current MO

Friday, April 10, 2009

black olive & pepperoni pizza with vidalia onions and green pepper

My current MO (mild obsession) - pepperoni pizza

Inspired by this post over at Joy the Baker. I must add my list of favourite foodie haunts to my sidebar - Mama sure loves a good food blog. Being a pseudo vegetarian (you know the kind that rarely eats meat yet seems to have few qualms about very occasionally cooking up a big ol' mess of bacon or chowing down on a cheeseburger without much thought ... only every once in awhile - you know the lame kind of vegetarian - sad face) pepperoni is not an ingredient or food group normally found in this old brick house. I do however make homemade pizza regularly. We do have a pizza place in this little village it's the one and only year round spot to eat, but I almost always prefer to make my own. I'm cheap that way or should I say frugal.

My usual homemade pizza has a whole wheat crust and is heaped with vegetables (never meat) and I've discovered what great pizza toppings thinly sliced cauliflower, broccoli and zucchini can be, and/or a bed of baby spinach followed by lots of thinly sliced mushrooms, onions, peppers and olives and finished always, of course, with a good amount of grated mozzarella (and never the low fat variety I'm afraid - it just doesn't melt the same way). I am amazed, however, at how delicious the addition of a layer of finely sliced pepperoni (not even an ounce I'm sure) has made my homemade pizza. Pepperoni pizza had become my current MO - I'm wanting to have it for dinner every other night, and last night I added a small baby spinach salad to go with. So here goes ... first with my fail proof pizza dough recipe (makes 2 single pizzas or 1 pizza for 2)

pizza dough (begin early in the day)
1/2 cup warm water
1 tsp. honey or brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp instant yeast
1 cup whole wheat or white flour (or half and half)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp olive oil
additional white flour

In a medium sized bowl mix water, sugar and yeast and let sit for a few moments until yeast is dissolved add the cup of flour and beat vigorously, cover this sponge with plastic wrap and ignore for several hours*. Some time later in the day when you happen to be back in the kitchen making a pot of tea or feeding the cats. Beat into the sponge 1/2 tsp salt and 1 tsp olive oil, liberally dust counter top with white flour dump out wet dough and knead adding more white flour just until the dough is no longer sticky. Shape into a ball, plunk into a well greased (with olive oil) bowl, cover with plastic wrap and ignore some more. If you happen to walk by the dough throughout the afternoon and notice that it has doubled in size give it a quick punch down and let it rise again. I find the more time the dough has to just sit and rise the better the pizza crust turns out (even if it just sits all day, while you're away from the house, on the counter with no punching down). Makes 2 single serving pizzas or 1 pizza for two. If you're just making a pizza for one wrap the other half well in plastic wrap and keep in the fridge for at least a couple of days I haven't had as good luck freezing the dough.

pepperoni pizza for one (use half of the prepared pizza dough)
Hunts 4 cheese spaghetti sauce**
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp sugar

mix above 3 ingredients together (the sugar adds so much to the overall flavour)

Thinly sliced pepperoni (I used world famous and local Brothers pepperoni)
2 large thinly sliced mushrooms
thinly sliced vidalia onions
chopped green pepper
5-6 finely chopped kalamata black olives
1 cup of grated mozzarella or to taste
cornmeal and olive oil for the pan

grease pizza pan with olive oil, dust generously with cornmeal (adds extra crunch to crust), push dough into a fairly thin round shape, smooth on sauce, then a layer of pepperoni, vegetables and olives and finally the cheese. Bake in a 375 oven for 20 minutes or until cheese is just beginning to turn golden and crust is cooked. Yum ! This could very well be my Easter dinner. Wink.

baby spinach salad with oranges
baby spinach
slices of red and yellow pepper
thinly sliced Vidalia onion or other sweet onion
thinly sliced mushrooms
orange segments or supremes

1 tbsp cider vinegar
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp dijon
1/2 tsp maple syrup
1 tbsp of orange juice

* you can also proceed to the next step right away and just cover the ball of dough and leave it on the counter all day if you're not home to punch the dough down.

** my favourite tomato sauce available at most grocery stores, it comes in a tall can and in lots of varieties (although the 4 cheese is my fav) and it's a great base for making pasta sauces as well.


  1. yum!!!!!!Thanks for the tips and ideas:)

  2. WHAT??? Someone said BACON?? (Suddenly decides to "get sick" at lunch and go home and cook for the rest of the day)
    The pizza looks good although I'll pass on the peppers. I also see you believe in the "less is more" theory when it comes to pepperoni as opposed to the American philosophy of More is More which gave us the Meat Lovers pizza and the obesity crisis.
    All in all a good MO to have.

  3. Looks and sounds delicious. My current MO is watercress soup. Although I love any pale green soup so much that I sometimes think I could be fooled by a bowl of pureed grass if it had stock and a swirl of cream in it....

  4. I'm drooling shamelessly.

  5. Yummmmy! Both look SO good, but especially the pizza, and I totally agree with you about low-fat cheeses, they just don't melt the same.

  6. Your pizza dough recipe sounds wonderful. I am going to try it!

  7. Oh, I love to make homemade pizza, too! After you've had homemade, you never want to order out, ever again! Yours looks devine.

    Hey, I'm making your pasta primavera tonight at the manor!


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