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PIZZA

Pizza anyone?

America’s Favorite Food

Did you know that Americans consume over 3 billion pizzas a year? Growing up, I didn’t like pizza. I got sick after eating a piece in the cafe while my parents were shopping at Fedco. I was eight. As a result, I avoided it despite every sport I ever played through high school’s year-end banquet was always held at a pizza parlor. Moving to New York City in the 90s changed all of that.

It’s all about the budget

New Yorkers swear it’s in the water. I always wondered. Hudson or East River? Didn’t really matter once I bit into a slice of Goodfellas brick oven pizza on 14th and 7th in Manhattan. It was close to where I lived and if I had a bad audition, I would treat myself to a slice. I ended up eating several slices a week causing me to go to Modell’s sporting goods and buy roller blades (remember those?) to work off the pizza. I would rollerblade from downtown to Central Park every night after Letterman. Good times. 

Inflation

Have you noticed that the price of everything has gone up? Here in Southern California, gas prices are now between $5.50 and $7.00/gallon. I used to be able to fill up my car for about $50. Now that only gets me 1/2 tank. Groceries have also skyrocketed, those that are available. The supply chain has limited or eliminated even the basic of items. Dairy, meat, vegetables, all up over 40%. My heart breaks for families that are struggling to keep their children fed. I always shout out the Westside Foodbank https://www.wsfb.org/ and remind my reader that foodbanks around the country are helping low income families not be forced with the choice of rent or food. Every dollar donated can turn into 4 meals. Help out if you can.

Pizza with Frico

America’s test Kitchen is one of the best cooking websites and YouTube channels on the internet. Years ago, I saw their recipe for Cast iron skillet cheese pizza. It’s basically the same recipe except I added a teaspoon of sugar. I also tend to make the dough and keep it in the refrigerator for far longer than the required 12 to 24 hours. Because it’s a high hydration dough, it requires less kneading and a longer resting time which can form the gluten as well as lower hydration doughs with more kneading can. The longer fermentation also builds more complex flavor, so, don’t be afraid to let it sit. This one went 3 days.

CB's Sausage and Cheese skillet pizza

delicious, delectable, makes great leftovers, easy to make
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4

Equipment

  • kitchen scale
  • 9 inch pie plate
  • 12 inch (30cm) cast iron skillet
  • mesuring cups
  • pizza cutter or wheel
  • plastic wrap
  • rack for cooling
  • butter knife

Ingredients
  

  • 11/312 oz/grams Bread flour, AP flour is fine
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp instant or rapid rise yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar (optional)
  • 8 fl oz warm water (105-110F, 41-43C)
  • 2 to 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup pizza sauce
  • 4 oz Monterrey Jack cheese
  • 7 oz Whole milk Mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup turkey sausage crumbles, or pepperoni or preferred

Instructions
 

  • Weigh out flour with a kitchen scale 11oz, 312g
  • Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl, then stir in water.
  • Combine with a wooden spoon or spatula and then knead with hands right in the bowl for about 2 minutes or until comes together. It will be sticky.
  • Spray a 9" pie plate with cooking oil spray. transfer dough into pie plate and pat it into a 7" round. Spray the top surface with additional spray. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 12-24 hours or up to 3 days.
  • Put olive oil in (12"/30cm) cast iron skillet. Use some of that oil to oil hands so the dough won't stick to them. Transfer the dough into the cast iron pan. Using fingertips, press dough out to about 1/8" (3mm) from sides of pan. Cover and allow to rise for 1 1/2 hours at room temperature in pan.
  • Assembly:
    Spread 1/2 cup pizza sauce over pizza dough to about 1/2" (1 cm) from edge of dough. Form a 1/4-1/2" (1 cm) tall wall or dam of Monterrey Jack cheese around the perimeter of the pizza, pressed into the pan. This cheese will fry against the pan making frico. So delicious. Sprinkle on the sausage or your favorite toppings and sprinkle the mozzarella evenly over the toppings.
  • Bake in a preheated 425 degree (219 Celcius) oven for 20 to 25 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and wait until sizzling stops. Run butter knife around the outside to loosed. Check browning of bottom. If not sufficiently brown, place skillet on a burner set to medium for up to 5 minutes, checking every few minutes. When done, use 2 spatulas to transfer to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes before cutting.

Enjoy!

CB's Skillet Pizza - Sausage and Cheese
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What’s your favorite pizza?

 

Recipe Rating




Miche

Friday 15th of April 2022

Yummy, yummy yummy, he's back! Chris, I love a thin crust with simple ingredients and aged cheeses. When it cracks when folded and the cheese oozes and with fresh tomatoes and basil and olives, oh my!

Pizza is not so much an Italian food as an Italian-American food to me it's like what jazz is to the Black culture. American pizza is another invention of this great country's immigrant travel (in this case from Italy) here. Yummy article but I have to admit, I just went and got some and will read the rest of the article after I finish another slice.

Yummy, Chris!

CB

Friday 15th of April 2022

Thanks Miche. nothing beats good pizza. Your description just made me so hungry!

David Druid

Thursday 14th of April 2022

New York is a different animal, isn't it? I can't remember my first bite, but I do recall those huge, super-hot slices we'd inhale on cold winter nights. You really had to time it just right or you'd burn your tongue. That happened to me more than once. The aroma wafting out of pizza parlors (just what is a parlor?) was intoxicating. Even if you weren't starving, you'd break down and cop a slice--just for that fabulous taste. I'm headed out now to get a new phone battery and I think I'll mosey on into the first pizza joint I see and have some. Thanks for another mouth watering recipe.

CB

Friday 15th of April 2022

Thanks for commenting David! Nothing like NY Pizza!

Gayle Wilhite

Thursday 14th of April 2022

I love pizza but Pizza no. longer loves me! Once a year, on my birthday, when the kids want to take me out to dinner to celebrate and let me. choose any restaurant It is always a pizza joint!

CB

Thursday 14th of April 2022

Everyone loves pizza! Thanks Gayle!

Michael E Thors

Thursday 14th of April 2022

Looks delicious! Glad NY converted you to a pizza lover! Next time you see Rick, you guys will have to go to Villa Milano (my all time favorite) in the town we grew up in. Although Rick says there's a really good place near him now. But you're right! Great food! Pizza is a staple for our family. If I build up the courage, I'll try to make your recipe. I've made my fair share of horrible pizzas which I often blame on the dough (ie Walmart dough). But my family has had enough of my (other) recipes to question whether it's "because of the dough". Thanks Chris!

CB

Thursday 14th of April 2022

Thanks Mike. Rick talks about your favorite pizza place on the island that’s near the old house. Gotta try it someday!