Crispy Sprouts and Cider Short Ribs Pizza

All major food groups present on this one:  short ribs, brussel sprouts and lots of cheese!  Check!

Screen Shot 2015-06-20 at 11.54.10 AM


cider braised short ribs
5 pounds beef short ribs (about 6 to 8 ribs)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/3 cup hard cider

pizza dough
1 1/8 cups warm water
3 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt

crispy sprouts and shallots
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3 shallots, sliced
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1/2 pound brussels sprouts, stems removed and sliced until shredded

1 tablespoon olive oil
6 ounces fontina cheese, freshly grated
4 ounces gruyere cheese, freshly grated
2 ounces parmiaggiano-reggiano cheese, freshly grated


cider braised short ribs
Heat a large dutch oven over medium-high heat and add olive oil and butter. Season the short ribs with salt and pepper. Add the short ribs (fat side up) to the pot to sear. Sear until deeply golden on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Pour in the cider, reduce the heat to medium and allow the alcohol to cook out for a few minutes. Once it is not longer smoking, reduce the heat to low and cover. Cook for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, or until the short ribs are falling off the bone. If at any time the liquid level is low in the pot, add a little stock or more cider. You can do this ahead of time!

Once the ribs are cooked, remove and let cool until you can tough. Pull the meat from the bone. Note: about halfway through the ribs cook time is when I start the dough.

In a large bowl, combine water, yeast, honey and olive oil. Mix with a spoon, then let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes. Add in 2 1/2 cups flour and salt, stirring with a spoon until the dough comes together but is still sticky. Using your hands, form the dough into a ball and work in the additional 1/2 cup flour, kneading it on a floured surface for a few minutes. Rub the same bowl with olive oil then place the dough inside, turning to coat. Cover with a towel and place in a warm place to rise for about 1-1 1/2 hours.

After the dough has risen, punch it down and place it back on the floured surface. Using a rolling pin or your hands, form it into your desired shape (sometimes I use baking sheets and do rectangles or free form pizzas – this specific dough will yield one pizza large enough to feed about 3-4 people) and place on a baking sheet or pizza peel. Place the towel back over the dough and let sit in the warm place for 10 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. (If I use my pizza stone, I heat my oven to 475 degrees and bake for 15 minutes. If you’re just using a baking sheet, follow the directions below for baking and set to 425 degrees.)

crispy sprouts and shallots
Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat and add the olive oil and butter. Add in the onions with the sugar and stir to coat. Cook, stirring occaisonally, until the shallots are caramelized, about 15 minutes. Add in the brussels and stir to coat. Increase the heat to medium and cook until the brussels are bright green and crisp, about 5 more minutes. Add a pinch of salt and pepper if desired.

Brush the pizza dough with the olive oil. Add a few handfuls of cheese to the dough, then cover liberally with the shallots, brussels and short ribs. Top with the remaining cheese. Bake for 25 to 30 minute (or a little less if using the stone) or until the cheese is golden and bubbly. Remove and let cool slightly before serving. If desired, sprinkle a little parmesan cheese and fresh herbs on top.


Pizza with Butternut Squash and Sage Pesto

Delicious fall flavors that will blindside your tastebuds and smack you upside your head.  Make my pizza dough based on Chez Panisse’s recipe–it’s tried and true and so delicious–and the entire pizza in all its fabulousness will creep up in quiet baby steps in an explosion of deliciosity.  I’ve been making this dough for about 12 years.  The rye flour and beer gives the pizza crust so much flavor that it’s a perfect vehicle for the autumn flavors of sage and butternut squash — who wants a bland pizza crust, anyway?   If you just can’t bring yourself to strive for excellence, then pick up some Trader Joe’s dough.  I understand.  I’ve been there.


Sage pesto:

2/3 cup fresh sage leaves, torn
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons finely grated parmesan cheese
I usually make half of the pesto recipe which is perfect for one pizza

While dough is rising, combine sage, pine nuts and finely grated parmesan cheese in a food processor and blend until combined. Stream in olive oil and blend until pesto-like.  Set aside.

Butternut Squash
1 1/2 cups butternut squash, cut in small dice
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

Heat a medium skillet oven medium heat and add 1 tablespoon butter. Toss in butternut squash cubes, along with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Cook for 10 minutes, tossing occasionally.  Cook until tender and just starting to caramelize. Set aside.

Caramelized Onions
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced

In the same skillet, add another 1/2 tablespoon of butter and onions with a pinch of salt. Cover and let caramelize for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Set aside.

Other Pizza Toppings
6 thin slices prosciutto, torn
Toss the prosciutto into the hot skillet and allow to cook until it just starts to turn crispy.

4 ounces parmesan cheese, freshly grated
8 ounces goat cheese, sliced and crumbled
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts


Preheat oven (I use a pizza stone)  to 475 degrees F.

Once dough has risen and you are ready to assemble pizza, spread 2-3 tablespoons of pesto all over dough in a thin layer. Top with half of the grated parmesan, then sprinkle butternut squash on evenly. Top with onions. Top with torn prosciutto pieces, then  sprinkle goat cheese over the pizza. Sprinkle with remaining parmesan.  Bake for 8 minutes and prepare to fall in love!

Leek, Bacon and Goat Cheese Pizza

For Pizza Crust:

Use Caitie’s Chez Panisse Inspired Pizza Dough

For the toppings:

  • 4 leeks, white and light green parts only
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 4 pieces bacon
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 4 ounces fresh goat cheese
  • olive oil
  • salt to taste
  1. Clean the leeks by slicing them lengthwise and running them under water until all the layers are clean. Roughly chop into 1 inch pieces.
  2. In a large skillet, melt the butter. Add the leeks, and cook over medium heat until they start to soften.
  3. Add the wine, and cook until absorbed. Add the cream, and cook until absorbed. Salt to taste and remove from heat.
  4. Meanwhile, chop the bacon into bite sized pieces and fry until cooked but not too crisp (it cooks further in the oven).
  5. Brush each pizza crust with olive oil. Arrange the leeks, the cooked bacon, and crumbled goat cheese over the top of each pizza.
  6. Bake at 500 degrees 15 minutes.

Rosemary Potato Pizza with Chicken and Bacon

2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic, divided
½ teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon coarse (kosher or sea) salt, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast (5 to 8 ounces)

½ pound small red potatoes, sliced into ⅛-inch-thick rounds
2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano, divided
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary, divided
Ground pepper to taste

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
2 tablespoons minced shallot
½ teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
3 tablespoons chardonnay
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Dough for one pizza (1 lb)
¾ cup shredded fontina cheese
2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Combine 1 teaspoon minced garlic, ½ teaspoon soy sauce, ½ teaspoon coarse salt, and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small, shallow bowl. Add chicken, turning it over to coat it thoroughly, and marinate for about 15 minutes.
3. While chicken is marinating, mix together 2 teaspoons minced garlic, ½ teaspoon chopped fresh oregano, 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary, ground pepper to taste, ½ teaspoon coarse salt, and 1 tablespoon oil in a medium bowl. Add the sliced potatoes and toss to coat thoroughly. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place the potato slices on it in a single layer, without overlapping. Discard leftover potato marinade (do not pour over potatoes). Place potatoes in oven and cook for about 20 minutes, flipping over once, until tender and beginning to brown. Remove potatoes from oven and increase oven temperature to 450 degrees.
4. While potatoes are cooking, prepare a grill, and when hot, grill chicken until cooked through. Chill chicken in refrigerator until ready to top pizza.
5. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a medium nonstick saucepan over medium heat. Add minced shallot, 1 tablespoon garlic, and minced thyme. Cook, stirring, until tender and light brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Add ¼ teaspoon coarse salt, ground pepper to taste, wine, lemon, and chicken stock. Cook until reduced, turning heat to low if necessary to prevent scorching. Remove pan from heat and quickly whisk in 2 tablespoons butter.

6. Roll out pizza dough and place on baking pan or pizza stone. Spread garlic-shallot butter over dough, then cover with the shredded mozzarella. Add the chicken, 1 teaspoon rosemary, 1½ teaspoon oregano, and the potatoes. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until crust is browned. Sprinkle parsley over pizza and serve.

Serves: 4
Time: 90 minutes

Blog at