Caramelized Onion and Goat Cheese Pizza

Caramalized Onion & Goat Cheese Pizza

I haven’t posted a recipe here in a LONG time. While I’ve made a few “fancy” dishes, most of our meals are on the simple side. It’s more about getting (mostly) healthy food on the table in a timely manner at this stage in our lives. Especially with Big Man’s non-traditional work schedule, there are weeks when dinner is grilled cheese or PB&J sandwiches almost every night.

But sometimes I get a little creative and do something out of the ordinary, like I did with this pizza. We have homemade pizza at least once a week, and usually the toppings are a mix of cheese, veggies, and meat, based on what I have in the house. But Big Man and I had picked up a smoked goat cheese in the local natural market and I decided to build a pizza around that.

I find any kind of smoked cheese to be quite strong  for my taste, and goat cheese has that natural tangy flavor as well. So I figured caramelized onions would balance out the tartness and a garlic and olive oil base would work better than the usual marinara. I used a good dose of shredded mozzerella as well and ended up with a really yummy pizza! It was definitely different from our usual pizza night (although I made a mini cheese and marinara pizza for the Little Ones) but I didn’t have to spend a lot of extra time in the kitchen or buy ton of unique ingredients. Big Man and I enjoyed sharing more “sophisticated” fare even though we weren’t at a restaurant.

If you’re looking for a different spin on pizza night, I hope you’ll try this. Add a glass of wine and it gives a weekday dinner a nice break from the usual.

Caramelized Onion and Goat Cheese Pizza (original recipe)

Yield: 1 12-inch pizza

  • 1 dough ball (1/2 of my favorite recipe, or your favorite pizza dough recipe)
  • 1 medium onion (I used a red one), thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. dried thyme
  • Olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (more or less to taste)
  • 2 Tbsp. smoked goat cheese

1) Half an hour before you want to cook the pizza, preheat your oven to 500 degrees F, with a pizza stone on a rack in the lower third of the oven.

2) Caramelize the onions. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat and when it starts to foam, add the sliced onions. Stir once to coat the onions and then leave them alone for 5 minutes. Then, stir in the salt, sugar, and thyme. Reduce the heat to low and cover the skillet, leaving the lid ajar to let steam escape. Continue cooking on low heat for 30 minutes, or until the onions caramlize. Be sure to stir occasionally to all the onions cook evenly. Note: You can make the caramelized onions up to 2 days in advance and keep them in the fridge.

3) Roll out the pizza dough into a thin circle, about 12 inches in diameter. Transfer to your pizza peel and brush the whole surface with olive oil. Add the minced garlic evenly over the oil, then add the caramelized onions (when I made this, I put the onions on last but they got overly dark in the oven, so in the future I will cover the onions with the cheese). Sprinkle on the mozzarella cheese, then use your fingers to break the goat cheese into very small pieces and distribute evenly over the pizza.

4) Transfer to your preheated pizza stone and bake for 10 – 12 minutes, or until the crust is golden and the cheese is bubbling. Let sit for a few minutes before slicing.

5) Enjoy!

Honey Lime Chicken Enchilada Casserole

So, I’ve spent all day trying to think of a funny and/or creative into to this post.  And I’ve miserably failed so far. I think I’m going to claim writer’s block and have some chocolate to make myself feel better.

Despite the lack of introduction for this post, but this dish is just so good that I had to share it anyway. I originally found this recipe for Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas over at The Well-Fed Newlyweds and Big Man and I absolutely loved it! The flavors are so bright and unique and it’s a nice change from normal enchiladas with red sauce. I love how the sweet honey and gooey cheese balance the zing from the lime juice and chili powder. However, rolling the individual enchiladas was a little time consuming (and messy) and I was never able to serve them out of the pan without at least one unrolling so I decided to just make a casserole version instead. It’s layers of yumminess! After playing around with the ingredient amounts and casserole assembly, I finally came up with the perfect way to get these awesome flavors into an easy to make and serve form. That leaves just enough time to stir up a batch of margaritas to enjoy as well!

Honey Lime Chicken Enchilada Casserole (Adapted from The Well-Fed Newlyweds)

4 tbs. honey
3-1/2 tbs. lime juice (I use those little green plastic “juice grenades” you keep in the fridge, but you can use real limes)
2/3 tbs. chili powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1-1/2 cups cooked chicken, shredded (I just roast chicken breasts in the oven, but you could also shred a rotisserie chicken to make it even easier)
6-7 flour tortillas, snack size (6 inch diameter)
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
10 oz. green enchilada sauce
3/4 cup half and half

In a bowl, whisk together the honey, lime juice, chili powder, and garlic powder. Add in the shredded chicken and stir thoroughly to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

To assemble the casserole, first cut the tortillas in half. Then, remove the chicken from the marinade and stir the enchilada sauce and half and half into the remaining marinade. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Spray an 8×8 square with cooking spray (or lightly grease). Add 1/4 cup of the enchilada sauce mixture and turn the pan so the sauce coats the bottom. Layer in 4 tortillas halves, with the cut sides against the pan walls and the curved sides toward the middle, as shown. If desired, you can add another tortillas half at the center to cover the gap.

Distribute half of the shredded chicken over the tortillas. Sprinkle with 1/3 of the cheese, and spoon 1/3 of the sauce mixture evenly over the top.

Repeat with another layer of tortillas, the rest of the chicken, and another 1/3 of the cheese and sauce.

Add the last layer of tortillas. Pour the remaining sauce evenly over the tortillas and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake at 350 for 25-35 minutes until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbly. Let cool for about 5 minutes before cutting to make serving easier.

Garlic Knots

Things have been busy here! Little Man had his second birthday party this past weekend and loved every minute of it. Rainbow cupcakes, balloons, gifts, and tons of love and attention; what’s not to love? He is talking more and more, learning to kick a soccer ball, and rocking his new “big boy” haircut.

Little Lady is getting so big! She is starting to crawl, babble, and she finds the world utterly fascinating, especially her big brother. She really enjoys trying out new foods and her hair is finally starting to grow (slowly)!

In the midst of all this, we still have all the rest of the normal life stuff, like Big Man’s job, church, grocery shopping, cleaning, and cooking. It can be a bit overwhelming, and I am learning that it is not only OK, but necessary to admit that I can’t do everything all the time. Not that Big Man asks me to do everything; he helps out so much. But there are days when we are both pretty tired and everything just feels a little off kilter.

This past week was a little rough, so when my mom called and asked if I would like her to drop off some homemade chicken soup for dinner, it was a wonderful treat! A yummy, healthy meal (even Little Man loves that soup) that I don’t have to cook? Yes, absolutely. Thank you, Mom! Since the main course was taken care of, I figured it would be nice to make some dinner rolls to go with the soup. I found this recipe on Tasty Kitchen and tweaked it a little to our tastes, and to account for the high altitude.

These rolls were a perfect accompaniment to the soup. Soft and fluffy, with just the right amount of garlic and spices on top. And the recipe was super easy: you don’t even need a mixer! I mixed the dough with a wooden spoon and kneaded by hand. I especially liked that the recipe only made 5 rolls, so I didn’t have to worry about having too many leftovers. I’ll definitely be making these rolls again soon, and I hope you will too!

Garlic Knots (adapted from Tasty Kitchen)

1-1/2 cups bread flour*
1/2 tbs. sugar
1 tsp. quick-rise (instant) dry yeast
1 (scant) tsp. salt*
1 tbs. olive oil
1/3 cup milk
1/2 cup lukewarm water
2 tsp. minced garlic (about 2 cloves)
2 tbs. butter, melted
1/8 tsp. dried oregano
1/8 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. dried parsley
*These measurements are for high altitude baking. If you are not at high altitude, use 1-1/2 cups all purpose flour, and 1/2 tsp salt.

 

In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar, yeast, and salt. Add the olive oil, milk, and water, and mix with a wooden spoon until a dough forms (it will be quite wet and sticky). Turn out onto a well-floured surface and knead until dough is smooth and elastic (you may have to add more flour). Transfer to a bowl that has been lightly oiled or sprayed with cooking spray and turn dough once to coat. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rise for one hour.

Turn out risen dough onto floured surface and divide into 5 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a rope (about 3/4 to 1 inch diameter) and tie into a knot, tucking the ends under. Place rolls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Cover with a clean towel and let rise 45 minutes, until the rolls look puffy.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. To make the topping, combine melted butter with garlic and herbs. Brush the topping onto the risen rolls, and bake until golden brown, about 16-20 minutes. Enjoy warm with your favorite soup or chili.