Sunday, December 27, 2015

Fun Cooking To Do With The Kids Over Winter Break

Homemade Pizza The Easy Way...

We like to have homemade pizza on Christmas Eve, but we don't want to have to make the dough from scratch. The best place to get really tasty pizza dough is your local Italian deli.  Take it home and stretch it out on a lightly floured board. You can use a rolling pin, you can press it out, and you can even stretch it on the backs of your hands, but don't tear it. 

The pan is VERY important. You need a well seasoned pizza pan. Traditional Sicilian deep-dish pizza is made on rectangular pans and I am fortunate enough to have two that have been used in my family for over 60 years. I also have a round pan that belonged to my grandmother and then my aunt. I discovered it in the trash after my aunt passed away. It is a family treasure that makes the BEST pizza a would have been lost forever!

You have to heavily oil the pan with extra virgin olive oil. Then, press the stretched dough into the pan. If it keeps springing back, walk away for five minutes and let the dough rest. Then come back and continue to press the dough into the edges of the pan allowing the dough to create a nice thick crust. 

Drizzle a little olive oil over the top and be sure to spread it over the edges of the dough.
Let the dough rest for 30 to 50 minutes.

Top the dough with some fresh minced garlic, tomato puree or sauce (or jarred plum tomatoes, diced), fresh mozzerella (shred or slice your own, don't buy the pre-shredded variety), dried oregano, salt, pepper, grated Parmesan cheese (from the Italian deli), a few red pepper flakes, and more extra virgin olive oil drizzled over the top and especially on the edges.

Let it sit for another 30 minutes and then pop in in the middle of a 400 degree oven for 20 min. Rotate it so it cooks evenly and lower the over to 380 degrees if it is browning too quickly. 
Remove it from the oven when the cheese is beginning to brown and the edges are golden. Let it rest for a few minutes. Then, cut it Sicilian style: into squares or rectangular strips with clean kitchen scissors.  

I put out a variety of cooked toppings so our guests can make their own pizzas. Topping included:

Italian sausage, peppers, and onions
Peppers, onions, and mushrooms
Eggplant, tomatoes, and onions

Buon Natale!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for your resources. Also, the pizza looks like fun!