Cook's Corner: Tailgating changes required

Published 4:05 am Wednesday, January 24, 2007

By Staff
Well the play-offs are over and you can probably trash all those Cajun-flavored recipes I gave you last week. Since the Saints didn't make it to the Super Bowl, you'll probably be looking for other recipe ideas for your tailgate party.
I certainly hate the Saints didn't make it to the final show down. You don't have any idea how hard it was to come up with recipes that feature the flavors of Chicago and Indianapolis. I found out that Chicago is famous for deep-dish pizza and not much else. And, as a matter of fact, I'm still looking for some type of food that Indianapolis could be considered famous for, and I'm not having any luck.
At any rate, if you are planning a tailgate party, pizza is always a hit. It is a food that doesn't require a lot of serving attention. Just pick up a piece and chomp away. I did find a recipe for a stuffed Chicago-style pizza and it sounded pretty good.
Those of you who read this column regularly will remember that I have an aversion to yeast recipes. I simply have never been able to pull off a dish that uses yeast in any form with a big degree of success.
If you fall into the same category that I do where yeast is concerned, you can always buy the little packages of pizza crust mix. It may not be the best in the world, but it will certainly save you lots of time and wasted flour.
When you look at the directions on how to make the dough, you'll see why I use the packaged kind.
Stuffed Chicago Pizza
2 teaspoons white sugar
1 cup warm water (110 degrees)
1 tsp. active dry yeast
3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
One-half cup warm water (110 degrees)
One-half cup yellow cornmeal
1 and one-half tsp. salt
2 tbsp. olive oil
One-fourth pound spicy sausage – browned, drained and crumbled
9 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
One-fourth cup grated Parmesan cheese
One-third cup diced pepperoni
One-fourth cup chopped onion
One-eighth cup chopped green bell pepper
1 tsp. dried oregano
3 cloves garlic, sliced
One-half cup tomato sauce
To Make Dough: In a small bowl, dissolve sugar in 1 cup warm water; in a separate small bowl combine the yeast, 1/2 cup flour, and 1/2 cup warm water. Mix together and let rest in bowl for about 20 minutes, until foamy. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl mix together
remaining 2 1/2 cups flour with cornmeal and salt; remove half of this mixture from bowl and stir 1 cup sugar water into bowl. When well mixed, return second half of flour/cornmeal mixture to bowl and mix all together; then stir in yeast mixture. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 12 minutes. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled in volume. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
To Make Stuffing: In a large bowl combine the sausage, mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, pepperoni, onion, bell pepper, oregano and garlic. Mix well. Press half of the dough in the bottom and up the sides of a lightly greased deep-dish pan. Bake crust in preheated oven for 4 minutes, then add the stuffing mixture to the bottom crust and cover with top crust; seal edges together with fingers, and trim excess. Slit top crust to allow steam to vent during baking; top with tomato sauce. Bake on lower rack at 450 degrees for 45 minutes, or until crust is golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes, then cut and serve.

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