There are days when the last thing you feel like doing is cooking anything of substance that takes any effort at all more than digging out your credit card to order something from GrubHub (my fav food delivery site), when the idea of grocery shopping and mentally planning or googling a recipe seems like the absolute last thing you'd want to do. This recipe is for those days.
Or, there are other days when you want to change it up from the norm, when you know how to cook salmon and brown rice and broccolini, but you'd rather have something a smidge more indulgent that you can make yourself and still not feel "guilty" about later.
You're in luck - this recipe is for those days too!
These puff pastry pizzas (inspired by The Londoner's Tommy Tart - I love her blog, especially the recipes!) carry the fabulous cheesy goodness of pizza without necessarily being as doughy or carb-based. Now, let's not get things twisted - puff pastry still has tons of butter in them, so these aren't as healthy as cauliflower crust pizzas or anything else that is completely carb-free. But it is still a really fun twist on the usual make-at-home pizzas, and great for offering a little nibble at a party depending on how you cut them up.
Come on in, and I'll show you how to make two different pizza pies!
First things first: your ingredients. You'll need goat cheese, tomatoes, basil, and balsamic for one pizza; then, caramelized onions, rosemary, and brie for the second. And of course, you'll need two sheets of frozen puff pastry - these should be available at most grocery stores in the aisle with the frozen pie crusts!
When you get home from the store, if you're making these right away, leave your puff pastries and your cheeses out on the counter. They'll need to warm up a bit so you can work with them.
You'll want to get your onions caramelizing right away, as they're supposed to cook over low heat for a decent amount of time. I've learned a trick to avoid crying while slicing:
You cut out the core! Take any small knife and chop a little cone shape out of the middle, getting as much core out as you can without wasting the onion. Then, slice your onions like normal, and chop out more core when necessary.
I've read that the core holds whatever makes you cry, so cutting that releases these things (chemicals? enzymes? who knows!) into the air and irritates your eye. If you cut out the core, you won't chop it! Voila. You're welcome.
Slice them up real good and put in a sauté pan over low heat with olive oil, stirring occasionally. These are going to take a while but it'll be worth it!
While you're in a slicing and dicing mood, you can core your tomatoes and chop those into as thin of slices as you can muster. Clearly I need some practice - but don't worry, they cook down a bit.
Keep stirring those onions!
Prep your rosemary and basil, and check your cheeses and pastries once in a while to see how soft they're getting while your onions are cooking.
See that pretty golden color? They're getting there!
Now, it's time to prep for pizza #1. Roll out your puff pastry (if you got it in a sheet it should just unfold or roll) onto a baking sheet already lightly covered in olive oil (so all of the pastry doesn't stick to the sheet.)
Spread a good amount of goat cheese onto your puff pastry - I even put a little more than necessary, whoops! Also, be careful if your pastries have become too defrosted, that you don't pull on them while spreading. See those wrinkles on the bottom left side? It'll be fine, just be careful!
Layer your tomatoes, basil, and some balsamic and salt & pepper.
Cook according to the directions on the puff pastry sheet - in my case, it was at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, and about 21 minutes was just perfect.
I won't even try to be humble - that looks pretty darn good, right?
On to the next pizza!
To be fancy, I pre-toasted my rosemary in a small pan, but you don't really need to do that. It smelled great though!
Because I had left my brie sitting out, it was nice and soft when it came time to spread. I just put a few large chunks around the pie - it'll melt and spread out more while baking.
Layer on your caramelized onions (gorg!) and rosemary...
And bake at 350 degrees (or whatever your packaging says) for about 21 minutes.
While you wait, why not try some of that first delicious pie that's been cooling?
Leslie and Louis were more than helpful in this endeavor.
Before you know it, pie #2 will be done!
I think the general consensus was that the first pie looked great but wasn't quite as flavorful as the second - a bit more balsamic or a different cheese base may change that! Either way, the puff pastry crust was a new addition to the time-honored classic pizza pie, and it's definitely something I intend to keep in my recipe repertoire.
What's a topping combo you'd like to see on one of these puff pastry pizzas?