Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Pine Hen

I've been feeling a little homesick lately. It's December 1 and I know I don't have a hope of seeing a snowflake for at least another month. I didn't expect to miss the snow! But I miss those mornings when you wake up knowing there is a gentle dusting of snow outside. And you peer out the window, and the world outside is silent as the snow falls slowly, forming a delicate white blanket over the earth. I miss that beauty.
But more than the snow (because I certainly don't miss that crusty, black, icy grossness that sticks around from October to April), I miss my family. It doesn't feel like the holiday season to me without my family around. So, in honor of my family, I made my parents' famous Pine Hen Pizza last night.
My parents make pizza every Friday night together. They have a pizza stone and a really great crust recipe, and I love the image of them standing in the kitchen, ordering each other around to create the perfect pizza. My mom makes the dough while my dad chops vegetables. My mom grills some chicken, then my dad shreds it and mixes it with sauce. Then, when the pizza is ready, it's a team effort to slide the pizza from the peel to the stone. They hover over their creation like new parents over their infant child. They have perfected the toppings of this pizza, and it is truly delightful. I'm usually not a fan of tons of toppings, but all of these work perfectly together to create a unified dish. It might just be pizza, but it reminds me of home.

My sister Amy sprinkling pine nuts on the pine hen pizza this summer at our sisters' retreat, where we made the pizza with out parents.

To make pine hen pizza, make your favorite crust and top it accordingly:
Barbecue sauce (we use baby ray's)
Grilled and shredded chicken, mixed with a little more barbecue sauce
Red and yellow peppers, sliced julienne
1 small onion, sliced thinly and carmelized (cook slowly over low heat for about 20 minutes-- this can be done while you make the crust and get everything else ready)
Pine nuts, lightly toasted
Mozzarella cheese
Cilantro, chopped and lightly sprinkled over the top after it comes out of the oven


  1. PINEHEN!!!! I have craved this pizza every day of my mortal life.
    Why can I never remember to make it?! Thanks for the reminder of its divinity.

  2. Sounds great - I need your pizza crust recipe too!