Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Pizza Margherita

or, "the dinner that almost wasn't".

This week, the Food Network Chef's Cooking Challenge was Tyler Florence.  I was eying his delicious homemade pasta (since I have a pasta maker on loan from a friend) and planning to stuff his homemade pasta with a chicken marsala ravioli mix!

The first step in the dinner that almost wasn't was opening the chicken (which was still "good" by the date on the package) to smell nasty, rotten eggs.  Yuck.

Rotten chicken.



No chicken marsala stuffed raviloi for us.
And, an extra trip back to the store.

Off I went to return the chicken... I was so disgusted I did not want to exchange it for another package.  So, I picked up a package of mini bella mushrooms to make Tyler Florence's mushroom pizza dish.

Fail #2.

The mushrooms had a soft white non-edible mushroom fungus growing on them.  And... they were dated "best if used by 05-09-10"... which was the day before I actually bought them!


Rotten, fungusy mushrooms did not make my day.

At this point, I almost went to our old standby recipe -- Rice Cooker Mac and Cheese.  But, since we are having white cheddar mac and cheese for Frog Prince's birthday tomorrow, I pressed on looking for a Tyler Florence recipe I could make for dinner.

That's when I saw his Margherita Pizza.  I didn't have enough time to make the dough associated with this recipe, so I used the dough from his Ultimate Pizza recipe which only required 30 minutes of rise time.

The result... for a meal that almost wasn't, it was very tasty!!

Pizza Margherita - Adapted from Tyler Florence

Dough Recipe
(Makes 2 medium pizzas)

1 1/2 T yeast
1 C warm water
1/2 T sea salt
1 T olive oil
1 T honey
1 C bread flour
2 C white wheat flour

Pizza Toppings
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 T olive oil
1 C tomato sauce/puree
1/4 C tomato paste
1 tsp. oregano
salt and pepper, to taste
8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
2 C fresh spinach
1 tsp. basil
*turkey pepperoni (if desired)
*diced bell peppers (if desired)

Begin by making the dough in a large bowl/mixer.  Combine the water and yeast together and allow it to sit for about 2 minutes.

Then, add in the oil, salt, honey and stir. (Remember to add the oil before the honey so the honey slides right off the spoon!)  Let the mixture rest for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, measure out the flour.

Add the flour to the mixture and knead for about 5 minutes, until the dough begins to stick together.

Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl and cover.  Allow it to rest in a warm place for 30 minutes until the dough is doubled in size.

While the dough is rising, prepare the sauce.

Saute the garlic in a little olive oil until the garlic scent is strong.  Stir in the oregano.

Add in the tomato sauce and tomato paste along with additional spices, as desired.

Heat through and then remove from the heat.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees, and place inside the preheating oven the pizza pans/cookie sheets you intend to bake the pizza on.

When the dough is ready, divide it in half.  Stretch each half into a rectangle or circle for your pizza.

Remove the cookie sheets from the warm oven and transfer the dough onto the cookie sheet.

Top with pizza sauce.

Then, lay the spinach leaves over the sauce, and sprinkle with cheese.  (Add additional toppings, if desired)

Return to the oven and bake at 450 for 12-14 minutes, or until cheese is lightly browned.

Slice and serve.

We really liked the pizza, and found the crust to have a good consistency... a bit chewy, crunchy in the right places and delightfully tasty.

For a dinner I almost gave up on, I'm glad I stuck it out -- it tasted great, and our house still smells lovely from all that garlic this morning!  And... we found a winner in the pizza crust!

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  1. Ugh, how frustrating that you got two bad products in a row! It looks like you got a tasty recipe in the end, though!

  2. Awww so sorry about your mishaps, friend! We must be shopping at the same store--I had a similar incident with strawberries, tomatoes and bananas!

    Meanwhile, this pizza looks great! I'll have to try this next time I make homemade pizza.

  3. How frustrating bad chicken and the mushrooms, ugh. I think I would have given up. But you pulled through with a great recipe, I love pizza margherita. I will have to try this recipe.

  4. I can't believe you ended up buying two things that were bad! What bad luck. Way to overcome and find a recipe that worked. I'm sure I would have given up long before you :)

  5. So glad I'm not the only one who experiences kitchen failures. ;-) That last pizza - yum! Can hardly wait for our garden to produce tomatoes. Garden fresh tomatoes on a margherita pizza... drool!

  6. I'm so impressed you persevered! It looks like it was worth it. The pizza looks delicious.

  7. Rotten and molding...two words you don't want to hear in the kitchen.

    I am making pizza tomorrow and might have to try this crust. I love homemade pizza but haven't found the crust that the rest of my family has fallen in love with.

  8. At least you pressed on and didn't order chinese take out or Dominos! This looks really good!

  9. Glad your pizza turned out! What a crazy thing to get 2 bad products!

  10. What does that mold look like on mushrooms? Wonder if i have missed it?

  11. Oh man that is hard when you get all those mishaps.
    Glad it turned out in the end.

  12. the pizza looks fantastic.

    rotten chicken... no words to describe....

  13. how frustrating with the chicken and then the mushrooms...glad you stuck it out though!

  14. Oh man, I would've given up at the mushrooms and ORDERED a pizza *L*

  15. There is nothing like homemade pizza! I am soo glad everything worked out! Thanks for linking to Tuesday Tastes! Polls just opened for the People's Choice Award! Stop by and and vote when you get a chance -just click on your fav recipe!

    Happy Day,
    Jasey @ Crazy Daisy


Thanks for stopping by! I'd love to hear from you; especially how you're finding JOY in your kitchen.

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