Delicious Deep Dish Pizza and Sweet-Tart Wings

As you may know, it was my birthday this weekend. We went out to a Hibachi dinner on Saturday night to celebrate and I wasn’t sure how my two year old daughter would react to the whole show. She’s a pretty outgoing kid, so I thought she would love it, but she hated it. Well, anytime there was fire she buried her head into my chest. It’s a completely understandable reaction; Hibachi can be a bit intense.

Sunday was my actual birthday and my husband wanted to make me dinner, so I suggested one of his favorites to make (and one of my favorites to eat) – Deep Dish Pizza.

Here’s what you’ll need for the dough:

1 C warm water (110-115°)
1/4 oz. active dry yeast
3 C flour
1/2 C course ground cornmeal
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 C canola oil
1 tbsp olive oil

Here’s what you do:

  1. Pour warm water in a mixing bowl and dissolve yeast.
  2. Add 1 cup flour, cornmeal, salt, and canola oil. Mix well with a spoon.
  3. Place the mixing bowl in a stand mixer and slowly knead in the rest of the flour using the dough hook attachment. If you don’t have a stand mixer or dough hook attachment you can mix with a spoon. Continue mixing until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
  4. Wipe down another medium bowl with 1 tbsp olive oil and place your dough ball in the bowl to rest.
  5. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for an hour.
  6. Once the dough has risen, punch it down to form a tighter ball. 
  7. Place the dough into a cast iron pan and form the crust.
  8. Let rise in the cast iron pan an additional 15 minutes.

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Here’s what you’ll need for the pizza:

1 lb. hot Italian sausage links (casings removed) – we use Gianelli’s sausage out of Syracuse. They are the absolute best.
2 16 oz. jars of Mid’s pizza sauce – we’ve made this recipe using our own sauce, but the store bought Mid’s is quick and tasty.
1 8 oz. package of Mozzarella slices
Parmesan cheese to top

Here’s what you do to assemble everything:

  1. Brown the sausage in a skillet on high heat and set aside.
  2. Once the dough has risen the additional 15 minutes (per step 8 above) continue forming the crust up the sides of the pan.
  3. Place the Mozzarella slices along the bottom of the crust.
  4. Top with sausage and the pizza sauce.
  5. Finish by sprinkling the Parmesan cheese on top.
  6. Bake in the oven at 500° for 15 minutes.
  7. Reduce the temperature to 400° for an additional 20 minutes.
  8. Let cool for 5 minutes.

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Taste improves when you have a cute little helper. 🙂

We also made chicken wings with our special “sweet-tart” sauce:

Here’s what you’ll need:

12 frozen chicken wings
2 tbsp butter – melted
1/4 C Frank’s Red Hot
1/4 C Hot Country Sweet sauce – this is a local favorite. If you can’t find Country Sweet, you can use any kind of sweet and sour sauce.

Here’s what you do:

  1. Cook the chicken wings according to your tastes (or the package). We fry them in a pan of oil on the stove. We also have a deep fryer, have grilled them in the past, and will resort to baking them as a last ditch effort. We like them crispy so I make sure they’re cooked well.
  2. Melt 2 tbsp of butter in a microwave safe bowl. This bowl should be big enough to toss your wings in.
  3. Add Franks Red Hot and Country Sweet sauce to the melted butter.
  4. Mix well.
  5. Add hot chicken wings to the sauce and toss to coat.
  6. Serve.

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This is a favorite wing sauce recipe because you get the great tang from the Frank’s, and a little sweet from the Country Sweet. It’s a great combination, and in my opinion, may be better than regular buffalo wings (which is simply Frank’s and melted butter).

It was such a tasty meal and my two chefs did an amazing job taking care of me. I hope your weekend was just as delicious!


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