Storm the Cassoulet

TOP THIS! PIZZA

5 EASY STEPS TO A CRISP TOP THIS! PIZZA

PINPRICK THE CRUST
CHEESE FIRST, THEN THE SAUCE
LESS IS MORE – DON’T OVER TOP
BAKE OR  GRILL FOR 8 – 10 MINUTES
TEST FOR DONENESS

PINPRICK THE CRUST​

​To prevent the crust from bubbling in the oven, pierce it several times with the tips of a dinner fork. These holes will allow air to escape rather than forming bubbles.

CHEESE FIRST … THEN THE SAUCE​

​This is not mandatory but it’s a good tip. The wetter the sauce, the more you should heed this advice. Place sauce on top of the cheese by using a spoon to dollop — or a squeeze bottle to zigzag or spiral.

LESS IS MORE — DON’T OVER TOP​

Very thin crusts such as Top This! should be topped lightly. Use about one cup (5-6 oz.) of cheese per 13″ pizza. Add any other toppings sparingly … a little goes a long way.

​BAKE OR GRILL

In your oven:
Preheat to 450°. Bake directly on the middle oven rack or on a pizza stone (the pizza stone must be 450 degrees or hotter for at least 45 minutes). Cook 8 to 10 minutes. Do not use a pizza pan (even a perforated one), sheet pan or anything else to cook these pizzas.

On your outdoor gas grill:
​Preheat to 450° then turn one half of the grill very low and leave the other side on high heat. Cook pizza on low half of the grill, lid closed, checking often to be sure pizza is getting charred but not burnt. You may need to rotate the pizza to cook it evenly. ​​

TEST FOR DONENESS​

When you think the pizza is done, use kitchen tongs to lift it up about 6-8 inches on one side while still baking or grilling: IF IT BENDS, IT’S NOT DONE.​ Keep cooking until it does not bend.

 

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Califlower Crust Pizza

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INGREDIENTS:

PIZZA CRUST

1 head cauliflower, coarsely chopped

3/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

3/4 cup shredded or grated parmesan cheese

4 egg whites

1 tablespoon Italian seasoning

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

kosher salt, to taste

ground black pepper, to taste

TOPPINGS

1/2 cup pizza sauce

1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

vegetables toppings of choice (like peppers, onions, mushrooms, spinach)

crushed red pepper (optional)

oregano (optional)

PREPARATION:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Place cauliflower florets in food processor and pulse until finely chopped with no chunks.

Transfer chopped cauliflower to bowl, cover with paper towel and microwave for 8 minutes until cooked through. Allow to cool briefly before squeezing out as much water as possible with a cheese cloth or paper towels (really try to get all of it out for a crispy crust).

Mash the cauliflower and let cool for about ten minutes.

Add mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, egg whites, salt and pepper to mashed cauliflower. Mix thoroughly.

Cover large baking sheet with tin foil and coat with oil spray.  Pour cauliflower “dough” on tin foil and shape into pizza crust. Place in oven for 15-20 minutes until golden brown and crispy.

Add sauce, cheese, vegetable toppings and additional seasonings (like crushed red pepper and oregano). Place under broiler until cheese is hot and bubbly.

Slice and enjoy!

 

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Prosciutto Pizza with Califlower Crust

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Ingredients

1 small head cauliflower, chopped (about 5 cups)
2 ounces shredded Asiago (1 cup)
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning or oregano
1 clove garlic, minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil, for brushing
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella (6 ounces)
1/2 cup marinara sauce
4 slices prosciutto (1 ounce), sliced into ribbons
Crushed red pepper flakes, for sprinkling
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, torn

Special equipment: A pizza stone or baking sheet; a pizza peel, flat cutting board or cookie sheet; and a clean kitchen towel.

Method:

Preheat a pizza stone or clean baking sheet in an oven to 425 degrees F.

Add the cauliflower to a food processor and pulse until finely ground and the consistency of couscous; you should have about 4 cups.  Microwave it for about 6 minutes.

Transfer the cauliflower to a large bowl. Pour onto a clean kitchen towel and wring out as much moisture as you can.  Add the Asiago, egg, Italian seasoning, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few turns of black pepper and combine until the mixture holds together when pinched.

Line a pizza peel, flat cutting board or cookie sheet with parchment and brush with some oil. Spread the cauliflower mixture into a 12-inch circle. Slide the parchment onto the preheated pizza stone and bake until barely golden and darker at the edges, about 30 minutes.

Remove the crust from the oven, sprinkle with the mozzarella FIRST and spread the marinara over the top (this keeps the crust from becoming soggy and the cheese from sliding). Scatter the prosciutto across the top and sprinkle with a good pinch of crushed red pepper. Slide back onto the pizza stone and bake until bubbly with browned spots, about 4 minutes.

Sprinkle with the basil just before serving.

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Bacon & Egg Pizza

bacon egg pizza

Ingredients:

4 slices bacon, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces

Cornmeal, for dusting

1 Pizza Dough, divided into 4 pieces, or

1 Whole-Wheat Pizza Dough, divided into 4 pieces

1 tablespoon plus 1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 cup shredded mozzarella

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan

4 large eggs

2 small scallions, thinly sliced

1/8 teaspoon pepper

Method:

Place oven rack on lowest shelf. If you have a stone, place it on rack. Preheat oven to 550°F, or your oven’s highest temperature, for 45 minutes.

Cook bacon in a skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until still soft but beginning to crisp at edges, 5 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.

Generously dust a 14-inch-wide pizza peel with cornmeal. Flatten a dough ball on top. Using lightly floured fingers or a floured rolling pin, stretch dough into a 6- to 7-inch round. (Make sure crust slides around easily on peel. Add more cornmeal under pizza if necessary. ) Brush 1 tsp. oil over crust.

Sprinkle 1 Tbsp. mozzarella, then a quarter of bacon, another 1 Tbsp. mozzarella and 1½ tsp. Parmesan over crust. Gently crack an egg over center of pizza.

Carefully slide pizza onto stone, using a spatula to ease pizza onto stone without spilling egg. Bake until crust is slightly charred on top and golden on bottom (lift an edge to check), cheese has melted and egg white is cooked but yolk is still jiggly, about 6 1/2 minutes. While pizza is cooking, make 3 more using remaining ingredients. Bake remaining pizzas. Using peel, transfer pizzas to individual plates. Sprinkle with scallions and pepper, then serve immediately.

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Slow Roasted Tomato Sauce

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This is a slow-roasted version of stove-top tomato sauce, and it’s jam-packed with flavor. You’ll want to have it with everything — not just over pasta but on crusty bread and scrambled eggs, and paired with soft cheeses.

Ingredients:

1 pound, 6 ounces cherry tomatoes

3 cloves garlic, smashed

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon fresh thyme (or maybe fresh basil?)

2 teaspoons packed light-brown sugar

1 teaspoon coarse salt

Method:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix together tomatoes and garlic in a nonreactive 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Whisk together oil, vinegar, thyme, brown sugar, and salt in a bowl. Drizzle over tomato mixture.

Bake until tomatoes are softened and caramelized, about 1 hour. Serve warm or at room temperature. Sauce can be stored in refrigerator up to 5 days; let cool before storing.

 

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Al Forno Grilled Pizza

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Al Forno Grilled Pizza

Grilled pizza was the brain child of George Germon and Joahanne Killeen from the world renowned Al Forno Restaurant in Providence, Rhode Island.

Start with 1lb of dough at room temperature.

Coat the dough in olive oil and let it rise while you are preparing your other ingredients.
Preheat your grill on high for at least 30 min before grilling.

Prepare:
1/2 cup of shredded Fontina cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
6-8 oz of fresh Mozzarella
1/2 cup of Basil Pesto
1/2 cup of tomato sauce
1/2 cup of chopped scallions

Spray your grill with Pam or a non-stick spray.
Stretch the dough with your hands into a 12-16 inch free-form circle approx.1/8  inch thick.  The shape does not matter but be sure to maintain an even thickness.

Lift the dough by the corners closest to you and drape it onto the grill.

Close the lid and let it cook for 2-4 minutes (this could take 1-5 minutes depending on your grill). When the top bubbles and the bottom of the dough begins to brown, quickly flip the dough and move it to the coolest part of the grill.

Cover the cooked side of the dough with pesto. Sprinkle the cheeses over the dough evenly. Use a tablespoon to add dollops of tomato sauce over the cheese.  Do not cover the entire pizza with sauce. Drizzle the pizza with olive oil.

Close the lid and wait for the cheese to bubble. Be sure to keep a close eye on your pizza so it does not burn. Use tongs to move the pizza around the grill to avoid hot spots.

 

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Pizza Casserole

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Ingredients:

1 (16 ounce) package uncooked rotini pasta
1 lb ground Italian sausage
1 (24 ounce) jar pasta sauce
1 (16 ounce) container cottage cheese
1 (2 1/4 ounce) can sliced black olives, drained (optional)
1 (4 ounce) can mushrooms, drained
12 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
2 (3 ounce) packages sliced pepperoni

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9X13 casserole dish.

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Place pasta in the pot, cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until al dente, and drain.

In a skillet over medium heat, cook the sausage until evenly brown, drain grease. Mix in the cooked pasta and pasta sauce. Pour into prepared casserole dish.

In a bowl, mix the cottage cheese, olives, mushrooms and mozzarella cheese.

Spoon the cheese mixture over the sausage and pasta mixture. Top with pepperoni slices.

Bake 25 minutes in the preheated oven, until bubbly and lightly browned.

 

 

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