Thursday, April 19, 2012


It occurred to me that when I recently posted about the great tips Martha Stewart shared on making authentic pizza at home I didn't talk about the recipe. I've since made these pizzas a few times and, more so with each attempt, the technique has proven to be nearly foolproof. I say technique because I don't really use a recipe. I just gather up whatever ingredients strike my fancy, eyeball the quantity based on the size of my pan and get to prepping. My current favorite adds goat cheese, roast chicken and caramelized onion to the classic margherita pizza (tomato, basil and mozzarella). Now I know you are already turning up your nose at those onions - or maybe it's the goat cheese that has you rolling your eyes. But trust me - these are amazing additions to pizza. Try it - you'll like it! Here's a quick how-to:
1. PREP: Preheat the oven to 500; coat a 10 inch cast iron pan with oil; take 1/2 pkg of pre-made pizza dough out of the fridge; put a large pot of water to boil (to skin the tomatoes); add a little olive oil to a medium saute pan.
2. GATHER: 1 large red onion sliced evenly; 1 shallot, diced; 3-4 gloves of garlic, diced; 5-6 plum tomatoes, skins removed; 1 handful of shredded roasted chicken; a few ounces of fresh mozzarella, shredded; 2-3 tablespoons of  goat cheese; a small handful of shredded fresh basil; salt, pepper, dash of sugar.
3. COOK: Saute the red onion in olive oil over low heat until evenly brown and very soft (maybe 30 minutes), set aside. Saute shallot and garlic in olive oil over medium heat until translucent (10 minutes), add chopped tomatoes. Simmer until the sauce is no longer watery, stir in basil, salt, pepper and sugar to taste.
4. ASSEMBLE: Place the dough on a floured surface, turn over to coat dough and your hands in flour. Gently work the dough into a large ball - flatten slightly to form a patty. Let it rest on the floured surface a few minutes, then gently stretch the dough, by holding the patty vertically, letting gravity pull it down. Continue to stretch the dough until it fills the cast iron pan. If necessary let the dough rest again, then finish patting it towards the edges and corners.
5. BAKE: Spread the dough with enough tomato sauce to cover. Place over medium low heat for 4 minutes. The edges of the dough should just barely be starting to brown. Place the pan in the oven for 3 minutes. Take the pizza out of the oven and scatter all your toppings over the tomato sauce. Return to the oven for 8 minutes. The mozzarella should be melted, a little bubbly and beginning to brown.
6. ENJOY: Slide the pizza onto a plate, cut into quarters with a pizza wheel and serve piping hot!

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