Naan Pizza

 
pizza
 

It's finally Friday.  It's been a long week of listening to people complain and argue.  And you know, it's customary to complain and argue back - mustn't be rude.  But it can be exhausting work.  So the bottom line is I've been  looking forward to a night in with nothing to do the whole week.  All I want is pizza and wine and TV.  I'm sure you can relate.

Now, I don't want to insult your intelligence by telling you how to make a pizza.  I'm not that obnoxious.   I'm going to SHARE how to make pizzas using naan.  What is naan?  Well, it's bread.  Bread from India. 

OK since I don't really know anything about naan, here's an overview courtesy of Wikipedia: naan is "leavened, oven-baked flatbread" made with "wheat flour, water, yeast, fat and yogurt or milk."  Naan is "typically used to scoop other foods or is stuffed like pita" (I knew that part).  Since that didn't completely clear it up, I'll sum it up as a yummier and heartier version of pita, which IMHO usually tastes like cardboard.

Anyway, I have recently discovered that naan makes great pizza. I don't know about you but I think Boboli pizza is gross and working with fresh dough is a pain in the arse, and neither are ever the same as having a delish oven-baked pizza from a restaurant.  (Aside: isn't it spiteful that the really good pizza places don't deliver??)  But I'm here to tell you:  you can put pretty much anything on some naan bread and you're in business.

Tonight I'm making a "red" Mozzarella and Pepperoni Pizza and a "white" Pizza with Caramelized Onions, Prosciutto and Gruyere.

These are the ingredients y'all need (I'm Southern now):

2 naan flatbreads (you can usually find them in the deli section of the store by the pitas and wraps)
1/2 white onion, sliced
2 slices (about 1 oz.) prosciutto, cut into strips or ribbons, ribbons are nice
1/2 - 3/4 cup shredded Gruyere cheese (Gruyere is NOT the same as Swiss. Swiss is that stuff you used to put up to your eye to see through as a distraction to not have to eat it as a kid.  Trader Joe's has bags of shredded Gruyere for like $4.50 so that is ideal.  If you go to the regular supermarket you should be able to find a hunk of Gruyere in the cheese section of the deli for $5 or $6 and you'll just have to shred or grate it yourself.  Trust me it's worth it.)
1 tbsp flour
1 tbsp butter
1/2 cup milk, whatever kind you have on hand
3-4 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced into rounds
4-5 slices sliced pepperoni (I use turkey pepperoni but I'm sure it has just as many nitrates as the real stuff so either works)
2-3 tbsp pizza sauce (homemade or from a jar)
Dried Thyme
Dried Basil
Salt & pepper
Olive oil

Here's my dog Jessie Belle begging for pepperoni.  She got two slices for looking at me with this sweet face:

pizza3.JPG
 

Heat the oven to 400 degrees and line a sheet pan with tin foil cus let's be real, who wants to scrub cheese off a sheet pan on a Friday night?  Lay the two flatbreads on the pan and drizzle each with a little olive oil. Bake in oven for about 3 minutes to heat through.

Prep for white pizza: Heat 2 tsp olive oil in a small saute pan over medium heat. Once hot, add the sliced onion and a pinch of salt. Saute over medium/medium low heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent and slightly browned (i.e. caramelized). Remove from heat and set aside.

Meanwhile heat a small saucepan over medium low heat.  This is for your white sauce.  Add the butter and once it's melted, add the flour and whisk together until the butter and flour are incorporated into a roux, which looks like a creamy paste.  Add the milk and stir until it's incorporated completely into the roux and looks like a sauce. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and about 2 tbsp of the shredded Gruyere and mix together. Remove from the heat and set aside. This is what it will look like:

 

Put together both pizzas: When the bread comes out of the oven, spread one with the red sauce and one with the white sauce. The amount of sauce you use is up to you. This is where free will comes in. Here's mine:

For the red pizza, sprinkle the sauce with dried basil (or fresh if you have it) then lay the sliced mozzarella over that. Top with pepperoni slices and drizzle with a little olive oil.

For the white pizza, sprinkle the sauce with dried thyme then distribute the onions over that. Top with about 1/2 cup of the shredded Gruyere.

Heat the pizzas in the 400 oven for about 6-7 minutes, then take out and add the chopped prosciutto to the white pizza (I don't add the prosciutto for the entire cooking time - it gets gamey when you heat it too long) and the remaining Gruyere and return both pizzas to the oven for another 2-3 minutes.

Once the pizzas are done cooking, top with a little cracked black pepper and slice how you like. I can usually get 6 small slices out of each naan bread pizza, which is about enough for one person.  Don't worry - I won't eat both pizzas...tonight.

 

Cheers!