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Culinary Wednesday

January 9, 2013 - Kristy MacKaben
One of the beautiful mysteries of Chicago is it's pizza. The thick, gooey slices, resembling lasagna, yet not quite. Chicago's deep dish pizza is unlike anything you've ever tasted. And, you can't count Pizzeria Uno's deep dish as the real thing---even though the restaurant began in Chicago. If you come to Chicago, you have to try the real stuff---Lou Malnatti's, Giordanno's or our personal favorite Geno's East (within walking distance from the John Hancock building downtown). Chicago style pizza isn't something you want to eat every Friday night, or even once a month. It's a special indulgence we reserve just for visitors. Though true Chicago style pizza can't be replicated at home, especially by an East Coast gal like myself, I did find this recipe, which might satisfy a deep dish hankering. Give it a try. (Courtesy of

Ingredients: one loaf frozen bread dough, thawed, 1 pound Italian sausage, 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, 8 ounces sliced mushrooms, 1 small onion, chopped, 2 teaspoons olive oil, 1 (28 ounce) candiced tomatoes, drained, 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon fennel seed, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Press the dough into the bottom and up the sides of a greased 9x13 inch baking dish. Crumble the sausage into a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook and stir until evenly browned. Remove the sausage with a slotted spoon, and sprinkle over the dough crust. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese evenly over the sausage. Add mushrooms and onion to the skillet; cook and stir until the onion is tender. Stir in the tomatoes, oregano, salt, fennel seed and garlic powder. Spoon over the mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the top. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes in the preheated oven, or until crust is golden brown.


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