Today's column is deep into pizza.
Helen Smith had requested a recipe for deep dish pizza dough and fillings. Thanks to Wendy Little for the Chicago-style pizza dough, and to Shirley MacFarlane of Gimli who sent in the pizza crust recipe and three fillings that originally were published in the Free Press in 1985.
Gwen Bailey of Portage la Prairie writes that her guests for Christmas dinner this year will include someone who is diabetic, and asks for readers' help for dessert ideas.
Kathleen Heisinger has lost a recipe that she hopes someone else may have saved, that was published in the Free Press in the 1960s, for carrots cooked in a tomato soup mixture.
If you can help with a recipe request, have your own request, or a favourite recipe you'd like to share, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, fax it to 697-7412, or write to Recipe Swap, c/o Darlene Henderson, Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg, MB, R2X 3B6. Please include your first and last name, address and telephone number.
Chicago-style deep dish pizza dough
60 ml (1/4 cup) warm water
5 ml (1 tsp) sugar
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
5 ml (1 tsp) salt
310 ml (1 1/4 cups) warm water
125 ml (1/2 cup) olive oil
Stir sugar into the 60 ml (1/4 cup) of warm water. Stir in yeast and let sit for 10 minutes until foamy.
Place about half of the flour along with the cornmeal and salt into bowl of a stand mixer and mix. Add yeast mixture and remaining warm water and mix. Switch to dough hook to knead in the rest of the flour. With machine running gradually add olive oil and continue to knead for about another 10 minutes until a soft dough is formed. Turn into an oiled bowl and cover dough loosely with plastic wrap and then a clean dish towel. Place in refrigerator overnight for a cool rise.
Next day, remove from fridge about 1 1/2 hours before using and let sit on counter. Punch down dough and knead for a couple of minutes. Press dough into an oiled 38 cm (15-inch) deep dish pizza pan and 5 cm (2 inches) up the sides. Fill as desired. Bake on bottom rack of preheated 230 C (450 F) oven for about 25 minutes. (For a same day rise, place the dough in warm place for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours until doubled in bulk. After pressing into pan, cover with dish towel and let rise for about 20 minutes before filling.)
250 ml (1 cup) all-purpose flour
250 ml (1 cup) whole wheat flour
15 ml (1 tbsp) quick-rise yeast
1 ml (1/4 tsp) salt
15 ml (1 tbsp) sugar
175 ml (3/4 cup) warm water
Place all-purpose flour, yeast, salt and sugar in food processor and mix. With machine running, add warm water through feed tube and process until smooth. Add whole wheat flour and process until dough forms a ball. Let rise 15 minutes. Makes crust for a 33 cm (13-inch) deep dish pizza.
Deep dish pizza Piraeus
30 ml (2 tbsp) olive oil
250 ml (1 cup) chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
300g (10 oz) pkg frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
125 ml (1/2 cup) sliced black olives
250 ml (1 cup) cherry tomatoes, cut in half
225 g (1/2 pound) crumbled feta cheese
225 g (1/2 pound) mozzarella cheese, cut in strips
250 ml (1 cup) sliced fresh mushrooms
Heat oil in large skillet. Sauté onion and garlic until tender. Squeeze excess moisture out of spinach. Mix spinach into onion and garlic.
Oil 33 cm (13-inch) deep dish pizza pan and line with dough, pushing dough 2.5 cm (1 inch) up sides of pan.
Spoon half of the spinach mixture evenly into pan. Sprinkle with half the olives, tomatoes, feta and mozzarella. Layer remaining ingredients into pan. Bake in 190 C (375 F) oven 30 to 35 minutes or until crust is golden brown.
Deep dish pizza Napoli
500 g Italian sausage, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 small eggplant, diced
1 medium green pepper, thinly sliced
1 large onion, sliced
500 ml (2 cups) canned tomatoes, undrained
5 ml (1 tsp) dried oregano
1 ml (1/4 tsp) hot pepper sauce
250 g mozzarella cheese, cut in strips
60 ml (1/4 cup) grated Parmesan cheese
In large skillet, sauté sausage until cooked through; remove and reserve. In same skillet, combine eggplant, green pepper, onion, tomatoes, oregano and hot pepper sauce. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until vegetables are tender, about 7 minutes. Stir in reserved sausage.
Oil a 38 cm (15-inch) deep dish pizza pan and line with dough, pushing dough 5 cm (2 inches) up the sides. Spoon half the sausage mixture evenly into pan; cover with half the mozzarella and sprinkle with half the Parmesan. Layer remaining ingredients into pan. Bake on bottom rack of preheated 230 C (450 F) oven for about 25 minutes.
500g lean ground beef
35 g pkg taco seasoning
250 ml (1 cup) pizza sauce
250 ml (1 cup) grated sharp cheddar cheese
250 ml (1 cup) grated mozzarella cheese
60 ml (1/4 cup) grated Parmesan cheese
1 small head lettuce, shredded
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
Crushed tortilla chips
Brown ground beef and drain. Combine with taco seasoning and cook according to package directions.
Oil 33 cm (13-inch) deep dish pizza pan and line with dough, pushing dough 2.5 cm (1 inch) up sides of pan. Spoon pizza sauce over the dough. Top with seasoned ground beef. Sprinkle with cheeses. Bake in 205 C (400 F) oven 20 to 25 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Cut pizza into serving pieces. Top with shredded lettuce, tomatoes and crushed tortilla chips.
Taste Tester Notes: All of the fillings are very good and you can choose and customize according to your taste. The pizzas are substantial, and meant to be a fork-and-knife type meal. The regular pizza crust is quick and good, but the Chicago-style crust is truly outstanding and worth the extra waiting time. When the olive oil is being mixed into it, at first it may seem like there is too much oil, but it will eventually all work in. It can hold a lot of filling, and makes a billowy rim with a soft interior. (If you use the Piraeus or taco fillings with the larger Chicago-style crust, you can make up some extra filling to make it deeper, or if you don't mind a thinner filling and the extra dough it can still work out.) Deep dish pizza pans are usually sold at specialty store. If you need to improvise, try substituting round or rectangular cake pans, pie plates or cast iron frying pans and divide the dough and fillings accordingly.
If you would like a perfect setting to share your culinary interests with others and learn from the pros, Cruise Vacations has invited me to escort a group on a 10-day culinary cruise with Holland America. The ship sails March 31, 2010, from Ft. Lauderdale and visits Half Moon Cay, Aruba, Curacao, Panama Canal and Costa Rica. In addition to the many offerings of the cruise, the ship features a culinary arts centre program. The state-of-the-art demonstration kitchen includes cooking classes with the ship's master chefs and special guest chefs, preparing dishes representative of the ports we visit. Our group will also have our own private session with a chef and a private galley tour.
Cost is from $1,905, including overnight hotel in Ft. Lauderdale before the cruise, transfers and 10-day cruise. Airfare can also be arranged for you. Reduced third and fourth person rates available. For details and booking, contact Cruise Vacations, 105-3025 Portage Ave., 954 - 2095 or 1-800-530-0131.