EATIN' WITH IAN - Cast Iron Skillet Pan Pizza

Whenever I have a craving for pizza, the question arises... Am I OK paying a premium for some good ‘za or should I have a pizza party in my own home? I usually go for the make my own option and pile on the toppings without doling out the dough ($$$).

When grocery shopping I tend to buy versatile ingredients that can be used in almost any dish. Bell peppers, onions, garlic, mushrooms and tomatoes can be used in dishes like pastas, pizzas and omelettes (my daily go-to’s on a budget). With this approach you can create beautiful “garbage” dishes with everything but the kitchen sink. This way each dish has a variety of great flavors and textures.

I have tried quite a few recipes over the years but currently my favorite way to cook pizza is in a cast iron skillet in the oven. For this pizza, I used a slow cooked pork (recipe coming soon), green bell pepper, mushrooms, purple onion, garlic, red sauce and mozzarella cheese.

Ingredients:

    3 Cups All-Purpose Flour
    1 Packet of Instant Dry Yeast
    1 Teaspoon Sugar
    1.5 Teaspoons Salt
    2 Tablespoons Olive Oil, plus a small side bowl of oil for coating skillet
    1 Cup Slightly Warm Water
    1/4 Cup Corn Meal (set aside)
    1/4 Cup Traditional Ragu Red Sauce
    1/2 Cup Pulled Pork
    1/4 Cup Bell Peppers (Diced)
    1/4 Cup Mushrooms (Diced)
    1/4 Purple Onions (Diced)
    2 Cloves Garlic (Chopped)
    One Handful of Mozzarella

Instructions:

  • Mix first four ingredients in a large bowl
  • Hollow out a hole in the center of the dry mix and add warm water in small increments while mixing
  • Mix until dough ball forms, brush on olive oil
  • Knead the dough for about 5-10 minutes and set aside for about an hour for dough to rise
  • Pre-Heat Oven to 450 degrees 
  • Pour a little Olive Oil into the cast iron skillet (I have found that using a paper towel to spread the oil is the best way to get full coverage and not-too-greasy pizza)
  • Place dough onto skillet, press into place
  • Sprinkle corn meal onto the crust and then flip dough so that the corn meal crust is on the bottom
  • Ladle the red sauce onto the crust until the entirety of the top is sauced in one even layer. Get the sauce all the way to the edges of the skillet.
  • I usually chop all the ingredients together and evenly spread the diced veggies onto the dough. Layer with a generous handful of mozzarella.
  • Place in the 450 degree oven for about 15-20 minutes or until the cheese and sauce are bubbly and the bottom is crisp
  • The result should be a delicious thick, rich slice of pan pizza!

Symmetry and balance are important to both quantity of ingredients and variety of flavors and textures. If you prefer something in your recipe to be different, GO FOR IT! There are always subtle nuances that can change the recipes to make it solely yours. Do your homework (eat lots of different pizza) and decide what you want. The world is your oyster...or your pizza or whatever.

Happy Eating,
Ian