Chef Ed Cotton, Executive Chef at Plein Sud,http://www.pleinsudnyc.com in NYC is a new contributor to Kid-healthy recipes for “Can Do” Street. Chef Cotton graduated from the Culinary School of America, has held executive chef positions at several upscale restaurants across the US and was a final contestant in Season 7′s Bravo’s Top Chef in Washington D.C. in Sept of 2010.
The first recipe Chef Cotton shares is for a Chicago style dish deep pizza, made with all fresh, healthy ingredients.
It is a perfect recipe for a mom or a dad who like to share the cooking “from scratch” experience with a young child who is interested in cooking. It is a great opportunity a child to work with dough and see his or her creation turn into a favorite…pizza!
Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza
Approx. 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 pkg. fast rising yeast
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
1 cup of very warm water
1 package Health Choice/ low fat brand shredded cheese
2 cans whole tomatoes
A generous handful of fresh basil leaves, chopped
Cracked black pepper, salt and oregano to taste
4 or 5 large cloves of fresh garlic, sliced thin
2 -10 oz. packages of frozen spinach, thawed
1 fresh ripe tomato, thinly sliced
2 teaspoon dried oregano
Directions – Crust
- Combine the yeast, salt, sugar, 1 cup of the flour and the cup of warm water
- Mix thoroughly
- Since you aren’t proofing the yeast first; the water needs to be a bit hotter than usual
- Add enough of the remaining 1 1/2 cups of flour to form a soft dough
- Knead it for a few minutes, then put it back in the bowl, cover and set aside to rise
- When the pizza dough has more or less doubled in bulk (usually in less than an hour) punch it down.
- Lightly spray a 10 inch spring form pan with cooking spray
- Press the dough into the pan and up the sides.
- Squeeze the moisture out of the thawed spinach
- Break up the tomatoes slightly and set them in a sieve to drain.
- Spread the shredded cheese over the crust
- Top with the tomatoes which have been mixed with the basil leaves, season with salt, pepper, oregano.
- Sprinkle the sliced garlic over the tomatoes and top with the spinach and then arrange the sliced tomato decoratively on top.
- Bake at 425 in the middle of the oven for about 45 minutes or so. Since it’s so thick, it takes quite awhile for the filling to heat all the way through.
Note: The pizza makes a great presentation when you remove the ring from the spring form pan.