It has become a bit of a ritual for us to have pizza for weekend lunch. You see, we still have Pizza cravings when Pizza Hut's 99 rupee three course meal is no longer valid after Friday night. Oh yes, we still eat Pizza not baked in my kitchen. I didn't mislead you into thinking that i cook everything i eat now, did i? Sorry, but a girl can only get so much inspiration from reading food blogs and watching food shows on TV. She's gotta go out and see the variations in the real thing, sometimes.
Let me apologize first for the poor quality pics of the finished Pizza. I was too hungry to click proper pics and as you can see from the above photo, i could not even wait to slice the entire pizza to start eating. There will be better pictures next time. I promise to show more restraint. So please just take my word that this definitely tastes better than it looks, will you?
Well, I don't believe that there is a perfect pizza out there, just waiting to be discovered. I think this is one food where any amount of creativity can't hurt. We might each swear by a particular combination of toppings as our favourite but that wouldn't stop us from trying out the latest variety being zoomed into our computer screens by the endless deals being advertised.
The Pizza i am talking about today was when Husband dearest finally declared that i make restaurant quality pizzas at home. Yay! And it was the little variations in cooking and seasoning that did the trick. Bell Peppers don't cook fast. In the oven they will take almost 30 minutes to roast if left alone, that much time in the hot oven will blacken the pizza crust and burn the cheese. So the trick is to pan roast the bell peppers and onions on stove top first and add this to the other Pizza toppings that do cook fast like tomatoes, green chilies or bottled olives and jalapenos.
Yield - 1 medium thin crust Pizza
- Pizza Dough for one 10 inch Pizza - see recipe
- 1 yellow or red bell pepper (capsicum)
- 1 medium sized onion - thinly sliced
- 1 small tomato - chopped
- 2 green chilies - thinly chopped
- 6-8 pitted black olives - sliced
- 1 tablespoon oil
- salt to taste
- Pizza tomato sauce
- Mozzarella cheese - 100 grams
Remove the stem, seeds and white membrane from the bell pepper. Chop into 1 inch pieces. The ripe bell peppers (yellow, orange or red) have a deeper flavour and work better than the green ones here. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a shallow pan and fry the bell peppers for 4 minutes on medium flame, stirring occasionally.
Add the sliced onion (and a couple of cloves of garlic if you like) and fry for another 2 minutes. Turn off the heat. Season it with a pinch of salt (and a half teaspoon of red chili powder if you are a spice junkie like me). Now stretch the Pizza dough into an approximate circle of 10 inch diameter or to any thickness you prefer. Smear the tomato paste leaving a half inch space on the outer end. Place 3/4 th of the mozzarella slices on the tomato paste. Now evenly spread the bell pepper and onion mixture on top. Add the tomato, green chili and olives. Top it with the remaining mozzarella.
Place it in a pre-heated 475F oven for 10-12 minutes. Delicious pizza is ready to serve.