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Chef's Hat: Pizza - Pizza

Every week — well, probably every day — I get recipes sent to me by email. Sometimes they are appealing; sometimes they’re not. However, one of this week’s emails contained links to pizza recipes, and who doesn’t like pizza?

The nice thing about making your own pizza is that you can easily customize it to the tastes of your family. Don’t like those little fishy things? Leave them off. Are you looking for a healthy supper? Use a wheat crust and low-fat cheese, and load up your pizza with lots of vegetables.

And, of course, a pizza can simply be a meager crust, a bit of sauce, some sausage or pepperoni and mozzarella, or whatever cheese you have on hand.

Many years ago I made my own pizza crust. Then for a long time I used the bag crust that you add a little water and oil to, which was much simpler than making a crust from scratch.

There are also refrigerated crusts you roll out, and even easier than that are the pre-baked pizza crusts that are widely available.

Just in case you are ambitious and have some time on your hands, I have included a couple of recipes for pizza dough — a traditional dough and a fast-and-easy dough in case you are stretched for time. A homemade crust may be a bit cheaper, but after making dozens of pizzas, I have seen very little reason to make a crust from scratch.

When making a pizza you can use any ingredient you have on hand. If you have a bit of chicken left, cut it into small bites and use it for a topping. Those last few green onions starting to get a bit brown? Cut off the bad parts and chop the rest into small, bite-sized pieces and sprinkle them on your pizza.

Kids of all ages really enjoy helping out when it comes time to assemble your creation. If your family gets overly ambitious and makes a mess in your kitchen, maybe that’s not such a good thing. And if you are cleaning out the last bit of olives or green peppers from your fridge and don’t really want your family to know what’s going on your pizza, it might be best to keep them at arm’s length while you’re preparing dinner.

Make your pizza an adventure and don’t be afraid to experiment.

Happy eating!