Last Saturday happened to be one of those days when I was in the mood for some experimentation. However, I also wanted to stick to something I had already tried and tasted to recommend to my Wife. My game plan was to have her take a back seat at cooking toady and enjoy with the kids while I took charge of the kitchen. I know, the women out there would all be swearing with woe that men are such messy cooks and that the mess they leave behind does not compare to the rest that they got! I would say, let woe be gone! Grab a peg of my favorite Black Dog Triple Gold Reserve, relax, close your eyes, breathe slowly and repeat… “MEN ARE AWESOME COOKS”
So with a clear picture in my mind, my trusty Black Dog TGR beside me, I started cooking. The idea was to have a dinner of pizza ready with my wife finally telling me that it was a good job. This happens to be one of my favorite recipes. Do try and let me know how it turned out for you! Until then my Black Dog TGR and I are waiting right here for you!
Toppings for 4 medium pizzas
1 cup cubed paneer – cut ½ inch thick
¼ cup bell pepper – cut into strips or squares
½ onion diced – optional
1 – 2 green chilies – chopped (optional)
½ teaspoon ginger & garlic paste
1 tsp tandoori masala
¼ teaspoon garam masala
1 tablespoon cream or half n half (optional – if you have some use it)
1 tablespoon plain yogurt (use two if you did not use cream or half n half)
½ teaspoon oil
1 cup mozzarella cheese – you can use as much or as little as you prefer
1. Heat the oil over medium heat and add the ginger/garlic paste. Cook for a min until fragrant. Allow it to cool then add spices, yogurt and cream (if using) and mix.
2. Add the onions, peppers and paneer and let it marinate while you get the sauce ready.
3. See anything missing? Salt? Yup! It is missing. Two reasons –
a. If you are using store bought tandoori powder- it already has some salt.
b. We will have salt in the dough & the sauce – so there is really no need to overdose on salt! You can add in a pinch if you can’t help it.
4. Why are we cooking the ginger and garlic paste for the marinade? Since we won’t cook the toppings for long, we need to precook the ginger & garlic paste.
For the Sauce
4 tablespoons thick tomato paste or 1 cup deseeded peeled chopped tomatoes
½ teaspoon cumin powder
½ teaspoon chili powder
½ cup water (only if using the paste)
2 teaspoons finely grated garlic
Some yummy olive oil for frying (about 2 tablespoons)
½ teaspoon salt – add more or less to your own taste
Put a pan on medium heat and add the olive oil. As soon as the pan is warm, add the cumin. You know the oil is hot enough because the cumin seeds will bubble up a bit. Add the garlic. Stir and cook until fragrant. Add the tomato paste and water (or the chopped tomatoes). Mix and add the chili powder and a pinch or two of salt. Cook until everything blends together and starts to look like a pizza sauce.
Option 1 (using your own recipe of pizza dough)
1. Roll out the dough
2. Apply sauce
3. Add the toppings except the paneer
4. Add the mozzarella cheese
5. Bake for 7 – 10 minutes at 400-degrees F (if following a recipe, bake at the recommended temperature for 2/3rds the baking time)
6. When it is cooked halfway – you add the paneer toppings.
7. Finish cooking for another 5 minutes…until the cheese is bubbly and the crust gets as crunchy as you like it.
Option 2 (With whole wheat tortilla)
1. Heat up a non-stick pan and put a tortilla on it
2. Cook on both sides until brown spots appear and the edges crisp
3. Place tortillas on the back of a baking sheet (or use the same pan)
4. Put the sauce on and the toppings and broil on low for 3 minutes and on high for 2 minutes
5. Keep an eye on it. The edges can burn pretty fast.
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