Bill and I both love pizza, but we just don’t eat it as often as we would like! We do enjoy the chicken Alfredo type from the local take out, but it’s usually soggy with way too much sauce and cheese. I usually end up with a belly ache and it’s not worth it because you can’t even taste the crust! More often we will prepare pizza at home and the key is to use delicious dough. Making it from scratch is a bit of a process, which for me eliminates spontaneity for dinner most nights. I do love Trader Joe’s Pizza Dough, which they sell for around a dollar and a half for a 16 ounce “bag ‘o dough”. It is offered in the refrigerated section in Regular, Whole Wheat, and Garlic & Herb varieties and are made fresh daily. I like the regular and the garlic herb over the wheat, which can be tough and buy both depending on what flavor profile we’re looking for. We prefer really thin pizza, so I think that one bag of dough is too big for one single pizza, but believe that it would probably make two nice 12″ or so round pizzas.
Their pizza dough also freezes really well! The morning of, pull it out of the freezer and put it in a bowl or leave it in the bag for a while and let it slowly thaw out. Then take it out of the bag and put it in a bowl to let it rise a bit and warm up under plastic or a towel. Use some flour to work it if it is sticky.
We love artichokes too, but the fresh ones are a pain in the neck to clean so I use the artichoke “bottoms” that I recently discovered. Artichokes are a perennial thistle belonging to the Cynara family. It has flower buds that develop into edible heads. The edible parts of each head include the base, which is called the heart. That base of the heart is the bottom and is the best part! Look for them and use them because you won’t be disappointed! This pizza was made with ingredients I had on hand, including some left over roasted chicken but you can add any toppings that you prefer.
4 oz. Brie Cheese, I use St. André
4 oz. Cream Cheese
1/2 Cup Mayonnaise
1/2 Cup Parmesan
1 Garlic Clove, pressed
Dash Hot Sauce
2 boneless chicken breast halves, roasted and shredded
1/2 Onion, sliced and caramelized
15 oz. Artichoke Hearts, drained and sliced
Red Peppers, roasted and sliced
2 oz. Mozzarella Cheese, sliced
2 oz. Italian Cheese Blend, shredded
Salt & Pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Work the crust with a rolling pin to your preferred thickness and place it on a baking stone that has been sprayed with non stick cooking spray; Bake it for a few minutes on each side; flipping once it is firm enough.
Drain the artichokes and slice. Notice the additional serving suggestions on the can! Meanwhile, warm the Brie and cream cheese with the garlic, just until soft. Combine with mayo, Parmesan and hot sauce.
I choose St. André Brie, which is known as “the heavenly cheese”. It is a pasteurized cow’s milk cheese, covered with a satiny, edible rind. Soft-ripened, the downy white outer layer offers a complex counterpoint to the wildly rich, buttery and silky center. It is amazing!
Next, spread the par cooked crust with the cream mixture and top with the chicken, and other veggies. Season lightly with salt & pepper. Top with slices of mozzarella and the shredded cheese blend. cheese. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until cheese is melted and crust is golden brown.
This crust was a little thicker than I prefer since I used the entire package, but the herbs within were perfect for the Alfredo pizza. Slice and serve.