In the February issue of Every Day with Rachael Ray, one of the features is making pizza in a cast iron skillet. That sounded like such a good idea, so I tried it. Instead of following the recipe below, I used ingredients I had in the fridge: jarred pizza sauce, pepperoni, shredded mozzarella, black olives, green onions, and a leftover side dish that contained sauteed spinach, tomatoes, and onions.
I should have made the crust thinner, but other than that it was tasty. It did not stick to the iron skillet, and the bottom was crispy.
Recipes for tomato-and-cheese, ham-and-Swiss, chicken pot pie pizzas begin with a yeasty dough or a biscuit dough.
Here are the recipes.
Skillet pizza dough
3/4 cup lukewarm water
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
In a small bowl, stir together the lukewarm water, yeast and sugar. Let stand until foamy, 3 to 5 minutes. Using a standing mixer, mix the flour and salt at low speed. Mix in the yeast mixture and olive oil until a shaggy dough forms. Change to the dough hook attachment and mix at medium speed until smooth, about 6 minutes. Transfer the dough to a greased, large mixing bowl, turning to coat; cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Punch down the dough before using.
Biscuit pizza dough
1 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter, chilled and cut into pieces
1/2 cup milk
Using a food processor, pulse together the flour, baking powder and salt. Pulse in the butter until the mixture forms coarse crumbs, about 10 seconds. Pour in the milk and pulse just until the dough clumps togther.
Tomato-and cheese pizza
Skillet pizza dough
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, smashed and peeled
1 1/4 cups grape tomatoes, quartered
Salt and black pepper
4 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 pinch dried oregano
Press the pizza dough into a greased 9- to 10-inch cast iron skillet and let rise until doubled in size, 20 to 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a medium nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, season with salt and black pepper sand cook, stirring, for 1 minute more. Remove from the heat and let cool for a few minutes; discard the garlic.
Drizzle the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over the dough; spoon the tomato mixture on top, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Bake until golden and bubbly, about 25 minutes. Sprinkle the cheese, crushed red pepper and oregano on top and bake until the cheese is melted, about 5 minutes. Let cool in pan for 20 minutes before serving. Makes 4 servings.
Chicken pot pizza
4 tablespoons butter
11/2 cups frozen peas and carrots
1 cup sliced cremini mushrooms
Salt and pepper
Biscuit pizza dough
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken, skin and bones discarded
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese, about 4 ounces
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/4 cups milk
2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
Position rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees. In a medium bowl, melt 1 tablespoon butter in the microwave, stir in the peas and carrots and the mushrooms; season with salt and pepper.
Press the biscuit dough evenly into a greased 9-10- inch cast-iron skillet. Spoon the vegetables on top; reserving the bowl, then bake for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, sitrring, until softened, about 7 minutes. Transfer to the reserved bowl along with the chicken and half of the cheese.
Wipe out the non-stick skillet, add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and melt over medium heat. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the milk and bring to a simmer, stirring continuously; stir in the remaining cheese and season with salt and pepper. Cover to keep warm.
Preheat the broiler. Spoon the chicken mixture over the baked pizza and broil until golden and bubbly, about 5 minutes. Drizzle with the cheese sauce and sprinkle with the parsley. Makes 4 servings.