Saturday, January 3, 2009

What to do with your tomatoes

Pizza Recipe

This is something to look forward to when fresh tomatoes are abundant in August and we have our own fresh pork sausage from our own pigs.  

Use good canned tomatoes, like Muir Glen Organic whole tomatoes and the best cheeses.  Fresh herbs are a MUST in this recipe.  Hopefully, I made some sense.


2 packages dry yeast (5 teaspoons)
2 cups warm water
1/2 cup softened or melted unsalted butter
4 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup cornmeal 
5 1/2 cups flour

4 cans whole tomatoes (Muir Glen) or home grown fresh tomatoes, peeled and seeded
Olive oil
Fresh Basil, Oregano, Rosemary
Kosher Salt
Fresh Parmesean

Lots of fresh spinach, chopped (usually one big bag of washed, fresh organic spinach)
lots of mozzerella cheese, grated for pizza filling. (3 or 4 cups grated, be liberal with the cheese, man!  Just fill up the crust).

2 packages of dry yeast
2 cups warm water

Combine in a stand mixer (Kitchen Aid) and dissolve the yeast.

Add in 1/2 cup softened unsalted butter and 4 tablespoons or so of good olive oil, 1/2 cup of cornmeal, 2 1/2 cups of flour. Mix on medium speed for 10 minutes with wire wisk attachment.

After 10 minutes, add in 3 more cups of flour and switch to dough hook attachment. Mix for several minutes until dough is combined and elastic, you will know when its ready. Make a ball of the dough. Place some flour on your counter and place dough on the flour and cover the ball with a big bowl. Let it sit for 45 minutes to rise. Punch down and knead a few more times and let rise for 30 more minutes.

Oil up your deep dish pan. We want the crust to be crispy on the bottom.

Roll out half of the dough and use for bottom crust. Fill the bottom crust with favorite pizza cheeses, and mix in a boatload of freshly chopped spinach.

Roll out the rest of the dough for a top crust and put it over the top, pinching the ends together and cutting off extra around the edge. Make sure you pop some holes in the crust with a knife.

Put your favorite pizza sauce on top. I make a simple sauce with about 4 cans of whole italian roma tomatoes, Muir Glen Organic Tomatoes are my favorite canned type. Squeeze them by hand and rinse out as many of the seeds as possible. The key is hand squeezing the tomatoes. Then add in grated parmesan, fresh basil, fresh oregano, fresh rosemary, kosher salt to taste, a 1/4 cup of olive oil, pepper and....gobs and gobs of fresh garlic smashed to hell in a press. Mmm...garlic... Mix everything together and let sit for a couple of hours for the flavors to combine. You can also add in a small can of tomato puree and a small can of paste if you like it thickened a bit.

Put the sauce on top of the crust.

Preheat the oven (oops, should have said that before) to 450.

Put the pizza in the 450 oven for 10 minutes. Turn the oven down to 400 and bake for 30 minutes more. That should do it.

Sometimes I will get some good italian sausage and cook it about 3/4 done and add it in on top of the cheese, under the top layer of crust. Mmmm...good.

Its as damn close as I can come to a top notch Chicago stuffed pizza. Ive been making this and modifying it for years now. Its my favorite meal to make. Takes a bit, but its totally worth it.

The dough is wet and hard to mix by hand. You need the stand mixer.

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