Sunday, December 6, 2009

Chicago Deep-Dish Pizza

Yum. That's pretty much all I have to say.

Chicago Deep-Dish Pizza
Courtesy of Cooking Light


2 teaspoons sugar
1 package dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
1 cup warm water (100° to 110°)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
12.38 ounces all-purpose flour (about 2 3/4 cups), divided
1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon salt
Cooking spray
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
2 precooked mild Italian chicken sausages (about 6 ounces), casings removed, chopped
1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes, drained
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh basil
2 cups thinly sliced mushrooms (about 6 ounces)
3/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
3/4 cup chopped red bell pepper

Dissolve sugar and yeast in warm water in a large bowl; let stand for 5 minutes. Stir in olive oil.

Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine 11.25 ounces (about 2 1/2 cups) flour, cornmeal, and salt in a bowl. Stir flour mixture into yeast mixture until dough forms a ball. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 5 minutes); add enough of remaining flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel sticky).

Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 45 minutes or until doubled in size. (Gently press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, dough has risen enough.) Punch dough down; cover and let rest 5 minutes. Roll dough into an 11 x 15–inch rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Place dough in a 13 x 9–inch baking dish coated with cooking spray; press dough up sides of dish. Spread 1 1/2 cups cheese evenly over dough. Arrange chopped sausage evenly over cheese.

Preheat oven to 400ºF.

Chop tomatoes; place in a sieve. Stir in oregano and basil; drain tomato mixture 10 minutes.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add mushrooms to pan; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in bell peppers; cook for 8 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Arrange vegetables over sausage; spoon tomato mixture evenly over vegetables and sausage. Sprinkle evenly with remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Bake at 400° for 25 minutes or until crust browns and cheese bubbles. Cool 5 minutes before cutting.

Salted Caramels

That's it. I've done it. I've made it so that Jonathan will never buy me candy again. These are awesome. And ridiculously easy. A candy thermometer is essential, but honestly, it was easier than I ever thought it could be.

I didn't use fleur de sel because I didn't feel like spending a whole ton of money on salt. But kosher salt worked fabulously.

Also, the original recipe on is incorrect, as many of the reviewers note. I used the revised version that's used on the episode that has Ina making the caramels, and it worked. Enjoy these!!

Salted Caramels
A variation on this recipe by Ina Garten


1 1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 cup heavy cream
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon fleur de sel (or kosher salt), plus extra for sprinkling
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Line the bottom of an 8-inch square baking pan (or loaf pan) with parchment paper, then brush the paper lightly with oil, allowing the paper to drape over 2 sides.

In a deep saucepan (6 inches diameter by 4 1/2 inches deep) combine the sugar, corn syrup, and 1/2 cup water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Continue to boil until the caramel is a warm golden brown color. Don't stir - just swirl the pan to mix. Watch carefully, as it will burn quickly at the end!

In the meantime, bring the cream, butter, and 1 teaspoon salt to a simmer in a small pan over medium heat. Remove from the heat, set aside and keep warm.

When the caramelized sugar is the right color, slowly add the cream mixture to the caramel - it will boil up violently. Stir in the vanilla with a wooden spoon and cook over medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes, until the mixture reaches 248 degrees F (firm ball) on a candy thermometer. Very carefully (it's hot!) pour the caramel into the prepared pan and refrigerate until firm.

When the caramels are cool, use the parchment paper to pry the sheet from the pan onto a cutting board. Starting at 1 end, roll the caramel up tightly until you've rolled up half of the sheet. Cut the sheet across and then roll the second half tightly. You will have 2 (1 by 8-inch) logs. Sprinkle both logs lightly with salt, cut each log in 8 pieces. Cut parchment papers in 6 by 4 1/2-inch squares and wrap each caramel in a paper, twisting the ends. Store in the refrigerator or at room temperature.