Category Archives: Italian

Adventures in Franco-Italian Fusion

French onion soup turned into pizza.

One of the things I’ve always wanted to make was French Onion Soup. Funny thing is that I’ve never actually had French Onion Soup before. So I made a batch one night, not knowing how it should taste. It came out alright… I guess. Like I mentioned, I didn’t really have anything to compare it to. Since I had so much soup left, I decided to use it to make a pizza.

I’m going to super simplify this recipe. Basically you’re going to take the caramelized onions from your French onion soup, drain them, and top a pizza crust with them.

French Onion Soup Pizza

  • 1/2 – 2/3 c drained onions from French onion soup, depending on size of pizza (or caramelized onions)
  • 1 lb. pizza dough
  • 1/2 c shredded mozzarella or Swiss cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. It’s important that you take the time to drain your onions well as you don’t want the broth making your crust all soggy. Take your favorite pizza dough, whether it’s from scratch or from a terrifyingly pressurized can, and flatten it out on a greased pizza pan or baking sheet. Dock dough with a fork so it doesn’t puff up in the oven. Pop it into the oven for 7 minutes so that the crust can set. Take the crust out and evenly distribute your drained onions all over. Sprinkle liberally with the shredded cheese. If you want to stay true to the French onion soup, use shredded Swiss (Gruyere). If you only have mozzarella on hand, then that’s fine as well. If you want a REALLY crispy crust, then bake pizza directly on oven rack. If not, then bake in pan in oven for 12 minutes or until crust & cheese are golden brown.

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Focaccia ‘Bout It

What's left of my focaccia.

I had a hankering for some focaccia bread. It actually stemmed from my visit to Souplantation during lunch a few days ago. I was feeling pretty sick and I just wanted some soup to fill me up. While there, I also picked up a couple pieces of quattro formaggio focaccia. Those were devoured on my drive back to work. As tasty as it was, it also cost me $1.29 for those two bites.

I thought I could make something more affordable at home. The result of which is what you see. The bread was tender and the crust was crisp. But instead of four cheeses, I only used the two I had on hand: parmigiano-reggiano and good ol’ mozzarella. I guess this is more of a Due Formaggio Focaccia. Next time, I think I’ll tweak it with some herbs and even sun dried tomatoes.

 

Due Formaggio Focaccia (adapted from Fleischmann’s Yeast recipe)

  • 3 1/2 cups of AP flour
  • 1 T sugar
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 envelope of active dry yeast
  • 4 T olive oil
  • 1 2/3 cups of warm water
  • 1/4 cup of parmigiano-reggiano
  • 1/2 cup of mozzarella

Combine dry ingredients in large bowl. Add warm water and 2 T olive oil. How warm? Warm enough that you can stick your finger in it without it being uncomfortable. I’d say about 45 seconds in the microwave (~1100 watts). If it’s too hot, stick it in the fridge for a minute.

Mix dry and wet ingredients together to form a loose dough. Because this was my first time making this, I had no idea what the dough should have looked like. But it was pretty wet. Allow the dough to rise in the bowl in a warm place for about 30 minutes. I covered the bowl with a large plate. I then nuked 2 cups of water in a measuring cup for a couple minutes and placed that on top of the plate. The radiating heat from the cup was enough to keep the dough warm, but not enough to cook it.

After it has risen, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Dump dough out onto a greased baking sheet. Using a little bit of flour, spread the dough out on the sheet. Take your pinky and poke holes into the dough. Drizzle the remaining olive oil all over. Sprinkle with cheese. Here, you’re supposed to let it rise another 15 minutes, but I didn’t bother to do that. Bake about 30 minutes, checking occasionally, until golden brown.

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