It wasn’t until the past year or so that I started making my own pizza dough and doing more experimenting with pizzas, but boy am I glad I did. everyone enjoys pizza and trying out different combinations, types of dough, crusts and more can lead to the discovery of all kinds of great flavors. new York Times Cooking has put together 27 great pizza recipes to cover everything you need to make dough and all kinds of pizzas to delight in. Check it out!
Tag Archives: pizza
I know yesterday was National Pizza Day, but Monday is always my busiest day with work so I knew I was going to have time to post a new pizza recipe that I had tried out. I have made lots of different pizzas, sometimes with making my own dough and sometimes with store-bought dough and they have all turned out pretty well, though some are always better than others. Not long ago Sean had asked me if I ever thought about trying to make a Sicilian pizza instead of just regular pizza. I hadn’t had Sicilian pizza in quite a long time and had never made it myself before, but I was always willing to try and was waiting for the right recipe to come along to inspire me. Then along came this recipe from Cook’s Illustrated for Sicilian-style thick crust pizza and it seemed just right. I did have to pick up a couple of things I don’t normally have around, namely semolina flour and anchovies, but other than that I had everything else ready to go and gave it a try.
For the Dough:
2 1/4 cups (11 1/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
2 cups (12 ounces) semolina flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon instant or rapid-rise yeast
1 2/3 cups (13 1/3 ounces) ice water
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 1/4 teaspoons salt
For the Sauce:
1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, drained
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
3 anchovy fillets, rinsed, patted dry, and minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
For the Pizza:
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (1 cup)
12 ounces whole-milk mozzarella, shredded (3 cups)
For the pizza dough: Using a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, mix the all-purpose flour, semolina flour, sugar, and yeast on low speed until the ingredients are combined, about 10 seconds. With the machine running, slowly add the ice water and oil until the dough forms and no dry flour remains, about 1 to 2 minutes. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough stand for 10 minutes.
Add the salt to the dough and mix the dough on medium speed until the dough forms a satiny, sticky ball that clears the sides of bowl, about 6 to 8 minutes. Remove the dough from the bowl and knead it briefly on a lightly floured counter until it is smooth, about 1 minute. Shape the dough into a tight ball and place it in a large, lightly oiled bowl. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 24 hours or up to 48 hours.
To make the sauce, process the tomatoes, sugar, and salt in a food processor until the mixture is smooth, about 30 seconds. Heat the olive oil and garlic in a medium saucepan set over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is fragrant and just beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. Add the tomato paste, anchovies, oregano, and pepper flakes and cook until the mixture is fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tomato mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce measures 2 cups, about 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer the sauce to a bowl, let it cool, and refrigerate the sauce until it is needed.
To make the pizza, one hour before baking the pizza, place a baking stone on the upper-middle rack and heat the oven to 500 degrees. Spray a rimmed baking sheet (including the rim) with vegetable oil spray, then coat the bottom of the pan with oil. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and transfer it to a lightly floured counter. Lightly flour the top of the dough and gently press it into a 12 by 9-inch rectangle. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a 18 by 13-inch rectangle. Transfer the dough to a prepared baking sheet, fitting the dough into the corners. Spray the top of the dough with vegetable oil spray and lay a sheet of plastic wrap over the dough. Place a second baking sheet on the dough and let it stand for 1 hour.
Remove the top baking sheet and the plastic wrap. Gently stretch and lift the dough to fill the pan. Using the back of a spoon or ladle, spread the sauce in an even layer over the surface of the dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Sprinkle the Parmesan evenly over the entire surface of the dough to the edges followed by the mozzarella.
Place the pizza on the baking stone; reduce the oven temperature to 450 degrees and bake the pizza until the bottom crust is evenly browned and the cheese is bubbly and browned, about 20 to 25 minutes, rotating the pizza halfway through the baking process. Remove the pan from the oven and let it cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Run a knife around the rim of the pan to loosen the pizza. Transfer the pizza to a cutting board, cut it into squares, and serve.
You do need to plan this one a day or two ahead of time so he dough has a chance to rest properly. The two different flours do make a difference here as you get the thick crust that is more cake-like than chewy like you get with a thin crust. The anchovy adds some great flavor to the pizza sauce and overall the combination of the crust and sauce made this a really perfect pizza and one of the better Sicilian pies I have tried. It is worth the work to put into it if you like this type of pizza and don’t want to spend $20 on one from a pizza place. Unfortunately the pictures I took of the pizza seem to have gotten lost in cyberland somewhere between my phone and computer and I cannot find them anywhere, but if I do find it I will post them here. trust me, it looked really good.
That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!
I have had some cornmeal around the house and I was looking for something a little different to do with it besides just make some cornbread or polenta as a side dish. I had done some looking around and came across this recipe at The New York Times’ website for a polenta pizza and it sounded like a pretty good thing to try to was certainly going to be something different. It’s a very easy recipe to make and like any other type of pizza, you can use your imagination and top it with whatever you think might taste great. While this particular recipe calls for pancetta, I actually had some Italian sausage on hand as a leftover and just sliced that up and used it instead.
Polenta Pizza with Pancetta and Spinach
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for the pan
1/2 cup milk
1 cup coarse cornmeal
Freshly ground black pepper
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 cup (about 4 ounces) chopped pancetta
1 pound spinach, washed, trimmed and dried
1 to 1 1/2 cup Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees. Brush a layer of olive oil on a pizza pan or cookie sheet. In a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat, combine the milk with 2 1/2 cups of water and a large pinch of salt. Bring it just about to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and add the cornmeal in a steady stream, whisking all the while to prevent lumps from forming. Turn the heat to low and simmer, whisking frequently, until it is thick, about 10 to 15 minutes. If the mixture becomes to thick, whisk in a bit more water. Ideally, you want the consistency to be approaching thick oatmeal.
Stir 1 tablespoon of olive oil into the cooked cornmeal (polenta). Spoon the polenta onto a prepared pan, working quickly so the polenta does not stiffen. Spread the polenta evenly to a thickness of about 1/2-inch all over. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, cover the baking sheet with plastic wrap, and put it into the refrigerator until it is firm, about an hour or more, or refrigerate overnight.
Put the polenta in the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until it begins to brown and crisp on the edges. Meanwhile, put 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and pancetta and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft and the pancetta is nicely browned, about 10 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to take the onion and pancetta out of the pan; set aside. Add the spinach to the skillet and saute until it releases its water and the pan becomes dry; sprinkle the spinach with salt and lots of pepper.
Take the polenta out of the oven, sprinkle with Gorgonzola, then spread the onion-pancetta mixture and the spinach evenly on top of the cheese; drizzle the pizza with another tablespoon of olive oil. Put the pizza back in the oven for 2 minutes, or until the cheese begins to melt and the pancetta and vegetables are warmed through. Cut the pizza into slices and serve hot or at room temperature.
You can try many variations of this. I did not use the Gorgonzola as I did not have any on hand and simply used mozzarella instead. The recipe recommends using slices of mozzarella with some slices of tomato and some basil to make a margherita pizza. I think you could really put anything on top of it that you like and you can make the whole pizza vegetarian and just use vegetables for toppings. The longer the polenta sits in the refrigerator, the firmer it will get and give you a better base. I would certainly try this one again as it can make a great party alternative for many.
That’s all I have for today. Check back this week as I have several recipes I have tried recently to post, including a new chicken recipe, some braised short ribs, blueberry lemon cakes, blueberry hand pies, some watermelon agua fresca and more. There are lots of good recipes to come so keep checking to see what’s next. Until next time, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!
I know it was a very hot day here in New York to think about using the oven, but I had one piece of boneless chicken breast and some pizza crusts, so I decided to use both of them. Since Sean isn’t home for a couple of weeks, I also decided to spice things up a little bit and make something I know he wouldn’t eat, Buffalo Chicken Pizza. I looked around on the Internet and found a whole bunch of recipes for this, so what I did is a kind of combination of several of them that I thought would work best.
Buffalo Chicken Pizza
1 large boneless chicken breast
salt and pepper
1 cup breadcrumbs
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon oil
1 tablespoon butter
¼ cup Frank’s hot sauce
½ teaspoon packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon buttermilk or plain yogurt
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
pinch of sugar
pinch of garlic powder
2 ounces (½ cup) mozzarella, shredded
¼ cup red onion or scallions, diced very fine
1 store bought pizza crust or pre-made pizza crust (I use Boboli myself)
For the chicken: Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the oil. Thinly slice the chicken breast, dip in the egg to coat, shaking off any excess, then place in the breadcrumbs to coat, again shaking off any excess. Place the chicken in the skillet and saute until browned on both sides, about 5 minutes. Place the chicken on a paper towel lined plate to drain.
For the buffalo sauce: Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Add the brown sugar, hot sauce, and vinegar. Mix the sauce with the chicken.
For the ranch dressing: In a small bowl, stir together the buttermilk or yogurt, mayonnaise, sugar, garlic powder, and a pinch each of salt and pepper.
Assemble the pizza: Place the pizza dough on a pizza stone or the back of a cookie sheet. Spread the ranch dressing evenly on the pizza dough; top with the chicken, then the cheese, and finally the onion.
Bake the pizza for 10-12 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbling and the crust is browned. Let the pizza rest about 5 minutes before cutting and serving.
Just a couple of quick notes about the recipe. You could easily use a store-bought ranch dressing instead of making your own, but I think the one I made for this recipe tastes good and is very light. You could also use a tomato sauce instead, but I think the ranch adds to the flavor with the buffalo chicken. A lot of the recipes I found use bleu cheese in addition to the mozzarella cheese. I omitted it from the recipe since neither Michelle nor I are big fans of bleu cheese, but you could add some in when you sprinkle on the cheese.
That’s it for tonight. I’m not sure what I’ll be making for Michelle and myself tomorrow, so we’ll have to wait and see. I have a bunch of things in the freezer, so it could be anything tomorrow, depending on the weather. Check back and see what I come up with. Until then, enjoy your evening and enjoy your meal!
The Super Bowl is coming this weekend (in case anyone wasn’t aware) and whether you’re rooting for the Giants, the Patriots, Madonna or the TV commercials, you want to have some great snack food to eat while watching. When we’re home for the day, we like to just make snack foods for dinner that day. It’s fun to get to eat a little bit of a bunch of different things. If you have some guests over, you can even put out a bigger spread. Lots of people buy 3-foot heroes, wings or pizza and are happy with that, but I like to make my own things and some things that guests may enjoy. Some things we have already made for past meal plans that can be good items to use, like pizza, guacamole, turkey meatballs, some buffet-style dishes like shrimp scampi or pepper steak, or even mini versions of the hamburgers for sliders. I am going to post a couple of recipes of things I plan to make, Buffalo Wings, Swedish Meatballs and one of Sean’s favorites, Bacon & Cheese Pinwheels. I’ll also give you some links to other sites that have some great ideas for game time, party time, or any time snacks.
Just about everyone likes to have Buffalo wings and there are lots of different recipes you can follow. One thing I like about good wings is that they are both crispy and spicy. I have made wings baked in the oven before, and they are good, but there is something about deep-frying that adds great crispness to the wings. For this recipe, I am deep-frying. I have a deep fryer at home, so it makes it a little easier for me as far as bringing up temperature and avoiding splattering oil, both concerns when you are doing it on the stove in a Dutch oven. Use a candy thermometer to determine the temperature of the oil and make sure you use a deep pot to avoid bubbling oil. And yes, I buy whole wings and cut them myself; I hate the idea of paying more for wings that are already cut when I could just as easily do it myself with a cleaver or some poultry shears.
3 pounds whole chicken wings
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
1/2 cup hot sauce (I like to use Frank’s Louisiana Hot Sauce, or Ken’s Wing Sauce, but use whatever taste and heat you like)
2 tablespoons Tabasco (optional, if you want some extra heat)
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
1 to 2 quarts vegetable oil (for frying)
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
4 ribs celery, cut into thin sticks
2 carrots, peeled and cut into thin sticks Blue Cheese or Ranch dressing (store-bought is fine, our house prefers ranch. You could always use the Ranch recipe I posted
Cut the wings apart at the joints and discard the wing tips. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Whisk in the hot sauce, Tabasco (if using), brown sugar, and vinegar. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Heat the oven to 200 degrees. Heat 2 1/2 inches of oil in a large Dutch oven, with a candy thermometer attached to the side, over high heat until it measures 360 degrees.
Meanwhile, mix the cornstarch, cayenne, pepper and salt together in a large bowl. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels, then toss evenly with the cornstarch mixture. Add half the wings to the hot oil and fry until golden, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with several layers of paper towels and keep warm in the oven while repeating with the remaining wings.
Toss the fried wings and sauce together in a large bowl until thoroughly coated. Serve with the celery, carrots and dressing of choice on the side.
The fried, unsauced wings can be kept warm in the oven for up to 1 1/2 hours. Toss them with the sauce before serving.
For the Swedish meatballs, I am using a recipe that was given to Michelle at her wedding shower by my grandmother. She knew I really liked it and passed it on to her. It’s not a tough recipe, but there’s some work involved in this one. Trust me, it’s really worth it. The meatballs taste great.
1/2 cup milk
1 egg, slightly beaten
2 pounds beef, pork and veal mixture
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1/4 cup flour
1-2 cups beef broth
Crush the gingersnaps in a food processor or with a rolling pin. Mix the milk, egg, meat mixture, onion, salt, celery salt, pepper and allspice until blended thoroughly. Form the mixture into small “cocktail” size meatballs. In a large skillet over medium-high heat melt the butter until starting to brown. Add the meatballs and cook thoroughly until browned on all size, about 5-7 minutes (you’ll have to do this in batches). Remove meatballs from the pan and stir in flour, whisking constantly until well blended and brown, about 3-5 minutes. Gradually whisk in the beef broth, scraping up any browned bits and bring to a boil. Add the meatballs back into the pan with the gravy and simmer until heated through and thickened, about 5 minutes.
The last item I am making is Sean’s favorite, Bacon Cheddar Pinwheels. This is a Pillsbury recipe that is very easy to make. You can go to their website and get this and other recipes, but I will also provide the recipe right here.
Today is Friday, and I think for a lot of family, Friday is often a pizza night. It’s the end of the week, you don’t really feel much like cooking, and just getting a pizza and relaxing is very easy. We get pizza about once a month. We all love the pizza from Kinchley’s Tavern in Ramsey, NJ. It’s great thin crust pizza that you could eat a whole pie of yourself> Here is there Facebook page if you want to check them out: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kinchleys-Pizza/148265588527562?sk=info. If we are getting pizza locally, we do often get it now from Marina’s Pizza here in Harriman, NY. I like their pizza; it’s not greasy, tastes fresh and they have good toppings available for a decent price. if you want to check out their Facebook page, it’s here:https://www.facebook.com/pages/Marinas-PIzza-Restaurant/111556995541047?sk=wall. Of course, there is always the alternative of making your own pizza. We do this about once a month as well. I have to admit, I don’t make my own pizza crust. I probably should, but I just don’t have the counter space for rolling and kneading dough. I do buy pre-made dough and make it that way and we also have used Boboli crust to make large pizzas and mini-pizzas (they sell the small, individual crusts for Boboli). I personally don’t have a problem using either one of those as a good option to make your own pizza. Once you have the dough or the crust, the rest is, well as easy as pie :). I do have a recipe for a basic pizza dough, and if anyone wants it I will be happy to post it here, or if anyone has one of their own and would like to share, please let me know or share a comment so we can all have it.
Classic Cheese Pizza
1 recipe of basic pizza dough (or store-bought dough, which is what I am using)
1 recipe Quick Pizza Sauce (recipe to follow, but hey, remember the spaghetti and meatballs we made on Monday? I am using the sauce from that for the pizza)
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons torn fresh basil
Flour for the counter (if you need it for your own dough)
Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position, place a pizza stone or baking stone on the rack, and heat to 500 degrees F. Let the stone heat for at least 30 minutes. (Don’t have a pizza stone or baking stone? No problem. You can bake the pizza on a rimless or upside-down baking sheet that has been preheated like a stone.)
If you’re using store-bought dough, like I am, stretch and shape the dough into a 12-inch round on a piece of parchment paper. I do this by flattening the dough ball into a disk. Using my fingertips, I press the disk until it is about a 1/2 inch thick. Then, holding the center in place, I stretch the dough outward. Rotate the dough a quarter turn and stretch again. i repeat this until the dough reaches a diameter of about 12 inches (of course I eyeball this, I don’t sit there with a ruler!). I then use my palms to flatten the thick edge of the dough.
Spread 1 cup of sauce over the dough. leaving a 1/2-inch edge of dough uncovered. Sprinkle with the mozzarella cheese and the Parmesan cheese. Lightly brush the edge of the dough with oil. Slide the parchment paper and pizza onto a rimless baking sheet, then slide it onto the hot baking stone. Bake until the crust edges brown and the cheese is golden in spots, 8 to 13 minutes. (If you’re making more than 1 pizza, now is a good time to start the next one).
Transfer the pizza to a cutting board, discarding the parchment paper. Sprinkle with the fresh basil and cut the pizza into 6 wedges. Let the stone re-heat for 5 minutes before you start the next pizza.
Quick Pizza Sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
Salt and pepper
Heat the oil and garlic in a medium saucepan over medium heat until the garlic is sizzling, about 90 seconds. Stir in the tomatoes and simmer until the sauce is thickened, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
You can literally put just about anything on pizza. We are using this meal as our meatless one this week, so it’s just plain cheese for us, but remember those leftover meatballs from Monday (we just used the sauce)? Slice them up and put them right on the pizza before you heat it. Some of my favorite toppings are Italian sausage (I take it out of the casing, crumble it and saute it before using it on the pie), sautéed onions, sliced black olives, mushrooms and even some buffalo chicken (I plan on using this one as one of my meals later on down the road). Let me know what your favorite toppings are or what you think would be great on a pie.
Now, every meal we have has to have a vegetable in it, and much to Sean’s chagrin, tonight is salad. He doesn’t like salad, so I still have some leftover broccoli and carrots that he will have instead. I am using simple greens tonight; just a spring mix of greens I bought that has spinach in it as well. We’ll add some cucumber ( I prefer the English cucumber) and some shaved carrots, and maybe a hard-boiled egg white, and that’s it. Feel free to add whatever you like to the salad. I sometimes use red onion, artichoke hearts, scallions, black olives, peppers, toasted nuts, cherry tomatoes, and some crumbled bacon. I’ll be making a warm chicken salad for a meal next week, so we’ll see more things in the salad then. As for dressing, i find that it’s a personal thing. Everyone has their own tastes of what they like and don’t, which store-bought brands taste better, etc. We always have a couple of store-bought dressings on hand, usually ranch and thousand island, but tonight I am making a simple balsamic vinaigrette.
3/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons minced shallot or red onion
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard (optional)
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon, dill, basil or oregano (whatever you feel like, I am using oregano, it goes better with balsamic)
1/2 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Shake all the ingredients together in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. The dressing can be refrigerated for up to 7 days; bring to room temperature, then shake vigorously to re-combine before using. if you don’t want to use balsamic, you can substitute red or white wine vinegar.
A very easy dressing to make with ingredients you almost always have around the house. That’s the meal for today. Nothing fancy, and you can use some of the leftovers from earlier in the week if you want. Tomorrow is Michelle’s choice, and we are having Chicken Parmesan with Pasta and cauliflower for a vegetable. I’ll also be letting you know what the meal plan is for next week if you want to shop along, and I think we are going to make some soup tomorrow as well since the impending snow here will have us housebound. Enjoy the Friday night!