Portobello Mushroom & Carmelized Mushroom Pizza

How many times is it possible to go to the grocery store in one week? I wish I had an answer for that. I could go everyday and I think have this week. Woops! Saturday was totally unintentional. I had already done my grocery shopping for the week and was prepared to make something from all the great fresh ingredients I had bought. But all the meals I planned on making just didn’t seem fun enough for a Saturday night.

Let me explain. As a kid growing up, Saturday night was always take-out or go out to eat night. My mom never cooked on Saturdays, it was her much deserved night off. This was the one night a week I could drink a soda and eat fast food. It just felt fun to break out of the weekday routine. To this day, I make it a point to jazz up our Saturday evenings in. Unfortunately, on such a tight budget, Paul and I can’t afford to indulge in weekly take-out or dinner reservations so we have to get creative. How do we do that? Pizza! Portobello Mushroom and Caramelized Onion Pizza to be exact! Check it out:

Portobello Mushroom & Caramelized Onion Pizza

  • premade pizza dough (I use Whole Food Multigrain dough, it’s awesome!)
  • flour
  • cornmeal
  • 1 tbl butter
  • 1/2 can of pizza sauce
  • 1/2 onion sliced
  • 1 portobello mushroom sliced
  • 1/2 cup spinach
  • mozzarella cheese (shredded, fresh or both!)

I use a pizza stone because it gives the pizza a wonderfully crunchy crust. Place pizza stone in the oven before turning on the oven. Heat oven to 500 degrees. Allow stone to sit in 500 degree oven for 30 minutes.

IMG_0928Heat butter in a non-stick pan on medium heat. Add onions and cook for about 5 minutes. Onions should be somewhat translucent. Add portobello mushroom to the pan and continue to cook. Cook until mushrooms have softened a little and onions are golden.
IMG_0927Lightly flour surface and roll out pizza dough with rolling pin. Sprinkle a little cornmeal under the dough so it doesn’t stick to the surface. Remove pizza stone from the oven. BE CAREFUL! I’ve burned myself before and still have the scars to show. Lightly sprinkle more cornmeal onto the pizza stone.
IMG_0930Transer dough onto the pizza stone by either sliding it off a pizza board or rolling it onto a rolling pin, then rolling it off onto the stone. Lightly coat dough with a layer of sauce. I only ever end up using half a can but if you want more. by all means, add more! Distribute spinach, onions and mushrooms over sauce and top with cheese. We used about a 1/2 cup shredded, then sliced fresh mozzarella to top it off.

Bake in oven for 10-12 minutes at 500 degrees. Allow pizza to cool and set for at least 5 minutes. (Although we never do!)



Pizza with a Pizza Stone

I absolutely love a nice homemade pizza. There is something about spending a friday evening in with a glass of wine, and a delicious pizza; void of a delivery charge, that seems truly comforting to me. I have been making homemade pizza with my family for years and years but my boyfriend and I have finally figured out the secret to a perfect pizza…a Pizza Stone! This stone makes all the difference in the texture and crunch of the pizza. I swear it won’t taste homemade!

What you’ll need to replicate my pizza picture above. Of course feel free to make your pizza any way you like it!

  • Premade Whole Grain Pizza Dough (I got mine at Whole Foods)
  • Pizza Sauce (I HIGHLY recommend purchasing a homemade or quality sauce, it makes all the difference. I used Don Pepinos which I can only find in ONE supermarket near me. It worth it though….find one you love!)
  • Flour
  • 1 Green Pepper, cut into thin slices
  • 1 Small Onion, sliced in rounds
  • Mozzarella Cheese
  • Fresh Basil Leaves
  • Cornmeal

Preheat oven to 500 degrees F with stone inside for at least 30 minutes. I often do this while I construct the pizza.

Sprinkle a small handful of flour onto a  large flat surface. I often use a cutting board for this. Lightly coat the pizza dough with flour. Begin to roll out dough, working from the inside out. Apply more flour as needed in order to keep the dough from getting sticky and tearing. I like to roll my dough out pretty thin. I have found that if the dough is thick the cooked product is often too doughy and less crispy for my palette.

At this point I often transfer the dough to a pizza board. Cover the pizza board in corn meal, lots of it! This keeps the dough from sticking before transferring it to the pizza stone. I use about a half a can of Don Pepino sauce (and freeze the rest), just enough to cover to thinly cover dough. Sparingly distribute some onions and fresh basil on top of the sauce. I then begin to coat the pizza with the mozzarella cheese. Again this is up to your discretion, I love cheese so I get a little heavy-handed with it. Save a little cheese though for the final topping. I now place the peppers and the rest of the onions and basil on top and finish it off with the last sprinkle of cheese.

I’m not using units of measurement because making your own pizza is really about eyeballing and understanding what YOU like!

Now here is the tricky part. My boyfriend and I have almost mastered the art of transferring the pizza from the board to the stone. My recommendation is to take the pizza stone out of the oven and place in a safe place, as it will be very hot. Take your pizza board and angle it up with the edge of the board almost touching the far side of the pizza stone. Give the board a gentle of but firm shrug. If there is a enough cornmeal on the board it should slide right off. Be careful at this point because the pizza often sticks to the board and needs some nursing or comes off super quick! Sometime you have to push some overhang back onto the stone. Don’t worry what it looks like! The picture above had its faux pas and you can barely tell and certainly couldn’t taste it.

Pop the stone back into oven for about 10-12 minutes. Check the crispiness of bottom of the pizza and make sure it has cooked through. If it seems soft or doughy on the bottom  allow it to cook for a few minutes and continue checking on it. Once the pizza is cooked though take it out and let it sit for 5-10 minutes before cutting in.