Posted by: timscooking | May 18, 2010

The Pizza Chronicles continued…

Pizza continues to be one of America’s most consumed foods. The take out pizza industry is a multi-billion dollar concern. Two of America’s most recognized pizza brands, Little Caesar’s and Domino’s have their origins right here in Michigan. And yet, for the average cook, pizza can be one of the simplest and most inventive dishes you can create in your own kitchen in less time that it takes to get delivery. All you need are a few simple ingredients and an oven or grill. I’ve been using either a traditional pizza pan or, lately, a pizza stone for baking the pizza but today I came across a piece by author Michael Ruhlman that suggests using an inverted cast iron skillet, it takes extreme temperatures and it’s a multi-tasker. I’ll have to give that one a try.

Anyway, here are my two latest attempts. The first is one I did on the grill with the pizza stone, a Margherita pizza (mozzarella, tomato and basil) with mushrooms.

As you can see, the crust is crisp and slightly burnt. I used a thin coating (2-3 tbsp.) of prepared basil pesto on the raw crust before adding the cheese, tomatoes and mushrooms. The basil was added after the pizza came off the grill. The stone should be placed on the grill and allowed to heat to 500 – 600 degrees F. before placing the pizza on the stone. Average time on the grill, 5-7 minutes depending on how thin you roll out your crust.

My second pizza was done in the oven with the pizza pan. It was a three cheese, asparagus and ham pizza. For this one, I used the basil pesto like the first pizza, 1 cup each of shredded mozzarella and provolone, a 1/2 cup of grated parmesan, a half pound of roasted asparagus cut into 2 inch pieces and 2 cups of ham in a 1/4 inch dice. All of the toppings went on the pizza and into a preheated 500 degree oven for 10 minutes.

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