Pie of the Week #15
This week, I decided to get a little meta with the pizza. French Onion Pizza: essentially deconstructed French Onion Soup on a Neapolitan style pizza crust. Different. Yummy. Would do again.
I began by making what I guess I’d call “soup sauce.” Basically, a gravy with the flavor profile of French Onion Soup broth. So, beef stock, a bit of white wine, some garlic, and a bit of thyme. I made a roux with olive oil and butter, and used that to thicken the “soup broth” to a gravy like consistency.
Meanwhile, the star of the show for French Onion pizza: caramelized onions. For two pizzas, I used two medium onions, sliced thin. And I wish I had more! I tossed them in a skillet with a bit of olive oil, some salt, and a little bit of water, medium-low heat, occasional stirring, and let them ever so slowly caramelize over about 25 minutes. If you see in a recipe “caramelized onions” and it takes less than 20 minutes to get the onions ready, those aren’t caramelized onions. They’re just browned. Caramelized onions are rich, sticky, sweet, deep brown, and amazing. Indispensable, really.
For the croutons, I cut a leftover homemade baguette into cubes. Then I mixed together some olive oil, herbs de Provence, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and grated Parmesan. I poured the oil mixture over the bread cubes, mixed, and let them soak in it for a bit before toasting them in the oven until golden and crunchy. They’re great on French Onion Pizza, of course, and a critical part of French Onion Soup. But also good on salads, or just as a snack. So save the leftovers!
Assembled in a pretty usual fashion: shaped the crust, spread the soup sauce, a nice thick layer of cheese, and dollops of caramelized onions. Popped it into the Roccbox and baked it about 80% done (you know, about 60 seconds), popped it out, sprinkled the croutons over, then back in to finish baking.
French Onion Pizza was great! My wife questioned the need for croutons on a pizza: after all, the crust is already bread. But, with all the herbs and pepper flakes, they carry a lot of flavor. And that hit of crunch in contrast to the gooey, stringy, melty cheeses is inspired!