidy.
Bake, Assemble, and Bake again:
- Bake dough for 5 minutes (optional but makes crust crispier).
- Spread a bit of oil over the dough (keeps sauce from soaking dough).
- Ladle pizza sauce all over in even layer. Not too thick.
- Spread veggies.
- Spread mozzarella cheese first, then Parmesan on the top.
- Can leave flat, or roll up edges and crimp (like a pie).
- Bake until the pizza is golden brown on edges, about 20-30 minutes. Watch it doesn’t get too brown on edges. Let cool for 3-5 minutes for cheese to gel.
Total time: 15 minutes. Serves 1 per naan.
Note: This is our lazy-night pizza. We typically eat this as veggies only. But cooked-and-crumbled ground beef, a thin-sliced leftover chicken breast, or sautéed sausage slices work well if the mood and energy level strikes. We do them in pairs in the toaster oven for speed and simplicity.
- Toast some flatbread or garlic naan until lightly crunchy. (For this we use store bought naan and keep it in the freezer. We pull out a couple pieces when we’re in the mood, then zap in the microwave for 30 seconds to defrost.)
- While toasting, slice some veggies. Almost anything: this is a great “use up the leftovers” meal.
- We’ll often pre-sauté a pound of sliced mushrooms, toss them in the fridge, and then use them in omelettes, pizza, or whatever else comes to mind.
- Bell peppers (fresh or roasted)
- Thin-sliced onions and / or cabbage
- Sun-dried tomatoes
- A can of sliced black olives
- …you get the idea
- Spread a thin coating of pizza sauce on the flatbread. A bit of pesto mixed in is a great addition. Sprinkle on a little dried basil or tarragon and oregano instead? Sure, why not?
- Top with veggies, bacon crumbles, and other great stuff.
- Grate whatever cheese is lying around over the top: mozzarella, cheddar, pepper jack, leftover blue cheese from that dish last night just for variety, and always Parmesan.
- Toast again long enough to reheat and melt the cheese and get a bit of golden on the Parm. (Or if doing a family-sized batch, toss under the broiler for 1-3 minutes, but keep a close eye on it. I’ve burned more than one batch when I was distracted for the wrong half-minute.)
Serve with a beer or a big fruit smoothie.