Pizza Blanco al` a Thanksgiving

Here’s one fabulous, simple & healthy recipe you might not expect for your leftover Thanksgiving turkey!

3 balls pizza dough from your favorite Pizzeria (most Pizzerias will not object to selling a couple balls of dough. Think of the best pizza crust you’ve ever tasted & pay them a friendly visit) Keep the dough chilled until just before constructing your pizzas.

1 Jar Pigtale Twist Ridiculously Garlic Blue Dressing

4 large Bermuda (purple) onions, peeled, halved & cut into slivers

½ cup very good apricot jam (I like Hero or Schwartau as they use more fruit, less sugar)

½ stick of butter

4 TBS extra virgin olive oil + a touch extra for brushing & drizzling

18 sprigs fresh Thyme

Kosher salt & freshly cracked black pepper

3-4 ounces fresh, organic baby Arugula

Using a very large saucepan, heat the ½ stick of butter & 4 TBS of the olive oil over high heat. The oil will allow for cooking at a higher temperature while the butter will give you that wonderful flavor we all love. As soon as the butter & oil begin to foam & smoke add the onions tossing with a good pinch of salt & pepper. Resist the urge to stir for 4-5 minutes at a time until the onions are truly caramelized & a bit crispy around the edges. Reduce the heat to low & stir in the apricot jam until the jam is completely melted into the onions. This may be done up to 3 days ahead & refrigerated as long as you allow the onions to return to room temperature before assembling the pizzas.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Generously flour the surface you will use to roll out the dough. It’s funny the objects I have observed folks using over the years, to roll out dough. From the traditional rolling pins to broom handles, a can of Italian tomatoes, a foot-long piece of PVC or perhaps the best tools, their fingers. Whichever tool you choose, the important detail is to always begin in the center of the dough & work your way outward to the edges turning the dough in order to work evenly & to ensure the dough is not sticking to the surface. Brush or tap the excess flour from the dough & brush one side with olive oil. Using the grill or a grill pan, toast the dough, oil side down for 2-3 minutes over a low heat or until the dough becomes crusty, golden brown. Brush the second side with olive oil and flip to cook the second side until toasty & crisp. Do not walk away or answer the phone at this stage as the dough will burn easily & flare-ups are likely anytime we work with oil & fire. Repeat this process with the other balls of dough. Place each crust upon a cookie sheet or pizza pan.

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Using your hands, shred Thanksgiving’s leftover turkey into manageable, bite-sized pieces & set aside. I prefer the look and texture of hand torn turkey for this as it truly is a rustic pizza. Remove all the Thyme leaves from their stems by pinching the tip of each stem with one hand and with the other hand, gently running your thumb & forefinger from the top to the bottom of each stem. Set aside. Using the back of a large spoon or spatula, spread 4-5 ounces or ½ cup of the Ridiculously Garlic Blue Cheese on each round of crust as you would with typical tomato/pizza sauce. Evenly distribute one third of the onions over each pizza, then 1/3 of the turkey & finally 1/3 the Thyme leaves. Cook the pizzas for 10-15 minutes & remove from the oven. Sprinkle a generous handful of fresh arugula leaves over each pizza. With your thumb over the opening of the olive oil bottle, drizzle a very fine stream of oil in a zigzag motion over the pizzas and sprinkle each with a pinch of kosher salt and a liberal grind of the pepper mill. Then, simply slice the pizzas and serve.

What I love about this recipe is that everyone can join in & feel creative! From remaining house guests, to all the kids’ friends in from college or some neighbors contributing their share of leftover turkey, this is about the warmth & company the holidays bring. Inexpensive, no fuss, happy memories and maybe an afternoon pickup game of football in the backyard. Make this “Day After Thanksgiving Menu” a family tradition with hot cider for the kids, a frosty mug of honey-wheat ale for the adults & maybe even a few hands of cards in front of the fire instead of restaurant fare & frenzied crowds at the mall. See if everyone isn’t a little happier!

~   God’s blessings to you all for a wonderful holiday season in 2010   ~