*Disclaimer: this is not “chicago-style” pizza, it is just pizza I made while in Chicago 🙂 *
One of my “dreams” for a long time now has been to make homemade pizza. Luckily for me, I have some great pals who pitched in and helped me fulfill this lofty dream of mine this past weekend.
Homemade pizza felt intimidating at first. What do you need? A rolling pin? Pre-bought dough? What toppings go well together? What do I cook separately and what do I just throw on the pizza? So many questions!
(pictured directly above, Udi’s Gluten Free crust for our Gluten Free friend!)
In the end, I found that the beauty of homemade pizza is that it is really hard to mess up and there is no black or white, no right or wrong. You buy some crust (or you could make it if you have some time and some patience… neither of which I typically have), some cheese, some veggies and maybe some meat. Cook the “longer to cook” veggies beforehand, as well as the meat. Otherwise, throw it all on there to your heart’s desire, wait 10 minutes, and then enjoy with at least a few glasses of wine, some friends, and in our case a roaring fire to warm us from the frigid Chicago night.
BBQ Chicken Pizza with Caramelized Onions
- 1 bag of refrigerated pizza dough (we bought ours from Whole Foods- we asked the people who work at the pizza station and they brought it out)
- 1 chicken breast, cooked (at 375, 10-15 minutes)
- monterey jack cheese
- your favorite barbecue sauce
- 1 large sweet onion
- Bell peppers (optional)
- Salt, Pepper
1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Once heated, place chopped onions in and add a little bit of S&P. Cook onions over low heat for about 15 minutes, until soft and caramelized. Be careful to keep the heat low so that the onions do not burn!
2. Meanwhile, spray a baking pan with cooking spray or lay down a couple of tablespoons of flour or cornmeal if you have it. This is so the dough doesn’t stick to the pan.
3. Now it’s time to shape your dough! Do whatever you’d like- if you like thinner crust, just spread it really thin in the middle and keep the edges thicker.
4. Pull apart the cooked chicken breast with your hands into shredded pieces. Gently toss the chicken in more barbecue sauce.
5. Now it is assembly time. Lay down about 1/2 cup barbecue sauce on top of the crust. Add caramelized onions, chicken, peppers (we added them to half), and top with a lot of cheese.
6. Bake at 475 for 10-15 minutes. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes before slicing.
Margarita Pizza with Mushrooms and Spinach
- 1 bag of refrigerated pizza dough
- 1 large ball of fresh mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup pasta/pizza sauce
- 1 carton mushrooms, sliced
- 2 cups of fresh spinach
- 2 tomatoes
- 1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1. Start by cooking the mushrooms, as they will take the longest. Place them in a large skillet with some olive oil, balsamic vinegar, S&P. Cook for about 15 minutes until the vinegar has been absorbed and the mushrooms are cooked through.
2. To cook the spinach, just sauté in little bit of olive oil for a few minutes.
3. Like mentioned above, shape the pizza dough into whatever shape you like. Add about a cup of the pasta/pizza sauce. Once the spinach and mushrooms are cooked, layer them on, and add slices of tomato and slices of the fresh mozzarella.
4. Bake at 475 for 10-15 minutes. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes before slicing.
For your viewing pleasure… my friend Pat trying to shape the pizza dough like a true Italian. Sadly, we did not have any flour so this didn’t exactly work: