3. I haven’t eaten brussels sprouts as anything besides a side dish before
4. Sizzling bacon
5. Bacon, bacon, bacon and bacon!
Okay, so I like bacon a little bit. A lot a bit actually. But besides the fact that I have a weird obsession with salty pork fat, I was completely intrigued when I read an article online about making pizza in a cast-iron skillet. This is a FANTASTIC alternative to making pizza at home if you do not have a pizza stone. The only limitations here are (semi-obviously) the size of your cast-iron skillet. If you have a small skillet, you can only produce small pizzas, etc. I fortunately have a HONKER of a skillet (practically too heavy for my wimpy arms) and was able to produce a decent sized pizza, perfect for two.
The other thing that fascinated me about this recipe, was the use of brussels sprouts as a pizza topping. To be honest, I hadn’t thought of brussels sprouts as anything other than an accompaniment to a piece of grilled steak or chicken breast. This has to be one of my favorite pizzas that I have made to date! I don’t know if I will ever eat brussels sprouts as a side dish again. Super yum!
You’re probably asking yourself why this pizza does not have any sauce on it. It MUST be dry, right? WRONG!! Sorry to burst your bubble, but this pizza doesn’t need a drop of sauce on it. The cheese, sprouts and bacon rock this pizza so hard, the sauce wont even stick to it if you tried to add some.
Heat a large frying pan (NOT the skillet you are going to cook your pizza in) over medium heat and add bacon. Fry and flip until crispy and fat is rendered, about 3 minutes per side depending on the thickness of your bacon. Remove crispy bacon and place on a paper towel to drain. Remove all but 2 tablespoons of bacon grease from the skillet. Reduce heat to medium-low and add onion. Cook for 3 minutes until soft, then add sliced brussels, salt and pepper and stir to coat. Cook for 3 minutes, tossing occasionally. Add the garlic, stir and cook for another minute or two, being careful not to burn the garlic. Remove from heat. Crumble the bacon and add to the brussels sprouts mixture. Set aside.
Place an oven rack towards the lower third of your oven and place your cast iron skillet on the rack. Preheat your oven (and cast iron skillet) to 500. If the skillet begins to smoke a lot, you can reduce the heat a bit, but you want it HOT.
While the skillet is heating in the oven, gently shape your pizza dough to the size of a small pizza. Heavily flour a pizza peel or large cutting board and place the dough on top of it. Brush a bit of olive oil around the crust of your pizza dough and sprinkle the edges with a bit of garlic salt. Add about 2/3 of the cheese to your dough, then cover with the brussels sprouts and bacon mixture. Top with the remaining cheese.
Using two heavy potholders, carefully remove the hot skillet from the oven and slide the pizza into the skillet, dough side down, as best as you can. Carefully grab the hot skillet and pop it back into the oven. Allow to cook for about 3 minutes then using your potholders, grab the handle and rotate 180 degrees, cooking for another 3 minutes. In the mean time, heat a large burner on your stovetop to medium-high heat. Remove the skillet from the oven and place on the stovetop. Check the bottom of the crust with a spatula. Finish cooking on the stovetop for a couple more minutes if the bottom of the crust does not have any color. Remove from burner and allow to cool for 4-5 minutes. Use a large spatula to remove the pizza and place onto a cutting board. Cut into slices and enjoy!
Total time includes the time it takes to prep pizza dough.