I’m a big college basketball fan, especially when it comes to my alma mater. Right now you are thinking, “why are you talking about college basketball in July, when the season does not start until November?” Because I wish it started now….sigh. No, really, I do. Also, there is a local pizza place in Bloomington, Indiana that has a Cream and Crimson pizza (those are my school colors) that I love. Since I’ve been craving one lately it made me realize that college basketball, well, isn’t close at all, but that is always what I connect with my school. Now you understand my train of thought. Well, probably not, but that’s okay.
Anyway, since the original is a plane flight away, I’ve settled with making my own version, which satisfies my craving. I used yukon gold potatoes instead of red potatoes, but that’s just because I had them on hand. Don’t worry, the bacon keeps the crimson on the pizza, and the Gorgonzola cheese adds a sharp bite to break up the creaminess of the potatoes. This pizza is a winner. Even if my team lost its last 9 games last season, this pizza is still there to offer support after the losses (or in the middle of the summer when I’m missing college basketball season.)
My Cream and Crimson Pizzainspired by Aver’s Pizza 3 small- medium sized Yukon gold or red potatoes 3/4 cup cut up pieces of bacon 1 medium onion, thinly sliced 6 oz Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled 1 pie dough (follow link for recipe) 2 teaspoons salt 2 tablespoons cornmeal
A few hours before or the night before, make your pie dough. Believe me, it will be so much better than buying a crust. If making your pie the night before, after kneading it together, store it in a bowl with plastic wrap overnight in the refrigerator. Remove from the refrigerator. Punch down the dough and allow it to rise and come to room temperature about 30 minutes while you prep the other ingredients.
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees (yes, you want it hot). Slice the potatoes in about 1/4-inch slices and place in a medium saucepan. Cover the potatoes with water about an inch above the potatoes and add the salt. Bring the water to a boil and then turn the heat down to medium. Simmer the potatoes for about 10 minutes, until a fork pokes through a thick slice without resistance. Strain the potatoes in a colander and set them aside to cool and dry.
Cut up bacon into bite-size pieces or crumbles. Heat a skillet to medium heat and add the bacon to the pan. Cook the bacon until it is crisp, about 6-8 minutes. In the meantime, thinly slice your onion. Once the bacon is cooked, remove the bacon from the pan and place it on a plate with a paper towel to drain some of the grease. Leave about 2 tablespoons of grease in the skillet and remove the rest. Add the onion to the skillet with the 2 tablespoons of bacon fat. Saute the onion over medium heat until it is golden brown and caramelized, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
On a thin cookie sheet, sprinkle about 2 tablespoons of cornmeal. Stretch out the pizza dough onto the sheet. Place the potato slices in an even layer on the dough. (Save any leftovers for a hash.) Then layer the onions on top of the potatoes. Sprinkle the bacon and then the Gorgonzola cheese on top of the onions and potatoes. Place in the oven for 5-7 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the cheese in slightly melted. Remove from oven. Enjoy with a good beer and a basketball game.