Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Cheddar Caprese Pizza

Wow. This recipe kind of falls into the 'too easy to write down' category, but if you want to make it more challenging - make your own damned dough!

Cheddar Caprese Pizza
Serves two gluttonous or very hungry people.
* Special tool required: a pizza peel, or as I call it a pizza 'flipper'

1 store bought, pre or parbaked pizza dough, about 12"x12"
2 ripe on the vine tomatoes, cut into slivers, deseeded and juiced by gently running your thumb against the interior, then diced
pinch of kosher or sea salt
cracked pepper
1/2 cup ricotta cheese, plus 2 tablespoons
1 cup grated sharp white cheddar cheese, preferably Grafton or highest quality available
pinch fresh cracked pepper
big handful of fresh basil leaves
Olive oil, for drizzling

Preheat the oven to 400 on convection setting, or 425.

Have two small/medium (cereal bowls) ready. In one, place the diced tomatoes and stir in salt and pepper. Set aside. In the other bowl, mix the ricotta and cheddar cheese with a fork, stir in the salt and additional good crack of pepper and set aside.

Once your oven has preheated, use your pizza peel to carefully slide the dough directly onto the oven rack. Heat through for 5 minutes, JUST until the edges and/or top are becoming golden. Remove (carefully with the peel) setting onto a counter lined with Pam sprayed aluminum foil. Quickly spread the ricotta/cheddar mixture over the center, leaving a 2 inch border clean around the edges (sadly I've found the best way to do this is with my fingers - though a more ladylike way would be with two forks to drop and spread across the hot dough.) Sprinkle the chopped tomatoes over (discarding collected juice in the bottom of the bowl.) Drizzle lightly with olive oil in a zig zag over the top and return to the oven for 8-12 minutes, until the cheese around the edges has begun to bubble and brown. Remove, top with hand torn basil leaves and let rest a couple of minutes before slicing.

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