Lush Life

To be a lush chef, does not mean to drink in excess - this can result in scary fires and bad dishes. A lush chef is one who enjoys gourmet cooking/baking, often with fresh ingredients and the smart use of one's home bar. If there happens to be half a bottle of beer, a glass of wine, or a sip of brandy left over...well, one cannot be wasteful. I give you permission to imbibe.

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Twitter: @thelushchef Provenance: Santa Monica Dish: Coq au Vin Spirit: Whiskey Wine: Malbec Beer: Hefeweizen Farmer's Market: Santa Monica on Main Street
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Apr 3, 2012

Beer-Braised Spring Onion, Asparagus & Herbed Goat Cheese Pizza

Libations used: 1/2 cup of beer
Libations left over: 1/2 bottle of beer, so polish it off while the onions are braising...
Last month's issue of Bon Appetit was all about a pizza, and it was perfectly timed to Jim Leahy's new book My Pizza: The Easy No-Knead Way to Make Spectacular Pizza at Home.  While I don't have the book, I do have his no-knead dough recipe, which is incredibly easy to make and calls for ingredients that one almost always has on hand (I bake a lot, so I always have yeast).  I had this recipe for Beer-Braised Spring Onion & Herbed Goat Cheese Focaccia Pizza on file for a while, so I decided to take a few ideas and make my own spring pizza using Jim's dough.  I added asparagus because it's in season and I need my veggies, and I also put a few birds...err, eggs on it!  I don't have a pizza stone, so I just put some parchment paper onto a baking sheet.

While I made this pizza allll for myself, I'll definitely bust this out for a Lush Chef brunch or easy-going dinner party.  The great thing about Jim's dough recipe is that it makes enough for 4 pizzas, so you can roll the leftover dough into balls, wrap in saran wrap and foil and store in the freezer.

Beer-Braised Spring Onion, Asparagus & Herbed Goat Cheese Pizza - serves 2-3

Ingredients for the dough:
  • 3 3/4 cups flour, plus a little extra for shaping
  • 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
  • 2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • Cornmeal, for dusting
Ingredients for the pizza toppings:
  • 3-4 large spring onions, skins removed, cut in half and sliced thinly
  • 2 Tbs butter
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 cup lager beer (I used Stella Artois)
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper
  • 6 oz plain goat cheese
  • 2 Tbs fresh herbs (I used thyme, but you can use rosemary, basil or a combination)
To make the dough:
- Combine the flour, yeast and sea salt in a large bowl and mix with a wooden spoon.
- Pour the water over the mixture and combine thoroughly, using your hands to shape the dough into a ball.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rise at room temperature for at least 18 hours, or until the dough has doubled in size.

To make the pizza:
- In a large pan, melt the butter and oil over medium heat.
- Add the onions and stir to coat, then turn heat down to low.
- Cover with a lid and cook for 1 hour, stirring halfway through.
- While the onions are cooking, finely chop the herbs.
- Crumble up the goat cheese and add to a bowl with the herbs, mashing with the bottom of a fork until well-combined.
- After 1 hour, remove the lid and turn the heat up to medium to cook off all the liquid.
- Once the liquid is gone and the onions start to get a caramel color, add the beer.
- Stir until the beer is gone, making sure you get all the brown bits off the bottom of the pan.
- Divide the dough into quarters.
- With one of the quarters, on a heavily-floured work surface, fold the right side toward the center, then the left, top and bottom.
- Turn the ball seam-side down on the work surface.
- Cup your hands around the sides of the dough and press it down towards the work surface and in a circular motion to shape it into a mound.
- Press down on the dough and gently stretch it to a 6-8 inch wide disk (I actually made mine a rectangle).  Continue to massage and stretch it out to 10-12 inches (don't smooth out the bubbles or blisters).
- Transfer your dough onto a pizza peel or if you don't have one, I just moved directly onto my baking sheet, lined with cornmeal-dusted parchment paper.
- Crumble the goat cheese on the dough and add the asparagus spears.
- Pop in the oven for 2 1/2 minutes (I actually needed to cook mine longer).
- Remove from oven and spread the onions on.
- Gently crack 3 eggs onto the pizza.
- Place in the oven for a minute or two, or until the eggs are cooked.
- Season with some salt and pepper.
- Slice it up and make sure you cut through the eggs when serving so everyone gets some of that delicious, runny yolk.


Meaghan said...

Looks so yummy! We are currently hosting a spring onion linky party at as part of our Fresh Produce Tuesday series. I would love it if you linked this recipe up!