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 (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 24 – mar 1)

Mare and I like to try out interesting combinations when we make the ‘Za of the Week. The pie this week was topped with: breakfast sausage, mushrooms, roasted red peppers, and red onions. Most of the toppings on this pizza hold a good amount of liquid, so I made sure to drain them well and use plenty of Parmesan to soak up the extra moisture. The mozzarella on this pie was freshly shredded by Mare.

before baking

We went with canned mushrooms. They have their own uniqueness versus fresh mushrooms. If you want to use canned mushrooms, then make sure to drain them well. We also used prepared roasted red peppers. You also have to make sure to drain those wells.

after baking

The pie was very colorful. Even after draining the toppings well and using a generous amount of Parmesan, the crust was a little soggy in the middle. The large amount of toppings attributed to this, plus they were mostly wet toppings as opposed to greasy toppings like pepperoni.

the close-up

In this close-up, those little green specks is the dried Italian seasoning I sprinkled over the pizza before baking to give it a little extra something. This ‘Za of the Week, despite the slightly soggy crust, was deee-lish.

‘Til next time. Thanks for tuning into ‘Za of the Week. =)

the ‘za of the week (feb 3 – feb 9)

The ‘Za of the Week was topped with: two Italian sausage links, half of a red onion, seven white mushroom caps, and ricotta. Yes, ricotta. This very mild cheese normally used in lasagna makes an excellent pizza topping. I learned this one from a pizzeria I was employed at for years. They used it on their gourmet pesto pizza which was one of their best specialties.

I failed at using enough Parmesan on this one which resulted in a pie that was soggier than usual. It still tasted great. With the onions, mushrooms and ricotta holding a decent amount of liquid as well as the liquid in the marinara, a good amount of Parmesan should have been used to soak it all up.

I really love when parts of the ricotta get that golden color from being baked. I notice that the pizza in the “after” photos look like they’re either floating or superimposed in the picture. That’s due to the cooling rack it’s sitting on when the picture’s taken.

We used skim milk ricotta which is another reason for the excess liquid from the toppings. Overall, it was a very tasty pizza, and we plan on using ricotta again on the weekly pies in the near future.

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.