03 May 2009

pizza party

I've been craving Detroit style pizza for quite some time. I never really knew that square pizza was an especially Detroit thing, but moving to Texas has proven to be quite dismal in the pizza department. It seemed time to take matters into my own hands and clean out my pantry so we had a pizza party a couple days ago with a couple friends. The results were quite tasty, though not close to my cravings, so I will yearn some more until we make the trip back home in the summer.

pizza dough (makes 4ish pizzas)
1.5 c warm water
2 packets dry active yeast (or 4.5 tsp)
2 c + 1 tbs AP flour
2 tsp honey
2 tsp salt
6 tbs olive oil + more for coating

dissolve the dry active yeast in the water and let sit for ~5 minutes. while this happens, coat a large bowl with olive oil. whisk together flour and salt and add in yeast+water, honey, and olive oil in the bowl of your stand mixer that has been fitted with the dough hook. turn on medium-ish speed until the dough comes together. Be sure to pause and scrape down the sides a few times to make sure that all the flour is incorporated. Add extra flour as needed to make the dough less sticky and come together. Transfer the dough to the oiled bowl and roll to coat. Cover and allow to rise for *at least* an hour and punch down after it's risen.

Pizza sauce

1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
1 little can tomato paste
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp oregano
1 tbs grated parmesan
s+p to taste

combine everything over low heat until warm. Add salt+pepper to taste. You're probably going to need more salt than you expect because tomato paste is fricken sweet, tho be sure to taste it first because the parm is salty too.

To construct the pizza, grab a handful of dough, roll in flour and stretch it to form a disky shape. If it's not perfect, it doesn't really matter because it's pizza. Our first pizza looked like this:

Add on sauce, cheese, toppings and brush the edges with olive oil.

You could also sprinkle the crust with tasty things if you remember before you put it in a 425 degree oven for ~15 minutes, or until the edges are golden and the cheese is melty and delicious!

We served the pizza with "Italian nachos"... here's a picture after they had been partially devoured:

The "italian" bit is that the nachos are actually deep fried pasta, instead of corn tortillas and served with pizza sauce instead of salsa-like things. They turned out really well, though now I have a ton of fried pasta chips left over. The pasta chips are super easy to make, especially if you cheat and use wonton wrappers. I got the small square kind and simply cut them in half to form triangles. Be sure to separate them!

In a dutch oven (or some other frying vessel) bring ~2 in of oil to 350-360 degrees. Working in batches, submerge 5-6 wonton skin halves at a time for ~20-30 seconds until they are no longer floppy, but not incredibly golden as well. A little color is okay, but they'll still crisp up a bit even after you fish them out of the dutch oven. You'll probably figure out the best amount of time/number of wontons after a few batches. Cover in salt when they're hot. We did this the Alton Brown way and took a sheet pan, lined it with newspaper, and then put a wire cooling rack upside down to help wick away oil.

After they cool, store in a ziplock bag for awhile. I made these on Thursday, and they're still good in the wee hours of Sunday morning. With any luck,they'll become part of dinner tonight. :)

To make them "italian" take the pastchos (that doesn't work, does it?) and cover in mozzarella with other typical pizza toppings. We had banana peppers, pepperoni, and italian sausage and place in an oven until the cheese is melty.

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