Thursday, May 19, 2011

If Giada Says So

So last night's dinner proved to be a fail.  Not because it didn't taste good, but because it kept the little turkey up with gas pains.  He woke up every hour it seemed until about 2:00 in the morning.  And this was not the first time this has happened. We realized almost immediately that he had a very sensitive little belly.In fact,  I am pretty sure he came out of the womb roota-tootin'!  I quickly learned that broccoli, onions, garlic, chocolate, and milk proved to be the most upsetting.  Which in return was quite upsetting to me.....because when I cook the more onions and garlic the better....and don't get me started on my love of chocolate, I have learned to indulge in small bits here and there which seem to work out for the both of us.  I started avoiding the things I knew caused the most problems and only consumed some of them in light moderation.  We seemed to be on a good road to recovery, as he had been sleeping well and we weren't using the gas drops as profusely as before. So when I came up with last night's dinner I thought, "what the heck" a caramelized onion loaded pizza was no big deal. See, there is one thing I love more than onions themselves....onions that have been  slowly cooked to a sweet candy-like state....hence the title "caramelized".  The art of caramelization is something that took me many years to master, you have to cook the perfectly sliced onions over low heat, tending to them with love and finesse.  Patience is definitely not my strongest virtue (ask my parents not my husband, as he is much to sweet to admit it.).  I usually attack a situation in hopes of getting the best and short-framed outcome as possible.  And that is how I used to make my caramelized onions...I would crank up the gas heat and literally fry the living daylights out of them. I didn't want to stand there stirring and stirring and waiting and waiting.  But as with most things in life....patience brings out a better quality, a more pronounced sweetness that could easily get overlooked if handled to hastily. Trust me when I say this, you don't want to cook your onions to quickly. You will regret it, I did.

One little tip if you have some little ones at home and the idea of making homemade pizza makes you want to crawl into a corner and frantically speed dial the closest delivery man.  Choose your toppings wisely, AND use store bought pizza dough.  I am usually all about making things from scratch, but recently I was watching Giada....and would you guess what she pulled out of her prepared pizza dough!  Kyle always gives me a hard time saying I "LOVE" Giada....and, well....maybe I do.  Whats not to love?  She is brilliant when it comes to easy, flavorful and truly authentic Italian dishes.  She always does a cute little smack, followed by a "num-num" when she tastes her food.  And sometimes when she gets really excited she does a little happy dance....personally, I like happy dances.  So I decided if it's good enough for Giada is good enough for me. The end. 

So after all of that, here is the simplest pizza to make, and it might even be faster than waiting for the delivery guy to show up with your soggy pizza anyways.

 Caramelized Onion and Prosciutto Pizza:


1 store bought pizza dough ( I used Trader Joes)
1 red onion, thinly sliced and caramelized
1 Tbls olive oil
Prosciutto (you can choose how much or how little you want, I like to slice in strips and cover the entired pizza)
pizza sauce ( again, you can choose the you like it saucy?)
5-6 slices of fresh mozzarella rounds ( fresh makes all the difference in the world)
handful of fresh baby arugula
olive oil for drizzling, optional
fresh parmesan cheese
fresh pepper for sprinkling, also optional

Preheat over 425 (or as otherwise directed on pizza dough package)

Place pizza stone in preheated over to warm up.

In pan over low heat add olive oil and sliced onions, cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring often until nice caramel-like consistency is achieved. 

On lightly floured surface either roll or stretch dough into a 12 inch diameter circle.  Top with sauce, prosciutto, onions and cheese. Bake until edges of dough get lightly browned and the cheese is melted about 20-25 minutes...again this depends on the dough you use and the thickness you make it.

Once you remove from the oven top with arugula and if you wish sprinkle with olive oil, parmesan cheese and pepper.

Most important step....Eat.

(Another helpful hint to busy moms: you can prepare the caramelized onions ahead of time, I made mine while the little man slept, and I also sliced the cheese and had the prosciutto all prepped and ready.  So when the time came to build the pizza I literally threw on the toppings and tossed in the oven...voila!)

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