Pizza Party

I talk a lot about hosting dinner parties.  I talk about the theme, and the menu, and the accompanying cocktails, and the party games we can play.  I talk about it a lot, but…I have yet to host a dinner party.  Although last night my friend and I made pizzas!  Does that count?  We even invited a third friend over to eat said pizzas, and this friend brought wine.  That’s a dinner party, right?

This friend was Christine, who has a wicked awesome blog called Home, Made.  You should read it.  The title was my idea.  Christine and I are a lot alike, except she’s a better photographer than I am.  That’s her there, stabbing at some spinach in an attempt to make it cooperate with the blender.

I know I’m writing a lot about food and cooking and baking, and  I might have to change the name of this blog to The Indie Foodie, but I really have to tell you about these pizzas.  They were darn good.  It’s also a really fancy-but-secretly-easy dish for a causal night with friends (like, say, a dinner party?).  Here’s what you need to do to create a pizza:

1. Either buy ready-made crusts, ready-made dough, or, if you’re really ambitious/crazy/a show-off, make your own.  Make three or four individual pizzas so you can try a lot of stuff.

2. Then buy cheese – fresh mozzarella is the general go-to, but gorgonzola, feta and parmesan are lovely accompaniments.

3. Decide what kind of sauce you want to use.  Tomato sauce is nice, but don’t forget about pesto, white sauce or good old-fashioned olive oil.

4. Invent toppings.  Be creative.  Most things are delicious on an edible carb plate, so don’t be afraid to experiment.  I once put cranberries on a pizza.  True story.

Here’s what we made:

Pizza number one was a pretty straightforward margherita pizza:

  • sliced tomatoes
  • basil
  • mozzarella

The second one was an invention of our own, a sort of mediterranean green pizza:

  • basil pesto mixed with chopped and drained spinach
  • mozzarella
  • chopped garlic
  • feta
  • artichoke hearts

And, finally, the third pizza was based off my favorite pie at City, O City, La Michelle:

  • fig sauce
  • mozzarella
  • basil
  • capers
  • sundried tomatoes

Yeah, fig sauce on a pizza.  That’s a thing.

And, if you’d like some other pizza ideas, a couple I make at home are:

The go-to for vegetarians, classic veggie pizza:

  • red sauce or tomatoes and olive oil
  • mushrooms
  • onions
  • peppers
  • black olives
  • artichoke hearts
  • garlic
  • dried oregano

A sort-of-similar Greek pizza:

  • red sauce
  • mozzarella
  • feta
  • sundried tomatoes
  • red peppers
  • kalamata olives
  • artichoke hearts

I could go on and on, but I bet you have some ideas of your own.  You want to put broccoli on your pizza?  Do it.  Nectarines or pineapple?  I bet that’d pair well with basil and spicy peppers.  Sausage?  Well don’t do that, I’m a vegetarian.

Before you start going crazy, though, here are some basic tips for making pizza:

1. If you’re using tomatoes as a base, cut out the centers/scoop out the juice and seeds before you put it on the pizza, otherwise you’ll end up with a soggy crust.  Yuck.

2. Same thing goes for spinach or other leafy greens: drain it first, or put down some cheese to protect your dough.

3. Toppings that cook/burn quickly should go under the cheese – I’m thinking basil, sundried tomatoes and olives.  Things that need to cook a lot – onions, garlic – should go on top. (See in that picture up there?  I didn’t put the sundried tomatoes under the cheese.  Mistake!)

4. If you’re spreading your own dough (i.e., not using ready-made), put a thin layer of cornmeal on the bottom of the pan under the dough.  It allows heat to circulate underneath to cook the bottom through, and adds a good texture when you eat it.

5. Broil.  Brown bubbly cheese it the best.  Keep an eye on the pie and hit the broiler for the last five minutes.

6. Use kitchen shears to cut the crust if your pizza cutter can’t make it.

Are you inspired yet?  All you need now are some good friends, a green salad and a couple bottles of wine.  Also maybe something sweet for dessert.  That’s never a bad idea.  Invite some people over to help you craft pies and you have yourself a dinner party!

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1 Comment

Filed under Food

One response to “Pizza Party

  1. Christine

    That darn spinach!! It seriously should not have been that hard.

    Also, it looks like I’m a little indecent in that photo.

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