The song: “Blackbird” by The Beatles (lyrics)
The foodstuff: Nacho Pizza
The connection: Straight from the Blackbird Pizzeria specialty pizza menu.
Of all the specialty pizzas offered by Blackbird, it was the Yukon pizza I most wanted to make. But been there, done that! – and, since one of my Vegan MoFo goals is to try all new recipes, I settled on the Nacho pizza instead. Avocados, jalapenos, caramelized onions, Daiya cheddar cheese – do I have your attention, vegans?
Since I’m kind of a baby when it comes to hot foods, this pie was all Shane’s. (I got my own Daiya cheese pizza, with fresh tomatoes and black olives – may favorites! – so no worries.) Though he’s never before had avocados on a pizza (we’re not a big avocado family, don’t ask me why), he proved an instant convert. The avocados offered more volume per slice, while the sweetness of the caramelized onions complemented the spicy jalapenos. And who doesn’t love Daiya cheese?
He’s a moderately spicy kind of guy – when we buy jarred salsa, he goes with medium – and reports that one jalapeno (with two to three rounds per slice) made for a hot enough pizza without going overboard. If you’ve built up a greater tolerance, try two (or even three, dog help ya). The more you know!
(Inspired by the Nacho Pizza at Blackbird Pizzeria.)
…for a Fluffy White Pizza Crust
1 cup warm water (110 degrees F / 45 degrees C) [Optional: sub in 1/2 cup of plain soy milk; this gave us a slightly thinner crust.]
1 tablespoon sugar
2 1/4 tablespoons active dry yeast
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
…for the pizza
2 large onions
2 teaspoons olive oil and/or margarine
a dash of salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar (optional)
1-2 avocados, peeled and sliced
1-2 jalapenos, cut into rounds
Cheddar Daiya cheese
Red pizza sauce
Cornmeal or cooking spray with which to coat the pizza stone or pizza pan
1. To prepare the dough: stir the water, sugar and yeast together until dissolved. Add the olive oil and salt, as well as any extra spices or seasonings. Stir in the flour until blended. Form the dough into a small ball and let rest in large bowl, covered loosely with a towel, anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours.
2. At least an hour before you’d like to start making the pizza, prepare the caramelized onions. (Alternately, you can prepare them ahead of time and store them in the fridge.)
Peel the onions and remove the top and bottom ends. Cut each onion in half, then slice lengthwise to the desired thickness. Coat the bottom of a large sauté pan with olive oil (about two teaspoons) or a mix of olive oil and margarine. Bring to heat on medium-high; when the oil is hot (but not smoking), add the onions, spreading them out evenly in the pan. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for about ten minutes, stirring occasionally. Add a dash of salt and, if desired, a tiny bit of sugar to aid in the caramelizing.
Cover and cook on medium-low for another 30 minutes or so, stirring occasionally so as to prevent the onions from sticking to the pan. If they begin to dry out, add a splash of water. As the onions cook down, you may want to reduce the heat to low; you’ll also need to stir the onions more often near the end of the process. If necessary, add a little extra olive oil to prevent them from sticking to the pan. The onions are done once they reach a rich, brown color. (See, e.g, this or this.)
3. When you’re ready to assemble and bake your pizza, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Spread a dusting of cornmeal onto your pizza stone (or lightly coat your pizza pan with cooking spray). Using fingers dipped in olive oil (optional), pat the dough onto the stone, spreading it out evenly.
4. Add your toppings: pizza sauce, followed by the cheddar cheese, caramelized onions, jalapenos, and avocados.
5. Bake at 425 degrees, for between 15 and 20 minutes for a single pizza, or 30 minutes for two pizzas.
On another note, check out this awesome tee I scored for just $2 on my most recent trip to Goodwill.
The pizza is really a book.
Let me repeat: THE PIZZA IS REALLY A BOOK!
I wonder if the book is hollowed out and stuffed with another pizza, Inception styley? A pizza within a book within a pizza within a book within a bowl of mac & cheese? Who knows! Just throw a dog in there and this is my idea of heaven.
It’s a kid’s shirt, but a large, so I can just barely squeeze my person into it. Works for me!