My sister and I both like to cook. The difference is that she watches the tv shows and buys the magazines, whereas I might flip through a book or Google for recipes and ideas.
I think that cooking may be more of a social thing with her, too. She’ll show up at our parents’ house with grocery bags full of the specific ingredients for an exotic recipe that she just came across. My mom and dad don’t mind playing the role of taste tester, and having their daughter around is pleasant.
This Tuesday Linda asked my mom to have a pizza crust ready, and she would bring the rest of the ingredients. She said something about onion soup… It turned out that Rachel Ray has a recipe for French Onion Dip Pizza. It is void of red sauce and meat. Doesn’t sound very interesting, does it? The caramelized onions with garlic, sour cream, and thyme were what convinced her to try it out, I think. The three cheeses added to the temptation, no doubt.
As she finished sauteeing the garlic with the onions, I stripped leaves from fresh thyme, and my mom measured out the sour cream. We then added these ingredients to Linda’s skillet a dollop at a time (hoping that the cream wouldn’t break). I hadn’t read the recipe, so I didn’t know that you were supposed to sprinkle the thyme over the cheese, rather than mix it in to the white “sauce”.
Linda spread the onions onto the prepared crust, before covering them with shredded white cheddar and Guyere. She finished it by sprinkling the top with a fancy mix of Kraft Romano-Asiago-Parmesan cheeses.
We slid it into the oven, and shut the door wondering what would emerge in 15 minutes.
15 minutes wasn’t enough time for the cheese to brown, so we waited a little longer. When the top of the pizza had gotten a golden hue, she pulled it out and set it on the table. It is always hard to wait for pizza to cool, and I inevitably burn the top of my mouth with steam that escapes from between the cheese and the sauce.
When we tasted the French Onion Dip Pizza, it wasn’t as interesting as we had expected. The flavors weren’t as pronounced as one would have liked. We said, “perhaps it will be better when it isn’t so hot,” and “maybe it needs some time for the flavors to meld”. We were also thinking that it might work as a side or an appetizer.
Linda sent some of the leftovers home with me to share with my husband. Even though he dislikes thyme, Joel didn’t complain. We finished it off as midnight snacks these past two days.
If you want the official recipe, look here:
2 tablespoons EVOO Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 large onions, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
Salt and ground black pepper
1 ball fresh pizza dough
1 cup crme fraiche or sour cream
3/4 cup shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
3/4 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
1 tablespoon thyme leaves, chopped
Preheat the oven to 450F.
Place a large skillet over medium heat with 2 turns of the pan of EVOO, about 2 tablespoons. Add the onion and garlic to the pan and gently cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and deep golden brown, about 25 minutes. Stir in the garlic the last 8-10 minutes of cooking time.
While the onions are cooking, stretch the pizza dough out to the size of your pan (you can use a baking sheet or round pizza pan, whatever you have). Transfer the dough onto the pan and bake until set and very light golden brown, about 15 minutes.
When the onions are ready, season them with salt and pepper, and stir in the crme fraiche or sour cream. Spread the mixture over the pre-baked pizza crust. Sprinkle the cheeses and thyme over the pizza and return it to the oven. Bake until golden brown and bubbly, about 10 minutes. Serve a romaine salad with a Dijon vinaigrette alongside.