Caramelized onion, bacon, and goat cheese pizza

In honor of March Madness, we’re going off the grid.

This was just too good to not share.

To get a few things out of the way: 1) Not only is this savory, but there was no real baking involved and 2) This is not exactly a novel pizza. But it was great, and we didn’t follow a recipe, so why not share? Here’s the rundown:

Ingredients

1 1/2 yellow onions
4 strips thick-cut bacon
4 ounces part-skim mozzarella (not the fresh kind), shredded
3 ounces goat cheese
olive oil
sea salt
honey
fresh pizza dough balls (I recommend Trader Joe’s)

First, set your pre-made dough ball out to warm a little. Sure, I know you could make pizza dough. But this is pizza. Take the lazy route. No one is judging you. You are already eating cheese and bacon! Plus, this dough from TJ’s (and Whole Foods) is actually really good.

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees

On to the cooking: cut off the root of the onions and discard the skin. Slice the onions. Thickness is up to you. I like going for a little variety in size, with slices of about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thickness.

Heat about 1/2 tablespoon of oil (or enough to coat the bottom) in a large pan. Transfer the onions to the pan, toss to coat in oil, and cook on medium high for about 10 minutes. Stir every 2-3 minutes.

Reduce head to medium and add a pinch of salt and a touch of honey (about 1/2 teaspoon). Continue to stir every 2-3 minutes. Do not stir too often–they should stick to the pan enough to get a little over done, but not enough to get burnt.

Do not fear for our pan. It’s stainless steel, and cleans up like a pro. Overall, the onions take around 40-50 minutes to caramelize. They are worth the wait.

When the onions are close to done, start frying up the bacon.

Sweet, sweet bacon. I saw this show on the food network last week about a restaurant that specializes in bacon, and the owner said that bacon is the meat that most often forces vegetarians away from the fold. It’s kind of true.

Oh, and the key here is the thick cut. What makes this pizza better than your run of the mill restaurant pizza, in my opinion, is the thick slices. Because if you use thin slices, then between the frying and baking, you just get bacon bits. Not so with this version!

When the bacon is done, lay it between some paper towels and pat dry. Then tear into small pieces.

While the bacon is cooking, sprinkle flour on a clean surface and begin kneading and rolling your dough into a round disk.

The dough takes a while to reshape, but don’t worry. It will happen.

Of note: We actually used Whole Foods’ pre-made pizza dough this time. We used TJ’s the first time. Both were good, but I think this pizza calls for a thinner crust, which is why I recommend TJ’s dough. Whole Foods’ dough makes for a thick crust. I think it would work better for a tomato-based pie.

Anyway, eventually the dough shapes up. We have a lovely little pizza pan with holes that makes for a great crust. Put your dough on whatever baking implement you use, then brush with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt.

Last step before baking is assembly! Place mozzarella, caramelized onion, bacon, and goat cheese on the pizza in that order.

         How did that get here?

Then, bake the pizza for about 20 minutes. Take the pizza out when it looks ready (crust should be turning light brown). Let it rest a few minutes before serving.Look at that fine pizza.

Enjoy with some well-deserved beer. Might I suggest a chocolate raspberry concoction recommended by the fine folks at Bottles?

Mix about 1/3 of the double chocolate stout to 2/3 berry weiss.

And to top off the night? Go watch UNC beat Duke in their own house. Sorry, seniors.