Thursday, May 21, 2009

"In The Bag" Broccoli Blue Cheese Focaccia Pizza

"In The Bag" is a round-up event sponsored by Real Epicurean for the month of May 2009. Each month 2-3 ingredients are chosen and the participants have to use the ingredients in a dish of their choosing. This month the ingredients chosen are broccoli and blue cheese. The dish of my choosing for this round-up is Broccoli Blue Cheese Focaccia Pizza. Pizza is my favorite dish of all time and so I thought it only fitting that I chose pizza.

I didn't want to make just a standard crust and then it hit me... Focaccia Crust. I thought this would make a better tasting pizza since I used a Basil Garlic Focaccia as my crust. It was very easy to make and I amazed myself on how tender the bread was.

For my sauce, I decided on a parmesan white sauce which is similar to an alfredo sauce just not as thick. I found this in my Simply Delicious by Ron Kalenuik cookbook. It is a classic Mornay Sauce. Very tasty and would make a great base for other pasta or pizza sauces. The only thing I did differently is I added just a tad bit of garlic and basil to the sauce.

So, now here are the recipes and what I used to top my Broccoli Blue Cheese Focaccia Pizza. Makes a wonderful meal as we had it with green salad.

Broccoli Blue Cheese Focaccia Pizza
Focaccia Crust: (adapted from recipe #27968 on RecipeZaar I changed a couple of ingredients around and omitted a couple just so I could have the basil garlic flavor I was looking for, just click on the RecipeZaar link to see the actual recipe)

2 3/4 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp white sugar
1 packet active dry yeast
1 tsp granulated garlic
1 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup warm water (between 105-115 degrees)
2 Tbsp olive oil (for brushing on before baking)

Mix the yeast and water in a small bowl. Let proof for 10 minutes (until bubbles begin to form). In a large bowl, stir together flour, salt, sugar, garlic, basil, and black pepper. Add the yeast mix and 1 Tbsp olive oil to the dry ingredients and combine. When dough has pulled together, turn out onto lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic.

Lightly oil a large bowl, place dough in bowl, and turn to coat with oil. Cover with damp cloth and let rise in warm place 25 minutes. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Punch down dough, place on greased baking sheet. Pat dough to 1/2 inch thick rectangle. Using your knuckle, make indentations int he dough about 1/2 inch apart , then prick down with fork. Brush with 2 Tbsp olive oil. Bake for 13-15 minutes or until golden brown.

Parmesan Cream Sauce (from recipe for Mornay Sauce in Simply Delicious by Ron Kalenuik)
3 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups chicken broth
1 1/4 cups half & half cream
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbsp chopped fresh basil

Heat the butter in the sauce pan. Add flour and cook 2 minutes over low heat. Stir in the chicken broth and cream. Reduce heat and simmer until thickened. Stir in cheese, garlic, and basil. Simmer for 2 more minutes. Top the focaccia pizza crust with sauce within 1/2 inch from edges.

The Toppings:

1 roma tomato, diced
1/2 lb broccoli florets, chopped
1/2 cup blue cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup black olives
1 small purple onion, sliced
6 oz cooked chicken
2-3 fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 cup mozzarella cheese

On top of the sauced crust apply mozzarella cheese, then add chicken, then tomatoes, purple onions, and olives. Add the broccoli florets. Crumble blue cheese on top and then top with chopped basil. On center rack in oven, broil on low for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and top is golden brown. Cut into squares and serve.

Talk about yummy! The kids really ate it up, they love pizza and veggies so I figured this would be a hit with them. It is a one pan meal since it has the meat, the grain (as in bread), and lots of vegetables on top. We still had a green salad on the side as well. A successful dinner was had by all!

Thank you Scott at Real Epicurean for letting me participate for the first time ever in something like this. It was fun, I discovered some new ingredients that go great together. Always room to learn something new every day!

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SulaBlue said...

Hmmm. You had me at "blue cheese." Really, those commercials that admonish us to "never underestimate the power of cheese" are sooooo right. Hold the onion though, please!

Pamela said...

Another sucker for blue cheese here! Looks amazing!

Cookin' Canuck said...

This is such a fresh-looking pizza. Anything with blue cheese gets my vote!

Jessie said...

oh wow! I just made something very similar to this last week, yours looks awesome never had focaccia bread as pizza. I need to try this one!

Jason @ Jason's BBQ Adventures said...

Wonderful and unique pizza!

Pink Foodie said...

Great thinking with the focaccia. The pizza looks delicious.

Lo said...

I'm a huge fan of broccoli on pizza... and that's AMAZING that your kids eat bleu cheese! Kudos :)

Gera@SweetsFoodsBlog said...

Ohh Brenda such a richness on this pizza in both texture & color palate hooray for blue cheese!



Heidi said...

Looks great! I want some :)

Heidi from DenverDryGarden said...

This looks wonderful and so healthy!

Rico said...

Looks really beautiful and delicious :) xx Rice-Recipes

Tangled Noodle said...

The toppings look fantastic! I'd love a slice of this . . .

AndreaQ said...

Yum! Love focaccia and blue cheese.