This is why we could never live without cheese.
Ok fine, not JUST pizza, more like almost every single dish I make around here… but pizza is pretty dang important.
Pizza is the answer to everything. It’s a winter food, it’s a summer food. Ahh wait, pizza is an every single day kind of food. It is also a customizable food. Meaning I can make it and everyone will eat it. Granted the picky eaters get their own cheese pizza, but a least we all eat the same food group when pizza is on the table.
I think I make pizza at least once a week, some weeks twice. It just depends. Pizza is an easy meal for me. I can make the dough with my eyes closed….. Scratch that, I can make the dough with one eye closed. My basic everyday pizza can be done in twenty minutes (minus the time it takes for the dough to rise). So yeah, I make a lot of pizza. Most of them never end up being showing to you guys because they are either just a super simple recipe that my dad came up with (that is still probably one of the best pizzas I have ever had) or they are just plain weird.
Like I said the boys get cheese pizza because they really will not eat anything else. Throw some meat on? Yeah, they will eat that, but add any other color other than red tomato sauce and they freak, so normally I just give them what they want. Cheese pizza, maybe some spicy sausage, maybe some pepperonis, but mostly just cheese.
The other pizza is either a version of a pizza my dad made growing up, or the “everything but the kitchen sink pizza”. <– Also known as the “Tieghan just put all the
shit stuff she needs to get rid of on the pizza” pizza. I know that sounds kind of gross, but most of the time they end up being pretty good. Probably half the sauces I use for dishes, like these thai lettuce wraps, these salad bowls and these tostadas, have all ended up on a pizza or two. I even put left over chili on a pizza. Some people thought that was just too weird though.
Oh, and one time I actually used this leftover soup (please excuse the horrible photos) as a “sauce” and served it to company. I was so nervous, but to this day it was one of my favorite pizzas.
Anyway, my point is, I make a lot pizza. And I use a lot of leftovers up in the process.
What? I make a ton of food everyday and grew up with parents who tried to get rid of every last ounce of food, so it is ingrained into me. AND even with all the mouths that I end up feeding, I still end up with leftovers.
This pizza? Well, this pizza is special. One, it involved zero leftovers and two, there’s lobster. Lobster tossed with just a little brown butter. And then there is the cheese. Three cheeses to be exact, cheddar, fontina and parmesan. Cheese is a must… and lots of it.
Oh, and there is also bacon, but believe it or not I am not really a bacon person. I like it to compliment flavors, but I find it can really over-power a lot of dishes, so I only use it every so often as a highlighter for certain foods. Lobster is one of those foods. It just works. I discovered this over the summer when I made this pasta. So good.
FYI, this is probably a good time to be buying lobster.
Pretty sure many grocery stores will have it on sale this week for Valentines Day. I do not really care whether you are making this for someone or not, but you’ve gotta make it. Simply put- it’s just one of the foods you have to have.
Brown Butter Lobster and Spinach Pizza with Bacon + Fontina.
Yields: ONE 12 INCH PIZZA
*Lobster cooking method adapted from [Better Homes and Gardens | http://www.bhg.com/recipes/how-to/cooking-basics/how-to-boil-lobster-tails/].
- Pizza Dough
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2-3 (4 ounce) lobster tails
- 4 slices thick cut bacon
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 small shallot, chopped
- 6 ounces fresh spinach
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
- 4 ounces sharp white cheddar, shredded
- 8 ounces fontina shredded
- 2 ounces freshly grated parmesan
For the Dough: In a large bowl, combine water, yeast and honey. Mix with a spoon, then let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes. Add in the flour and olive oil stirring with a spoon until the dough comes together but is still sticky. Using your hands, form the dough into a ball and work the additional 1/2 cup flour into the dough if needed, kneading it on a floured surface for a few minutes. You can also do all the mixing and kneading in your stand mixer with the dough hook attachment. Rub the same bowl with olive oil, then place the dough inside, turning to coat. Cover with a towel and place in a warm place to rise for about 1 1/2 hours.
When the dough is ready, start assembling the pizzas. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
While the dough is rising, boil your lobster tails. Bring 6 cups salted water to a boil in a 3-quart saucepan. Add the lobster tails. Simmer, uncovered, for 8 to 12 minutes or until shells turn bright red and the meat is tender when poked with a fork. Drain in a colander. Once cool enough to handle, use kitchen shears, cut away the membrane from the tail to expose the meat. Discard the intestinal vein that runs through the tail. Chop the meat and set aside.
Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until the fat has rendered and the bacon is just beginning to crisp, about 5 minutes. Do not let the bacon get extra crispy as it will continue to cook in the oven. Remove bacon from pan and set aside on paper towels to drain. Drain all but 1 tablespoon of bacon fat.
To the same skillet add the shallot and garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the spinach and saute for 5 minutes or until the spinach is wilted. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove the spinach from the skillet.
To the same skillet add the butter and cook over medium heat until just browned. Butter will melt, foam and froth, then begin to brown along the bottom. Whisk browned bits off of the bottom of the pan and remove from the heat. Stir in the parsley, oregano and crushed red pepper. Drizzle half of the butter over the lobster and toss well, reserve the remaining butter.
Once the pizza dough is ready, lightly flour a counter. Use your hands or a rolling pin to roll the dough out until you have a flattened disk. Place the pizzas on a greased baking sheet and then use your hands to gently tug, pull and push the pizza dough into your desired shape. Spread the pizza with the remaining brown butter and then sprinkle with the sun-dried tomatoes and half the spinach. Top that with half the cheese, then the remaining spinach, the lobster chunks and then the rest of the cheese. Sprinkle on the bacon.
Bake the pizza for 25-30 minutes or until the cheese is all melty and gooey. Remove and serve with fresh grated parmesan and crushed red pepper. Slice and eat!
No really, you have to. Bonus if you make it tonight, you will have kicked Monday in the bucket.