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Cast iron skillet pizza recipe from Chef Dee Lavigne

Chef Dee Lavigne is in the kitchen of the Southern Food and Beverage Museum with a delicious twist on a pizza recipe.

NEW ORLEANS — This recipe is from Chef Dee Lavigne of the Southern Food and Beverage Museum and Deelightful Desserts.

Cast iron skillet pizza
1 store-bought pizza dough
Olive oil
3/4 cups pizza sauce (see recipe below)
2 lbs. shredded Mozzarella cheese (low moisture)
Mozzarella balls
Any additional toppings you desire

Preheat oven to 500* and adjust an oven rack to the middle position. 

In a medium bowl add about 1 or 2 tablespoons of olive oil and coat your pizza dough evenly with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rest in a warm spot until dough doubles in size.

 Pour 1 to 2 tablespoons oil in the bottom of your cast iron skillet or round cake pans. Using your fingertips, press dough around the pan, flattening it slightly and spreading oil around the entire bottom and edges of the pan. Allow the dough to sit uncovered on the counter for about 5 minutes to let the dough rest. 

 Spread the pizza sauce over the entire surface of the dough as evenly as possible. Add half the shredded mozzarella cheese. If you are adding additional toppings, add them now. Cover your toppings with the remaining mozzarella cheese. Place mozzarella balls on top.

 Bake pizza in oven for 15 minutes. 

 Using a thin spatula, loosen pizza and peek underneath. If bottom is not as crisp as desired, place skillet over a burner and cook on medium heat, moving the pan around to cook evenly until it is crisp, 1 to 3 minutes. Remove the pizzas and transfer to a cutting board. Cut pizza into slices and serve immediately.

 Fresh Tomato Pizza Sauce
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 minced garlic cloves (medium sized)
5 cups of fresh tomatoes, skinned, seeded and diced
1 tsp salt
5 fresh basil leaves (medium sized)
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 Tbsp brown sugar

In a medium pot, heat the olive oil to medium low. 

Sauté garlic on low heat for 4 minutes. Add fresh tomatoes, salt, basil and oregano to pan and simmer for 45 minutes.

At 20 minutes into the simmering process add the sugar.

For a smooth texture, use a blender or stick mixer.