Split-Personality Pizza

I called Jenny on the way home from work tonight:

“I’m running for the 6:23 train, yeah, be home by seven, work was fine, need me to pick anything up? And oh, what do you feel like for dinner.”

“I don’t know,” she said. “Let me look–hold on–Girls, turn DOWN the Michael Jackson!”

I could hear her open the freezer, rifle around. “We have some chicken.”

Nah, not feeling chicken. Sick of chicken.

“We could do pasta.” I had pasta for lunch.

“Wait,” she said, “There’s a Jim Lahey pizza crust in here!” Pizza sounded good. “Okay, what should we have on it?” she asked. For some reason, I wanted potatoes…and cheddar cheese and caramelized onions. She raised no objections. I told her I’d make it, if she would defrost the crust and slice up some potatoes.

Forty-five minutes later, I got home to a crust on a baking sheet, a bowl of sliced red potatoes (about 1/4 inch thick, skins still on), and a preheated oven. The kids were upstairs in the bath. The dog did not appear to need walking. I went to work.

We didn’t have much in the refrigerator, pizza-wise, so I grabbed some olive oil, salt, fresh thyme, chives, an onion, and Trader Joe’s Mexican blend of shredded cheese. I boiled the potatoes in salted water for about eight minutes to soften them up and sauteed a sliced onion while I got the rest of my ingredients ready. “Do you think the kids will eat this?”  I asked as I was assembling. “Probably not,” she said. The girls were now in the kitchen in their bathrobes. Hungry. “Why don’t you make them a regular cheese pizza?” We had no mozzarella, but we did have a few sticks of string cheese, which I diced up and sprinkled over some marinara. I did a half cheese, half potato, and put it in the oven for about fifteen minutes at 500°F. As usual, the pizza crust came out exactly the way it always does (perfect, and infinitely better than a storebought crust), and thirty minutes after walking in the door, dinner was ready.

The kids did try the potato version, by the way. (We sold it to them as french fry pizza.) It appears they will allow us to move it into our rotation.

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What kind of cheese is that on the adult half? My first thought was, smoked gouda? Looks delicious!

After Words

What’s your best method for defrosting frozen pizza crust in a hurry? I do a warm water bath but often that leaves the crust gooey and hard to work with (though I haven’t tried the Lahey recipe).