Oh, garlic. How we love you. How you make any and every dish sing. How you beguile us with your charms, seeping out of our pores like some noxious gas, all the while making us believe that we do, in fact, smell attractive to those in our immediate vicinity. We choose to believe it.
Here’s the thing. When you infest my fridge in droves, like, in 600,000 cloves? I can’t seem to use you fast enough. You start…sprouting. And you become less than you were meant to be.
It is my hope that by roasting you, mashing you and spreading you, I can make you presentable and delectable once again. Please do understand.
I adopted my recipe for pizza crust from the 1956 edition of the Betty Crocker Cookbook. I prefer the “thin crust” this recipe calls for over the thicker crusts many folks love. I use Betty’s recipe for the dough, but I’ll top the pizza with whatever I want.
I’ve made pizzas from this recipe quite a few times now & we had enjoyed them so much, that my wife suggested that we do a “pizza night” each week. I don’t know if we’ll do it every week, as it does take several hours from start to finish. Save this recipe for another day if you want to be eating pizza in half an hour.
But if you do have the time, it’s well worth the effort. And if you’ve got kids, I know they’ll like helping build their own “pie”. The beauty of this recipe is you can top it any way you like it!!
Dissolve 1/2 TSP. active dry yeast in 3/4 cup plus 2 TBSP. warm water (110° – 115°)
Blend in 3 – 3 1/4 cups sifted flour to make a stiff dough.
Knead on a lightly floured surface. Place in greased bowl. Turn to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (about 85°) until doubled in size (about 2 hrs.)
Divide into two parts. Roll each part until it’s about 12″ in diameter (1/8″ thick). You can roll the edge of the crust to make a stand up ridge if you like. (There’s no reason you couldn’t divide the dough again and make four individual pizzas.)
So it doesn’t stick, sprinkle a little corn meal on your pizza pan, pizza stone or baking sheet before you put the crust on it. (Don’t have a round pan? Roll the pizza dough into two 14″ x 10″ rectangles instead.) Now comes the fun part….
ADDING THE TOPPINGS:
Here’s where you get to be creative! You can add what ever toppings you like! There’s virtually no limit to the different combinations you can come up with.
Start off by adding a favorite sauce. You can use regular tomato sauce and add some Italian herbs or purchase a pre-made pizza sauce. Sometimes, I like using BBQ sauce in place of the tomato sauce. Ranch dressing is also an option or experiment with some different kinds of sauces. Sometimes I’ll use a very light coating of olive oil on the crust instead of a sauce.*
* When applying the sauce or oil, keep it about 1 inch away from the edge of crust so it doesn’t burn. Also, try to completely cover the sauce with your toppings. This helps keep the sauce from burning near the edge of the pizza.
Now it’s time to add your favorite toppings. Just to give you an idea of what kind of combos are possible, here’s what I loaded on my two pizzas last night:
I brushed the crust with a very light layer of olive oil. Then I added chopped turkey breast, chopped mushrooms, chopped broccoli, Monterey Jack cheese, Mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, oregano, basil & rosemary. Topped it off with chopped green onions when it came out of the oven.
I brushed the crust with a nice thick layer of my favorite BBQ sauce. Then I added cooked hamburger meat, chopped onions, chopped garlic, sliced olives, extra sharp cheddar cheese & oregano.
Bake at 425° for about 18 -20 minutes or so. Watch closely, as edge of crust will burn quickly. Pizzas cooked on a “stone” tend to be done a little sooner. Edge of crust will be crunchy.
Bake only one pizza at a time. I usually prepare the second pizza while the first one is in the oven. Makes about 6 -8 servings. Hope you enjoy!
Grandmothers did a lot with cheeses. Economical and readily available and in an infinite variety, they had to be a key ingredient. On Saturday or Sunday night for supper, they wouldn’t get out the fondue pot and long forks and set up the lazy Susan. If they did, they would probably use Tyler Florence’s recipe found here. More than likely they would serve something like Mountain Republic’s good old mac and cheese found right here OR they would have a little Welsh Rarebit.
Welsh Rarebit you say? It is melted sharp cheddar and beer and a thickening agent, etc. over toast. Mmmmmm. Why it is called Welsh Rarebit is the stuff that fills whole lexicons. Have fun Googling your idea of an answer. There are many.
Served with a side of warm fruit compote (easily made) or fresh fruit on lettuce with a poppy seed dressing (or tossed greens with a light olive oil, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard and salt/pepper dressing) and you’re back in front of the TV with dinner, a beer and dessert and you only had to carry the plate in one hand, the beer in another.
Best to cook the compote ahead because, although simple to make, it takes 3 hours in the oven at low temperature to “candy” or sweeten the fruit. All fruit sweetens when cooked. Here’s all you do:
Pre-heat oven to 250 degrees. In a baking or casserole dish, combine the following well-drained canned fruits:
1 can of cubed pineapple
1 can of peaches (cut to size of the pineapple cubes)
1 can of pears (cut to size of pineapple cubes)
Canned cherries if desired
Stir the mixture. Sprinkle with brown sugar and unsalted butter pieces (or Olivio).
Cook for 2 hours. Then set temperature at 350 degrees and cook for another hour. Delicious! Worth the wait. Probably VERY bad for you.
Now for the Welsh Rarebit:
I have attempted to lower the calories in this and to keep the ingredients simple. There are many variations on this recipe so “Google” a few.
In a medium saucepan over low to medium heat, make a roux of roughly 2 Tbs each unsalted butter (or Olivio) and flour ( all purpose or use Wondra – it’s easier). A “roux” is the French culinary term for 1/2 flour and 1/2 fat cooked until smooth with a slight bubble. It is the basis for most sauces. How easy it that, eh?
Stir in a scant teaspoon Dijon or dry mustard and tsp Worcestershire sauce and the remaining ingredients:
dash of salt and pepper (freshly ground always).
1/2 cup whole milk or 3/4 cup heavy cream. (add more milk if mixture thickens too much)
1 and 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese.
1/2 cup of your favorite beer
I always crush a clove of garlic and put a little of the juice in.
Stir the above until melted and smooth. Pour over your favorite toast (rye, whole wheat, etc.)