Friday night at the Ponderosa is almost always Pizza Night. Everyone at the Ponderosa looks forward to Pizza Night. I call Friday; FriYAY! It is a tradition that started since I retired my PC Apron. I was never home of Friday Nights, as I was off teaching others how to cook. Now I am in control of my calendar and Friday’s are for Ponderosa Family.
Often times the pizza is one safe bet, like pepperoni, and one what can I pull together, like a potato pizza or taco pizza. I do try to repurpose some of the leftovers from the week. But shhhhhhhh don’t tell the residents of the Ponderosa. They have this aversion to leftovers.
As I have shared before I use Bobby Flay’s pizza crust recipe. It is very tasty and super easy to make. Last night, I swapped 1 cup of the flour for whole wheat flour. Tator is the only one that said he wasn’t fond of the crust. Last week I made a whole wheat pizza and he scarfed it down. But the kids didn’t like it. They preferred the regular pizza over the whole wheat one. So now I am in quite a quandary. I think that part of it is that they can see the “wheat” colored crust. I keep telling myself, healthy wasn’t created in a day.
Last night we had a pepperoni pizza and a veggie pizza. I promised when I started writing this blog that I would be honest even if it hurt my pride! So here we go with the Tales of Pizza Night.
Veggie Pizza popped into my head. I could use the veggies that the residents of the Ponderosa like. I would do an olive oil and garlic sauce. So I tried a couple things different with the crust. As I said above, I swapped 1 cup of the regular all purpose flour with a cup of whole wheat flour. The other thing I did was I made it earlier in the day. I made it about noon and put it in the fridge. I had read some that if you make it earlier it makes for a better crust. My lesson learned was that you need to give it enough time to warm up from putting in the fridge. I pulled my dough out of the fridge at 4 and left it in the garage to warm up since it was a nice spring day.
I used a mandolin to slice the zucchini, onion, asparagus, and tomato very thin. I then laid them out on paper towels and salted them so that they would lose some of the moisture there and not on my the pizza. Because who wants a sorry pizza? They sat for about an hour. I had the time. I also went ahead and shredded my mozzarella cheese. You know that bagged stuff is just plain GROSS!
Don’t forget to use cornmeal on your pizza pan. This gives some texture and also keeps it from sticking. Press out your pizza crust to the size of your pizza pan. Top with about 1/2 cup of the shredded mozzarella. This creates a barrier between your toppings and your crust. It helps with the sogginess factor. I also have a seasoning that I really love from Just Spices. It’s called Pizza Seasoning. I sprinkle that on top as well. I next added a layer of zucchini. Then I added tomato to only half the pizza. Next was onion that was followed by asparagus. I then did a couple grinds of salt and pepper and another sprinkle of the pizza seasoning. Gave it a top hat of mozzarella cheese and then I let it sit about 10 minutes.
Into a 500 degree oven for about 20 minutes. The Ponderosa was smelling delish. Once it came out of the oven, I let it hang out a bit before I cut it. I couldn’t wait to take a bite.
I thought it tasted really good. Tator, on the other hand, took a bite and was like what is so bitter on this? I was like what? He said something is bitter. I took another bite of mine and was like ummmm I don’t have anything bitter. What are you talking about? He finished that piece and ate a 2nd piece. He said the 2nd piece wasn’t bitter. In the end, he said it wasn’t his favorite, he didn’t really like the crust. I had to remind myself he was giving me honest feedback and I shouldn’t smack him. I liked it. I wonder if I had made it on a regular crust what his feedback would have been. As for the bitter taste the only thing I could come up with is sometimes zucchini has a bitter taste to it. So maybe it was that.
The pepperoni pizza was devoured, in case you were wondering. So I will continue to remind myself that healthy wasn’t achieved in one day. It’s a slow and steady race. We will find something we love and some things that mama will have to go back to the drawing board on. I’m in it for the long haul. I hope you are too!
From the Ponderosa Kitchen to you,
Elizabeth, Queen of the Ponderosa Kitchen