Friday, 7 December 2012

Potato Pizza

Awhile back I read a about potato pizza out on the interwebs. I'm one of those people that accepts almost anything on flat bread and thinks it's pizza. Seth is of the variety that red sauce and cheese make a pizza. But potatoes? And bread? Together? How could this starch-fest not be amazing. So I finally got around to making it last week.

I started with making a batch of my foolproof pizza dough. The same time I made that I used my fancy-pants mandolin (thank you Discover points!) to slice up three potatoes on the 1/8 inch setting. After referring to about 82 recipes to get my bearings, I threw the potatoes into an icy salt water brine and let them soak for the 1 1/2 hours that the pizza dough was rising. Then I stretched the dough out on sheet pan and layered the potatoes on top.

Sprinkle on chopped onion and rosemary, spritz with olive oil, and voila!

Now, we usually grill our pizzas. Jacking our oven up to 500F in our tiny open-air Caribbean kitchen makes for a very unhappy, sweaty, "I swear I'm never cooking again" Melissa. But we can crank the grill up to the same temp on the back porch and continue living a happy life. So why not go that same route for potato pizza? It's looks fabulous and golden brown right?

Well, let me tell you why not. Because in an oven the pizza would go on the middle or top rack. But on the grill it is directly above the heat. So after you cook it the full 30 minutes to fully cook the potatoes (most pizzas are on there for only 10-12 minutes) you get all excited. You're salivating. It smells delicious. You can almost taste it.

And then you cut it. And it's sort of extra crunchy. And you lift it out onto the plate. And this is what was going on under that golden potato top:

Awesome. So here you are at 9pm with nothing to eat. Nothing! And you go sit down on the couch with a glass of wine and pretend you're not even hungry and you never heard of potato pizza and, I mean, who really needs dinner anyway? But then if you're a lucky girl like me, Seth gives you a hug and silently starts sawing the toppings off of the black cement crust. Piece by piece.

Until you both have a plate of sliced grilled potatoes with some crusty parts to go with your wine. Glorious. They were good.

Then a week later you find the time to rally. You try again. This time you tweak it and use red onion (not shallots) and fresh rosemary (not dried) from the plant you just bought that will likely die when you leave to spend Christmas with family. You pick a cool evening (I mean, it's got to be, what, 83 degrees?) so that you can crank that oven up to 500F and you put the pizza on the middle rack. You even use only 2/3 of the pizza dough for a thinner crust, leaving you with a ball of pizza dough in the freezer for another day. And you braise some brussels sprouts.


Potato Pizza

1 recipe of my pizza dough
3 medium potatoes, sliced evenly into 1/8" slices or thinner
1/4 c. diced red onion
2 Tbsp. minced fresh rosemary
1/4 c. kosher salt
olive oil

Make the pizza dough and slice the potatoes at the same time. While the dough is rising, brine the sliced potatoes in a salt water bath for 1 1/2-2 hours. (I use about 1/4 c. kosher salt in a large mixing bowl of ice water for the brine.)

Heat the oven to 500F. After the dough has risen, spread 2/3 of the pizza crust out on an oiled sheet pan with raised edges (mine was 12'x21"). You can wrap the remaining 1/3 of the pizza dough tightly in saran wrap and keep in the freezer or fridge for a small pizza later. The dough should spread into a thin layer. Spritz it with olive oil. Drain the potatoes in a colander and press out the excess water. They should be limp and squeezable. Blot them dry with a paper towel and layer then thinly on the crust. Sprinkle with the onion and rosemary. Drizzle olive oil over the top. Bake on the middle rack for 30 minutes until the potatoes are golden brown. Check halfway through cooking and move to the top rack if you think the bottom of the crust is getting too much heat. Sprinkle with salt and cut into squares. Makes 4-6 servings.

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