Cast Iron Skillet Alfredo Pizza

We had been talking about homemade pizza and decided to make a skillet version of Michelle’s famous Chicken Alfredo pizza that she used make at her restaurant back in the day. We added a few leaves of basil from her garden to the top after about 15 minutes of cooking for an added layer of flavor.

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Pizza Dough

Pizza Dough Recipe:

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water
2 teaspoons dry active yeast
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons sugar
3 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon salt

Proof the yeast in the warm water. Combine all the ingredients in a stand mixer. Using the dough hook, knead the dough for around 10 minutes or until the dough comes together. Let stand in a lightly oiled bowl until doubled in size, about an hour. Punch down and divide in half. One half can be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and placed in freezer for later use.

Prepare the chicken and Alfredo sauce (recipe below)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Coat a cast iron skillet with extra virgin olive oil. Set it in the oven while the oven preheats. When the oven is at temperature, remove skillet and sprinkle a little corn meal in the bottom for an additional crunch.

Form the dough into a circle, slightly larger than the skillet. Carefully place the dough into the pan and push it up around the sides about an inch. Drizzle with a little olive oil and prebake for 5 minutes. Let rest for a moment before spooning on the sauce and adding your toppings.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the cheese and sauce are bubbly. Let rest for 5-10 minutes before cutting, then serve immediately.

 

Chicken Alfredo Sauce for pizza

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup whipping cream
¼ cup milk
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
salt and pepper to taste
1/8 cup of parmesan cheese, grated
¼ cup mozzarella cheese, grated
1 tablespoon white wine, optional
1 teaspoon flour

Roughly cut chicken and saute in skillet until lightly browned on all sides. Remove from skillet.

Cook whipping cream and milk on medium with the cheese and spices until it reaches a light simmer. Drop temperature to medium low and stir constantly until thickened, about 10 minutes. Add flour as necessary. The sauce should be a little thicker than you would use to put on pasta.

Return chicken to the pan, turning to coat. It is now ready to spoon onto the prepared pizza dough.

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Pizza Domenica

pizza domenica logoI was part of a panel discussion on Economics and Gender Bias that was put on the Women’s Resource Center at Loyola University. Moderated by New Orleans City Councilwoman Latoya Cantrell, I was joined on the panel by Deborah Freda from American Association of University Women, and Melanie Bronfin from the LA Policy Institute of Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health. It was a great discussion on the impact of gender bias from birth on and the need for pay equity.

Following the panel, I went out with the Interim Director of the Women’s Resource Center and another friend for carbs and gluten. We ended up on Magazine Street at Pizza Domenica. Domenica Restaurant is located in the Roosevelt Hotel but now you can get their delicious pizza Uptown.

We started with the whole cauliflower. I admit I was skeptical – $18 for a vegetable? And it isn’t even deep fried? However, it is roasted with almost an entire bottle of white wine and is tender and delicious and doesn’t taste a thing like the raw cauliflower one finds on a crudite platter. Bon Appetit recently posted the recipe and I may be tempted to someday try it myself.

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We also had the garlic knots. Light strips of bread well seasoned with garlic and butter. These were finger licking good.

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Our two pizza selections were the Margherita and Pepperoni. Oh, goodness these were good. The fresh mozzarella and basil on the margherita were divine and the thin slice of peppery pepperoni was nice and strong. The sauce was put on with a light touch but it was perfect on the thin crust which was chewy and not brittle. Either one was one of the best pizza’s in the city.

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You order first before taking a table and delivery of the food is very quick. We were pretty much left alone after that and tea never got refilled but we filled the time with great food and good conversation, so we left happy.

Giordano’s Central Loop, Chicago

Traveling to Chicago means the chance to eat deep dish pizza at the source. My mom and I are just passing through but there was enough time to walk from Union Station to Giordano’s Famous Stuffed Pizza.

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It was entirely worth waiting over thirty minutes for our pie – the tomatoes were very fresh, there was  so much lovely cheese and the toppings were very plentiful, too. It was one of the best pizza’s I’ve ever had.

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I can definitely recommend this place for those downtown Chicago or just passing through on a train.

 

Pizza Delicious

pizza deliciousIt was an evening to plot to take over the world and, honestly, what could possibly be a better place for that than at a pizza parlor?

We ended up at Pizza Delicious down on Piety. I had heard of this place when it was still a pop-up and had always wanted to go.

They serve a selection of New York style pizzas. You can get them by the slice, as a full pizza (with daily specials that include sun dried tomato and caramelized onions), as well as pasta dishes, cookies, etc. They also have a good selection of wines by the glass (I got a Chianti), beers and sodas.

The place is a little rustic with concrete floors and wood tables but the pizza comes out quick and hot and the folks are rushed but friendly.

I ordered a slice of the pepperoni. The pizza was pretty good – thin crust with a good chew, nice sauce and a generous helping of pepperoni on top. Next time I may order one of the entire pizzas so I can judge how good it is the next day.

I also got the garlic knots, which were more like balls. They were dense and chewy but could have used a bit more garlic butter!

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The pistachio chocolate cookie was very good as well – nutty and chocolatey and a good way to end the meal.

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I would definitely give them a second trip. Oh, and they have bicycle delivery in the Bywater area for the real locals.

 

Naked Pizza

I got a door hanger the other day for Naked Pizza. That naked in the title doesn’t mean no sauce or toppings but that it is an all natural whole food. The crust is supposed to full of prebiotics and probiotics.

It sells the rest of the pizza as follows:

Better taste, better for you. Our tomato sauce is all-natural—nicely spiced and herbed, with no added sugar or citric acid. Our cheese is 100% natural. Our vegetables are all-natural, no additives. Our meats are pork, chicken and beef—free of growth hormones and antibiotics. Full of love.

It arrived to my door about 20 minutes after I placed the order and was piping hot. I ordered the cheesy breadsticks and they were just a bit too cheesy.

The pizza itself was well covered in the toppings. The pepperoni was delicious and mushrooms looked fresh. The sauce was not overly sweet with a strong tomato taste and a peppery finish. The crust was dense and a bit chewy.

While I’m not sure I’m sold on the need for all this health stuff in my pizza, it wasn’t a bad pie.

Marco’s Pizzeria – Asheville

Driving around the city of Asheville, seeing where my Mom grew up, made us hungry. We stopped on Merrimon Avenue at Marco’s New York Style Pizzeria.

The garlic bread was good – on a pizza crust with lots of garlic. It went well with the glass of Peroni, an Italian beer.

The pizza was also good – nice peppery sauce that included fresh tomatoes, nice flavor and quantities to the pepperoni and a sprinkling of mushrooms.

marco pizzaWorth a visit for a quiet place to enjoy a pie.

Fellini’s Cafe

Before going to see the Running With Scissors production of Hell’s Belles at Mid City Theater, a group of us met up at Fellini’s Cafe in the Bayou St. John area. The place was nearly empty when we arrived at 6pm and it didn’t get too much busier before we left for the theater an hour later.

They have a pretty eclectic menu but I didn’t want anything heavy before the show so I ordered the small pizza. This crust but a nicely flavored tomato sauce with just a hint of peppery heat.

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The waiter was quick to offer cocktails and take our order, although, since the specials board couldn’t be seen from our seats, he should have covered those. My Bloody Mary was good and he kept my water glass full, too.

Overall, it was a decent outing, made more enjoyable by the convivial conversation of our group than the ambiance of the place.