Sunday, June 20, 2010

Perfect Pizza

I like pizza - I really do. The only problem is that I really don't like most pizza. I'm not a fan of cheap, mass produced pizza that is delivered to your home lukewarm or comes out of the freezer. Since I work at a school, I see my fair share of sub-par pizza. The kids eat it all the time. Also, when my work tells us they are "providing lunch" or "providing dinner", nine times out of ten, that means they are ordering pizza, so I bring my own food. I do, however, like high-quality, interesting pizza that you might get at a gourmet pizzaria. I know you're thinking that I'm a snob... and you're right. I am. I'm well aware of my issues. However, I still believe that life's too short to waste calories on bad food. And I'm sticking to it.

Because of my high standards, I don't eat much pizza. I haven't attempted to make pizza at home in about four years because the last time I tried it, it was a goopy, soggy mess - no better than takeout. I took a long break after that. However, last week I got inspired to give it another go. My main inspiration was a new pre-made pizza crust I found while shopping: a THIN crust from Pillsbury!
So I did my best, said a pizza prayer, and it turned out AMAZING!!!! Brent liked the homemade pizza better than his usual Papa John's. It was high quality and as healthy as a pizza can be. To make it healthy, I used lowfat cheese, turkey sausage, and veggies. I am in love with Jennie-O turkey. I use it for everything from pasta to tacos.
While making my pizza, I discovered two tricks that I think will make your homemade pizza better. I know everyone likes their pizza a certain way, but this is how I like mine :-)

Trick #1: Make all toppings extra thin. I started with a thin layer of store-bought marinara sauce. Then I sprinkled a thin layer of cheese. You don't want goop. Next, I cut paper-thin slices of roma tomatoes and completely covered the pizza with the slices. They added a wonderful tomato taste, but they didn't make the pizza soggy because they were so thin. I also cut my mushrooms thin and put a single layer over the pizza. Finally, I topped the pizza with browned sausage and a final sprinkle of cheese to hold it all together. Here is what the pizza looked like before going in the oven.

Trick #2: Cook pizza until crispy. I do NOT like greasy or soggy pizza. So crispy is key for me. I started by pre-baking the crust for about 8 minutes (3 minutes more than the packaged called for). Then, I baked the entire pizza at 410 degrees for maybe 12 minutes - I made sure the mushrooms were cooked. Then, I put the broiler on HIGH for about 4 minutes. This made the cheese deliciously crispy and browned the sausage nicely. I think the broiling step is the final touch. Here's what the pizza looked like before we devoured it!

So don't be scared, and for heaven's sake please stop eating delivery pizza or frozen hockey pucks. Make your own! It's easy and delicious, and you can make it exactly how you want. Being a snob has its perks.



Cassie said...

I make pizza all the time with the Pilsbury crust. I even used the same turkey sausage! I carmalized onions and peppers as well. It was great!

Anonymous said...

Katie-I just started reading your blog. I love love it:) Even told a friend at Stanford about your book list for summer. Great job. Hope to be you someday...and congrats on Columbia!

NellaBella said...

Hi Katie Bear -

I made this tonight for Pierre with a caprese salad and it turned out pretty well. Next time I want to get it crispier.

Thanks for being such a [domestic] diva!



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