Thursday, March 20, 2008

Ceasar Salad Pizzas and Margaritas

I have been good getting my goals accomplished for the last week so I wanted to treat myself. I have not been having quite enough time to get all my things that I write down on little scraps of paper during the day (at work) done. I write my ideas down for what I want to get accomplished or things that I forgot to do the night before and I get this second wind as soon as I get into the door. The problem is. . .I always run out of time! Before I know it, the night has gotten a LOT later then I was hoping before I slipped into the covers and actually gotten the required amount of sleep. . .whatever that is. . .I'm not sure anymore =D. What I want to know is this: Are people who really enjoy cooking over-achievers? Many of us work full-time and have responsibilities besides coming home and making the next new and fresh creations AND take the time to blog about it. So - what does this mean? I was accused of showing someone up at work because I come in with a plateful of goodies about once a week. I say, it all comes down to what you truly wish to make quality time for. . .yes? No? I am exhausted at night BUT it is a good exhaustion. Everyone goes to bed happy and with a full tummy. Isn't that what cooking is all about? Creating and using artistic ideas then sharing those dishes with your loved ones?
My family loves salads and pizzas. I try not to make the pizzas to often but this pizza is soo good and I think that it also isn't to bad for you. Combining the salad and pizza means having two of my favorite foods with half of the guilt. I originally found this recipe in the Pastry Queen by Rebecca Rather. The crust is chewy and crunchy. The toppings can be anything that you can put your mind to for a unique or original creation! =D

Caesar Salad Pizzas
Crust:
1 1/2 c. lukewarm water (110 to 115 degrees F.)
2 (1-ounce) packages active dry yeast
2 T. olive oil, plus additional for brushing on crusts
2 t. honey
4 to 5 c. all-purpose flour
3 T. semolina flour (optional)
1 t. sea salt
1/2 t. crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1/4 c. coarse cornmeal
1 c. freshly shredded Parmesan cheese

Dressing:

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 anchovy fillet (optional)

2 large eggs, beaten, or 1/2 c. pasteurized egg product

1/2 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 t. Worcestershire sauce

2 t. Dijon mustard

1 c. extra-virgin olive oil

1 1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Salad:

1 large head romaine lettuce, washed and cut into 1 1/2-inch slices

1 pint organic cherry tomatoes, halved (optional)

Butter and Garlic Croutons (optional)

Freshly shaved Parmesan cheese, for garnish (optional)


Directions: To make the crust: Combine the lukewarm water, yeast, olive oil, and honey in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add 3 cups of the all-purpose flour, the semolina flour, salt, and crushed red pepper; mix on low speed. With the machine running, add 1 cup of the all-purpose flour to make a soft dough. Mix the dough on low speed about 5 minutes longer, until smooth. Add up to 1 more cup of the all-purpose flour as necessary to keep the dough from sticking to the bowl.


Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 to 15 turns. Place in a large oiled bowl. Cover and let rest at room temperature for 30 to 40 minutes.

Generously coat 2 baking sheets with olive oil. Sprinkle the sheets with cornmeal. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. (If you have a pizza stone, use it instead of the baking sheets, preheating it along with the oven. No need to grease the stone, just sprinkle it with cornmeal just before you bake the pizzas.)

Divide the dough into quarters. Roll each piece into a ball, place the dough balls on a baking sheet, cover with a damp towel, and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes longer. Use immediately, or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 3 hours.

Using a floured rolling pin, flatten each dough ball into an 8-inch circle. Brush each dough round with olive oil and sprinkle each with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Transfer the crusts onto the prepared baking sheets and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until browned and crisp.

To Make the Dressing: Place the garlic, anchovy, eggs, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce and mustard in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade or in a blender. Process until smooth. With the processor or blender running, add the olive oil through the feed tube or lid opening, if it is the blender, in a thin, steady stream. Pour the dressing into a bowl, stir in the Parmesan cheese, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

To Make the Salad: Toss the lettuce and tomatoes with the dressing. Place a generous amount of salad on top of each warm pizza crust. Garnish with shaved Parmesan cheese, croutons, and dressing. Serve flat like a tostada.

The Real Deal Margaritas
Ingredients:
1 lime, halved
Kosher salt
5 limes - freshly squeezed
1 lemon - freshly squeezed
1 c. Triple Sec
1 c. white tequila
2 c. ice plus extra for the cocktail shaker

Directions: If you enjoy salt on the rims of your margarita glass, slide a cut lime around the rim of the glass and lightly dip into a plate of kosher salt.
Combine the lime juice, lemon juice, Triple Sec, tequila, and ice in a blender and puree. Place extra ice in a cocktail shaker. Fill with the margarita mix in the blender, shake well, and strain into glasses.

5 comments:

Baking Soda said...

If it's something you enjoy doing, and enjoy making people happy doing it, I see no problem! But it's true, people do try to belittle what I do too, making pah pah sounds re cooking from scratch, spending time to blog, spending so much time in the kitchen. Why? When I feel wicked I think they are masking their uneasiness/guilt? by putting down your efforts...

Cakespy said...

Holy deliciousness! This sounds like Friday night heaven to Mr. Cakespy and myself!!

Chez Denise et Laudalino said...

What a GREAT pizza - and the margies look fantastic! Will definitely be making both in our house!

Thank you for adding us to your blog roll!!

Shandy said...

baking soda, hello and thank you for your comments. They definitely made me feel better! I think all of us that having cooking blogs share a common interest in our love of food and sharing. Cooking and Sharing go hand-and-hand =).

cakespy, this recipe was so much fun and I absolutely LOVE this recipe for a pizza crust. Fast and easy with great flavor. I hope you have a chance to try it =).

chez denise et laudalino, what a blog name. . .very nice! Thank you for the compliment on the pizza! It is delicious BUT messy unless you want to eat with a knife and fork.

Deborah said...

I think that everyone needs to find time to do what they enjoy - how fun would life be if all we did was work? I love to cook and bake, and I figure we have to eat anyway, and I'm going to have fun doing it!!

This pizza sounds delicious!