I was affectionately thinking of my old roommate from my first year in Spain several weeks ago. Mostly because I miss her like crazy, but also because she recently married her Spanish sweetheart in Chicago.
Jen and I shared priceless memories during our first year of Spanish life. Painting the town red, trying new foods that still looked like the actual animal/s we were eating (i.e. snails, shark, jumbo unpeeled prawns with antennae still attached), couchsurfing in Madrid, learning our worth in camels in Morocco, somehow ending up in Bulgaria for a week, then impulsively hopping on a bus to Greece, laughing hysterically til the wee hours of morning, meeting our future Spanish husbands, and so much more.
When my teaching contract in Spain expired after two years and I returned home, leaving D-Man behind, I made a tearful stop in Chicago where Jen, who was in a similar heartbreaking situation, was waiting for me with wide open arms.
While in Chicago, we did as the Chicagoans do and I had my first Chicago-style deep dish pizza at one of Jen’s favorite restaurants in the city. Years later I’m inspired to bake one of my own deep dish pizzas.
The following (45-minute, easy-peasy) recipe is dedicated to one of the most noble, sincere, and warmhearted people I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing…here’s to you, Jen.
For this recipe, you will need:
3 cups of flour
3 tablespoons of honey
2 tablespoons of olive oil
A pinch of salt
1 1/4 cups of warm water or milk
A deep dish pizza pan (mine is about 12-inches wide and 2.5-inches deep)
1 cup of tomato paste (or 2 cups of tomato sauce)
All the veggies, meat, spices, and cheeses you feel like!
(On this particular day I used a few cloves of garlic, 1 onion, 2 green bell peppers, 2 red bell peppers, oregano, salt, paprika, 3 tablespoons of BBQ sauce, and cured goat cheese).
Pour the flour into a big bowl.
Drizzle a generous amount of honey on top. Mix in the rest of the ‘dough’ ingredients and blend well.
Lightly flour the pizza pan.
Pour the fresh dough into the pan.
Chop up your desired veggies and meat, and fry lightly with a bit of olive oil. Add spices (I used a dash of salt, oregano, and paprika).
Once the veggies are softened, pour in the tomato sauce, or paste (BBQ sauce optional), and simmer on medium heat.
In the meantime, lightly press the cheese into the pizza dough, making sure the dough evenly reaches out onto the sides of the pan.
Pour in the delicious filling.
Bake at 450ºF (230ºC) degrees for 25 – 30 minutes, and serve!
Any delicious pizza recipes up your sleeve? What’s your favorite kind of pizza?