Cook up as many pizzas as you want tonight and freeze the rest. The key to the deliciousness (and believe us, these cheesy pizzas are amazing) is to make fresh ricotta cheese, which is more moist and creamy than store-bought. It's fast and easy to do in the microwave.
3 ounces fresh part-skim mozzarella cheese, torn into small pieces
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup small fresh basil leaves
How to Make It
Place a pizza stone or heavy baking sheet in oven. Preheat oven to 450° (keep pizza stone or baking sheet in oven as it preheats).
Let pizza dough rest, covered, at room temperature as oven preheats.
Combine oil and next 4 ingredients (through thyme sprigs) in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook 4 minutes or until garlic begins to brown, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; let stand 5 minutes. Strain mixture through a fine sieve over a small bowl; discard solids.
Combine milk, yogurt, and vinegar in a large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at HIGH 6 minutes. Gently stir to form small curds. Strain curds through a fine sieve; let stand 5 minutes. Discard liquid. Combine oil mixture, cheese curds, and salt, stirring gently.
Divide dough into 12 equal pieces (about 5 ounces each). Roll each piece into a 6-inch circle on a lightly floured surface (keep dough covered with a damp towel to prevent drying). Spread about 1 1/2 tablespoons oil mixture over each pizza, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Divide chicken, Italian-blend cheese, and mozzarella cheese evenly among pizzas; sprinkle evenly with thyme leaves and black pepper. Carefully remove pizza stone from oven. Arrange 3 to 4 pizzas on pizza stone. Bake at 450° for 8 minutes or until dough is golden and cheese browns. Repeat procedure with remaining pizzas, or follow freezing instructions. Sprinkle pizzas evenly with fresh basil leaves.
TO FREEZE: Bake pizzas on preheated stone for only 5 minutes. Cool; wrap individually in heavy-duty foil, stack, and freeze up to 2 months.
TO REHEAT: No thawing: Place frozen pizzas on a baking sheet that's not preheated; bake at 450° for 13 minutes or until cheese browns.
The secret to any good pizza is to go to your local pizza parlor and buy their dough. the yeast in the air and the expertise are worth it. Now if you live in a part of the country where you have to make your own I too have made several great pizza recipes . Just don't use a Tube pizza found next to crescent rolls in the supermarket . These little pizzas were delicious. The curds were easy to make and added a yummy creaminess. I added fresh mozzarella which added to the creaminess. can't wait to pull one from the freezer for a quick meal
My family really liked this recipe. It is time consuming (taking much longer than the 57 minutes stated), however I found it worth it. I made the pizzas on the weekend and froze them as the recipe states. During the week I could just unwrap and bake for an easy weeknight meal. Just add a salad and you're done! It's a good solid recipe and you could certainly vary it easily. I used store-bought cooked chicken so that helped a little with the time. I could see this recipe being great using prosciutto in place of the chicken.
These were really tasty little pizzas. I actually did use the dough from the grocery store and it honestly wasn't bad. I was surprised since I always make my own. Granted mine is much better but it worked in a pinch. I shaped the doughs into individual pizzas and then prebaked them for about 8 minutes before adding all the toppings. I will say that the herb infused oil did turn out pretty spicy so if you have younger children, beware. Next time I will be a little less generous when I add the red pepper flakes. All in all a fun weekend dinner and we will make again. I keep roasted shredded chicken breasts in the freezer at all times so I can quickly make soups and such during the week so that saved me a lot of time and effort.
The only part of the recipe I followed was the fresh ricotta cheese. Made this a 2nd time and it didn't turn out like the first time. We didn't care for so I think for the amount of work and time involved will stick with store bought. This turned out awesome and creamy the first time. I followed the directions for cooking and stirred to form the curds about 3 minutes then put it in cheesecloth to strain as the curds were indeed small. After letting it drain 6 min. I squeezed it to get the rest of the liquid out. Then I mixed in the oil mixture (adapted for our tastes) and put in the fridge to make the pizzas for dinner. I had made this ahead of time as I wasn't sure how long it really would take. I used naan for the pizzas and we really enjoyed them. The ricotta cheese tasted like fresh mozzarella cheese. I will definitely make the cheese again but early so it can set up in the fridge like I did.
I almost didn't make this, based on all the comments about making the ricotta. However, I was going to make the crust from scratch, and what else was I going to do while it rose? The ricotta worked out fine, and it mixed well with the herb-infused oil, so I think it went how it was supposed to. The family loved it. If I make it again, I will make the ricotta rather than using ricotta from the store. The texture was different from store-bought ricotta, and the texture was important to the finished product.
Epic fail! We are used to Cooking Light recipes with a zillion steps and ingredients. We even joke that if Cooking Light states that a recipe will take ___ minutes we need to add an hour of additional prep time. This thing was a disaster! Make your own Ricotta cheese, good grief! We microwaved the yogurt and milk for twice the time indicated and ended up with a boiling bowl of milk and yogurt. It had curds alright, they were so small that if we tried to strain them I think they would have gone through my mesh strainer. Could you have at least indicated an amount of store bought Ricotta cheese so that the recipe could have been salvaged? We ended up throwing everything away and going out for Sushi. I guess it ended up being a win.
The pizza tastes great, but took me longer to put together than I thought it would, based on the instructions. But the main reason I gave this 4 stars is because of the oil. When I mixed it with the ricotta cheese, it kept separating; I had to keep stirring it as I was dropping the cheese mixture onto the pizza. When I took it out of the oven, the pizza glistened with a layer of oil on the top, I used several paper towels to blot it. Like I said, it tasted great, but there sure was an excess of oil, more than I would think a Cooking Light recipe should have.
The pizzas did turn out tasty but it was a messy and time consuming process. After reading the other reviews when the curd mixture didn't seem right, I ended up straining, reheating and straining 3 - 4 times. Eventually I got a good amount of curds. It also required a lot of mixing for the oil to become incorporated into the curd mixture. The curd/oil mixture was yummy!
Good, solid recipe. Kind of time consuming for what you get - a fairly mildly flavored, white pizza. I think, next time, I would keep some garlic in the oil. Kids ate it, no one complained. Dirtied up too many pots.
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