Remember when I told you about my product score from Pillsbury the other day? Well, they also sent me some of their new Refrigerated Thin-style Pizza Crust to try. So, last night was pizza night at Chez SGCC.
Since I had two tubes of crust to use, and since one pizza is never enough at our house, I made two pizzas for dinner. The first one was a classic and simple variation on a Pizza Margherita, using fresh plum tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, garlic and oregano. The second was a Caramelized Onion, Duck Breast and Brie Pizza.
There really is no hard and fast recipe for the Pizza Margherita. You simply slice your tomatoes and toss them with a little extra-virgin olive oil and minced garlic. Next, slice your mozzarella and roll out the dough. I used an 11x15 baking sheet instead of my pizza stone, because that's what the instructions said. Next time, I would probably use the stone to make the crust a little crispier in the middle. After that, top your pizza first with the tomatoes and then with the cheese. Then, sprinkle with salt, pepper and dried oregano and bake. It doesn't get any easier than this, unless you call Pizza Hut!
Of course, the success of a simple, no-frills pie like this one really depends on using the freshest, quality ingredients you can get your hands on. When you do that, there is no delivery pizza that can compare!
The Caramelized Onion, Duck Breast and Brie Pizza was a little more involved. I started by sautéing thinly sliced red onions over medium-low heat until soft and translucent. Then I added some balsamic vinegar and continued cooking until the onions were very soft, sweet and caramelized. I took precooked duck breasts from Maple Leaf Farms and browned them up a little in a skillet and cut them into thin slices. You certainly could start with raw duck breasts and cook them yourself, (which I have done before), but honestly, the precooked ones are so moist and delicious, I can't justify the extra time for a weeknight meal.
To assemble the pizza, just unroll the crust and top with a layer of the onions, the duck breast and slices of your favorite brie. Bake, and drool over the results!
Both of these pizzas turned out beautifully using Pillsbury's thin pizza crust. I had never tried a refrigerator crust before this and I have to say I would use it again. The crust bakes up really nice and crispy and has a light texture, without that doughy, chewiness that you can sometimes get. I also thought that the crust had a lovely flavor - almost like there was a touch of honey in the dough. I definitely recommend giving this product a try for a quick weeknight meal.
Caramelized Onion, Duck Breast and Brie Pizza (Printable Recipe)
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
2 large red onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
4-5 fresh sage leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
2 precooked duck breasts (I used Maple Leaf Farms brand.)
1 medium wheel of brie, (about 8 ounces), chilled and sliced
1 Pillsbury Refrigerated Thin-style Pizza Crust (or any pizza crust of your choice)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Heat olive oil in a large saute pan or skillet over medium heat. Add onions and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add balsamic vinegar, thyme and sage, reduce heat to medium low and continue to saute until onions are very soft and caramelized and balsamic has been almost totally absorbed, about 20 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove to a bowl and set aside.
Heat pan over medium high heat and sear duck breasts for a few minutes on each to heat them and crisp the skin up a little. Remove from heat, slice and set aside.
Roll out pizza crust on a baking sheet or a pizza stone. Spread the onion mixture on the crust, followed by the duck breast and ending with the brie. Leave about a one inch perimeter of crust un-topped.
Bake until crust is golden brown and toppings are hot and bubbly.
Here are a few more great pizza recipes from around the blogs: