Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Trader Joe's Pizza

I call this Trader Joe's Pizza because it's one thing you can make from "scratch" that you can buy all of the ingredients for from Trader Joe's- but it's a good idea to buy 2 packs of pizza dough since you'll end up with leftover tomatoes, cheese and basil.
Shopping List:
2 bags of TJ's Pizza Dough (I used the regular but they have other flavors)
1 box of tomatoes
1 bag of pre-shredded mozzerella cheese
1 bunch of basil
1 garlic bulb
Olive Oil

1. You need to let the pizza dough rest for 20 minutes at room temperature before you start beating it into submission. While it's resting, slice your tomatoes (2-3), dice your garlic (1-2 cloves) and get out your pizza stone or cookie sheet and coat it with a moderate amount of flour.
It's VERY important to create your pizza on the stone or sheet because if you make it, say, on a cutting board and then try to transfer it once you are done you will not be able to get it off the cutting board- trust me.
2. Once the dough is ready, pull it out of the bag. It's very sticky so make sure your hands and your stone or sheet are floured. I put the dough in the middle and then start smashing it and punching it to spread it out. You can try picking it up and throwing it, but that's at your own risk. It won't come out round, but that's OK. Just keep kneading, pulling, and punching until it's about 1/2" thin all around and the size you want.

3. Spread some olive oil on top of the dough, leaving about 1/2"-1" space around the edges for the crust. Then sprinkle with salt and pepper.

4. Spread cheese all over the top, leaving space for the crust.

5. Now put on your tomatoes and garlic. Then slice up some fresh basil and lay it on top as well. You can add more after baking if you want.

6. Bake according to the instructions on the dough bag and you're all set. Then, make another one with your other bag of dough so you can use up the rest of your tomatoes and basil before they go bad.