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Caramelized Onion and Spicy Jack Curd Pizzette

February 1, 2008

pizzette.jpg The first time I heard about Jihva For Ingredients, I thought it was a great idea for cooks like me to get ideas for how many ways an ingredient can be converted to delicious foods. And, what a way to learn about different cultures and try to indigenize it to yours, or vice versa! Kudos to Indira of Mahanandi for the ingenious idea, and thanks to Radhi for hosting the event! My first ever contribution to the Jihva For Ingredients is Caramalized Onion and Spicy Cheese Pizzette. Pizzettes are little pizzas. The first time I made these little mouthfuls of joy was when I had some frozen pizza dough on hand and a few onions I wanted to use up. Its a great appetizer and quite simple to make.

What You Need
  • 12 Oz. of Whole Wheat Pizza Dough (I made my own; you can also use any frozen or fresh pizza dough from your local store)
  • 2 Onions (Red or Yellow onions have more flavor)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 Tsp Crushed Red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp of Olive Oil
  • 8 Oz. of Fresh Spicy Jack Curd or Cheese (fresh spicy mozzarella would work well as well- I use Mike’s Firehouse Jack Curd available at my local farmer’s market)
  • 1 Bottle (12 Oz.) Izze Blackberry
  • 2 Tbsps of Harissa ( You can use any spicy chutney or spread you might have on hand)

How Its Done

  1. Peel and dice the onions. Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan and add the onions. Stir periodically till onion turns transparent.
  2. Add salt and continue to cook the onions (stirring periodically to make sure they don’t burn) till they begin to brown (the sugar in the onion is caramelized).
  3. Add the Izze to the onion and let cook down till there is no liquid left. The sugars in the Izze will be concentrated in the onions, enhancing the sweetness in the onions. Turn off the heat and let cool.
  4. While the onions are cooling, preheat the oven to 425 degrees fahrenheit and start working on the Pizzettes.
  5. Roll our your pizza dough (if using frozen, follow package instructions to thaw) as thin as you can, making sure the dough doesn’t stick to the surface or is too thin to hold the toppings.
  6. Use a glass or a cooke cutter and cut round discs out of the rolled dough (you should get about 17-18). Lay them out on a cookie sheet (dusted with corn meal) or a pizza crisper (pizza trays with little holes at the bottom that make the crust crisp).
  7. Place an m&m sized dot of the harissa or spicy spread on each pizzette and spread (just like you would spread butter on your toast).
  8. Next, top the pizzettes with the caramelized onions and pop them in the oven for about 6-7 minutes till the pizzettes start to brown.
  9. If you’re using a firm cheese (pepper jack), you can top the pizzettes with the cheese and optional red pepper flakes before step 8 and bake till you see the cheese bubble and melt. If you’re using a soft cheese (such as fresh mozzarella) or cheese curds (like I did), proceed with step 8 and take the pizzettes out when they start to brown and top them with the cheese and red pepper flakes . Return to the oven and bake till the cheese is melted and bubbly. (these will also taste great with goat cheese, which you can add after the pizzettes are baked)
  10. Take it out and let cool for 5 minutes before you serve.
The Pizzettes taste great warm- the sweet and spicy layers with the crunchy crust make each pizzette full of surprises! Buon Appetito!
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