Thursday, April 25, 2013

"A Table In Tuscany" - Spring Risotto (Risotto Primavera) (Bonus recipe: Stuffed chicken)

Date I made this recipe:  April 21, 2013

A Table in Tuscany – Classic Recipes from the Heart of Italy – Collected and Illustrated by Leslie Forbes
Published by:  Chronicle Books
ISNB:  0-87701-832-4
Recipe:  Spring Risotto (Risotto Primavera) – p. 91; Bonus Recipe: Stuffed Chicken (La Gallina Ripiena) p. 135

As previously reported, we have not been blessed this year with springtime weather, instead bracing ourselves for snow and more snow.  So I can see where you might be tempted to think that this recipe for Spring Risotto (Risotto Primavera) is sort of a “screw you” to Mother Nature but you’d be wrong.  This recipe selection is a result of going to the opera.

On Saturday, April 20th, a friend invited me to a performance of Turandot by the Minnesota Opera.  This opera, written by Tuscan Giacamo Puccini, is set in China and tells the story of a cold and cruel princess, Turandot, who kills all suitors who do not correctly answer the three riddles she poses to them.  And then along comes Calaf, the unknown prince, who does correctly answer the three riddles and gets to hang on to his head.  I know—feel the love, right?

So I came home and thought about what to make the next day (Sunday is typically cooking day in our house) and at first thought something Chinese to go along with the opera’s theme.  But then I thought about pasta to honor Puccini and that also made sense because Marco Polo brought pasta to Italy from China, and then I got real creative and looked to see where Puccini was born (Tuscany) and thought “aha!” – risotto, the Italian version of rice – perfect!! (By the way, one of my uncles was named Giacomo, which means James.  He later switched it to James but the family calls him Jack as that is how “Gia” is pronounced.  As far as I know though, he does not write operas.)

In the interest of disclosure, Andy and I have cooked from this cookbook, A Table in Tuscany before, making the Stuffed Chicken dish several times over including Thanksgiving and Christmas (I’ve included the recipe as a bonus below).  But since I was bent on making risotto, I tried a new recipe.  I can’t say I’ll repeat it though, as it was good but not great (unlike the stuffed chicken which is fantastic).  Plus, I felt that the recipe needed a few adjustments.

First, the recipe calls for beef stock and I just thought the beef flavor was too heavy for “spring” risotto and all those spring vegetables.  Were I to make it again, I’d use a chicken stock or even vegetable for a lighter flavor.

Next, the recipe called for greenish tomatoes and good luck finding those the day before a snowstorm, and so I used regular.  They were quickly pulverized by the stirring that needed to take place to make the risotto.  Had I to do it over again, I’d make the risotto and then add the vegetables so they don’t turn mushy.

Next, risotto is a tricky bugger to make (and one that my Sicilian family never put on the stove – ever).  You need to find the right balance between creamy and al dente and I think we cooked it too long.  This was all my fault – I just didn’t want to eat al dente risotto and so suggested to my husband that he cook it a bit longer.  It was still creamy but was “this close” to becoming paste.  Clearly, I am lacking the gene needed to totally nail this dish.

Finally, as I was eating it, I said to Andy that I thought it could use a little lemon zest to brighten up the dish and to perk up the vegetables.  This was as close as I got to a “foodie” moment.  I think I was right on this one though, and so suggest you try it to see how it goes.

As it turned out, I got a reprieve of sorts on Sunday when I made this dish as the weather was somewhat decent but on Monday night it snowed again and it looked like Winter Wonderland around here. My favorite radio station, The Current, played Christmastime is Here from A Charlie Brown Christmas, and also played Sleigh Ride in the background as the DJ’s were talking.  I love a radio station with a sense of humor.  Even more hilarious was the week before, the Twin Cities was testing out tornado sirens for tornado awareness week and damned if we weren’t having a snowstorm at the time.  It’s kind of hard to take the directive to “take cover” seriously when the snow is swirling but with any luck, it won’t be long before the snow is gone and the weather warms up and all is well (sans tornados).

Happy “Spring!”

Spring Risotto (6 servings)
1 lb 2 oz Italian Arobrio Rice
11 oz greenish tomatoes, diced
12 oz zucchini, diced
7 oz green pepper or asparagus, diced
4 oz carrot, diced
1 onion or leek, chopped
Beef stock (Ann’s Note:  Directions don’t say how much to use so I bought a re-sealable carton and heated about half of it, adding more as needed.)
5 oz butter
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper

Cook the onion in the oil in a saucepan and when beginning to brown, add all the vegetables except the tomatoes.  Cook 10 minutes over moderate heat and add tomatoes and salt and pepper.  Cook for 15 minutes and then pour in the rice and a little hot stock.  (Ann’s Note:  I recommend that you cook the vegetables separately and add the tomatoes at the very end and maybe cook for 1-2 minutes until softened but not mush.  Doing it this way almost turned the vegetables to mush and the tomatoes totally disintegrated.)

Continue adding the hot stock every few minutes as the rice absorbs the liquid.  It should take 20-30 minutes for the rice to cook to the ‘al dente’ stage.  Then stir in butter and serve.

Bonus recipe:  Stuffed Chicken (La Gallina Ripiena) – serves 6
1 large boiling fowl with giblets
2 carrots
1 stick celery
1 onion
1 leek
Olive oil
For the stuffing
2 slices ham or Mortadella sausage; chopped
2 sprigs fresh thyme, chopped
3 slices bread, soaked in milk
6 tbsp pecorino cheese, grated
8 oz ground (minced) veal or lean beef
1-2 eggs
2 cloves garlic, crushed
4 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
½ - ¾ tsp nutmeg

First make the stuffing.  In a large frying pan gently cook the chicken giblets in the oil until they change color.  Chop finely and reserve.  Add the sausage, meat and garlic to the pan and cook just until the meat starts to brown.  Mix with giblets, herbs, bread, cheese and 1 beaten egg.  If this does not bind the stuffing, add another beaten egg.

Clean, wash and dry the inside of the chicken.  Pack loosely with the stuffing – the stuffing tends to swell in cooking and you don’t want an exploding chicken.  Sew up both ends of the chicken so that nothing can escape.  Put in a large flame proof casserole with the carrots, celery, onion, leek and salt and cover with water.  The water should be about 1 inch over the chicken.  Bring to a boil and then simmer over a low heat for about 2 ½ hours, until the chicken is cooked.  Remove it from the pan, cut the threads, carefully lift out the stuffing which should be quite solid, and serve both the chicken and the stuffing sliced thinly and garnished with either fresh thyme or Tuscan salsa verde.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

"Southern Living - The Meats Cookbook" - Chili Potpie

Date I made this recipe:  April 14, 2013

Southern Living-The Meats Cookbook by Southern Living Magazine
Published by:  Favorite Recipes Press
© 1971 (MCMLXXI)
Recipe:  Chili Potpie – p. 18

People, I know I often spend about as much time on this blog discussing the weather as I do discussing cookbooks and recipes, but our latest weather – a late “winter” snow storm – pushed me over the edge and into the “arms” of this meat cookbook.  I cannot be alone in this as the collective mood of the entire state of Minnesota is getting crabbier by the minute.  I mean come on – plowable snow in mid-April?  What??? 

Okay, fine, last year Minnesota was granted a pass by Nature in terms of weather although we experienced record-breaking heat on the 4th of July, but this is insane.  And in terms of cooking, this late (if ever) spring is causing havoc with my cooking planning.  By this time, I should be looking at salad recipes and maybe some light pastas or stuff that just screams spring.  But this is hard to do (not the screaming, mind you, because I’ve got that down pat) when the landscape looks like early December for crying out loud.  All that was needed the other day were the twinkle lights and a few Christmas carols.

And so food-wise, I coped with this annoying snowfall by selecting a heartier dish than normal and I knew just what I wanted:  Meat.  Make that lots and lots of meat.  Maybe a roast or a stew or…well, how about this chili potpie?  And I knew just the cookbook I wanted to use:  Southern Living – The Meats Cookbook, specifically because of that cover. Because why wouldn’t you purchase a cookbook with a cover photo of an olive-stuffed roast?  This leads me to discuss one of the questions I am often asked:  why do you buy the cookbooks you do?  There are many factors but I’d have to say “cover art” is the primary reason.

In this case, the cover art of this book drew me in as much as it repulsed.  I think it was the olives (green olives stuffed with pimento, the very kind I use in my martinis) that did it because I have seen many roast recipes in my day but never one quite like this.  But let’s review the year it was published, 1971, and put it in perspective of the times:  this was likely one fancy dish, good enough for photographing and for company!  It’s a double treat!!

Lucky for me and for you, there are better looking photos inside this book.  And then there are some not-so-better photos (and recipes) in this book, to wit:  Ripe Olive Cabbage Loaf (p. 34) where a meatloaf is essentially wrapped in a cabbage leaf (ew) or Lamb-Vegetable Salad (p. 115) that earned a “double-ew” from me.  Thankfully, these were offset by some really delicious-looking photos of steak.  And I love steak, but today’s recipe for chili potpie was selected for one reason only:  the book opened to this page when I took it off the shelf, it was relatively easy to make, and it had that “comfort food” feel to it.  And on a day when we started with sleet and then switched to freezing rain, I was all about comfort.

Now, I don’t have control of the weather (wish that I did) but it’s pretty much time for Nature to knock it the hell off already!  I need to move on.  I want spring food or summer food yet here I am thinking about Christmas cookies.  I have got to stop watching Twilight Zone reruns because kids, I feel like I’m living in it, to wit:  only in Minnesota can they test the tornado sirens (for tornado awareness week) during a snowstorm. Happy Spring?

Chili Potpie – submitted by Mrs. J.T. Springer, Lenorah, Texas – no serving size listed
3 tbsp onion flakes (or use fresh onion)
3 tbsp water
1 ½ pound ground beef, crumbled
1 tsp garlic salt
½ c. chopped bell pepper
1 8-oz can tomato sauce
1 1-pound can tomatoes (I used diced)
1 20-oz can ranch-style beans (I have no idea what that means so I bought a can of small red beans)
1 tbsp chili powder
1 ½  tsp salt
¾ cup cornmeal
1 4/ cup flour
1 ½ tbsp baking powder
1 egg, beaten
½ cup milk
¼ cup bacon drippings
1 tbsp parsley
¼ cup grated cheese

Ann’s Note:  In order to get bacon drippings I would have had to make bacon and I didn’t feel like getting it out of the freezer so I substituted corn oil.

Combine the onion and water in a small bowl (or dice a small onion).  Saute the beef until partially done.  Add the onion, garlic salt and bell pepper and cook until brown.  Add the tomato sauce, tomatoes, beans, chili powder and 1 teaspoon salt and simmer for 10 minutes.  Sift the cornmeal, flour, remaining salt and baking powder together in a mixing bowl. Add the egg, milk and bacon drippings and stir until smooth.  Stir in parsley.  Pour the beef mixture into a shallow baking dish and sprinkle with cheese.  Spoon cornmeal mixture around edge of the baking dish and sprinkle with paprika.  Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.

Ann’s Note:  I used a glass pie plate for making this recipe and it was fine except the cornmeal mixture spilled over the side before baking.  No problem:  I just put a baking sheet underneath it to catch the overflow!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

"The Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Sixties Cookbook" - Pimento and Walnut Cheese Ball (for AMC TV's Mad Men premier)

Date I made this recipe:  April 7, 2013 (Mad Men Season 6 premiere)

The Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Sixties Cookbook by Rick Rodgers & Heather Maclean
Published by:  Running Press (
ISBN:  978-0-7624-4573-8
Recipe:  Pimiento and Walnut Cheese Ball – p. 32

I have to chuckle sometimes at the communication disconnect in my household.  For weeks, I kept reminding my husband that the TV show, Mad Men – Season 6, premiered on April 7th.  I even started hauling out cookbooks from the 60’s (when the show is set) weeks in advance. 

But in between all this, the NCAA basketball tournaments commenced and on Saturday, April 6th, the University of Michigan advanced to the Final Four tournament championship game against Louisville (KY).  The game was set for Monday, April 8th, and when I mentioned to my husband that I finally selected a recipe – a cheese ball – he said “Oh sure – for the game, right?”

Well bless his heart.  This man is not necessarily a sports fan but I can see how my enthusiasm for the game (which Michigan lost, by the way – damn it) overshadowed Mad Men’s premiere.  I won’t make the same mistake next year.

Now, I have a ton and a half of cookbooks written in the 60’s and in fact, one of them, with a very cool cover of a cocktail party, almost made it in to my own “finals,” but this newer book, written in 2012, beat them all to the punch because of the title.  I am nothing if not “Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad” for Mad Men.

For those of you who need a quick primer:  Mad Men focuses on the advertising world in NYC in the 60’s (the title “Mad Men” refers to the men who worked for advertising agencies located on Madison Avenue).  This series features the king of the “Mad Men,” Don Draper, the underbelly of the advertising world in which he inhabits, as well as the sorry state of affairs (literally) that make up his personal life.  A couple seasons ago, after repeatedly cheating on his wife, Betty, he married a younger, wannabe actress, Megan…and then of course, he cheated on her in the opening episode of Season 6.  Don, Don, DON!

So there I was, going through this cookbook filled with old-time favorites from the 60’s made new again, and I kept thinking to myself “WWBM?”  (What would Betty make?)  Faithful viewers will recall Betty’s Around the World-themed dinner – Season 2, Episode 8 – and I could have done a few things from that dinner but wasn’t in the mood.  I ruled out a few other recipes that, although good, just didn’t seem like something Betty would make, such as Sloppy Joes or Tuna Casserole.  (Not that Betty was all high-falutin’ in the kitchen but she didn’t seem like the type to make these two dishes).  And then I stopped to think “WWDE” – what would Don eat, and ruled out a few more as they just didn’t seem very “Draper-ish,” and I came up with this cheese ball.

For those of us who grew up in the 60’s, cheese balls were pretty much a staple item (along with Lipton’s “California” chip dip) at every cocktail party so I felt like I was sticking with the theme pretty well.  Now, Andy and I happened to be out to dinner earlier in the evening with his family (at Nye’s Polonaise, a total throwback to another era when supper clubs ruled the world.  There’s even a piano bar in this joint – LOVE.IT.) so we didn’t have this cheese ball until we got home and although it sat in the refrigerator for a couple of hours after I made it, I still think the recipe is best made way in advance and then left to “cure.”

Because folks, here’s the deal:  this is perhaps my second or third pimento cheese ball/spread and maybe it’s because I don’t have that inbred southern love for the thing, me being a northerner and all, but I don’t get it.  I don’t mean to insult people, but I don’t get it.  And it tastes (and this may get me killed) “okay,” not great.  Not even close.

And after a few rounds of making this dish, I just fail to understand why.  The ingredients are all there:  cheddar cheese, cream cheese, mayo (depending on the recipe, cheddar cheese may be the only constant), finely diced pimentos, Worcestershire Sauce and hot sauce.  And then for added “oomph,” add your finely chopped walnuts.  And yet…I dunno.  I just am not feeling the cheese love.  And I want you all to know that this bothers me greatly but there’s not much I can do except, well, not make it! Had I to do it over, I would found a recipe for and made my “mother’s” cheese ball with cream cheese, pineapple and walnut bits (and perhaps a few more ingredients but I’ve forgotten them).  Oh well, next season. (By the way, a while back, I heard southern food expert, John T. Edge, talk about pimento cheese and I love the way he pronounced it “Peh-mhennnn-toe chiz.” Totally precious.)

As to the show itself, the first episode (two hours, back to back), showed our characters celebrating Christmas and then New Year’s 1968.  The theme this year is all dark and brooding, focusing on death and loss and transition and although there were parts of the episode I wanted to move along, I have to say it set the mood for the times.  Just the other day, I posted on Facebook that April 4th marked the 45th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s assassination, and coming up in June, it will be the same anniversary for Bobby Kennedy, JFK’s brother.  These were not fun times, folks.  I do believe I spent most of 1968 glued to the TV set as one event after the other unfolded.  So I like it that Mad Men’s writers depict the year for what it was, even if some viewers were uncomfortable with it.  Well, life can’t be all sunshine and roses, kids.

So…if I were you (and I’m not but pretend I am), I’d go ahead and make this cheese ball and see what you think.  It’s not bad but it’s not what I am used to and maybe that’s the deal.  And then sit back and watch Mad Men or the Master’s Tournament (because b-ball is over, folks, over) and think about life as you know it.  And if you have a hankering for a 60’s cocktail to accompany your pimento and walnut cheese ball, then this book has several that should be just the ticket (Chapter 7 – p. 178 through 205).  I must say that the martini recipe include in this book fails because it calls for too much vermouth (as in any vermouth is too much vermouth) but several other cocktails brought back fond memories of my parent’s parties.  Enjoy!  

Pimento and Walnut Cheese Ball – makes 12 servings (Ann’s Note:  I made half the recipe)
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, well softened
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded sharp or mild Cheddar
¼ cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 (4-ounce) jar chopped pimientos, drained, rinsed, and patted dry
Hot red pepper sauce
1 ½ cups (6 ounces) finely chopped walnuts
Crackers, for serving

Mash the cream cheese, Cheddar, mayonnaise, and Worcestershire sauce together with a rubber spatula in a medium bowl.  Mix in the pimientos.  Season with hot red pepper sauce.

Scrape the cheese mixture onto a large sheet of plastic wrap.  Bring the wrap up to cover the cheese, and twist the ends together to shape the cheese mixture into a ball.  Refrigerate until chilled and firmer, at least 2 hours.  (The cheese ball can be prepared up to 5 days ahead.)

Just before serving, unwrap the ball and roll in the walnuts to cover.  Place on a serving platter.  Served chilled or at room temperature, with the crackers.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

"Babe's Country Cookbook - 80 Completely Meat-Free Recipes" - Crisp Pizza with Fontina, Gorgonzola, and Sage (for an "un-Easter" Easter

Date I made this recipe:  Sunday, March 31, 2013 (Easter Sunday)

Babe’s Country Cookbook (from the movie, Babe) – 80 Completely Meat-Free Recipes! by Dewey Gram
Published by:  GT Publishing
ISBN:  1-57719-354-7
Recipe:  Crisp Pizza with Fontina, Gorgonzola, and Sage – p. 120-121

So Easter was upon us and for most people that means two things:  lamb or ham.  I could take or leave (mostly leave) lamb but do enjoy ham – but only a serving or two and not the 10 pounds of leftovers that need to be utilized in everything from (green) eggs with ham to scalloped potatoes.  Enough, I say, enough!

I was already thinking how to avoid this noid when I uncovered yet another of my friend, Carol “Tall” Voight’s, cookbooks – Babe’s Country Cookbook – 80 Completely Meat-Free Recipes!  Even if you haven’t seen the adorable movie, Babe, the photo of Babe on the front cover is enough to dissuade anybody from making ham.  Plus there’s something just a bit “naughty” about going against convention and avoiding ham all together.  Its so “un-Easter” that it almost makes sense.

It didn’t take me and Andy very long to find our “un-Easter” Easter dinner in the form of this phenomenal pizza and I do mean PHENOMENAL.  This is seriously one of the best pizzas I’ve ever had and that is counting the ones I ate on a trip to Italy.  And it for sure beats the heck out of the frozen variety and honestly, for a few more bucks, skip that frozen cardboard concoction and impress your friends with the real deal.

Thanks to modern farming techniques, finding ripe tomatoes at this time of year was not the challenge it used to be and when it came to purchasing the dough, cheese and olives, I knew just where to go:  Broder’s Cucina Italiana in South Minneapolis where I used to work.

And so fresh from a three-hour Saturday breakfast with a friend (and I must confess, we both had bacon), I motored over to Broder’s and got my Italian food grove on.  I purchased the Fontina and then opted for a slice of fresh Mountain Gorgonzola instead of the crumbed variety.  Instead of crumbling the cheese on top of the pizza, just slice a thin piece of the cheese and put that on top.  And instead of pitted black olives, the type usually found in the canned condiment aisle of the grocery store, I went with Kalamata (Greek) olives.  I think this olive added a bit more taste and interest than the black, canned variety.  (Note:  Broder’s has black olives but they were mixed in olive oil and cracked red pepper flakes and I didn’t want that extra spice.)  And no visit there is complete without fresh pizza dough in just the size I needed – 12 inches. 

After that excursion where I talked to my old boss, Wendy (Hello again, Wendy!), I went up the street to Lunds where I purchased everything else I needed except I forgot to get a red bell pepper.  Shoot.  Fast forward to Easter Sunday:  Andy and I were doing things around the house and then decided to go to the store to get said pepper but we weren’t paying attention to the time and pulled in moments after the stores closed (two of them, Cub and Rainbow, are a block apart).  No worries though, as Andy came up with the brilliant idea that we could just stop at one of the Asian grocery stores nearby (As a rule, Buddhists do not celebrate Easter) and sure enough, the place was open and it was packed.  I walked away with four red peppers for $2.00 and would use one for the recipe and the others for snacking.  Score!!

All that needed to be done to complete the deal was puree the tomatoes, put them through a strainer and then simmer them along with the onions, garlic, peppers and olives until reduced, add the Fontina cheese and the sage and you are done.  Then prep your pizza dough, put the sauce on top, dot with fresh basil leaves and the gorgonzola cheese and you have a winning pizza pie. 

Now, besides the cheese, you might need to make a few other tweaks:  cook the saucer longer than indicated (about 30 minutes total); cook the pizza for longer than indicated (about 15 minutes total) and oil the bottom of your pizza pan as ours stuck to the pan and made it a challenge to remove the pizza slices intact. 

As to the non-ham Easter theme, seriously folks, every time I look at that cute picture of that pig on the book’s cover, I am so glad we went in another direction, especially since this pizza was so damned good.  Both Carol and Babe would have been thrilled with our “un-Easter” Easter!

Crisp Pizza with Fontina, Gorgonzola, and Sage (with a tomato sauce filled with onions, red bell pepper, olives and garlic – molto bene!) – makes a 12 inch pizza
10 ripe tomatoes (about 3 ¼ pounds) (Ann’s Note:  try to use smaller tomatoes as the flavor is usually better; large tomatoes can get “grainy.”)
¼ onion
½ red bell pepper
8 black olives, pitted (Ann’s Note:  I substituted Kalamata (Greek) olives)
5 cloves garlic
6 tablespoons olive oil
¾ cup (about 4 ounces) diced Italian Fontina, or Danish is good too
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
1 fresh large ready-to-use pizza bread-crust (about 12 inches) or your favorite pizza dough
½ cup (bout 2 ounces)

Preheat your oven to 325. 

Core all but two of the tomatoes, cut them into pieces, and puree them in a blender or food processor.  Force the puree through a strainer into a bowl, and reserve.  Peel, seed and dice the last two tomatoes.  Or, if you really need to get dinner on the table in a hurry, just dice the two tomatoes – skip the peeling and seeding.  Reserve this separately from the puree.

Finely dice the onion and red bell pepper.  Finely chop the olives and garlic.  In a roomy skillet, heat 5 (of 6) tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onion and bell pepper, and sauté for a couple of minutes.  Just as they begin to brown, add the pureed tomatoes, chopped olives, and garlic.  Simmer over medium-high heat until the sauce begins to thicken, about 15 minutes. (Ann’s Note:  at 15 minutes, this mixture was still too watery so I went another 15 and it was perfect.)  Add the two diced tomatoes.  Simmer briefly.  Remove from the heat, and stir in the diced Fontina and fresh sage.  Season with the salt and pepper.

Brush the pizza crust with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil to prevent it from becoming soggy.  (Ann’s Note:  Oil the bottom of the pan to make sure your crust doesn’t stick.)  Depending on how crisp you like your crust, pre-bake it in the oven for 5 minutes.  Spread the crust with about half the sauce.  You’ll have some sauce left over – refrigerate to use as a pasta sauce or for making another pizza.  (Ann’s Note:  I used this on pasta and that was a bad idea as it needed just a hint of sugar to make it an acceptable pasta sauce.  But it makes a fabulous pizza sauce so go ahead, make another!)  Sprinkle the pizza with the crumbled (or sliced) Gorgonzola and the torn basil.

Bake is the 325 oven for 5 minutes or until the cheese is all melty and the sauce is hot. (Ann’s Note:  I baked my pizza for 15 minutes and it was perfect; 5 minutes nets you a soggy pizza crust.)  Cut and serve right out of the oven.