Friday, February 9, 2018

Cast Iron Skillet Deep Dish Pizza

Yum
Cast Iron Skillet Deep Dish Pizza

I've been wanting to make my own cast iron deep dish pizza ever since I visited Chicago some years ago. If you're ever in Chicago don't miss trying the famous Chicago style deep dish pizza.

I enjoy cooking in my cast iron skillets so I thought the deep dish pizza was a perfect fit. Pizza is just one those dishes that is so versatile. Choose the toppings that you like meats, veggies, and even fruit.

I made this one with Italian sausage, pepperoni, fresh mushrooms, and mozzarella cheese. So, I'll call this one a deep dish meat lovers pizza.

This dough recipe is a little different than my Easy All Purpose Dough Recipe 

Cast Iron Skillet Deep Dish Pizza: Dough

4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons white sugar
1-1/4 cup warm water
1/4 cup light olive oil
1 package dry yeast

best deep dish pizza dough recipe


First, I dissolved the yeast by adding the warm water and dry yeast into my KitchenAid Stand Mixer bowl. While waiting for that to happen, in a separate bowl I mixed together the flour, cornmeal, basil, salt, and sugar.

Then, I added the olive oil to the water and yeast. I began adding one cup of the dry mixture at a time while mixing with the dough hook.

Homemade deep dish pizza dough recipe

When the ball of dough was formed I kneaded the dough by hand on a floured surface turning it over about five or six times. Lightly coat it with oil put it in a covered bowl in a warm place and let it rise for about one hour.

Cast Iron Skillet Deep Dish Pizza: Toppings

1/2 lb. Italian bulk sausage cooked and crumbled
10 slices of pepperoni
1-1/2 cups fresh mushrooms
2 cups mozzarella cheese
Parmesan Cheese (grated)
Romano Cheese (grated)

Cast Iron Skillet Deep Dish Pizza: Sauce

1- 28oz. can crushed tomatoes
1- 14.5oz. can diced tomatoes (drained)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 clove garlic minced
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

I mixed all of the sauce ingredients together in a medium bowl and set it aside while preparing the toppings.

Easy deep dish pizza dough


The dough recipe is enough to make two deep dish pizzas so I divided it in half. I used the other half to make a regular pizza.

I spread half of the dough into the bottom of my greased 10-inch cast iron skillet and worked it up the sides.

I layered the bottom with shredded mozzarella, added some sauce and then the sausage and pepperoni.

Next, I added a little more sauce and the mushrooms then a little more sauce over the mushrooms and more shredded mozzarella. Then sprinkled the Parmesan and Romano cheese over the top.

I didn't fill it all the way to the top as it will rise while it's cooking. It's a good idea to place a cookie sheet under the skillet while cooking just in case it spills over.

Homemade pizza cast iron skillet


I covered the pan with tinfoil and baked it on the center rack at 450 degrees for 20 minutes. Then Baked for 12 more minutes uncovered until the edges were golden brown.

My first cast iron skillet deep dish pizza was a huge success. One nice slice of this about makes a complete meal.

As always thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy.


Friday, January 26, 2018

Making Homemade Italian Sausage

Yum
Making Homemade Italian Sausage

Making homemade Italian Sausage is really not that difficult. We haven't made our own homemade sausage for a long time. Sammy thought it was time to make some of our own again.

So, we set a weekend date and got to work. The best part of making your own Italian sausage is that you'll be able to season it to your personal taste.

The first thing that I did was check our local grocery stores for the best prices of pork butt. Luckily one of our local stores had it on sale for $.99 a pound.

Coarse ground pork


I ordered 20 pounds of pork butt coarse ground and asked the butcher for enough casings to stuff the sausage. If you grind the meat yourself cut it into about 1 or 2-inch pieces and coarse grind it. It is very important to keep the meat cold so work with small portions.

Making Homemade Italian Sausage: Our Spices


Italian sausage spices

We use some very simple spices for our homemade sausage. Garlic powder, coarse ground black pepper, fennel seed, crushed red pepper, Paprika, and missing for the picture salt. The amounts we use for 20 pounds will be below.

Mix Italian sausage

Next, we added our spices and mixed the pork. After thoroughly mixing we set it in the refrigerator to keep the meat cold. I recommend mixing the pork in smaller batches, maybe 5 pounds at a time. Mixing 20 pounds at a time is just the way we've always made it.

sausage taste test


After about an hour in the refrigerator and before we started stuffing our links. We fried some so we could taste test our mixture. This is a great idea because you may want to add more spices. We found ours to be just the way we like it.

Making Homemade Italian Sausage: Stuffing the Links


making sausage links

We soaked our casings in warm water for about 30 minutes. Then we rinsed them with cold water before we used them.

We rubbed a little olive oil onto the stuffer and threaded one casing over it and then tied off the end. We used our KitchenAid Stand Mixer with the grinder and stuffer attachment to stuff our casings.

We worked with 5 pounds of meat at a time and kept the rest in the refrigerator. Again it is very important to keep the meat cold while working. 

As Sammy loaded the hopper I made the links giving them a twist about every 6 or 7 inches. We find at this size four links equals one pound.

The first casing yielded us 5.5 pounds. Some people like to cut the casings into a shorter length. It's up to you and is a personal preference.

Bobby making sausage

Bobby stopped over and gave me a little break. This is his first time making sausage and I have to say he is a natural. he took right over and didn't skip a beat.

  If you get any air bubbles while stuffing just prick them with a needle to let the air out.

Making Homemade Italian Sausage: The Recipe

Spices for 20 pounds of Sausage:

1/3 cup salt
1/4 cup coarse black pepper
1/4 cup Fennel Seed
1/4 cup paprika
1/2 cup crushed red pepper (optional)
1/3 cup garlic powder

Breaking this down to 5 pounds:

4 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoons black pepper
1 tablespoon fennel seed
1 tablespoon paprika
2 tablespoons crushed red pepper (optional)
1 tablespoon garlic powder

I marked the red pepper as optional if you don't like hot sausage. We also made some sausage patties they're perfect for breakfast or a quick sandwich. It turned out to be a fun day making homemade sausage with my son and grandson.

As always thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy.

My KitchenAid is without a dought my best kitchen tool. For making more than 5 pounds of sausage I thought the KitchenAid was a bit slow. I'm going to invest in one of these for making the next 20 pounds.


Monday, January 22, 2018

Baked Butter Garlic Chicken Wings

Yum
Baked Garlic Butter Chicken Wings

These baked butter garlic chicken wings made the perfect game day treat last week. You don't have to wait for a game day to enjoy these. Serve these for a nice appetizer or snack at your next party or just a snack for the family.

It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of garlic. Butter and garlic are a perfect match for wings. I added some additional spices to these nice and crispy baked wings.

Baked Butter Garlic Chicken Wings:

butter garlic chicken wings recipe

I started off by placing the frozen wings onto a large cookie sheet. Then I baked these at 375 degrees for 15 minutes.

While I waited I prepared the garlic butter by melting 2 sticks of butter with 6 cloves of fresh minced garlic. I added a tablespoon of McCormick Lemon Pepper Seasoning.

After 15 minutes I took the wings out of the oven and drained the excess water from the cookie sheet. Then I separated the butter sauce and brushed both sides of each chicken wing with a healthy dose of butter garlic sauce.

I baked the wings for 60 more minutes turning them every 20 minutes. When they turned a nice golden brown and the internal temperature was 180 degrees I knew they were ready.

I placed the wings into a plastic container and poured the remaining garlic butter sauce over them. Then I added some Parmesan cheese and gave them a good shake.

I like my wings crispy and these turned out perfect. Nice and crispy with a buttery garlic flavor and a hint of lemon pepper.

Baked hot wings


There was no way that I was getting away with just the baked garlic butter chicken wings. So, I made some tangy hot wings for the hot wing fans in the house.

I used 1/2 cup of Frank's Red Hot Wing Sauce and added 2 tablespoons of melted butter. Using the same process in a plastic container giving them a good shake and they were ready to serve.

If your wings are fresh and not frozen. Skip the first 15 minutes in the oven and start by brushing on the garlic butter sauce.

As always thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy.


Monday, January 15, 2018

County Fair Fried Dough

Yum
County Fair Fried Dough

Last week as a Birthday gift for Fran and an early Birthday gift to me Sammy and Tricia got us a new 6 Quart Professional KitchenAid Stand Mixer.

Needless to say that I was delighted. We use our current 4.5 Quart KitchenAid constantly. For the longest time, I've wanted to upgrade to the larger machine and now I have it.

I just couldn't wait to mix up some of my Easy all-purpose dough in my new KitchenAid. So, I mixed up a batch and made some pizza.

I only made a couple of small pizzas so I would have some dough left over to make some fried dough.

County Fair Fried Dough:  

You don't have to wait for that annual county fair to have this sweet little treat. These are so easy to make and the perfect little snack. You can make your own dough or just pick up some fresh dough at your local grocery store.

making fried dough

I pulled off a handful of dough and then shaped it into as close to a circle as I could get. These are about 4 to 5 inches across.

Fried Dough

Using my 8-inch cast iron skillet I poured about 1/2-inch of vegetable oil into the bottom. I set the heat to medium and heated the oil to about 350 degrees.

Once the oil is hot they only take about 20 seconds per side to cook. If the oil is too hot they'll brown too fast and not cook on the inside.

Sugar Cinnamon Fried Dough

In a separate dish, I mixed 1/2 cup of white sugar and 1 tablespoon of cinnamon. I used Penzeys Vietnamese Cinnamon it's a favorite of ours.

Out of the skillet and into the sugar and cinnamon coating both sides. Then place them on another dish lined with paper towels.

Let them cool for about 10 minutes before eating. Now you can enjoy county fair fried dough anytime of the year.


As always thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy.

Make your own: County Fair Fried Dough

Monday, January 8, 2018

Easy Homemade Ravioli Recipe

Yum
Easy Homemade Ravioli Recipe

When it comes to Italian food there is nothing like this easy homemade ravioli recipe. Ravioli are so versatile because there are so many options for the filling.

We happened to be visiting Sammy and as luck would have it he was in the process of making ravioli. This was a great opportunity to capture the process and post it.

The filling that Sammy had ready was ricotta cheese, sausage, and spinach. This is one of the many fillings you can use for ravioli.

Filling with ricotta cheese, sausage, and spinach:

1 lb. (16 oz.) ricotta cheese
1/2 lb. Italian bulk sausage (cooked, crumbled and cooled)
1 egg
2 cups chopped spinach (fresh or frozen)
1 clove minced garlic (Optional)
salt and pepper to taste

In a small frying pan cook the sausage. Break it up as fine as possible while cooking. Let the sausage cool before mixing with the ricotta cheese.

In a mixing bowl mix the ricotta cheese, spinach, garlic, egg, and salt and pepper. Now add the cooled sausage and mix well. Cover and refrigerate while you make the dough.

The Dough:

4 cups all-purpose flour (more if needed)
4 eggs
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt

We use our KitchenAid Stand Mixer for this. Add the flour, olive oil, and salt into the mixing bowl. Add one egg at a time mixing on low speed. Do this until a ball of dough forms, then knead it by hand on a floured surface. Let the dough rest for 30 minutes.

If you don't have a stand mixer you can mix the dough by hand. Mound the flour onto a clean surface. Use your fingers starting in the middle of the mound create a well. Add your eggs, oil, and salt in the middle and begin working in the flour. Knead by hand until the dough is formed.

Tip: If the dough is too dry add a teaspoon of water or more as needed. Or, if the dough is too wet add a little more flour.

Ravioli Dough

Getting ready to roll the dough. Cut the dough into four equal sections. I know, here you only see three that's because Sammy has one in the roller.

Easy Homemade Ravioli Recipe: Rolling the Dough

Rolling ravioli dough


Using the pasta attachment for the KitchenAid. Take one section and begin on a wider setting running the dough through. The move the dial to thinner settings and then to the thinnest setting. Make sure you don't have any tears or holes in the dough.

Again if you don't have a KitchenAid or a pasta machine get out the rolling pin. Take one section of dough and on a floured surface roll into a circle as thin as you can without holes or tears in the dough. Cut about 4-inch strips.

Filling Ravioli

Lay the strip of dough on a floured surface and cut in half. Sammy used a 1-1/2 tablespoon scooper to the place the filling onto the dough. Now with two fingers, Sammy spreads a little water on both halves of the dough.  The water helps stick the dough together.

Form the ravioli

Place the second half of the dough over the filling. Lightly press around the filling to form the ravioli.

Cutting the ravioli

Now Sammy centers this handy ravioli cutter over the filling and firmly presses to cut out the ravioli.  Tip: If you don't have one of these handy cutters just use a mason jar you'll have the same tasty ravioli only it will be round.

Finished Ravioli

After cutting the ravioli carefully pull the extra dough away. Roll out the extra dough into another strip and make more.

Sammy yielded about 30 delicious ravioli from this recipe.

As I said, in the beginning, there are so many options for ravioli fillings here is our typical ricotta cheese filling recipe.

Ricotta Cheese Filling:

1 lb. ricotta cheese
1 egg
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons parsley
1 clove garlic minced (optional)
salt and pepper to taste


As always thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy

Some Handy tools for making Easy Homemade Ravioli


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...