I go through some pretty public food phases. In college, I was all about the tuna casserole, which I found in my Better Homes and Gardens cookbook and made some version of bi-monthly for four years. My favorite version had cannelloni noodles, green beans, cheddar cheese, and crushed Baked Lays on top. I used to nuke it in the microwave and drown it in whatever honey mustard I had on hand. Sophisticate, I was not.

A few months ago, I graduated to a much classier pizza phase. Trader Joe’s sells dough for $0.99, so it became my go-to poor man’s food. My roommates even got me a pizza-themed birthday gift this year, complete with a pizza pan, a pizza slicer, and pizza-shaped storage bags. Cue my Mexican phase. Timing is not my forte.

I set all things pizza aside for the past two months, save for the pizza bags which I’ve been using to store all my half-used avocados. Last week, I decided it was time to christen my virginal pizza pan. It looked all lonely pressed up against my two slutty pots and three trampy skillets. Also, I got this amazing looking smoked mozzarella at the cheese shop, and I’ve been waiting for the right moment to introduce it to my belly.

At first, I tried to roll out the dough directly in my fancy nonstick pizza pan, but that proved moronic. Instead, I rolled it out on my floured counter top and transferred it with surprisingly little difficulty. I topped it with sliced eggplant, tomatoes, spinach, herbs (oregano, basil, rosemary and thyme), and the aforementioned mozzarella. Then I drizzled it with olive oil until it looked like this:

pizza in the raw

pizza in the raw

I’m not so fantastic at the even distribution of olive oil, as you can see. The TJ’s dough says you’re only supposed to cook it at 425 degrees for 6-8 minutes, but whoever decided that obvs loves it raw. And that’s not really my thing. Instead, I set the timer for 10 minutes, and then kept tacking on two minutes at a time. I think I ended up cooking it for like 16 minutes when all was said and done. It could have been its predisposition to being smoked, but the mozzarella smelled too smoky to go on. I cut an absurdly big piece and served it dipped in honey mustard. Good with casserole, better with pizza. See below:

pizza, baked

pizza, baked


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March 2009
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