This is an interesting week for us because we are in between two weeklong trips. Last week we were visiting friends and family, and then next week we will be enjoying a vacation at the beach.
We are in travel limbo.
Laundry is washed, but should I put it away only to take it out and pack it again in a couple of days?
And everyone with kids knows that sleep routines and behavior can take a week or more to return back to normal after a trip. However, since another trip is about to disrupt both again, I’m just going with the craziness, not anticipating a return to normal until sometime in June.
Then there’s the kitchen. I didn’t want there to be a lot of perishable food left while we were gone for our first trip, so we came home to a rather bare refrigerator. When I went to the store at the beginning of the week, I only got a few necessities to last the week. (In our home, bacon and spinach are considered necessities).
So with days filled with both post-trip and pre-trip chores, I haven’t given myself much time for meal planning and preparation. Or even much food to with which to cook.
I’m sure you’ve found yourself in this scenario before: It’s five o’clock and you have no idea what you are going to make for dinner. Oh, and your husband has to leave the house at 6:30 for a meeting.
Dinner needs to be quick. I’d like it to be easy. No beef because we had cheeseburgers for lunch. Chicken would take too long to thaw and cook, (I only had bone-in chicken). Pizza sounds good but I don’t want to make tomato sauce, I don’t have any ranch, and I can’t make pesto, (a few of my go-to sauce ideas).
Really, I’m glad that my choices were limited because they compelled me to be creative and try something new. And in this case, something new was very delicious.
Spinach & Bacon Alfredo Pizza
- 1 C hot water
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 2/3 C flour
- 2 tsp yeast
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 Tbsp flour
- 1/2 C heavy cream
- 1 C shredded parmesan
- 4 bacon slices
- 1/2 onion, sliced thin
- 1 C fresh spinach
- freshly ground pepper
- If you are using a pizza stone, preheat your oven with your stone inside. My baking steel needs to preheat for 30-45 minutes at 500°.
If you are not using a pizza stone, preheat your oven to 450°.
- In a medium size bowl, stir together hot water and salt. Mix in 2 cups of flour and the yeast. Add enough of the remaining 2/3 cup of flour to make a soft dough. Knead for two minutes, then set aside to rest under a clean dish towel.
- Start the alfredo sauce. In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add minced garlic, and cook for 1 minute until garlic is fragrant, taking care not to scorch the garlic. Whisk in 1 tablespoon of flour. Slowly whisk in the heavy cream and increase heat to medium high. Stir frequently as the sauce thickens. After 5-10 minutes, when the sauce has thickened, reduce the heat to low and stir in the shredded Parmesan cheese. Remove from heat and let cool until you are ready to assemble the pizzas.
- While the sauce is heating, cook the bacon slices in a skillet. Remove bacon to drain and cool on a paper towel. When cooled, chop into small pieces.
- Pour out all but 1 tablespoon of bacon grease from the skillet. Return the pan to medium-low heat and add sliced onion. Cook onion for 5-10 minutes, or until soft and darkened and you are ready to assemble the pizzas.
- When your sauce, bacon, and onions are ready, divide your pizza dough in half.
If you are using a preheated baking stone: Sprinkle cornmeal on a pizza peel* and press one half of the pizza dough into a thin circle. Lift the dough around the edges and add more cornmeal if it is sticking. Spread half of alfredo sauce on the dough. Evenly distribute half of the spinach leaves, then half the onions and half the bacon. Top with freshly ground pepper.
Slide onto the hot stone and cook for 8-10 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and cooked through.
If you are using a pizza pan: Grease the pizza pan with butter or oil. With greased fingers, press one half of the pizza dough into a thin circle. Spread half of alfredo sauce on the dough. Evenly distribute half of the spinach leaves, then half the onions and half the bacon. Top with freshly ground pepper.
- Repeat for second half of dough, sauce and toppings.
*Being frugal like we are, (or just cheap?), I have yet to buy a pizza peel. And really I probably won’t for a long time. What works well for me is just using flat rimless baking sheets to slide the pizza onto the stone, and then to remove it as well. I love finding free solutions with what we already have!