Pizza Roll & Cajun Fries

I know it’s only Tuesday, but if you ask me, it’s never too early in the week for pizza, especially if it includes a side of cajun fries!

Pizza Dough and Toppings

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cups bread flour
  • 1/4 cup AP flour
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 1/2-2 tbsps granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 5-6 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 package of active dry yeast
  • Oil, for greasing

Toppings:

  • Pepperonis
  • Sausages or sausage links, lightly peppered and sea salted
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 tsp parsley
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp basil
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder

Directions:

  1. Mix flours into a large mixing bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, add sugar, salt, and oil to the warm water. Add yeast to water mixture and stir. Cover for 2-3 minutes to let bubbles rise.
  3. Pour water mixture into flour. Knead the dough for roughly 3-5 minutes, or until softer and less sticky.
  4. Roll dough into ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover the bowl with a towel and place in a warm spot. Let dough rise for 1-1 ½ hour.
  5. Cook pepperonis and sausages on stovetop (do this roughly 10 minutes before dough is done rising).
  6. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Lightly grease pizza stone with olive oil if necessary.
  7. Separate pizza dough in half. Refrigerate half for use at a later date.
  8. Combine parslet, oregano, basil, and onion powder in a small bowl. Set aside.
  9. Roll out dough onto pizza stone and cut in half.
  10. Fill dough with cheese, sausage, and pepperonis. Close the sides and end pieces of the dough together to form a log shape. Flip dough over to hide creasing. Repeat with other roll.
  11. Top unbaked pizza roll with parsley mixture. Repeat with other roll. Cook for roughly 10-13 minutes or until pizza roll is golden brown on top.
  12. Serve with marinara/pizza sauce.
Cajun Fries

cajun fries

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8-1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/8 tsp red pepper
  • 2 russet or Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into strips

Directions:

  1. Rinse potatoes and wipe with paper towel. Cut potatoes into 1/4 inch sticks.
  2. Place potatoes in a medium-sized bowl and add all other ingredients, mixing well.
  3. Bake at 425 degrees for 35-40 minutes–or until fries are golden brown–rotating halfway through.
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Pepperoni Panini

Pizza and sandwiches are two of my favorite things (along with bright copper kettles), so anytime I can combine the two into one and form some kind of extra-cheesy lovechild I’m there.

Hence, the Pepperoni Panini*. It’s cheesy. It’s pesto-y. It’s just what you need when you don’t want to make the poor pizza guy come out in Florida’s unpredictable weather.

* Who cares that it’s not technically a panini? We love alteration and we’re rolling with it.

Pepperoni Panini

 

Ingredients:

  • 3-6 sandwich-sized pepperonis
  • 2 slices of Italian bread
  • 2-4 tsps of pesto
  • 1 slice of Havarti Cheese
  • 1/4 cup of shredded mozzarella, Asiago, Muenster, and Parmesan cheese
  • 3-4 sun dried tomato slices
  • 1/8 tsp each of parsley, oregano, and basil
  • 2-2 1/2 tbsps olive oil

Directions:

  1. Heat pepperonis on stovetop over medium heat for 1-2 minutes on either side. Drain.
  2. Spread half of the pesto on either side of the Italian bread.
  3. Top one slice of the bread with pepperonis, parsley, oregano, basil, cheeses, and sun dried tomatoes. Place other slice of bread on top.
  4. Pour half of the olive oil into a small, nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook sandwich until golden brown on one side. Remove sandwich, add olive oil, and replace sandwich on uncooked side. Cook until golden brown.
  5. Serve with sea salt and vinegar chips, baked french fries, or pasta salad.

Chicken Mozzarella Melt

Like most good ideas, this one a) happened by accident b) is all Mom’s doing.

While dining on a Zaxby nibbler, Mom happened upon a stray slice of cafeteria pizza (best teacher ever, by the way). Not in the mood for pizza and a nibbler, she took some of the cheese off the former and added it to the latter. Her concoction–a cheese, chicken, and lightly marinara-sauced sandwich–turned out to be a glorious, bite-sized helping of Heaven. So, for this week’s Faraway Friday Meal, we put our heads together and came up with a Chicken Mozzarella Melt that will make the inner cheese god in you smile.

You’ll need the Pizzeria Style Sauce and the Favorite Pizza Dough recipe for this meal, so plan ahead.

Buttermilk-and-Herb Fried Chicken
from William-Sonoma’s New Flavors for Chicken: Classic Recipes Redefined with slight changes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • Half of 1/3 cup plus 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 tbsp red hot pepper sauce
  • 1 tsp dried marjoram
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary, crumbled
  • 1 tsp rubbed sage
  • 1 tsp dried thyme*
  • 1 package of whole chicken breasts
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • Canola oil for frying
  • 1/3-2/3 cup(s) of bread crumbs
  • Pizzeria Style Pizza Sauce

Directions:

  1. In a large, nonreactive bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, 1/2 cup of salt, hot pepper sauce, marjoram, rosemary, sage, and thyme until blended and the salt is dissolved.
  2. Cut chicken breasts in half and rinse under cold water. Place in buttermilk mixture and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 6 to 8 hours.
  3. In a smaller bowl, mix together flour, pepper, baking powder, and 1/2 tsp of salt. Separate chicken into two piles. Pile One: dip chicken into the flour mixture one at a time, coating well. Shake to remove access. Place on a plate.
  4. Add 1/3-2/13 cups of bread crumbs to flour mixture and mix. Pile Two: coat remaining chicken breast slices in this mixture. Shake to remove access. Place on plate.
  5. Preheat stovetop to medium-high heat (a 7 for my stovetop). In a large, cast iron frying pan, add canola oil. Let canola heat until hot but not smoking.
  6. Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
  7. Place no more than 3 chicken breast slices into the oil at any given time (don’t crowd the pan). Let chicken cook for 4 to 5 minutes and then flip to cook for 4 to 5 additional minutes on the other side. Drain (this is important), and place chicken onto a baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Repeat. Chicken should register 160 degrees  when done (or, you could just use the oh-it-looks-ready-lets-break-open-and-taste-test method. This is the preferred method.)
  8. Drain chicken. Cut into chunks.
  9. Place Pizzeria Style Pizza sauce into a small, lidded sauce pan. Add chicken chunks. Cover and simmer sauce over medium-low heat for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Preparing the pizza dough

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Ingredients

  • Pizza dough
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp of garlic powder
  • 1/2 mozzarella cheese block
  • 1/4 cup 5 blend cheese (Asiago, Provolone, Mozzarella, Parmesan, Romano)
  • Cornmeal, for dusting

Directions:

  1. Dust cornmeal onto pizza stone.
  2. Roll out pizza dough into a (roughly) 10-11 inch circle.
  3. Using the bottom of your rolling pin (or some other small, circular object), press light indentations into the pizza dough.
  4. Drizzle olive oil onto dough. Massage into pizza. Sprinkle garlic powder onto dough.
  5. Top with a light layer of pizza sauce.
  6. Pre-bake for 5-7 minutes at 425 degrees.
  7. Remove from oven and top with remaining layer of pizza/chicken sauce. Add cheeses. Bake for 13-17 minutes or until dough is thoroughly cooked.
  8. Serve with a Caesar salad. Or a salad with Caesar dressing.

 

*I ran out of thyme when I was cooking. I laughed way harder than I should have at this.

Favorite Pizza Recipe

In my past life I must have been a pizza chef or, at the very least, the Norman Peterson of pizza patrons. I love pizza. LOVE it. There’s just something magical about the combination of crust, cheese, sauce, and toppings that makes biting into a hot slice of pizza the perfect way to end the week (or to begin it. Or to just roll with it.)

But not all pizzas are created equal (I’m looking at you, nostalgia-inducing cafeteria pizza), and I’d spent almost a year searching the internet for the perfect pizza crust recipe when I stumbled upon FritzFamily’s The World’s Best Bread Machine Pizza Dough Recipe a few months ago. With “world’s best” in the title, I knew I had to try it. I’ve used this pizza dough recipe four times now, and I’ve yet to be disappointed. The crust is light, with a crisp texture on the outside and a soft, chewy texture on the inside. It rises well and always cooks perfectly throughout.

So here it is, my current favorite pizza crust recipe (and what to top it with!):

FritzFamily’s The World’s Best Bread Machine Pizza Dough Recipe

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Yields two crusts

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1/3 cup Stella Artois beer, flat*
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsps cornmeal
  • 3 1/2 cups AP or bread flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning (I use roughly 1/8 tsp of the following: basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, black pepper, red pepper)
  • 1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast

For pizza stone and bowl:

  • Olive oil, for coating
  • 1-2 tsps of corn meal

*To flatten beer quickly, add 1/8 tsp of baking soda to beer and let sit for at least 5 minutes.

Directions:

  1. Add wet ingredients to the bread machine. Add in dry ingredients, leaving out the baking powder and yeast. Create a small well in the center of the dry ingredients and add baking powder and yeast, making sure they don’t touch the wet ingredients. Select dough cycle and start.
  2. Coat a nonreactive bowl with olive oil. Add in dough (turning to coat in olive oil) and cover with a clean dish cloth. Let rise for 30 minutes. Split in half.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  4. Sprinkle light covering of corn meal onto pizza stone.
  5. Remove pizza dough from bowl and roll out onto pizza stone using a rolling pin. Brush on a light covering of olive oil (1/2-1 tsp). Top crust with a light layer of pizza sauce (see below for recipe) and bake for 4-5 minutes at 400 degrees.
  6. Remove from oven and add toppings.

Some Assembly Required

Pizza Toppings

  • Pepperoni (as many as you desire)
  • 4-5 slices of bacon, crumbled
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, sliced
  • Mozzarella Cheese ball (roughly 3-4 ounces)
  • Asiago, Parmesan, Provolone, and Gouda cheeses, shredded
  • Pizza sauce (Homestyle or Pizzeria)
  • 1/2-1 tsp olive oil, for bell peppers
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

Directions

  1. Precook pepperonis on stovetop for 30-45 seconds over medium-high heat. Drain.
  2. Precook bacon in oven for 12-13 minutes on 375 degrees (flip bacon halfway through).  Drain.
  3. Cook bell pepper in olive oil and black pepper on stovetop over medium-high heat until soft (3-5 minutes).
  4. Top pizza crust with second layer of sauce. Add cheeses, bell pepper, and meats.
  5. Bake at 400 degrees for 13-18 minutes or until pizza is cooked through.
  6. Top with red pepper flakes and grated Parmesan cheese.

 

 

 

Norm Pizza