Wednesday, October 11, 2006


It wasn't a good day.

It is raining. A lot.

There was that whole small plane crashing into a building thing that happened on the Upper East Side today. There always seems to be something here in NYC. People (for good reason based on the past five years) freak out.

Teaching in special education was NOT fun today. My assistant was out sick, and with behavioral kids that equals an off-the-wall day. They don't like change.

What is my prescription for a bad day? Mac and Cheese for Dinner. Annie's to the rescue!

So I don't lose my food blogger status, here's a recipe I made on Sunday. Initially, I was unimpressed. But when I heated myself a slice of pizza in the toaster oven last night, it was surprisingly tasty. So I re-evaluated the recipe. But then microwave-heated leftovers for lunch today were only okay. So, I'm not sure. The issue is the crust. On Sunday it was too doughy. Last night it was delicious. And at lunch, it was too spongey. But the topping was nice and cheesey, and I of course used meatless Italian sausage. I'm sure M. would tell you real sausage would be even better, although he is quite a fan of many of the meatless sausage products out there.


Sausage and Vegetable Deep-Dish Pizza

Unlike our other pizzas, the crust for this is intended to be thick. Use a spatula to serve its substantial squares straight from the pan.

Cooking spray
2 cups chopped zucchini
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 (8-ounce) package mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup white wine
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups fat-free garlic-and-onion pasta sauce (such as Muir Glen Organic)
8 ounces hot turkey Italian sausage

2 teaspoons honey
1 package active dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
1 cup warm water (100° to 110°)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (about 11 1/4 ounces), divided
1 tablespoon yellow cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons olive oil

Remaining ingredients:
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated Parmesan cheese

To prepare sauce, heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add zucchini, onion, and mushrooms to pan; sauté 7 minutes or until vegetables are lightly browned. Add wine and pepper; cook 1 minute or until liquid almost evaporates. Stir in sauce. Remove from heat; cool.

Remove casings from sausage. Cook sausage in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until browned, stirring to crumble. Drain; add to sauce.

To prepare dough, dissolve honey and yeast in 1 cup warm water in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Add 2 1/4 cups flour, cornmeal, and salt to yeast mixture; stir until a soft dough forms. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 6 minutes); add enough of remaining flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel sticky). Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 45 minutes or until doubled in size. (Gently press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, dough has risen enough.)

Position one oven rack in the middle setting. Position another rack in the lowest setting. Preheat oven to 475°.

Brush a 13 x 9-inch baking pan with oil. Turn dough into pan. Gently press dough into pan and up the sides of the pan. Lightly spray surface of dough with cooking spray. Cover with plastic wrap; let stand for 5 minutes. Remove plastic wrap; discard. Spoon sauce mixture into crust. Bake on the bottom rack at 475° for 20 minutes. Remove from oven.

Combine cheeses; sprinkle evenly over sauce. Bake on middle rack an additional 15 minutes or until crust is golden brown and cheese melts. Cool 10 minutes on a wire rack. Cut into 6 squares.

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 square)

CALORIES 434(27% from fat); FAT 12.8g (sat 5.9g,mono 4.1g,poly 1.4g); PROTEIN 24.6g; CHOLESTEROL 45mg; CALCIUM 336mg; SODIUM 682mg; FIBER 3.9g; IRON 3.8mg; CARBOHYDRATE 54.2g
Cooking Light, SEPTEMBER 2006

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