Pizza Dip

pizza dip 2You know those dishes that while you’re eating, you know you’re gonna regret it later, but it’s so good that you can’t stop and just keep eating anyway? Yeah, that’s how this pizza dip is. And yeah, I had major regret in the form of a stomach ache last night. But sometimes you just have to live in the moment.

My sister, her husband and I like to have lazy Sundays sometimes. Where we eat bad food and watch bad TV/movies. It’s usually sparked by a hangover, which my sister may have had yesterday. But I was just bored. Which really is not a good excuse to stuff yourself with cheese and carbs. But like I said, sometimes you just have to live in the moment. So after we made loaded cheese fries, and nibbled on baked Cheetos (a family favorite), I whipped up this dip. Just in time to watch Pitch Perfect (another family favorite).

This pizza dip would be good to take to a party, where there are more than 3 people. And since the 4th of July is this week and people are probably looking for party recipes, I thought I would share it now. (Look at me, being all ahead of the game.) Everyone loves cheese, so this should definitely be a crowd pleaser. Especially if there are boys. And especially if you add pepperoni.

PIZZA DIP

pizza dip

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Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces of cream cheese, softened (1 box of a block of cream cheese)
  • 8 ounces of shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 4-6 ounces of provolone cheese (I used about 4 slices, torn into small pieces)
  • 1/2 cup of shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup of fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/4 cup of fresh oregano, chopped
  • a dash of thyme
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 4 roma tomatoes, cut into small triangles
  • a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper
  • bread, crackers or chips for dipping

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Toss tomatoes with olive oil, salt and pepper. Lay out on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Bake/roast for about 20 minutes, until tomatoes are bursting.

Meanwhile, mix softened cream cheese with provolone, and most of the mozzarella and parmesan. Add in the herbs and garlic. Once tomatoes are ready, mix them in too. Transfer to an oven safe dish. Top with remaining mozzarella and parmesan cheese.

Bake for 25-30 minutes until the top is brown and cheese is bubbling. Serve with bread, chips or crackers.

Note 1: I used a 4th kind of cheese but I don’t know what it’s called. It was a block of some fancy cheese that I had leftover from another recipe. If you have another kind of cheese that you want to add, go for it. You can make the dip ahead of time, and either bake it half way or not at all and then pop it in the oven to get it bubbling when you get to the party.

Note 2: The 3 of us did not eat the entire bowl of dip. We only made it through about half. 

Recipe adapted from How Sweet It Is blog.

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HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY

heart shaped pizza

vdayplate

I’m starting to think I should change the name of my blog to Pizza du Jour. Or that perhaps I should be embarrassed by the amount of pizza I eat. Yes? No?

In any case, I’m not posting the recipe for this because I am sure that by now, you all have figured out how I like to make my pizzas and are thinking okay, woman, WE GET IT. But I wanted to share a little VDay love with all of my blog readers! I am so grateful to those of you who are continuing to follow me and to those of you who tell me when you see me that you like my blog. Thank you! I love you, guys!

These are heart-shaped (er, sort of) pizzas that I made with my office lovers/BFFs on Tuesday night. And the adorable place settings we had.

Annnyway… Happy Valentine’s Day, LOVAS!!!

VEGGIE PIZZA

veggie pizza 2It’s no secret that I love pizza. In fact, I think I’ve eaten it 3 or 4 times this week. Last night I had the best white pizza at Social Pie and Pub in Baltimore. But the night before I made my own pizza with a bunch of veggies that I had in my fridge and wanted to use up. I got home late and needed something easy to make for dinner. I had a store-bought, pre-rolled, thin pizza crust in the fridge. So I whipped out my handy dandy mandolin and prepared this little gem. It’s pretty similar to the pizza I posted the other day, but I think the black olives and shiitake mushrooms really added to the flavor. So did the thin crust. It probably would have been better if I had made/rolled my own dough, but I liked having the thin crust here.

VEGGIE PIZZA

veggie pizza

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup of shitake mushrooms
  • 1/4 of a potato
  • 4-5 brussel sprouts
  • 1/2 of a jalapeno
  • black olives
  • 1/4 of a red onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp of butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • a handful of fresh thyme leaves
  • grated parmesan cheese to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • crushed red pepper (if you’re into that)
  • a thin crust pizza dough, or whatever dough you want

Directions:

Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. If using a pizza stone (which I did), put it in the oven in advance and allow it to heat up for at least 45 minutes.

Thinly slice your potato, onion, jalapeno and olives on a mandolin. I use the 1/4 setting. Shave the brussel sprouts on the mandolin. Put the potatoes in a bowl with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper and mix well, coating the potatoes.

Combine the butter, garlic and olive oil in a small bowl. Spread over your pizza dough/crust. Place the potatoes sporadically on your crust. Put the pizza in the oven and allow to bake for 8-10 minutes. The potatoes take longer to cook than the other vegetables, which is why you need to put them in first.

Put all of your remaining veggies in the same bowl that the potatoes were in. Add a little extra olive oil or leftover garlic butter sauce, salt and pepper, and thyme. Mix well, coating the veggies.

Pull the pizza with the potatoes out of the oven. You can either leave it on the stone and pull out your top rack of the oven to top the rest of the pizza. Or you can remove it from the stone and transfer it to a work surface, which is what I did this time since my crust was pretty sturdy.

Top the pizza with the veggies, strategically or sporadically. It’s up to you. Grate the parmesan cheese on top. Put the pizza back in the oven for another 10-15 minutes, depending on how you like your crust. The veggies should be a bit brown and the cheese should be melted.

Top with crushed red pepp, grab a glass of red wine and enjoy!

 

 

BRUSSEL SPROUT AND POTATO PIZZA

brussel sprout and potato pizza 1Is is lunch time yet? I am starving this morning. And I’m pretty excited about the pizza I brought for lunch. I made it on Saturday night and have grand plans in about 8 minutes to go re-heat it in the toaster oven at my office.

If you’ve been reading my blog since its inception, you’ll know that I love a pizza with potatoes on it. I also happen to love shaved brussel sprouts. And this pizza has both. So, it’s pretty delicious. I won’t say too much more because all I wanna do is post this and then go eat it. I’m still working without a real pizza peel, which is why all of my pizzas are in the shape of flat breads. Is there a difference anyway?

BRUSSEL SPROUT AND POTATO PIZZA

brussel sprout and potato pizza 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 large ball of whole wheat pizza dough (homemade or store-bought)
  • 4-5 large brussel sprouts
  • 1/2 of a russet potato
  • 1/4 (or less) of a red onion
  • grated parmesan riggiano cheese or fontina (I actually prefer fontina but I couldn’t find any in the store this weekend)
  • 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • lots of pepper
  • salt to taste
  • rosemary to taste (about a teaspoon)
  • flour (about 2 tablespoons worth. seminola flour is ideal, but if you don’t have it, you can just use regular flour)
  • Tools: a pizza peel (or wooden cutting board with a handle), pizza stone, mandolin, cheese grater (I finally bought a grater/zester at the mall this weekend! woohoo!)

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees. Put the pizza stone in the oven and let it heat up on the top rack of the oven. Ideally, you should let it heat for an hour. I think I only allowed, like, 35-40 mins this time. I was hungry.

Using the mandolin, slice your potato and red onion  into very thin slices. Put in a bowl with a tablespoon of olive oil. Add salt, pepper, rosemary liberally and toss well, coating the potatoes. Set aside.

On a well floured surface, roll out your pizza dough. The dough should be stretched thin, but not too thin so that it won’t hold up with your ingredients on it. Flour the pizza peel well and stretch the dough across (not over the whole peel, just so that it’s as large as you want your pizza to be).

In a small bowl, combine the rest of the olive oil with the garlic. Using a brush or a spoon, spread the oil/garlic over the surface of the dough, leaving about a 1/4 inch border. Place the potatoes and onions on the dough in one, relatively even layer. Grate a bit of cheese over top.

Transfer the pizza to the pizza stone very carefully. It helps to pull the oven rack out a bit. It also takes a while to master this transfer, especially if you’ve already put your toppings on your pizza. Some people say you should bake the crust a bit first before you put the toppings on. But since I usually put potatoes on my pizza, I like to let them in the oven longer so they cook all the way through.

While the pizza and potatoes are baking, quickly (but carefully. you could lose a finger. I know from experience*) shave your brussel sprouts on the mandolin.  Put the shaved brussel sprouts in the bowl that the potatoes were in and add a slight coating of olive oil, salt, and pepper. There should be enough oil residue left in the bowl from the potatoes that you do not need to add more. But definitely add more salt and pepper. Even some crushed red pepper if you like.

Once the pizza has been in the oven for about ten minutes, pull it out (leave it on the stone, just pull the rack out of the oven) and top with the brussel sprouts and more grated cheese. I do not like a lot of cheese on my pizza, so just use however much you prefer.

But it back in the oven and bake for another 20-25 minutes or so, until the dough is a bit brown and your potatoes are cooked through. Transfer pizza from the stone back to the peel. Let it cool a bit and then enjoy!

*Important tip: Always use the food holder/hand-guard whenever you use your mandolin. Seriously. I did not do this once and lost the tip of my pinky. It was traumatic. I am still physically and emotionally scarred.