There are few culinary feats more satisfying than turning a mundane, standard frozen pizza into a mouthwatering masterpiece. Just how you go about this is a matter of personal preference, but there is one deceptively simple kitchen trick that bridges the gap in a way that almost seems magical. Imagine taking your humble frozen pizza, thawing it, nestling it into an oiled cast iron skillet along with extra toppings, and giving it an extra 10 minutes in the oven. The result? A DIY deep dish pizza that's a slice of heaven.
Originating in Chicago, deep dish pizza is a culinary marvel. Unlike the traditional thin-crust pizzas that most frozen pizzas try to replicate, a deep dish pizza is a veritable pizza pie. It's characterized by a sturdy, biscuit-like crust that forms a solid base for toppings, which are layered in reverse order compared to their thin-crust counterparts. The result is a savory, gooey delight that's as satisfying to the eyes as it is to the palate.
Now, here's where things get interesting. Most frozen pizzas, as convenient as they are, pale in comparison to the grandeur of deep dish. They lack the heft, the layers, and the robust flavor profiles that make deep dish pizzas legendary. But this trick utilizes the radiant heat of the cast-iron skillet to elevate the crust to new heights. Plus, the tall walls of the pan allow you to pile on your favorite toppings, adding the weight and richness a deep dish deserves.
Make It Your Way
One of the great things about this hack is that the possibilities for customization are endless. For the toppings, sausage, onions, and bell peppers are quintessential choices that infuse your pizza with bold flavors and a satisfying crunch. Just scatter them generously on top of the cheese. If you're a lover of sauce, don't hesitate to add extra. Deep dish pizzas are known for their generous portions of chunky tomato sauce that simmer above the cheese and toppings. Pour on a little extra, and you'll be rewarded with a flavorful bite every time.
While you can't do much to change the base flavor of the crust that comes with your pizza, you can plus it up. Brushing melted butter on the crust or in the pan before baking adds an irresistible richness and golden color. For a true indulgence, sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese on the exterior edges between the skillet and the crust. As it bakes, the cheese will caramelize, creating a crunchy, savory crust.
Remember, the cast iron skillet is your secret weapon. It's the key to achieving that perfect, crispy crust and ensuring all the toppings meld together in harmony. The even heat distribution and retention of a cast iron skillet make it ideal for this deep dish transformation. With a thaw, a sizzle, and a sprinkle of creativity, you can elevate any regular frozen pizza into a satisfying deep dish delight.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.