What a wonderful season…
Over the last few weekends I have been experimenting with cooking deep dish pizza in my handy-dandy Iron Skillet. After seeing something my son had posted online about a deep-fried slice of pizza with macaroni, I decided I would try to include Mac & Cheese in my Iron Skillet experimentation. If you do this right, you are going to have a non vegan, non gluten-free tasty comfort food that will make you cry for more. Let’s get started…
What you need:
A well seasoned Iron Skillet. If you don’t have this, I suppose you could make it in a baking pan or glass baking dish as well… but don’t. Go out and get a f-ing iron skillet and then look up how to deal with it online. Once you season your skillet correctly, that thing will be your favorite pan.
1 box Mac & cheese mix
Pre-made pizza dough
1 jar Pizza Sauce 10-12 oz
2 peppers, green, yellow or red… or mix them up.
1/2 LB. Italian Sausage
Parmesan Cheese, grated… not the fine stuff.
2 cups finely grated Mozzarella
1 tsp Oregano
1 tsp Basil
1 clove Garlic finely chopped, grated or pressed
Salt & pepper to taste (Don’t overdo the salt, you can add later)
Make the mac and cheese according to directions and set aside.
Slice your onion and peppers into thin long strips, then saute in a little oil in a separate NON-STICK pan. You want these to soften up. give it about 5 – 6 minutes over medium heat. If they don’t appear to be softening, add a couple of tablespoons of water to help steam and soften. Do this uncovered. Also slice pepperoni into thin strips. Use about a 1.5 – 2″ stack more or less. Set aside for now.
While you are doing that, brown up and crumble your Italian Sausage, set aside on paper towels or in a mesh strainer to drain/absorb excess grease.
Go back to your veg mix and add the pepperoni, oregano, basil and garlic. Mix well and continue cooking for a couple of minutes.
Butter the shit (with actual butter) out of your iron skillet. Set your oven at 425 degrees.
Unpack your pizza dough and roll it out on a lightly floured surface. Begin to massage this square shape into more of a round shape. You may need to pick up by the edge and allow to stretch. Carefully place in bottom of iron skillet bringing the edges up about 1 inch or so. You can use scissors to cut of the overlapping corners and replace into any void areas around the pan. Brush the dough with a little olive oil.
Now, apply ingredients (sauce, veg, sausage, cheeses) as follows:
Drizzle a little oil on top of everything and place on the low rack in the oven for about 18 minutes. Since everything else is actually cooked, you are just baking the dough and melting the cheese. 18 minutes seems to work well, just keep an eye on your crust so you don’t over do it.
When done, allow to rest for about 5 minutes. I also added olives to one-half because someone “does not care for olives.” I always try to accommodate. Well, most of the time.
Enjoy. Now that I ended an entire blog post with “enjoy”, you must do that.
Wednesday Waltz Bonus Edition: A redo plus a recipe.
Yesterday was kind of a tough day. We had to put our cat down. She had been suffering from a thyroid condition for a couple of years which meant a special diet… but other than that she was doing fairly well. The thyroid thing plus her age (15) all caught up with her last week. The vet prescribed a couple of meds but she decided enough was enough and stopped eating. The last week found her mostly looking into her water dish. There were a few attempts at doing regular things like batting things around in the bathroom, watching the news with me on the couch or checking out what was in the fridge for one last time. Losing a pet is hard. You always know this is the way it ends but this time it felt a little different knowing that the cat had been part of everything we’ve done in the last 15 years. At that time we still had kids in the house. Over the years they have all moved on and the cat seemed to be a tie to our past when everyone was still here. Ordinarily, I was never a cat person but this cat decided I was ok for a human.
RIP Tad Cooper (aka Venus)
Adventures in Mowing:
While Hurricane Irma pounds Florida… we deal with another situation: