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Week 7 Taste The MACtion: One Pizza at a Time

Each week a recipe delivered in the spirit of the MAC

Finished Pizza
Jim Snyder

Every Tuesday during the season, I am going give a recipe that I think will be fantastic for game day. This week I chose pizza for a variety reasons. One, I have owned a pizza shop for most of my adult life, and spent a large part of my youth as slave labor in my parent’s. Two, Everybody loves pizza. Three, Pizza is super easy to make. You have no idea how annoyed I am that frozen pizza is the fastest growing segment of the pizza industry. A lot of the chains are using more and more frozen ingredients, too. Grrrrr. Four, I want to add a local flair to future recipes, but I haven’t spent a lot of time in the MAC home cities. That’s where you, the reader, can help me out in future posts. Is there are particular sausage everyone uses, or a secret ingredient everyone uses in their chili? Let me know in the comments section!

For this particular pizza, I went vegetarian. Not because I am a vegetarian, because I am not, but because it’s a great base for any kind of pizza you want. Pepperoni? Sure. Sausage? Of course. Anchovies? My personal favorite. You can add any or all of the meats you want to this base. The holy trinity of pizza for me is onions, peppers and mushrooms. What kind of onion? Personal preference. Red onions are the most mild, then white, then yellow. You can even use shallots, which are more mild than red onions. I used red because I knew I would be taking pictures. I used orange, yellow and red peppers for the same reason. You can use any pepper you like, depending on the flavor and spice level you choose. For mushrooms, I used crimini. Here is a list of ingredients.

  • Half of an Onion
  • 2 cloves of Garlic
  • 1 red, 1 yellow, and 1 orange Pepper
  • 8 ounces of Crimini Mushrooms
  • 1 Jar of Artichoke Hearts
  • 8 ounces of Mozzarella Cheese
  • 4 ounces of Asiago Cheese
  • Olive Oil
  • Flatbread of choice
  • Salt and Pepper
Fresh Veggies
Jim Snyder

If you are feeling brave, you can make your own dough. It’s fairly simple, but time consuming. Any flatbread recipe will work, just make sure you par bake it before making your pizza.

Slice the mushrooms and mince the garlic. Grate the cheeses. I personally sliced the peppers and onion, because I think it looks fancier, and I knew I would be taking pictures. For taste, I prefer diced, but my wife prefers sliced. You can skip this next step, but your pizza will suffer. I saute’ all of my veggies. Heat the pan on medium heat. A lot of rookies don’t let the pan get hot before adding the veggies. Add the onions first, once they start to get a little brown, add the peppers. Once they char a little, add the mushrooms, wait a minute or two, and add half the garlic. Once the mushrooms are caramelized, set the mixture aside and let it cool. Other than making the finished product taste better, it also fills the house with the smells of onions, peppers and mushrooms.

Cast Iron Skillets Are the Best
Jim Snyder

Spray or brush a little olive oil on the flatbread. Rub the remaining garlic onto the crust. I personally use a spoon to mash it in and release the oils. Next, add your veggies. Take care to make it so each bite has each ingredient.

Veggies on a pizza
Veggies on a pizza!
Jim Snyder

The star comes next. For this particular pizza, I used artichoke hearts. You can use the meats or veggies of your choice. The cheese blend comes next. Like every other ingredient, you can use the cheese(s) of your choice. I personally like a melty cheese like Mozzarella and a hard cheese like Asiago. Provolone works fantastic if you are only going to use one cheese. I could write about cheese for hours, so I am going to move on now for brevity.

Cheese on the pizza
Almost finished!
Jim Snyder

Put the pizza on a baking sheet or pizza pan, and put it in an oven that was preheated to 450 degrees. How long? Depends on how you like your pizza. I prefer about 15 minutes where the cheese is golden brown. 10 minutes or so melts the cheese and makes a gooey mess.

The great thing about pizza is that it is good the entire game. Great right out of the oven. Great when it cools a bit, and great cold. It also reheats very easily. It’s not just the best food ever, it’s the best game day food.