My friend Brenda, of Brenda's Canadian Kitchen, and I started a new venture where we pick one recipe from Rachel Ray's newest book, Look + Cook, per month. Last month was our first month and I chose Rachel's Pimento Mac 'n' Cheese, which was delicious. This month was Brenda's pick and she chose this super fun and delicious Individual Florentine Frying-Pan Pizza. (You can see Brenda's post on this recipe by clicking HERE.)
The very idea of baking pizza in a frying pan is a unique and fun idea. I didn't have the 6" frying pan that Rachel called for in the recipe so I used my 10" cast iron skillet. The biggest perk in using the frying pan was that you essentially end up with a deep-dish style pizza. I love that! Rachel's recipe calls for a Florentine-style pizza filling and it was delicious, but you could easily fill the pizza dough with any topping/filling of your choice.
Individual Florentine Frying-Pan Pizza
Adapted from Rachel Ray's Look + Cook
Serves 3-4 easily
3 Tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, sliced
salt and pepper
2 Tablespoons butter
2 garlic cloves, grated or minced
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/2 cup milk
Freshly grated nutmeg
1 (10-ounce) box frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry in a clean kitchen towel
1 pound store-bought pizza dough, quartered
1 cup shredded Italian Fontina or Provolone cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, a handful
Preheat the oven to 425F. Heat a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat with 2 tablespoons of the EVOO. Add the mushrooms and saute until golden brown. Season them with salt and pepper, then remove to a plate. Lower the heat to medium-low, then add the butter to the pan and melt. Add the garlic and stir for 1 minute, then sprinkle the flour into the pan and whisk for a minute. Whisk in the milk and season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
Add drained defrosted spinach into the mushrooms and sauce. Remove from the heat.
Roll out 1/4 pound of pizza dough to form a round large enough to cover the bottom and sides of a 6-inch skillet. Wrap and freeze the unused pizza dough in 1/4-pound individual portions. Heads up: If your skillet handle isn't oven-safe, wrap the handle a couple of times with aluminum foil. Drizzle the remaining tablespoon of EVOO into the skillet and coat the sides with a pastry brush. Lay the dough into the skillet, pressing gently as you work the dough up the sides so it reaches the edge of the skillet. Fill the dough with the mushroom and spinach mixture and top with Fontina or Provolone and the Parmigiano cheeses. Pop in the oven and bake for 35-45 minutes, until the edges and bottom of the crust are golden brown.
Notes/Results: I am a fool for creamed spinach so I really loved the filling in this pizza which consisted of creamed spinach, sliced mushrooms, and lots of cheese - yum! Also, I really wondered whether or not the pizza dough would crisp up due to all the filling, but it was perfectly crisp and delicious. Once the pizza cooled I slipped it out of the frying pan and onto a cutting board and noticed that it looked just like a deep-dish pizza- very nice. I can honestly say that I love this method of baking a pizza in my cast iron skillet and will try it again for sure.
I do have a few notes to share. As mentioned above, I didn't have the 6" frying pan called for so I used a 10" cast iron skillet with great results. Also, the recipe calls for frozen pizza dough. I couldn't find any frozen pizza dough anywhere and didn't feel like making any from scratch so I used Pillsbury's refrigerated pizza crust. The refrigerated pizza crust works in a pinch, but I do think this recipe warrants either making your own pizza dough or buying a good quality pizza dough. Also, Rachel calls this an individual pizza and says that it serves one, but the pizza is very sizable and will easily serve 3 or 4.
I'm also linking this post to Deborah's Saturdays with Rachel Ray over at Taste and Tell.
Thanks again for all of your sweet and caring comments! I'm hoping to get back in the game and catch up on all my comments in the next few days.