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Monday, June 6, 2011

Pizza Party

Pizza Dough For a Crowd
1 1/2 TSP dry yeast
1 3/4 Cups warm water
1 TSP salt
1 TBS sugar
5 Cups of flour

Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus Spears
12 Asparagus spears, trimmed
1/2 LB prosciutto
Salt and pepper

What's a party without pizza?  As a kid, pizza parties meant greasy cheese pizza and some form of liquid carbonated sugar.  As an adult, pizza can still perfect for entertaining by swapping the grease for fresh toppings and the soda for alcoholic beverages.  Add a fancy, yet simple app like prosciutto-wrapped asparagus and a salad to round out the meal.  This is my mom's pizza dough recipe and it makes enough for 2-3 pizzas, so you can please all of your guests with a variety of toppings.  I made a white pie with fresh ricotta, fontina, shitake mushrooms and green onions and a spicy sausage and garlic with tomato sauce and fresh mozzarella.  When making the dough, you will want to make sure you have several hours to let the dough rise, as well as enough time to let the dough come to room temperature.  I also prepped all the toppings ahead of time, so putting the pizzas together would be a breeze.

Coat a large bowl with olive oil, set aside.  In a food processor or large bowl, combine yeast and warm water.  Let dissolve then add the oil, salt and sugar.  Mix well.  Slowly mix in the flour until a ball of dough forms.  Cover with a dish towel and let sit for 20 minutes.  Knead the dough by hand on a floured surface for 10 minutes, or until springy.  Place in the oiled bowl and cover with a dish towel.  Keep in refrigerator to let rise. 

Let the dough come to room temperature.  Divide into 2-3 balls of dough (depending on how big you want your pizzas to be).  Roll out with some more flour and stretch out to the desired thickness and shape.  Place on an oiled pizza pan or baking sheet.  Top with desired toppings and cheeses.  Add toppings then bake in a 450 degree oven for 15-20 minutes.    

For the appetizer, prepare the grill or grill pan just before your guests arrive.  Coat the asparagus in olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper.  Carefully wrapped the prosciutto around each spear.  Put on the hot grill, cooking until the asparagus gets tender and the prosciutto gets slightly crispy.  Impressive, delicious and so easy!

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The Hungry Yuppies, Annie and Rich, are a young couple from CT who are self-proclaimed foodies. Annie is the chef, and Rich is her willing taste tester. Juggling a full time job in the city wasn't going to get in the way of Annie's love for cooking. It's about eating well whether you have just 30 minutes on a Monday night, or all day on a rainy Sunday.