Sunday, January 03, 2010

Happy New Year and Pizza

Most years we just hang out on the 31st. I'm more likely to be asleep when the New Year starts. Can you tell I'm not a party person?

I had the idea the other day that we'd have homemade pizza for dinner. Well, suddenly we got 3 invitations for New Year's Eve. One of them fell through--my bil and his wife and my nephew didn't want to come out in the snow. Can't blame them; the little guy is only four. We divided the night between two friends. I would have been happy if everyone cancelled due to the weather, but I ended up having a really nice time. The first party was bigger (well, about 8 people plus uncounted kids) and the second was just coffee and Bailey's with one of my best friends. (Mike did not drink, for the record. Me...a spoonful of anything in my coffee or Coke is good enough for me. I just don't 'get' people who work themselves into hangovers.)

So anyway, the pizza...we decided to make a pie and bring it as an appetizer to the first party. It was a HUGE hit, if I may say so myself. Have you ever made pizza? Soooo easy! But there are tricks!

I tip my hat to those of you who make good pizza crust. I just don't have the talent for it. We actually buy 'raw' pizza dough from one of our local pizza parlors! Did you know you can do that? For about $4 you get this ball of dough (probably cheaper elsewhere than Long Island). You have to leave it out for a bit so it is easier to work with.

I have a pizza stone I cook on, but I found I like to stretch the dough on one of those metal pizza pans--the kind with all the little holes. For some reason, the 'peel' I have isnt' big enough for a full sized pie, even though the stone is very big! So I just sort of 'flip' the stretched out dough onto the stone and try not to burn myself. The 'peel' works with the cooked pizza just fine.

Two important tips from the pizza parlor 'chef':

1. Always use low-moisture mozzarella. That doesn't mean "skim milk." It really has to say 'low moisture" on the package. We always had watery pizza until we did this!

2. Don't cook the sauce. We just take tomato puree and spoon it on the crust. It will cook along with the pizza.

Now, me, I like to cook my crust first. I know they put raw pizza into those ovens at Uncle Chef's, but I don't have that kind of oven, LOL! You want to make sure you 'dock' the dough with lots and lots of fork pricks or you will end up with a big puff ball.

The pizza cooks in a 425 degree oven, and the crust will be done in about 10 minutes--but keep an eye on it! You can make it ahead of time and even freeze it for the future, if you want. Then just build the pizza with all the goodies you like. It will be done when the cheese is melted.

Have a Happy, Healthy and Wealthy New Year, everyone!


Becky said...

Yum, homemade pizza. Happy new year to you too!

Jenny said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog! I really want to compile a family cookbook, especially before anything happens to my grandmother. I just need to work out the logistics. What a great gift for your kids! This summer was my first attempt at canning anything! I made Cherry Jam, Pepper Jelly and Banana Peppers. So far, everything has been edible and the jelly I have given as gifts has been a hit. My father in law is on his 3rd jar of cherry jam. I have big plans for my garden and canning next summer.

Amy {The Red Chair Blog} said...

Homemade pizza?! Yum, you're making me hungry!

Thanks for stopping by to say hello!


Susan Ramey Cleveland said...

Love the picture of you and Shadow.

Anonymous said...

We get pizza dough at Trader Joe's for $1.29. It's probably not as much dough, but it's just enough for our family and they have whole wheat, which I like.

Thanks for stopping by my blog! I hope you like the chicken stock. :)

Mari said...

Thanks for stopping at my blog.
This is a great idea! I never knew you could get pizza dough like that. I'm going to try it.

Mum in Bloom said...

Thanks for visiting my site today! You've been blogging for a long time - wow! Great site you have here :)