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.
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.
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
(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
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 T olive oil1 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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