Pizza nights are our absolute favorite thing to do (usually on a Friday or Saturday night). We love to experiment with different pizza toppings and really test our creativity. We have done a couple so far in the past (recipes are below). Our favorite 2 are just a traditional pepperoni and a roasted red pepper and basil one. We do cheat a little on the dough, we used to make our own but that was just a little more time consuming so we really enjoy the pizza crust we get out of Auntie Anne’s Homemade Baking Mix. Once we make the dough, we shred up some cheese. We actually really like to use Monterey Jack cheese instead of mozzarella. It just makes the pizzas so smooth and creamy, we tried it once and never went back! Another method of cheating we use is our pizza sauce, we went from making our own to trying out already prepared and we really like the flavors in Classico Signature Recipes Fire Roasted Pizza Sauce. You can find all our pizza layers in your grocery store (Auntie Anne’s may be a little more tricky to find but some locations do have it, Weis Markets has it by us). Now for the fun, the layering!
Make your dough
Roll out your dough
Now Jason is the expert here, he rolls out the dough sans a roller. He only uses his hands and can get a really thin crust. Whenever I try to “roll the dough without a roller” I create holes, so I really leave this step up to him.
Spread the pizza sauce
Sprinkle the cheese
Your flavor choice. For ours this time we just thinly sliced some pepperoni for the one. For the 2nd pizza we sliced some roasted red pepper, grabbed some basil from the garden and ripped up into pieces. Once both the roasted red pepper slices and basil are on the pizza, then I sprinkle on a good amount of roasted red pepper flakes (we love some heat!).
Normally in the winter we cook in the oven (425 °F for 20-25 minutes) on our pizza stone (http://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/emile-henry-pizza-stone/?cm_src=AutoRel). In the summers we like to move the pizza stone out to the grill. It cooks so quick out there, it’s amazing – just be sure to keep an eye out of the bottom crust burning. We like to use parchment paper underneath our pizzas also to make transfer and clean up super easy.
Serve with your beer and cider of choice!
Other Pizza Recipe Faves:
Buffalo Chicken Pizza (a Rachael Ray find)
3/4 pound chicken breast cutlets
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
2 teaspoons grill seasoning, (recommended: McCormick Montreal Seasoning) eyeball it
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, eyeball it
2 to 3 tablespoons hot sauce, medium to spicy heat
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese, a few generous handfuls
1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles
3 scallions, thinly sliced
Place chicken on a plate and drizzle extra-virgin olive oil over the chicken then season with grill seasoning. When grill or pan is hot, add chicken and cook about 3 minutes on each side. In a medium skillet over medium heat, melt butter and stir in Worcestershire, hot sauce, and tomato sauce. Remove the chicken from grill and thinly slice it. Add chicken to sauce and coat. Cover the pizza dough with the saucy Buffalo chicken, cheeses, and scallions.
Fig-Prosciutto Pizza with Arugula (a Ree Drummond find)
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 to 8 tablespoons fig spread or jam
12 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced thin
Freshly ground black pepper
6 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto
1 bunch washed and rinsed arugula
1 cup shaved Parmesan
Drizzle pizza dough lightly with the olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt. Spread the fig spread all over the surface of the dough. Lay the slices of mozzarella all over the surface of the pizza crust. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Bake the pizza until the crust is golden and the cheese is bubbly, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and immediately drape the prosciutto slices over the hot pizza. Sprinkle generously with the arugula and Parmesan shavings.
Try them out or get creative and make your own, I would love to hear your ideas!