Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Oven-Fried Mac 'n' Cheese Pizza

I ended up with some leftover macaroni and cheese, so I thought I'd try to make a version of Za's Mac 'n' Cheese pizza at home.  Their version adds some caramelized onions to the macaroni and cheese and is baked in crust more similar to a pan pizza than the thin-crust pizzas I've been making lately.

To try to recreate that crust, I rolled out the dough instead of stretching it thin and decided to try making the pizza using the oven-fried method from the Modernist Cuisine at Home cookbook.  Warning:  this involves maneuvering a soft, sticky mass of dough topped with macaroni and cheese into a smoking hot pan of oil.  Proceed at your own risk.

Oven-Fried Mac 'n' Cheese Pizza
makes 1 personal pan pizza

8 oz. ball of pizza dough
3/4 cup leftover macaroni and cheese
2 tablespoons caramelized onions
1 tablespoon bread crumbs
Oil for frying
Tabasco or Frank's hot sauce (optional)

Preheat the oven to 550°F.

On a floured surface, roll the pizza dough out to a 10" circle.

Top with the macaroni and cheese, caramelized onions, and bread crumbs.

Add enough oil to completely coat the bottom of a 10" all-metal frying pan, the kind you can put in the oven without any plastic parts melting.  Heat on high until the oil just starts to smoke.

Carefully slide the pizza into the pan using a pizza peel or a flexible cutting board.  Immediately transfer the pan to the oven.  Bake for 5 minutes.  After 5 minutes, turn the oven to broil and broil for two minutes.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before cutting and serving.

By keeping the pizza dough a little thicker and frying it in the pan, the crust becomes stable enough to stand up to heavier toppings like macaroni and cheese.  And even though you'll get a nice crispy crust on the bottom, you'll be surprised at how much oil is left in the pan, i.e. how little oil is absorbed by the pizza dough.

I like to add a little Tabasco or Frank's hot sauce on top just for an extra kick.

Next:  Backyard Mind Ice Cream with Dark Chocolate Freckles
Previously:  Martha Stewart's Perfect Macaroni and Cheese

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