Sweet mother of god, I have reached a new pizza utopia and its name is Skillet Pizza. (Infomercial voice now) What if I were to tell you in less than five minutes you would have a hot piping, cheesy slice of heaven in your hand without ever dialing the phone or having to tip a delivery man? What if I were to tell you that you would need only ONE PAN for the job. Ladies and gentlemen, Skillet Pizza has arrived.
Last Saturday night I was in charge of getting one of my main homies to her surprise 30th birthday party. As part of the web of lies that I spun trying to make this Saturday night out seem as natural as possible, I used this here blog as an excuse. “Say, I have to make something to post on Porky Dickens. Maybe instead of going out for a full dinner we could just eat some snacks at my house and then go out for dessert drinks and cocktails?” See, I had to occupy my friend’s time from 5:30 until 9: when we were scheduled to arrive at the party. BUT, in the interest of getting the surprise to go forward on time, we couldn’t take the risk of going out to dinner. And I dunno about your friends, but with my friends if we are hanging out together for a three hour stretch and one of the three major meals is not involved, it’s seriously suspect. So cheese, crackers and skillet pizzas to the rescue because if I’m lying to a dear friend, I’d at least like to be eating pizza while I’m doing it.
Only in recent years have I gotten into making pizza at home. It was always one of those dishes that I sort of felt like “why would I do this when [insert pizza place nearest my house] can do it so much better? And I don’t have to do dishes.” And I haaaaaaaate doing dishes because I’m allllwwaaays doing dishes. Enter THIS homemade pizza can be made in FIVE minutes, which means that you don’t have to sit in the pizza place waiting for it AND it means that you can drink wine while making it, which is something that most pizza places might frown upon/judge you for doing. Oh AND it’s ONE pan. Which is CAST IRON, which you don’t technically WASH! Dishes problem solved! Huzzah! (SO MANY CAPITALS! I FEEL STRONGLY ABOUT THIS PIZZA!)
Enough of the Caps Lock key, to the process:
(originally found on www.thekitchn.com)
Preheat broiler. Pour a tiny bit of olive oil into your skillet, spread evenly over the entire bottom of the pan in a thin coating. Heat skillet over medium-high heat. Have all of your toppings ready to go. Once these things get sizzling you won’t have much time. I used store bought pizza dough (for shame) and I split the package in two in order to make two, thin-ish, round-ish pizza shapes. On a floured surface, roll out your dough to ½ or ¼ inch thickness and to a shape that resembles or at least fits in the confines of the pan you are using. Mine pizza was a bit on the thicker side despite the fact I had let my dough sit at room temperature for like, ever (which FYI makes it so much easy to roll out and handle). BUT, our apartment was without heat last week despite the temperature plummeting to 30 degrees in Massachusetts. So I prepared dinner in a coat and scarf and the preparation was peppered with awkward conversations with our landlord. Later in the evening, we offered our guests complimentary scarves and socks upon entry to our freeze box. Being a renter is so glam.
Place dough in hot skillet and let cook for a few minutes (about two). Lift corner of the dough and check for crispiness, it should be good and brown, maybe with some nice char in spots. If it’s ready, flip the dough over and add your toppings. Now, to cook the toppings and melt the cheese, you can do one of two things: you can place a lid on your pan to melt them (which I did not do because I don’t have a lid that fits on my awesomely ginormous skillet); or, alternately, you can place your skillet under the broiler and keep a close eye on it. Watch for your toppings to brown and your cheese to bubble. Take her out and slice her up.
Top your skillet pizzas with anything your little heart desires. I wanted to do a traditional pizza and a funky one. My first, I topped with pesto, roasted tomatoes and mozzarella and the second I topped with matchstick apples, bacon crumbles, caramelized onions and cheddar cheese. The apple bacon was ah-mazing. Be creative, be traditional, maybe just smear it with some butter and cinnamon and sugar and call it Poor Man's Fried Dough. Do whatever you want, just make sure to invite me over.