Prepared pizza dough
Extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella or 8 ounces fresh, chopped into small pieces
1/2 to 3/4 cup canned or fresh diced tomatoes or marinara sauce
Thinly sliced pepperoni
Fresh basil leaves
Sliced green pepper
Preheat the broiler. Roll out dough to 12-inch circle to fit a 10- to- 12-inch cast-iron skillet. Place skillet over medium heat, and add olive oil to hot skillet.
Carefully place dough into skillet. Using a wooden spoon, press edges of dough along sides of skillet. Cook until dough starts to bubble, about 2 to 3 minutes. Flip and spread tomatoes over dough, leaving about a half-inch border. Top with cheese and other optional toppings (except basil).
Transfer the skillet to the oven and broil until cheese is melted. Take care handling skillet as cast-iron will be extremely HOT.
Top with fresh basil, if desired.
Pizza is on my family’s favorite dinnertime short list.
So when I came across across a pizza recipe created for the cast-iron skillet – one of my more underused utensils – I had to give it a try.
The cookbook, incidentally, “Cast-Iron Cooking with Sisters on the Fly” (Andrews McMeel Publishing, April 2013) by Irene Rawlings, contains a virtual gold mine of recipes that will keep that skillet out of storage and on the stove – or the grill or campfire – again.
I made some adaptations to the recipe, and, in the spirit of full disclosure, admit to skipping over the part of the recipe that calls for making my own dough. Hey, it was a Friday, and I didn’t have two hours to wait for dough to rise. I did, however, have 15 minutes to swing by the grocery store on my way home from work to buy fresh dough made by someone else.
Probably the best part about pizza is the versatility the dish lends a cook. Oftentimes, the best creations are the product of refrigerator leftovers – don’t forget to pull open the vegetable drawer – and forgotten pantry items.
Out of tomatoes? Try barbecue sauce instead, and top with leftover grilled chicken and cheese for a tangy twist.
Or go Greek: Brush some herbs and olive oil over the crust, top with fresh spinach, garlic, black olives, feta cheese and tomato slices.
Depending on how thick the dough will determine chewiness. I made two 10-inch pizzas from one dough ball, and the result was a pie with a medium-chewy crust. For a thinner, crispier crust, try using less dough.
The pizza was met with rave reviews. The resident expert – my husband, whose grandmother’s legendary homemade can never be duplicated – insisted I make it again. The next day.
There were no leftovers.
Liz Rogers is editor of the Observer-Reporter. She can be reached at email@example.com/.