Monday, 10 March 2014

Smoked Salmon, Caramelized Onion and Feta Cheese Pizza

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Remember that pizza craving I had? Well this is the treat that finally fulfilled it.  This isn't your typical ooey gooey pizza that is so overloaded with stringy mozzarella you need your Go-Go-Gadget arms just to eat it (which is delicious in its own right).  This pizza is a well balanced taste sensation (yes, I said it ... and I mean it!).  The creaminess of the cheese was offset by the crisp of the crust. The sweetness in the onion was countered by the smokiness of the salmon. It was both sweet and savoury, crunchy and chewy. It was so good I made it two days in a row and if I didn't run out of ingredients, would probably have made it three or four.

As I had previously mentioned, this kitchen adventure also led me to making my own crust.  Something I hadn't done before but am very glad I was forced to. I've already talked about how easy it was, and I sincerely meant it. The hardest part is putting your cravings aside long enough to let the dough rise. Oh, and if you're me and you don't have indoor heating, it can also be difficult to find a spot in the house warm enough to let the yeast do it's thing. But seriously you guys, if I can do ... you can do it. No longer will insignificant details like lack of sauce and dough stop me from making a pizza!

While cooking in this country (the way I want to cook) will remain more complicated and challenging than it should, I am thankful that it has taught me to get creative and try out things I wouldn't necessarily have tried before.

So, I think I'm ready for my next challenge... what should I make?

Smoked Salmon, Caramelized Onion and Feta Cheese Pizza

Pizza dough (recipe below)
1/3 - 1/2 cup pizza sauce, according to tastes (recipe here)
1/2 medium red onion, sliced thinly
1 tsp cooking oil
1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
smoked salmon - exact measurement hard to predict

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. On a floured surface roll out the pizza dough to desired shape and thickness.  This dough recipe would make enough for about 2 12" pizzas, and I used half the amount of dough. Then transfer to a floured baking sheet. 
  3. Meanwhile, in a frying pan over medium heat, heat the cooking oil and add the sliced onion.  Cook the onion until soft, browned, and sweetly fragrant. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. Top the rolled out pizza dough with the tomato sauce and sprinkle with the remaining ingredients.
  5. Bake for 10-15 or until the base of the crust is crispy and the edges are starting to brown lightly
  6. Enjoy!

Basic Pizza Dough
3 cups all purpose flour, plus more for dusting and kneading
1 8g sachet dried yeast
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups warm water
1 tbsp olive oil, plus more for brushing

  1. Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl and make a well in the centre. 
  2. Add the warm water and olive oil. Cover your hands in flour and mix ingredients together to bring it to a soft dough. You may need to add a little more flour to your hands or the work surface as the dough goes through a sticky stage. 
  3. Knead the dough on a floured surface to until smooth.
  4. Brush the mixing bowl olive oil and place the dough inside, turning to coat.
  5. Cover with a damp tea towel. Set aside in a warm place for 30 minutes or until dough doubles in size. 
  6. Punch down dough with your fist. Remove the dough from the bowl and knead it gently for about a minute. 
  7. Cut the dough in half and you're ready to make a pizza

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