What’s Cookin’? Pizza for Practice Purposes Pleases People

a pizza

Just mushrooms and cheese on top of my non-patented “special” sauce. This got five more minutes in the oven, but eaten before I got to taking the updated photo. Darn guests, and their impatience to be poisoned!

 

Yep. I’ve been a bit too busy these days with a few things, but a guy’s gotta eat, right? In an attempt to save money, I’ve taken up part-time pizza making just for fun and to feed the occasional friend who drops by when I’m conducting my horrific experiments. In previous attempts, I’d used a few dough recipes “borrowed” off the internet, but my one major issue with all of them is my kitchen isn’t made for pizza (or any) dough manufacturing.

Between the moving around of stuff to make a work space, my big old ceramic bowl breaking (I’m on the hunt for a proper replacement), pre and post-crust cleanup, and not enough freezer space for a month’s worth of dough, it was a pain in the neck to spend more time making dough than making edible results with said dough. While poking around for pre-made options, it’s been a circus of lousy ingredient reads and stuff that’s too complex for its own good on the “easy” prep front.

pizza practice

Mushrooms, a ton of kale and other greens (it’s “healthy!”), hot peppers of some sort on half, even more cheese and a different sauce that’s still “special”. This came out just right. Mostly because I had to share it with less people, ha!

I’d thought about hoofing it over to Arthur Avenue to see about grabbing some freshly made frozen dough for a fair price, but I decided to nix that once I nearly tripped over a guy in one of the (too) many supermarkets in the area stocking a freezer with this stuff:

HOP to it

“It is safe?” Hmm, if it has less than eight ingredients that don’t require a dictionary lookup, possibly.

Yeah, yeah. It’s NOT perfect (that soybean oil is a cheap alternative I’d rather avoid), but only six ingredients means I’m not standing in the freezer section with icicles hanging off of me while reading the novella found on other dough varieties in that section:

Hop to it too

Not too shabby. The instructions are a LONGER read than the list of what’s inside. SOLD.

I broke down and bought one package and tried out the recipe below (which made the pie in the second pic), which is less of a recipe thanks to not having to make dough (*whine!*):

Pizza related veggies

“Hi! We’re here to help this pizza LOOK as if it’s good for you!”

Oh, wait. I want this to be somewhat healthier. Pardon me while I poke around in the cabinets…

NOW it's a healthier pizza

Some seedy photo-bombers join the party.

That’s better, right?

Not so secret sauce

Kind of like Laurel and Hardy if you squint a little. Or a LOT.

My “special” sauce recipe, simplified down to two ingredients. That Lingham’s Garlic Hot Sauce isn’t all that hot in terms of heat, but it adds the proper punch of garlicky and sweet to make that salt-free sauce extra nice.

Somewhat seedy

What do you mean “Where’s the Road Runner?” I have NO idea what you’re talking about, pal.

Anyway, sesame seeds/chia seeds: about a tablespoon, mixed. into/onto the pan! Er, you DID preheat that oven to 500 degrees, right? Yeah, it says 450 on that package and in some recipes. My oven is weird and tends to be a wee bit too “cool” at 450 even with ten minutes of preheating.

Somewhat Saucy

Well, that’s a bit more than a cup. But you didn’t read this caption, right?

Proofed dough, down in the center and pressed out, rotating the pan so it’s evenly spread out. I need a more traditional flat pizza pan at some point, as I’d prefer to use the rolling pin I bought at some point for more than threatening the neighbor’s kids when they play the hallway and bang on my door. Anyway, mix about a cup or so of sauce with about a tablespoon of Lingham’s (store the rest of that can’s contents in a jar – you’ll be using it again sooner than you think), pour onto the crust and spread in a circular motion with a ladle or other big spoony thing. Don’t use a spoony bard, though. Stuff just gets messy and complicated.

Not Healthy Enough Yet

Look snooty while doing this by keeping a pinky out when sprinkling cheese and laying down leaves. Your guests will just ask for a wine list, so you may want to have some handy. Or grape juice for the kids.

Add stuff as you like. Kind of like this, but it’s up to you…

Much Healthier Now

Same pie, now with more veggie weight. Fear not, it’ll get heavier and cheesier in the next photo.

Add more stuff if you want a lot of stuff on your allegedly “healthy” pizza.

Oven Time

Are you happy now? No, you can’t eat it yet. Although that would be an interesting “raw” food test of will for some out there.

Putting the cheese on top of the veggies is kind of key in keeping them from crisping up too much, but what’s THIS? Yeah, I’d forgotten I had some part skim mozzarella lingering in the other fridge here, so that got added along with a nicely aged hot pepper I was saving for half a pizza. Some like it hot, you know. Also, I forgot to take a photo of that package of shredded part skim mozzarella I used. Oops. I do like my pies somewhat cheesy, so that’s about eight ounces plus about another two of the block I had on there.

Leftovers

It’s the FUTURE of pizza! No, seriously. I took this photo a day later.

Photo two at the top of this post was the actual pie as it came out of the oven. You DID remember to rotate the pan after about seven minutes, right? I bake my pies for about 15 minutes, check them for that crust being the proper color and cheese being properly melted. But on occasion I’m also known to turn the oven off if the pie isn’t quite ready and let it sit inside for maybe five more minutes. As noted in the caption, that pic above is of a slice but the next day just to show it still holds up reheated as looking tasty (and being doubly so).

Another Pizza

Another day, another pie. Actually, this was a few days later, but as with the others… it didn’t last long enough to get more photos taken.

As for the second slab of dough, it got turned into a mushroom/onion/mixed pepper and half Sea Crunchy pie. Sea Crunchy? Yeah, SEA CRUNCHY. That stuff is my new snack obsession and you need to try some at some point. Among other things, it works fantastically in pizza if you use the Olive Oil variety.  Even better, if your kids love pizza they won’t even know you’ve snuck seaweed into their diets. But you should tell them anyway as you whip out a pack and start munching away.

Um, I think I’m done here. I’ll probably go back to messing up the kitchen and making dough from scratch after this. But at least I have a not too bad alternative in a pinch.

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