Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Margharita² (Lemon Margaritas & Margherita Pizza)

First of all I would like to thank TopShelf Network, Inc for giving me the opportunity to join the family.  I know only good things come from a compilation of great minds and ideas (and food recipes of course).  Check out their site for "entertainment on every level", from everything from fashion, to sports, to True Blood and more.  I wanted to feature this recipe combo first because I felt it would be appropriate to celebrate the cross promotional worlds of food and entertainment.

This blog is a fun combo of Margaritas and Margherita Pizza.  (And YES I know the title is spelled wrong- it is just a combo of both words).  This recipe would be so fun to use if you were throwing a cocktail party or just as an appetizer.  I mean, booze and pizza are a match made in heaven- but this makes it feel a bit posh while you're getting on your slosh. The lemon isn't overwhelming it pairs nice with the fresh light pizza.  I first learned how to make pizza because I felt the price for delivery pizza was truly outrageous (truly truly truly outrageous, oh oh oh).  Anyway, it turned out to be super easy, just something you need to think about an hour before hand- which turns out to be most likely the same amount of time you would wait for delivery anyway.  Margaritas are always fun, they have their own glass and you can make them straight or frozen (mmm frozen, perfect for summer!)  I absolutely love margaritas, and this won't be the only time you see them on my blog.  I already have tons of ideas floating around with what to pair them with.  Since we're having pizza, I wanted to keep it an Italian theme.  Limoncello is an Italian liqueur made with lemons, alcohol (traditionally grain alcohol or you can use vodka), sugar and water.  I'm not using Limoncello liqueur but I did want to let the lemon flavor really shine, without having to buy a whole bunch of different liquors.  Don't worry it won't be super tart, that's why we add sugar to the mix :) 

Margherita Pizza is a classic that was "first made in 1899 when Queen Marghereta visited Napels to escape a cholera epidemic in the north of Italy. The ingredients used to make a Margherita pizza, tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and basil, imitate the colors of the Italian flag. Queen Margherata liked the pizza so much that she wrote a thank you letter to Esposito, who decided to name the pizza after the Queen." (

We'll start with the pizza dough recipe.  If you are pressed for time, or just don't feel like getting your hands dirty, most supermarkets carry fresh pizza dough now, or you can always go to your local pizzeria and buy pizza dough for cheap. 

Pizza Dough Recipe
(this will make two thin crust 16" pizzas, or one thick crust and extra dough for garlic knots)

  • 1 ½ cups of all purpose flour
  • 2 cups of bread flour (if you don't have bread flour, just use 3 ½ cups of all purpose flour in total)
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1 packet of dry active yeast (or about 2 ½ to 3 tsp if you buy in bulk)
  • 1 cup of warm water (about 100-110 degrees if you want to get technical)
  • 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
  1. Pour the yeast into the warm water and stir to combine.  Let this sit for a couple minutes to reactivate the yeast.
  2. In a big bowl combine the flour, salt and sugar with a whisk and make a small well in the middle of the bowl. 
  3. Then add the oil and yeast water to the well and combine with a large fork until just combined then use your hands until a sticky ball of dough is formed.
  4. If you need to add a little more flour, just add a little at a time.
  5. Take out of the bowl and knead the bread for about 5 mins. (Anytime you knead dough you want to sprinkle the counter or work area with flour so the dough doesn't stick) Shape it into a tight ball. Then put back into the bowl and cover entire ball with some oil (I usually just spray it with cooking spray) and cover with plastic wrap where the plastic wrap is touching the dough- not tightly covering the bowl on top, we are just covering the dough from the air so it doesn't form a tough "skin".  You could even drape a kitchen towel over the top of the bowl instead.
  6. Let sit for at least 45 mins in a warm place until it has doubled in size.  If you don't have a warm place, turn the oven on to 350 degrees for a couple mins then place the bowl with the dough in there (but obviously shut the oven off- we aren't cooking the dough yet)
  7. When it has doubled in size, knead it again for about 5 mins and then divide the dough into two even pieces.  Roll out the dough into the shape of your pan (pizza pans are cheap- I have two: one from Waldbaums, and one from Wal-Mart, but before I had the round pans I just made my pizzas "Sicilian" or rectangle and put on a baking sheet.) *edit* Now I actually have upgraded to a pizza stone. If you make a lot of pizza or really want a quality pizza I HIGHLY suggest you go and spend the $20 on a pizza stone- it will change the way you make pizza, seriously. **  Transfer to your pan or stone and top with toppings.
  8. Cook for at least 10 mins at 450-550 degrees.  (Basically crank your oven as high as it will go) Pizza cook time will vary on crust size and what you topped the pizza with.
Margherita Pizza Recipe
  • 2 small ripe tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 lb of fresh mozzarella, sliced
  • fresh basil leaves, about 10 (or about 1-1½ tablespoons of dried)
  • salt
  • extra virgin olive oil
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees
  2. Make the dough like I showed you before, and try to roll the dough out thin
  3. Drizzle a little oil on the dough and cover evenly with your hand or a brush
  4. Top with slices of mozzarella and tomato and basil leaves (if using dried just sprinkle the dried over the top)
  5. Sprinkle on salt about a tsp or so
  6. Put in the oven for about 10-15 mins. Keep an eye on it. When cheese and crust are all nice and brown its done.  I like to let the pizza sit for a minute or two when I take it out of the oven, I feel it helps set up the pizza a bit.  Then slice and serve!
Please use fresh mozzarella, it really makes a difference. And yea I didn't have fresh basil when I took the photos, sorry!

Frozen Lemon Margaritas
(This makes one serving for a standard Margarita glass.  If you need to make more just multiple the recipe by that number)
  • 2 lemons (and the zest of one of them)
  • 1 lime
  • 2 shots (2 oz.) of tequila
  • 1 shot (1 oz) of triple sec (or any other orange liqueur, and if you don't have any you could always use orange juice)
  • 1 ½ tablespoons of sugar
  • about 1-1½ cups of ice (I used 6 large ice cubes)
  • salt or sugar for the rims
  1. Zest one lemon into a blender
  2. Before you squeeze the citrus- use it to line the rim of the glass and then roll the rim in either sugar or salt. I always prefer salt mmmmm.
  3. Then add the juice of the lemons and lime into a blender
  4. Add the liquor, sugar and ice. Then blend until slushy.
If it's too tart for your taste, add a bit more sugar. Want it stronger? Add more tequila! If no blender is available- shake it up and pour over some ice.  Oh, and believe me, you're gunna wanna make more than one serving  :) Buon appetito!


adam tylor said...

Really looking delicious and yummy this pizza . Even my all friends love it. i'll definitely recommend this site to my friends and i have also bookmarked it.

Brianne said...

Many thanks adam! Im glad you enjoyed it! Sharing with friends and family is what it is all about!

javed vardi said...

Wao! yummy dish. my all friends like it. even when we think to throw a party, we simply go to jim's home . His mother make it for us from pizza recipe .

roofers in nj said...

this is a good pizza and it looks veg pizza and i love Lemon margaritas and pizza as well.

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