Two Pizzettes, Two Vignettes

by jen on March 13, 2008

The Pizzettes

Can I share with you the easiest, awesomest pizzettes recipe EVER? I procured it at a super fun but appallingly titled Hip Cooks class “Cooking for One.” I highly recommend their classes if you live in LA, and that one in particular if you are one of those people, ahem, who have a hard time not eating Trader Joe’s buffalo wings every night (I have been truly afraid before that I would just wake up one morning covered in a thin layer of buffalo sauce, like I had BECOME a wing.).

Recipe at the bottom of the entry. Makes two pizzettes.

Vignette One

I know what you are thinking: DUDE, “pizzettes?” Let’s just call these what they really are, personal pizzas, you BoBo freak.

I think that, too, sometimes, but pizzette sounds so much better than “personal pizza”…. that is, unless you’re talking a Personal PAN Pizza from Pizza Hut!!

Personal Pan Pizzas from Pizza Hut will be forever linked for me to this cross-country road trip I took with Mom, Dad and Jeff in, hm, 1983? In which Jeff had to pee like EVERY TWELVE MINUTES. Which I find fascinating because his last blog entry, OVER A YEAR AGO JEFF, is about forgetting to pee.

You want to know the saddest thing? My parents that summer dubbed me “Bladder of Steel” (k-k-k-klassy!). And because since birth I have been an incredibly competitive little mofo, I strongly suspect my little 6-year-old self held it in on purpose to outdo my 3-year-old brother, like, TAKE THAT, you little bowl-cut towhead who’s cuter than me, I CAN HOLD MY PEE IN LONGER.

Anyhoo, in addition to the fun of exiting the highway every 12 minutes, on that trip I threw a fit any time our lunch-time stop was not Pizza Hut. I mean, why would anyone want to eat anything else besides your very own personal cheese pizza with crust that oozed oil down your chin? Some unknown diner where they might have fresh, local ingredients? ARE YOU CRAZY?

Certainly my parents were by the end of the trip.

Which is why I feel so bad about the ending of Vignette No. 2.

Vignette Two

My family took a lot of cross-country trips, actually. One of my favorites was the one I took with Mom and Penny, I guess, holy crap, over 10 years ago now since I was 20. Penny was thus 12.

And, G-d love her, that girl refused to eat anywhere but Taco Bell. And you know, I was all TWENTY, and had practically GRADUATED by then, I ate SUSHI and was moving to NYC and HELLO, as if!, I was NOT eating Taco Bell. I. was. EXPERIENCING. LIFE. In technicolor, at local diners, with The People. Of Montana. And probably Iowa.

Oh, though I remember it fondly, there were some speed bumps on that trip.

By the time we made it back across the country into Portland, to see my dad race, Penny and I HATED one another. Like Montague/Capulet Hate.

And I don’t know exactly how it happened, but on the way to the race track, Penny was kicking my seat and I told her, through clenched teeth, to stop. She did not.

So what did I do? (Keep in mind, I am TWENTY at this point, not THIRTEEN, 20, and supposedly too darn evolved to eat Taco Bell) I reached behind me, dug my nails as hard as I could into her tiny little calves until she bled while she sheared the skin clear off my shoulder kicking me, trying to get me to stop.

Five minutes later we show up at the track, all cowed by our own violence and bleeding and bruised and looking extremely sheepish, with my mom near hysteria explaining what her TWO DAUGHTERS WHO YOU WOULD THINK WERE RAISED IN A BARN JUST DID, and all my Dad’s racing buddies trying to look concerned but I think truly taking obscene pleasure in that a two-week build-up of car-caged estrogen would explode into such a bloody brawl.

Luckily, in addition to amusing the menfolk, this story now amuses me and even Penny. In fact, when I told her tonight I was posting about it, she was all, “Oh yeah, that’s so funny…

I WAS JUST SHOWING SOMEONE MY SCARS.”

p.s. Finally painted my living room!

p.p.s. Quarterway through my bedroom! Still don’t have a bed! I am awesome!

The Recipe

I stretched this out over two nights but you can do it in one.

Night One:
1. Walk to Trader Joe’s.

2. Skip the bufflo wings. OK, maybe buy some just in case this doesn’t work out.

3. Buy the following:
a. Cheap-ass bottle of balsamic.
b. Pizza dough
c. Prosciutto
d. Chevre.
e. Red onions.
(Things you have to have on hand are olive oil, butter, brown sugar, cognac or brandy or red wine for the onions).

3. Walk home, throw maybe a half-cup of the balsamic into a sauce pan, bring it to a mild simmer then bring it back down and leave it at very low heat.

4. Pour glass of wine, watch Stacey & Clinton boost someone’s self-esteem through the power of fashion, occasionally stirring the balsamic until it is reduced by half. Once it cools it will get even more solid, so don’t let it turn into complete goo. Pour it in Tupperware. Or a squeeze bottle if you super ambitious (I was not). Done.

Night Two:
1. Preheat oven to whatever pizza dough directions say to preheat it for.

2. Cut the red onions, like three maybe, into 1/4- or 1/2-inch rounds, whatever your poison. Put some olive oil and 2 tablespoons butter in a skillet until butter is melted, throw the onions in there. Cook them for maybe 20 minutes or more on medium-high/medium heat until you’ve sweated out a lot of the liquid.

3. Take Trader Joe’s pizza dough out of fridge, let sit for 20 minutes. Or forget to until step 6 and let it sit for 5, whatever.

4. Then throw in something to sweeten and really caramelize the onions — I used a generous handful of brown sugar, then a little more later, and some French brandy I had around. I cooked them for maybe 20 minutes more after I put the sugar and booze, until they were good and freaking gooey. I added salt just toward the end. Done.

5. Take the dough out of the plastic bag, plop it on a cutting board coated generously with flour, cut it in half. Work each blob into a round with your hands, just like they do on TV.

6. Put your pizzettes on a cookie sheet and brush with olive oil.

7. Put in oven for half time it says on pizza dough wrapper.

8. Take it out. Burn yourself. Oh, wait, that’s just me.

9. Pile on the caramelized onions, the prosciutto (just rip it into pieces, very satisfying), some globs of chevre (also very satisfying to squeeze out).

10. Put it back in for the rest of the time, or until cheese is slightly browned. (If you, like me, are super paranoid, you can scatter corn meal on the cookie sheet to make sure the bottoms don’t burn). Remove from oven.

11. Drizzle that balsamic-y goodness over the pizza.

12. ENJOY. Dude, I am salivating just thinking about that pizza.

Oh, and day 3? LEFTOVERS!!

The Jeff March 14, 2008 at 4:16 am

OK, first off, … fine, I’ll post again.

Second, that pic of Fred is so damn cute, you have to send it in to CuteOverload right this instant young lady.

Also. The PPP from Pizza Hut was pretty damn good. Although. I tried it not too long ago. Big mistake. That shit is nasty.

Bev March 14, 2008 at 7:44 am

Is that how Fred always sleeps? He should be on
http://icanhascheezburger.com/

julie March 14, 2008 at 8:08 am

I remember when you went with your mom and penny across the country after graduation. But I had NO IDEA what really went down! Whoa dude. I can relate though: try taking your family of 6 (2 teen boys; two pre-teen–or tween, though I hate that term–girls) on a car trip through europe in a volvo station wagon….yeah: the ones with 4 seats.
Thanks for the pizzette recipe…and your place continues to look tres chic.

carolyn March 14, 2008 at 8:41 am

Oh.My.God. Dude. Now I am totally salivating and NOTHING I can possibly find within walking distance of the office to eat for lunch today is going to be in any way satisfying after reading this post. Holy crap that sounds good. And your family roadtrip stories are classic, I believe I have blocked most of the horrors of mine from my memory completely although I do remember that one of them took place in a Chevette which is a ridiculously small car for a 4 person plus dog roadtrip and I remember NEVER EVER EVER having any air conditionining in any of the 16 hour drives to my grandparents in the friggin hot ass summer. I do remember that part.

Muse March 14, 2008 at 9:00 am

the pizzettes looks delish! I will venture to TJ’s today despite the fact that on Fridays they are out of EVERYTHING, so I will probably return home sobbing and dreaming of pizzettes.

Also, I LOVED the story about you and your sister – I got in trouble a lot for getting into it with my brother (who is 8 years younger).. my mom would always say, “he’s only 5!! You’re 13 – THIRTEEN!!”
And I’d be like, “so.”

Christine March 14, 2008 at 10:46 am

Those pizzettes look delicious. Whoa.

My sister and I used to fight all the time. I remember once when I was 9 and she was 7 or so she threw one of my brother’s metal matchbox cars at my face and split my lip. In retaliation I took the plastic coated metal handle off the LA-Z-Boy recliner and whacked her on the knee. Then we heard our mother coming and to avoid getting in more trouble for fighting we pretended like nothing had happened, despite my split lip and her swollen knee.

Ah, good times.

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