Thursday, November 16, 2006

My First Comestible Creation: Caramelized Onion & Mushroom

Well, I wasn't quite sure how this was going to turn out as I'm not a big bread baker. I haven't mastered the science (and being at a high altitude I'm not sure if that contributes), but I attempted to make a pizza from scratch.

First of all I wanted to make the crust out of whole wheat. I'm a "granola chick" at heart, and wanted to add some extra goodness into an all-time favorite of mine. I used all organic products too, and no meat in this recipe. I'm also a HUGE onion fan. Everyday in Iraq, I ate onions. Yes, even in the morning with my bagel and cream cheese. So I thought that since my pantry is pretty bare (being back only a week now) I did get the staples which includes white onions.

I'm not going to give the recipe for the crust as it turned out alright. I used a recipe from Everyday Food but substituted the all-purpose flour with whole wheat pastry flour. The result was a very dense, very crispy crust. I liked it, but I don't think that most would. The crispiness came from baking the pizza on a preheated stone. I don't think I will do that again in the future as I'm a huge fan of soft and chewy crust, not crispy, but for you crispy crust fans, the preheated stone is the ticket.

The topping was fantastic! I used Balsamic vinegar and lots of garlic. You can't go wrong with a lot of garlic! Here is the simple recipe below. It's a bit time consuming but well worth the wait. You could make it ahead and save it in the fridge for a later time. Either way, I think you'll like the results.

Caramelized Onions & Mushroom Pizza

1 pizza crust (I used a recipe for thick crust)
2 T marinara sauce
8 oz. fresh mozzarella, sliced thin

1 large onion, sliced thin
1 T olive oil
2 T Balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup shredded carrot
5 cloves garlic, crushed
2 large white mushrooms, sliced thin (can use more if you like lots of mushrooms)
2 T vegetable stock
1 t dried rosemary

In heavy saute pan heat olive oil over medium heat, add onions, and saute till brown. Lower heat to low and continue to heat onions till caramel colored (about 20 minutes). Turn heat to medium and add Balsamic vinegar and shredded carrot (this sweetens up the mixture) and cook till carrot is not visible. Add crushed garlic, mushrooms, rosemary and vegetable stock and reduce till liquid is gone. Set aside.

Prepare crust or use premade and drizzle with olive oil, lightly spread marinara sauce, add prepared onion and mushroom mixture, and then evenly space the mozzarella slices. Transfer to hot stone in oven and bake for approximately 20 minutes or until top is temptingly brown.

Slice and enjoy! Makes 8 servings, or 4 servings since I like to eat two slices each time. Good for leftovers too!

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