Cauliflower Pizza Crust

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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If you read this blog with any regularity, you know I am obsessed with cauliflower.  It can be used to replace or replicate so many things and is inexpensive & free of so many things many people are trying to avoid, like carbs, calories & gluten.  This pizza crust was not my first attempt at using cauliflower as a base for pizza but, the last time I tried it, I wasn’t blogging so the results were never made public.  The results were that it tasted good but I thought it used too much cheese & felt like it was worse for you than regular pizza dough.

This crust is lighter & smelled incredible cooking, but it was a tad moist for my taste & didn’t set together as well as I’d hoped.  In fairness, no cauliflower crust is going to fool anyone into thinking they are eating a standard issue pizza on dough but this one still isn’t perfected.  I did dump a lot of wet ingredients on it (sliced tomatoes & fresh mozzarella) and that definitely contributed to the moisture factor.  Still, I could pick it up & eat it like a slice – just not a crispy one.

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The cooking time on this one will likely vary for everyone – depending on the calibration of your oven & how much moisture you manage to squeeze out of the cooked cauliflower rice & how thick you make your crust.  I kept going in five minute increments from the initial 25 minute cooking time I guessed at until it looked like this:

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I then transferred it (and tore it in the process) to this wire pizza rack thing I have – hoping the vented rack would allow the oven to dry the crust out more.  It looks like this:

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It didn’t really help.  Next time – I might start with the wire rack & cook the dough on parchment atop that & see if it impacts the crispness of the crust.

All that said – this pizza crust was very tasty & even my dogs gobbled up the cauliflower crust I gave them.  That might seem obvious to you but my Dexter is a very finicky eater.  So – I do not want to discourage you from trying this.  The spices I added were sort of random.  You can use the ones I did or not – or you can add some of your own.  Rosemary might be nice!

The pizza you see here that I made is finished with a tomato sauce, fresh tomato, fresh mozzarella & basil on one side & my Chard Pesto (which I recommend VERY highly) on the other.  You can top your crust any way you like.

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Cauliflower Pizza Crust

INGREDIENTS

1 medium head cauliflower

1 egg – beaten

4 oz. goat cheese

1 TBS dry oregano

1 TBS dry parsley

1 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

DIRECTIONS

Heat your oven to 400 degrees.

Chop your cauliflower & then either pulse it in your food processor (or, as I did, use the grater blade) and reduce the cauliflower to a rice-like consistency.  A regular cheese grater will work, too, but one of the drawbacks to cauliflower is that it pops everywhere when you cut it raw & it gets messy.  Still – the rice cauliflower can be achieved with just a regular cheese grater.

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Boil about an inch of water in a large stock pot.  Boil the cauliflower for about 5 minutes.  Drain it through a fine mesh sieve.  Cool it with cold water & then, in batches, wrap it is a clean kitchen towel & twist it tighter & tighter – squeezing out every bit of water you can.

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In a large bowl, beat the egg then add all the remaining ingredients, including the cauliflower.  With your hands, completely blend the ingredients into a moist dough.

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Line your pizza pan with parchment paper or REALLY grease it.  I suggest the paper – but in a pinch – grease will work.  I just fear it will stick to the pan on you.  No need to grease the parchment, though.  Press your dough into your pizza’s shape – even creating the deep crust on the edges, if you like.  Your pizza dough should be about 1/3 inch thick or so in the flat part.

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Bake this for about 30-45 minutes – watching it carefully because it will go from not done to burned in a flash.  When it reaches a nice golden color take it out of the oven.  Top it with your toppings & cook until your cheese is melted.  Voila!

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Pink Grapefruit Margarita

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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OK, kiddies!  Cinco de Mayo is right around the corner!  I am going to start posting some stuff you might want to consider if you are throwing a party.  This one is eye-catching so I thought I’d start here.

Pretty basic stuff.  You can either use fresh squeezed pink grapefruit juice (preferred) or bottled Ruby Red (easier).  Fresh is way better but sometimes it just isn’t practical.  This can be served blended or over rocks (as I did it) and with either a salt or a sugar rim.  I went sugar.  A sprig of fresh mint would look pretty, too.  I forgot that part.

Pink Grapefruit Margarita

If you are putting salt or sugar on your rim, put the salt/sugar on a plate, wet the rim with a wedge of lime, dredge the rim through the stuff & set aside to dry as you make your cocktail.

INGREDIENTS

2.5 ounces white tequila

1 ounce triple sec

5-6 ounces pink grapefruit juice

Juice of 1/2 lime

Salt & lime for garnish

Salt or Sugar to rim your glass

DIRECTIONS

Shake up the tequila, triple sec, grapefruit juice & lime juice over ice in a shaker or blend it up in a blender with a cup of ice.   Pour into your glass, add a pinch of salt to the cocktail & garnish with lime slices.

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Margarita Pizza Quesadilla on Homemade Spinach Tortillas (Vegan)

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2012

 

LARGE BathingandthesinglegirlOrangeV52

 

My debut novel is out!  Check it out!  I think it is HILARIOUS!  I hope you will, too!

www.BathingBook.com

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Yes – yes, I bought the 3 pound bag of spinach at Costco & now I am making a conspicuous number of things using spinach.  At least spinach is good for you.  Not so much the 5 pound bag of grated pizza cheese I bought at Smart & Final but this recipe puts both items to use so it works for me.

These tortillas are EASY to make – if you own a food processor.  I really suggest you try them at least once – because I think you will have the same sense of pride & achievement I did – making such a simple & basic item but so clean & fresh – it makes a huge difference.

Lots of tortilla recipes I looked at used lard or vegetable shortening.  Not only does that sound gross, I don’t have Crisco in my house which would have meant adding more expense to my already bloated grocery tab – so I substituted olive oil.  It worked out just fine!

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 Spinach Tortillas

INGREDIENTS

2 cups fresh spinach

3 cups flour

2 tsp baking powder

1-2 tsp salt

5 TBS olive oil

Water

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DIRECTIONS

Steam the spinach in a pan in about a cup of water.  Once wilted, scoop it out with a slotted spoon & cool in in cold water.  RESERVE the hot spinach water.  Squeeze all the water out of the spinach, put the dry ball into a measuring cup & then add the hot spinach water until you have 1 1/2 cups with the ball of spinach in there. (ignore my photo showing 1 cup.  I did end up using 1.5 cups.  If there isn’t enough spinach water – just add more tap water.  Set aside.

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In your food processor, pulse the flour, baking powder & salt until blended.  Add the olive oil & pulse until it is incorporated.  Add the spinach & pulse it in & then add the spinach water in a slow stream & pulse until it is completely incorporated and the dough has formed a tacky ball & is traveling around the bowl.  You might not need all the water – you might need a bit extra.  If it is too sticky – just add a bit more flour & pulse it around.

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Put the dough on a lightly floured surface & roll it around to eliminate any tackiness that remains.  Dived the dough into four balls & then divide each of those four balls into three more balls.  Each ball should be about the size of a golf ball.  Let the dough rest 10 minutes or so.

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Roll out each ball as flat & thin as you can – or until they are about 8 inches across.  Heat a large skillet over medium high heat.  Do not use any oil or cooking spray.   Leave the pan dry.  Cook each tortilla on each side about 20 seconds or until brown spots begin to appear.  Over cooking will make them crispy so err on the side of under-cooking.

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Store under a clean kitchen towel as you cook all 12 tortillas.

These can be stored at room temperature in a zip-lock bag on your counter for several days.  Rewarm in the oven wrapped in foil or between damp paper towels in the microwave.

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Margarita Pizza Quesadillas

INGREDIENTS

Tortillas

tomato

grated mozzarella (or fresh buffalo mozzarella) – or vegan alternative

chopped basil

S&P

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DIRECTIONS

Heat a dry skillet.  Put a tortilla in there & let it warm with the pan.  Add cheese, THINLY sliced tomatoes, chopped basil & heat until cheese begins to melt.  Fold the tortilla over & press.  I put a smaller pan on top to increase the heat & to compress the quesadilla – but this is not necessary.  Once your cheese is good & melted – remove the quesadilla from the pan, slice it up & serve!

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