Thursday, March 17, 2011

Homemade Pizza

I don't make homemade pizza very often, but here's what I do when I decide to forgo carry-out:

1.  Buy pre-made pizza crusts because they are inexpensive and pretty tasty and I am lazy they are so much easier than making my own.  I prefer Mama Mary's, which come two in a package.  This time I bought Traditional, but I understand they also make Thin Crust.  I'll try that next time if my grocery store has them.


2.  Buy one large can of Hunt's Tomato Puree (about 12 ounces), one large package of pepperoni (at least 100 slices), and one package of Kraft Shredded Italian Cheese (2 - 3 cups).  (I picked up the new 5-Cheese Blend with Philadelphia Cream Cheese added.)

3.  Gather the cooking spray, Olive Oil, and Kraft 100% Real Parmesan/Romano/Asiago Grated Cheese Blend.  I make a mix of spices using the following:  1/2 Tbl. Crushed Basil, 1 1/2 Tbl. Italian Seasoning Blend, and 1 Tbl. Dry Mustard.  If I'm out of Italian Seasoning, I use 1 Tbl. Crushed Oregano. 

4.  Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  Spray a pizza screen with cooking spray.  If I use the pizza stone, I put it in the oven before turning on the heat, as the stone could crack otherwise.  I don't like using cookie sheets, as the crust gets a better texture from the screen or stone.  Today I used the screen.

5.  Lightly coat the interior of the pizza shell with Olive Oil.  Pour 1/3 to 1/2 of the Tomato Puree on the shell and spread around as evenly as possible.  It will be a little "patchy", but I never want too many empty spots, so I add more puree as needed.  

6.  I make sure the spice mix is well-blended and evenly, but lightly, sprinkle about 1/3 of it over the sauce.  I follow with a slightly heavier, but even, sprinkling of the Kraft Grated Parmesan Cheese Blend.

7.  Add pepperoni in concentric circles starting at the edge of the crust and working inward to the center.  Spread half of the Shredded Italian Cheese over the top.  Add another layer of pepperoni making the same circle pattern.

8.  Turn the oven down to 425 degrees and bake for 10 - 14 minutes, until the cheese is bubbly and starting to turn brown.  

9.  Remove the pizza from the oven using a pizza paddle or oven mitt and allow to rest on a cutting board or other safe surface for at least 3 minutes.  Cut using large kitchen shears.  I serve with Crushed Red Pepper and the Grated Cheese Blend or freshly grated Parmesan Cheese.

Our pimply-faced Pac-Man Pizza.  (Sorry!  I couldn't resist.)  

Wacca, wacca, wacca, wacca...  

He's headed for the super-rare scissors bonus fruit!  (LOL)

Look out!  Here come the ghosts!!

Inky, Pinky, Blinky, and Clyde

(In case you were wondering, Blinky is red, Pinky is pink, Inky is blue, and Clyde is orange.  Just don't ask me why.)