Sunday, August 30, 2009

That's Amore!

Practically everyone likes pizza. There's good pizza. Great pizza and mediocre pizza. There's Chicago deep dish pizza, (Icky, imo, lol!) New York pizza which has the chewiest outer crust and makes the perfect pizza "fold." There is also something, in this area, called "New Haven Style" which I didn't take too seriously at first... I mean hailing from Manhattan and all, I had to ask myself, is there really any other kind of pizza? But this New Haven stuff is really pretty good. Pepe's Pizza in New Haven, and now in Fairfield is deliciously reminiscent of the pizzas I have eaten in Italy... brick oven flavor, thin crispy crust.... Mmmmmm! And, if you live anywhere in Connecticut and you are lucky enough to experience The Big Green Pizza Truck, well then, you'll have died and gone to Heaven!

But since most of you live no where near CT... and since many of you have to deal with crappy fast food pizza like Pizza Hut, or worse... Domino's... and you may even have a pizzeria in town, but many so called Pizzerias have only so-so pizzas. You have got to try to make your own. It's so easy and so divine! And it's a great family activity.

The kids made a typical red pizza using a good marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese. They also added some olives, green and black and sausages that I cooked up quickly. It was deelish!

I wanted to try something a bit different this time... something with a Greek flair. I thought about the ingredients in a Greek salad... the olives, peppers, artichoke hearts, feta... Mmmm, so I did just that. My only mistake was using the green olives instead of black ones. This was a little too salty for even me!
I used a little mozzarella, just enough to barely cover the dough. Then I added a generous amount of crumbled feta, peppers, artichoke hearts, olives, a few chic peas and since there was a little left over sausage I tossed that on too!

Daddy was skeptical, but after the very first bite there was no stopping him!

If you have access to a good quality pizza dough at your supermarket this will work just fine. (You may want to try a few to see which you like the best.) If you don't pizza dough is simple to make.

Basic Pizza Dough

1 cup of warm water

1 package of active dry yeast

2.5 to 3 cups of flour

2 tbs, olive oil

1/2 tsp, salt

Combine the water, yeast, and 1 1/2 cups of the flour in a large bowl. Mix well. Add the oil, salt, and remaining flour. With large wooden spoon or your hands mix the ingredients together until the dough holds its shape. You may not need the entire amount of flour so add the last half gradually. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. If the dough becomes sticky, sprinkle a bit more flour over it. Likewise, if the dough seems too dry add a few drops of water until you get the texture desired. Transfer the dough to a slightly oiled 2-quart bowl, then cover your bowl with a dish towel and let sit for about an hour or so, until the dough doubles in size.

When the dough has risen, place it on a lightly floured surface, divide it into two or more parts and roll them into balls. Cover them with a towel and let rest for 15 minutes. The dough is ready to be shaped, topped and cooked.

Shape your dough carefully and slowly. Manipulating it too much will result in dough that will not be supple and pliable.

Place your dough on to a lightly greased cookie sheet or pizza pan and shape as desired. Add the desired toppings.

To make a regular red pizza add marinara sauce spoonfuls at a time, just enough to lightly cover the dough, working it out to the edges. Then add the cheese and whatever topping your heart desires!

Such toppings can include but are not limited to:
olives, peppers, roasted peppers, onions, mushrooms, meatballs (crumbled), sausages, anchovies... anything your heart desires!

To make the Greek Inspired Pizza:

Add a light coating of mozzarella cheese to cover the dough, then add a generous amount of crumbled feta cheese, followed by artichoke hearts (canned and quartered), olives, garbanzo beans, a thinly sliced pepperoncinis.

Once the pizza toppings have been added place pizza in the oven (one at a time is best for taste and texture) and cook at 350 degrees for about 10 -15 minutes, depending on the size. Look for a golden crust as well as bubbling and golden cheese.


KK said...

I will have to have the pizza truck come next time my hubby has his team from work over for dinner!

Jo said...

Looks yummy! We don't have the Green truck but we do have Mystic Pizza and a new one in our area that serves their pizza from a fire engine and even has beer on tap in the truck ~ a traveling party.
Have you ever tried making pizza on your grill? We've been doing it for years and it's the best! My son askes for it every time he comes home.


Domestic Designer said...

Yummy! I may try this tonight. The greek pizza really caught my eye. I will have to go buy some black olives. Have a great day!