Simmering Pizza, Endless Toppings


The ES crew gathered for a meal of semi-homemade pizza last night. I say semi- because my pizza style comes perilously close to violating our cheating policies. I’ve made pizza crust from scratch before, but to me, it’s one of those things that just isn’t worth the effort: it takes ten times longer to prepare, but it’s just not ten times better than store-bought. So until someone gets me a crust recipe that changes my mind, I’m sticking with DiGiornio.

When I get a slice at Famous Rays, I’m a purist and generally just go for plain cheese. But I find the key to putting the homemade pie over the top is toppings, toppings, and more toppings. My philosophy is, as long as you’ve got a firm enough dough, don’t stop until your fridge is empty.

Recipe for a super-rich pepperoni pie and a veggie-plus one after the j.

Veggie-Plus Pizza (Sauce-free and xxtra spicy)

Spread one 4 oz. package of goat cheese across the crust. Sprinkle a thin layer of mozz.

Grill one sliced red pepper and one red onion (sliced and kept in rings) in a grill pan, until almost tender. (Obv. these can just be sauteed instead).

Cook one poblano pepper in the broiler for 10 minutes, turning once, until charred all over. Peel and dice. Because these were so hot, we ended up only using about half of one pepper, but it still really added a kick to the pizza. (This step was all Gansie’s creation, so she will have to give a better explanation once she is back from her cross-country hottest media types tour).

Top pizza with peppers and onions, as well as a handful of quartered cherry tomatoes and a few cloves of diced garlic.

Sprinkle with another thin layer of Mozz.

Drizzle with EVOO.

Cook, preferably on a pizza stone, at 425 for 25-30.


$$$$ Pepperoni Pizza

Spread 1 can (8 oz) of diced tomatoes on the crust. Unless you like an extra-saucy pizza, I find there’s enough juice from the tomatoes to go the distance and don’t use any extra t-sauce.

Sprinkle a layer of shredded mozz cheese.

Cover with sandwich-size slices of pepperoni. Using these full size circles instead of the minis really allows their flavor to seap into the rest of the toppings. (I just made this up, but the giant ‘ronis look awesome).

Add slivers of garlic to taste.

Cover with a layer of shredded gouda and 1/2 chopped green pepper.

Drizzle with EVOO.

Cook, preferably on a pizza stone, at 425 for 25-30.

Either pie goes fantastically with Liza’s pasta sides.

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  • gansie July 23, 2007  

    RE: roasting the poblano. once it’s charred and blistered sufficiently, drop it in a paper bag or seal-able plastic bag and put in the fridge for 15ish minutes. under running, cold water, peel the skin off. then use appropriately.

  • 80 Proof July 23, 2007  

    Don’t remind me that I ate chunks of tomato last night…and almost didn’t hate it.

    PS- What’s a recipe doing on this site?

  • Melissa July 23, 2007  

    Oh, the dough is so good handmade! I swear its easy and worth it. And I have a kitchen that’s smaller than mine was in NYC.

    Here’s what I’ve been doing for dough. Making dough to eating pizza for me is start to finish an hour and 20 min, which isn’t so bad. (And congrats on your hottness !(:)
    heat 1 1/4 cup water in microwave for 45 seconds (to bathtub temp)
    add 2 tablespoons of honey to water
    add 2 1/2 tablespoon of yeast to water
    wisk ingredients and let sit for 4 or 5 minutes
    pour 2 cups King Arthur flour in cuisinart.
    add 1/2 teaspoon salt
    after 15 minutes, turn on cuisinart and gradually pour in yeast/water/honey
    after it coagulates and forms a ball, transfer dough to counter and knead it with the heel of your hand for 10 minutes or so until it gives.
    Cut it in half with the dough scraper
    pour one or two tablespoons of olive oil in two mixing bowls.
    transfer dough to bowls and coat with olive oil.
    let rise for an hour.

  • BS July 23, 2007  

    Thanks for the recipe Melissa! I was hoping someone would hook us up – I’ll def try this next time

  • JoeHoya July 24, 2007  

    If you haven’t tried it already, you should give Trader Joe’s pizza dough a try. They have three varieties – whole wheat, garlic & herb, and plain (I’ve heard rumors of a “low carb” variety, but that may just be a West Coast option) – and they’re really easy to work with. The taste, though not as good as completely homemade, is pretty good. And the dough holds up well to toppings, too.

    The best thing about it? The price tag: $0.99 for a 1-lb dough ball.

  • Bob July 25, 2007  

    Even Alton Brown doesn’t make his own pizza dough. Wait, scratch that, I’m thinking of another Food Network guy. Alton Brown doesn’t make his own tortilla dough. But the point is that you can buy pizza dough cheap from your neighborhood pizza place and focus your energy on toppings-n-shit.

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