|You’ve probably heard of some of the tricks that food stylists, photographers, and even some other food bloggers use to photograph the “perfect” setup. Shaving cream for whipped cream. Red Sharpies to make strawberries look better. Completely bizarre ways to treat food!
We… don’t. Whether for my cookbooks or this blog entry, what you see is what we eat. Many times, what you see is SO fresh out of the oven, that we’re both ravenous and drooling by the time it’s being photographed.
Aside from “why spend the time, money, and effort to make something inedible”, and it being sort of a matter of food respect for us, we also find a lot of the food styling tricks to feel… dishonest. So, we don’t do it.
The problem is, when food is made to eat, rather than made to photograph, sometimes it looks less than stellar. Today’s recipe? I’ve been holding off on posting it, just because the food in the photo looks so “blah”.
You know what, though? Some of the ugliest, least photographable foods out there are the best tasting. So, I’m going to share my perogie pizza recipe. It’s ugly, but it’s awesome!
This recipe was inspired by the perogie pizza I used to order at “East Side Marios” back home. It’s been so long, I don’t remember what the sauce was that they used – it wasn’t perogie filling though – and they used sliced potatoes, rather than mashed. Was awesome, but I wanted to improve on it!
This pizza is the ultimate comfort food, combining two of my favorite foods. It also works up quicker than actual perogies… but if you’re interested, I have a recipe for THOSE, too: Perogies Recipe!
Pierogi Pizza Recipe
1 1/4 cup Warm water
2 Tbsp Honey
1/2 tsp Salt
2 Tbsp Yeast
4 cups Flour
1/3 cup + 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
“Perogie Filling” Sauce:
2-3 lbs red or Yukon gold potatoes, peeled
½ cup sour cream
1/4 cup butter
2+ cups shredded medium or sharp cheddar cheese
½ cup milk
1 lb bacon, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2-3 cups sauerkraut (optional)
3+ cups shredded medium or sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup sour cream
Add honey and salt to warm water, stir till well blended. Add yeast and stir again. Allow to sit (somewhere warm!) for 10 minutes.
Add 1/3 cup olive oil and 1 cup flour to yeast mixture, mix till well blended. Add rest of flour, mix well. Dough should ball easily – if it’s too wet, add a bit of flour. If it’s too dry, add a bit more water. Knead for a couple of minutes until smooth and elastic.
Put 1 tbsp olive oil into a large bowl, add dough, flip over to coat. cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm place for one hour.
After one hour, dough should have doubled in size. Punch dough down and allow to rise for another hour or so.
“Perogie Filling” Sauce:
While dough is raising for the second time, make the “sauce”:
Chop peeled potatoes into 4-6 pieces each, place in a large pot of water. Boil until potatoes are soft, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat, strain out the water.
Mash potatoes til smooth – I like to put them in my stand mixer and let it rip! When potatoes are smooth, add sour cream, butter, and shredded cheese, continue to mix until cheese is melted and everything is well incorporated and smooth. If you want it to be even cheesier, feel free to add more cheese. Stir in the milk, then season to taste with salt. Cover with plastic wrap, set aside.
While potatoes are boiling, cook bacon and onions together in a large frying pan. When bacon is fully cooked and onions are translucent, remove from heat, drain off the fat.
Preheat oven to 400F
I like to dump my pizza dough onto a cookie sheet that I’ve sprayed with olive oil or cooking spray, then roll in out right in the pan. The dough should be of a relatively even thickness throughout the pan, with a bit pushed up around the sides as an outer crust.
Stir your potato mixture. If it’s too thick to spread easily, feel free to add a little more milk. Spread over prepared pizza crust.
Scatter bacon and onion mixture and sauerkraut (if using) across the pizza. Top with shredded cheese. Drizzle the sour cream over top, if desired. (You can drizzle it on before or after baking. “Before” is pictured, “after” would be prettier 🙂 )
Bake at 400 for 30-35 minutes.