My english teacher in high school asked the class to write an essay describing what type of animal best describes each of our own personalities. Based on the mere fact that I love cheese, I quickly knew I would be a mouse and could have written an encyclopedia on it.
Since then nothing has changed in the love for cheese department, except now I am familiar with many varieties and at that time I was limited to a few. I bring my cheese love forward when it comes to pizza-making….. and let me tell you, I’ve been to many of the pizza capitals of the world, Chicago, New York, and all over Europe to name a few, and mine (imagine me honking my own BIG OBNOXIOUS HORN here) is SUPER FRICKEN DELICIOUS! I enjoy mixing different types of cheese together and usually the results are FAB-TACULAR!
Ingredients for pizza:
1 – batch of dough, click here for recipe.
8 – tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 – cups pizza sauce (recipe below)
1 1/2 – cups grated mozzarella cheese
1 – cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 – cup grated cotija cheese
sliced black olives
An hour and a half prior to making your pizza, rub a baking sheet lightly with olive oil. Then pull dough out of the refrigerator to come to room temperature. You will need to punch down dough and smooth into balls. Then cover with plastic wrap while you wait for dough to come to room temp.
About 45 minutes before ready to bake, place a pizza stone on rack 3/4 of the way down from top of oven. Preheat oven to 500 degrees fahrenheit.
Time to work the dough… Take one of your dough balls and place on a lightly floured surfaced and shape into a disk. Then continue to pull out into the desired size of your pie by draping it over the back of your hands, and continue to rotate dough with the back of your hands in a clockwise motion with the aid of your thumbs.
Then take your lightly olive oiled baking sheet and sprinkle it with cornmeal then place pizza dough directly on top. Continue to go around the edges forming a slightly raised rim with the tips of your fingers by pinching and gathering the dough.
Once the dough is ready. Place a tablespoon of olive oil on the inside of the dough and then spread it around the inside circle avoiding the rim.
Then take 1/3 cup of pizza sauce and spread on inside of dough.
Then top with 1/3 cup mozzarella cheese, 1/4 cup cheddar cheese, and 1 tablespoon of cotija cheese.
Then top with salami, onion, basil and olives.
Then sprinkle a pinch of cheese over the top salami and veggies.
Place in oven for 9 to 11 minutes or until crust is golden! Cook each pizza one at a time.
You could always make a vegetarian option and swap out the salami for fresh sliced tomatoes instead. Its just as delizioso!
Ingredients for pizza sauce:
1 – 8 ounce can tomato sauce
1 – 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
2 – teaspoons red wine vinegar
1/2 – teaspoon garlic powder
1 – teaspoon dried basil
1/2 – teaspoon oregano
1/4 – teaspoon black pepper
1/2 – teaspoon salt
1/3 – cup water
How to make the pizza sauce: Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. There will be a little left over for those who love extra sauce or for future pizzas.
PIZZA PIE! PIZZA PIE!
All photos taken by: Mando Lopez and Nicole Presley