the naan pizza

Late last month, Mare picked up some naan (pronounced ‘non’, not na-an) from Whole Foods, and we made some tasty pizzas with it.

These are naan pizzas topped with pineapple and red onion before they go in the oven. We made them just like we make our homemade pies with fresh dough, but no stretching needed to be done.

Here they are fresh out of the oven on the blazing hot pizza stone.

We experimented with an interesting topping combination: Canadian bacon and a sliced Granny Smith apple. You know how pigs are portrayed with apples in their mouths when they’re about to be eaten? It’s kind of like that but on a health kick scale.

The Canadian bacon/Granny Smith apple-topped naan pizzas after their ten minutes in the 400°F oven. They actually tasted delicious. The ham and apple compliment each other very well.

the ‘za of the week (apr 13 – apr 19) + pizza recipe

This week’s ‘za was a Hawaiian-style pie topped with Canadian bacon and pineapple. This simple couple creates a unique flavor that Mare & I both enjoy.

Nothing complex went into this pizza, but I’ll go into a step-by-step process on making this pizza to beef up this post and because I have to constantly remind myself how to make ’em!

Modern Soapbox ‘Za of the Week Recipe

1. Brush a thin layer of garlic-infused extra virgin olive oil on a rectangular baking sheet.

2. Stretch the dough evenly to fit the baking sheet. Stretch it a little larger the baking sheet and push the edges up the inner sides of the sheet. The pie will shrink a little when it’s baked, so this will make it fit snug.

3. Spread about seven tablespoons of pizza sauce evenly on the crust.

4. Sprinkle a generous amount of parmesan on the pizza sauce to help soak up any extra moisture created by the sauce, cheese, and toppings.

5. Spread about a cup and a half of low-moisture part-skim mozzarella evenly over the pizza sauce.

6. Evenly spread your toppings. For this pie, the Canadian bacon and pineapple were the toppings. When using canned toppings such as the pineapple, make sure to drain them very well. This will keep the crust from getting soggy.

7. Sprinkle about half to three-fourths of a cup more of mozzarella over the pizza to seal those toppings in.

8. Preheat the oven to 450°F.

9. Once the oven is preheated, place the pizza in the middle rack and bake for ten minutes. Rotate the pie 180° about halfway through the baking time to bake the crust evenly.

10. After ten minutes, remove the pizza and allow it to sit for about a minute. Then, transport it off the baking sheet onto a cooling rack to let the pie to crisp as it cools.

11. Move the pie onto a cutting board, slice it, and enjoy!

This pie had some extra dark spots, but I think it was caused by thin cheese spots. Remember to spread that cheese evenly and sprinkle it on thick to prevent those extra dark spots!

We also warmed up some focaccia like we did last time. All we did was brush some garlic-infused olive oil on both sides of the bread, sprinkled some parmesan and a blend of Italian seasonings, and baked it right after the ‘Za of the Week for four minutes.

The after photo doesn’t look much different, but you’ll notice the bread became more golden and the parmesan baked up as well.

We served this and the ‘za with a romaine and feta salad dressed with balsamic vinaigrette. This was a deluxe meal that Mare & I always enjoy.

the ‘za of the week (mar 23 – mar 29)

I think we’ve made tonight’s ‘Za of the Week before. This one had pepperoni, pineapple, and red onion on top of sun-dried tomato pesto with mozzarella cheese. The combination makes a pie packed with bold flavor.

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I’m trying to utilize more of the photo space when taking the before and after pics.

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This after photo was shot in a different lighting than the before photo. The first pic was taken in the kitchen where the ‘Za of the Week photos are usually taken, but the lighting was acting up when it was time to take the after photo which ended up being taken in the dining area.

the ‘za of the week (mar 9 – mar 15)

The ‘Za of the Week post has been delayed but not forgotten lately. Mare and I made this pie last Thursday. I worked late the previous Monday and Tuesday and was able to leave an hour early. On top of the unusual, I had worked from 9 to 4 that day so I returned to the apartment much earlier than usual.

This ‘za was pretty traditional. The toppings included: sliced pepperoni, half of a sliced red onion, and pineapple tidbits.

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The pepperoni slices were lined up right next to each other, so this pizza was topped with more pepperoni than we usual put and made it that much tastier.

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The pineapple was drained with a strainer really well. The onion was sliced to make quarter-inch wide pieces.

My attack at slicing an onion goes a little like this:

  • Cut the onion in half through the ends that have that dried roots on one end and where the plant shoots out on the other end. You can lay the onion flat on the cutting board from here, and slicing will be much easier.
  • Slice the ends off and discard them.
  • Remove the first layer of the onion that should include the dry skin.
  • Slice the onion into quarter-inch thick pieces. Guide the knife with the middle joints of your fingers on the non-cutting hand. You won’t cut yourself if you keep the blade near the onion and the side of the knife as close to your bent fingers as possible.
  • Don’t throw away the middle part of the onion. Think of it as the heart, the most flavorful part of the onion. When the heart cooks up, it will provide the sweetness than red onions are known for.

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The sauce was the usual marinara we use, and we used part-skim low-moisture mozzarella. The baking sheet was greased with garlic-infused olive oil. The pie was baked at 450°F for ten minutes. It was cooled in the baking sheet for a minute then put on the cooling rack for a few more minutes. While it’s on the cooling rack, I snapped the after photos that you see here.

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Our homemade pizzas turn out better than calling up the corporates and having them bring it to your door, heating up something frozen, or even “take and bake.” Everything from the crust to the fresh ingredients to the love put into assembling these creations makes every bite worth savoring.

the ‘za of the week (feb 10 – feb 16)

Baking a pizza at home is a very relaxing experience. From stretching the dough to sprinkling the shredded cheese and adding the toppings, a homemade pizza is made with love rather than being just another pie filling a ticket in a corporate establishment.

This past Wednesday, Mare & I baked a homemade pizza topped with Canadian bacon, pineapple, and ricotta. We had fun with the arrangement of the toppings as you can see in the photograph below.

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The dough treated us well again and stretched all the way across the baking sheet. If you’re using canned pineapple to top a pie, then make sure to drain the pineapple as much as possible. We use a strainer to make sure the pineapple tidbits are well-drained. Sprinkle a decent amount of Parmesan on the marinara to soak up any extra liquid that may want to get through and sog up the crust.

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Topping a pizza is comparable to decorating a cake. Even distribution of the toppings is important, so each slice will have a balanced amount of toppings.

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This pie baked excellent. Hawaiian-style pizzas have their own unique flavor combination.

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In this close-up, you can see the shininess of the cheese caused by the grease being baked out. You can also see the baked spots on the ricotta which I really enjoy. A pineapple tidbit made the picture in the lower right corner as did a piece of Canadian bacon in the upper right corner.

the ‘za of the week (jan 27 – feb 2)

With the frequency of ‘Za of the Week posts versus posts about anything else, this blog ought to be renamed Modern Pizza Box. This week’s pie was topped with: pepperoni, red onions and pineapple.

The dough stretched so well this time around, and extra sauce was used again. We were going for an interesting topping combination without using anything out of the ordinary. Then again, Burma doesn’t consider crickets as a pizza topping out of the ordinary.

The layers stacked like this:

  • Garlic-infused olive oil brushed on the baking sheet
  • Dough
  • Extra marinara
  • Parmesan
  • ½-¾ cup of mozzarella
  • Sliced pepperoni
  • Sliced red onions
  • Pineapple tidbits
  • 1½-1¼ cups of mozzarella
  • Parmesan

The two main things I felt should be stressed with this pizza were:

  • Use Parmesan to soak up the liquid that leave the toppings, mainly the onions and pineapple. Who enjoys soggy pizza?
  • Make sure to drain the pineapple well if you are using canned pineapple. The best way to drain pineapple is with a strainer.

The rest of the pie is pretty standard everyday American pizza.

The crust came out perfectly crispy. The toppings combined very well to create a flavor of its own. Even though pineapple usually accompanies ham on a Hawaiian-style pizza, it still goes well with pepperoni. Red onions have a sweet flavor when they’re cooked, so they go well with a topping like pineapple.

Where’s the pepperoni? Buried beneath the sea of cheese.