Sunday, October 25, 2009

It's Sunday, Welcome Back To The Cocktail Party!

Welcome to Willoughby's Blog Style Cocktail Party. I hope you will find some new blogs to follow and expand your circle of blog friends. I know you're all anxious to mingle, so I'll get right to it.

I'd like to introduce Chicago Mom from What's For Dinner?. I know you'll enjoy her blog as much as I do.

Chicago Mom

I have been happily married for over 8 years. We have a 6 year old daughter who is the light of our lives. I am a stay-at-home mom who keeps busy by cooking, reading, and gardening. We live on the north side of Chicago.

I love the TV show Cook's Country which is part of America's Test Kitchen and can be found on the local PBS channels. Both shows are great because 1) you get to see the recipe made from start to finish, 2) because they try many, MANY versions of the recipe to bring it to perfection, and 3) then you can go to their website and get the recipes! Well, you can get the ATK recipes free, the CC ones will cost you.

Ever since the switch to digital (my tiny kitchen TV has rabbit ears) I cannot get the PBS channel anymore, which really makes me mad - that was my favorite channel! On Saturdays PBS would air a bunch of cooking shows and I would prep food for the week or clean the fridge or stove while learning more about ribs or pie crust or tilapia. >sigh<

Anyway, I caught an episode of CC last week (on the living room TV which has cable) and they made Pepperoni Pan Pizza. You know, the pan pizza with the delicious "fried" crust? So since I know the CC recipes are not free, I wrote down the ingredients and instructions and I will share them with you for free! Here ya go:


PEPPERONI PAN PIZZA (makes 2 - 9" pizzas in round cake pans)


2 1/3 cups all purpose flour

1 pkg. instant yeast

1/2 tsp. salt

3/4 cup skim milk, warmed to 100 degrees (about 1 minute in the microwave)

8 tbsp. olive oil, divided

2 tsp. sugar

1) Preheat oven to 200 degrees and turn it off as soon as it reaches that temp.

Put flour and salt in bowl of stand mixer, mix on low 20 seconds, then add yeast and mix on low again. Pour warm milk in measuring cup and add 2 tbsp. oil and the sugar. With mixer on low speed, pour in milk mixture. Mix on low until combined, then mix on medium for 5 minutes. You may need to scrape sides of bowl with a spatula during the 5 minutes.

2) Knead dough by hand on a floured surface a few times, then place in a lightly oiled glass bowl, turning to coat dough with oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in oven for 30 minutes. (While dough is rising make sauce and shred cheese.)

3) Remove dough from oven and preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a floured surface, cut dough in half. Roll out each half to 7 inch diameter. Place dough on knuckles, like a pizza maker, and gently rotate and pull dough out to 9 inches. Pour 3 tbsp. olive oil each in bottom of two 9 inch cake pans and swirl gently to coat bottom - do not get oil on sides. Then put in the dough, pressing if needed to make it touch the sides of the cake pans.

Sauce & Toppings: (make while dough is rising)

2 tbsp. olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

15 oz. can crushed tomatoes

salt & pepper (I used 1/2 tsp. pepper, 1 1/2 tsp. salt)

3oz. package pepperoni

1 - 16oz. part-skim mozzarella ball/block, shredded

1) In a medium pot over low heat, cook garlic in oil for 2 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes and cook for 15 minutes. Season with salt & pepper. (makes enough for 4 pizzas, so freeze the extra)

2) Line a plate with 2 paper towels, place pepperoni in a single layer on towels, cover with 2 more towels. Cook on high in microwave for 30 seconds.

3) Top each crust with 1/2 cup of the sauce, then 1/2 the pepperoni, then 1/2 the cheese. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Let cool 1 minute before removing pizza from pans.


Whew! Zapping the pepperoni in the microwave renders a lot of the grease so your pizza isn't as greasy. The 3 tbsp. of oil in the bottom of the cake pan actually fries the dough a little and gives it that wonderful crispiness. You can use pre-shredded cheese, but that cheese has a chemical on it to keep the cheese from clumping in the bag and it does not melt as well. If you use part-skim instead of whole milk your pizza will be less greasy, but still gooey.

Now I have to say this: THIS PIZZA WAS DELICIOUS!!! It was better than take-out! The crust was wonderful, the sauce was perfect, the cheese was gooey. I cannot believe I made something SO good! I am still amazed. I might have to get a subscription to Cook's Country now.

I love pan pizza almost as much as I love deep dish pizza. I was thrilled to hear I could make pan pizza in cake pans; I have never made deep dish pizza because I do not have the deep cast iron dish that the Chicago pizzerias use and I refuse to try without one. Do you know why deep dish pizza has the cheese on the bottom and the sauce on top? Because the long, high temps needed to cook it would burn the cheese if it were on top.

Now go make this pizza because you will LOVE it!

Happy eating!

Thank you Chicago Mom for being a guest on my blog.

The cocktail party will continue on Tuesday with a new guest blogger. It's not too late to RSVP if you haven't already. You can send your submission to me at (If you're not already a follower, you must become one to be a guest blogger at the cocktail party.)   I would appreciate it if you could send me your post in html format. If you are submitting a new post, create it on Blogger as you would any post. Save, but don't publish it. From there you can click "edit html" and copy and paste your blog into the body of an email. If you are submitting a previously published post, go into "edit" and follow the same instructions. This makes it much easier for me to display your blog post the way you have written it and saves me a lot of editing. If you have any questions, feel free to email me.



Lissaloo said...

It's 8 am in the morning and I want to go make Pizza right now! Is that bad?
Chicago Mom the day I discovered your blog was truly a great one, you always have such yummy recipes and menu plans, love it :)

Willoughby- great party, as always, you are such a Wonderful host :)

BashfulToast said...

I want pizza now too! I love cheesy pizza! Yummy! [Yes, I said that on purpose because I know how much you love that word!]

Raoulysgirl said...

I, too, now want pizza. This recipe sounds great! Thanks for sharing!!!

Purple Flowers said...

Great post - now where's the pizza?
Nice to meet you, and I will be stopping by your blog real soon!

kys said...

Nice to meet you! That sounds so good! I never heard the tip about zapping the pep. in the microwave before. Great idea!

Chicago Mom said...

Thank you all so much for the kind words, and a big thanks to Willoughby for being such a wonderful hostess! I wish I were getting a kick-back from all the pizzeria business I have apparently inspired here today. LOL :) But seriously, I hope you all make this pizza - it's REALLY good.

5thsister said...

I just finished a fried chicken dinner and am now wishing I had some pepperoni pizza! There goes the waist line!

seeking the truth said...

came over here from Chicago Mom's journal; I love her journal!! she always comes up with great ideas for dinner and shares fantastic recipes like this pan pizza one :)

cute idea with the guest blogger to get to know other blogs :)


Kimberly said...

Yum! Sounds very good!

5thsister said...

I have something special for you over at my blog, Su. Come on by.

L.B. said...

Hi Chicago Mom! This is LB from I'm going to check out your blog.

Gotta say that I love CC and ATK. They are awesome shows for the very reasons you give. At first, I was like "Okay, what's the deal with this bow-tie guy?" but he grew on me. I love how they test recipes and make them with different types of ingredients and methods to get the best recipe possible. They really do test their stuff out, instead of letting me be the guinea pig.

Great post too. I must say, you've inspired me to think about trying yeast! I'm deathly afraid of yeast...

Holly said...

You had me at pizza..the best food ever! Off to check out the blog.