MONDAY METHOD: ELEVATING A FROZEN PIZZA

As a New Yorker, I’ve never been a fan of frozen. C’mon, we have some of the best pizza in the world right at our doorsteps. So I’ve never felt the need to "order" Digiorno, to be honest.

Now that I’ve moved to Rochester, NY, I have to say... the pizza options aren’t as ubiquitous or on par with what I'm used to downstate. Luckily I’m in close proximity to a regional grocery chain called Wegmans, prevalent in Northeast US. Not only is it a consistent market that offers their own brand of products, similar to the quality of Whole365 at Whole Foods. Actually, I consider Wegmans to be better than Whole Foods because they have a greater extent of food and household products at more affordable prices. That is a debate for another time, though.

I’ve been wanting to try cauliflower crust pizza, but the cost in NYC was a bit steep and the idea of making it from scratch was a bit daunting — even for an adventurous chef like myself. Luckily, Wegmans has an option for everything and I was able to find a cauliflower crust pizza! It was a simple margherita style, which I preferred because I add my own extra toppings to frozen pizza anyway.

Please. Whatever you do, don’t settle for the minimal bits that are strewn about on your frozen pizza. I don't like taking the risk of not liking the the taste and texture of the toppings after the pizza has eventually cooked. I did some research and there is currently no law in place that prevents you from adding at least extra cheese to your frozen pizza! I highly recommend just taking a few steps that will "elevate" your pizza so it won't taste too much of frozen disappointment —and that is  regardless of the brand. Don't get me wrong, I have had some frozen pizzas that were surprisingly great without adding any extra toppings on. I don't go all with every favorable topping each time, but I'll at least add extra cheese. I do like a standard mozzarella, however I enjoy getting adventurous and using feta or ricotta. Those types of cheeses taste great on a pizza bianco, or white pizza, since they are void of the bold acidic flavor of the marina sauce. T to add some umami on an otherwise plain pizza base. Playing with the tastes or different additives is part of the fun as well. It's like you're creating your won pizza, but all the hard work has been done for you.  

These are just a few tips that I do to ensure my frozen pizzas taste like I’m enjoying a pie at an artisanal pizzeria.

This is my go to combination:

toppings

1/4 cup mozzarella cheese

chicken sausage (usually 1 or 2 links, sliced lengthwise)

1 tablespoon herb butter, room temperature

1 teaspoon truffle oil

1 clove of garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon garlic parmesan seasoning

herbs like parsley, rosemary, basil, etc

steps

Preheat the oven according to the pizza box’s instructions.

Lightly oil a pan and heat over a medium flame. Place the chicken sausages in the pan and cook on each side until they are browned.

Spread the herb butter on the crust.

When sausage is finish cooking and has browned, remove from stove using a slotted spoon onto a cutting board and cut it into smaller pieces. Place in a bowl and add the minced garlic. Mix thoroughly so the sausage is thoroughly covered in the garlic. Set aside. 

Arrange cheese onto the pizza and top with the sausage and garlic mixture. Sprinkle the seasoning on top and place into the oven along for as long the instructions on the pizza box says say.

When the pizza is done and the cheese is beginning to bubble and brown, remove from oven drizzle with the truffle oil and add fresh herbs if you’d like.

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